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Top 10 Ways Pets Break Bones
by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company
June 21, 2009

While moving vehicles pose an obvious threat to pets, another common cause of broken bones tops out at an unsuspecting zero mph and is found inside nearly all pet owner’s homes—furniture. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently analyzed its data on fracture claims to find the most common ways pets break bones. In 2008, accidents in which pets were hit by cars topped the list, followed by accidents in which pets fell or jumped, usually from household furniture.

Top 10 Ways Pets Break Bones

  1. Hit By Car
  2. Jumping
  3. Falling
  4. Fight With Other Pet or Animal
  5. Running and Slipped
  6. Hit or Struck With Object
  7. Caught in or Between Object
  8. Running into Object
  9. Stepped On
  10. Injured in Car Accident

In 2008, VPI received more than 5,000 claims for fractures. Of fracture claims analyzed, about 40 percent resulted from accidents in which pets were hit by cars. The second and third most common causes, jumping and falling, combined for another 40 percent of fracture claims. These claims most often involved pets jumping or falling from couches, beds, or the laps of their owners. The remaining 20 percent of fracture claims included those in which pets ran into stationary objects, fought with other pets, got caught in a tight space, or were unintentionally struck with moving objects.

In 2008, VPI received the most fracture claims for breaks to the humerus, femur, radius, ulna and tibia. The most common treatment of these breaks, surgical implantation of an orthopedic plate, had an average submitted claim fee of $1,500. The most expensive claims for broken bones were submitted for surgical treatment of a broken pelvis or vertebrae. Breaks to the pelvis or vertebrae that required pins, wires, or screws had an average submitted claim fee of $2,400, and breaks that required an orthopedic plate had an average submitted claim fee of $2,600.

“Broken bones are painful for pets and costly for pet owners,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Injury prevention includes careful management of a pet’s environment, by removing possible threats and eliminating situations that might put a pet at risk. To prevent pet accidents or injuries caused by moving vehicles, pets should be kept on a leash at all times while away from home. If a pet has a tendency to bolt out the door and into the street, the pet should be desensitized to open doors or restricted to a safe area by a fence or baby gate.”

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the nation’s oldest and largest pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional Pet Well Care Protection for routine care is also available.

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,000 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wisconsin. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com .

Products available through their site are only available for residents of the United States.

Canada, please contact Petsecure at www.petsecure.com .

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