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Pet insurance vital for clumsy cats and dopey dogs

04 March 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Accident prone pets are to blame for 1 in 7 pet insurance claims, according to Saga Pet Insurance. Clumsy cats and dogs are frequently visiting the vet due to injuries caused by carelessness.

The most common mishaps for cats are, causing injury to the body, and being involved in road traffic accidents. Dogs are more likely to injure their feet and ligaments, suggesting they are less agile than they seem.

The analysis also highlighted regional differences in lumbering cats and dogs. The Midlands is home to some of the clumsiest cats in England, whereas the most accident prone dogs are from the South East.

This all may sound pretty amusing, says Saga, but it's not just the pets we should be feeling sorry for. Their research has found that the cost of treating these clumsy animals is potentially huge for the 71 per cent of pet owners in the UK who do not have pet insurance.

"The average cost for treating a cat involved in a road traffic accident is £705 but the costs can be as much as £5000, and treating a dog that has ligament damage could be closer to £9000!," said a spokesman for Saga pet insurance.

However, it is not just the carelessness of cats and dogs that can cause injury, and potentially massive vets bills for pet owners. Petplan have warned of the dangers posed by winter motoring precautions. Commonly used, anti-freeze and road salt are potentially damaging to pets.

Petplan warns that the anti-freeze we use daily in cold weather spells can be lethal to pets. Most brands of anti-freeze contain ethylene glycol which tempts pets with its sweet smell and pleasing taste, the danger comes from spillages and bottles being knocked over or left open.

The other cold weather hazard is road salt, which can cause irritation and pain to the footpads of pets, causing them to split and become sore. Road salt may also cause stomach upset in curious pets that lick the salt off the road.

There are precautions to be taken to prevent these dangers, Vet, Eric McCarrison of Chesterfield-based Carrick Vets, who supports the warning from Petplan, adds,

"All owners need to do is make sure their pets' feet are cleaned and properly dried, particularly between the toes, to prevent dermatitis. Keep a check for cracks, redness or bleeding which will need veterinary treatment since animals may chew at itchy skin making the problem worse.

"Cat owners should also check feet if their pet appears to be lame or licking its paws excessively. Owners also need to be aware that in wet weather dogs especially with thick coats can get soaked through and chilled possibly reducing their resistance to infection. They should always be thoroughly dried after being out in wet weather."

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