Pet parents and their companions have more in common than you might realize. The bodies of humans and animals contain bones, muscles, and biological systems that control the heart, lung, digestive and endocrine systems, among others.
Just like humans, our pets can suffer from persistent pain or other side effects from chronic conditions associated with these biological systems.
A chronic condition is any long-term disease or illness that does not respond to curative treatment. A pet with a chronic condition may improve or relapse over time, but the condition or disease will persist for the rest of the pet’s life. Rest assured, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog or cat will live a shortened, unhappy life if diagnosed with a chronic disease.
On the contrary, many pets with chronic conditions live long, active, happy lives with their owners, so long as those owners consistently treat their pets’ ongoing symptoms.
That’s why it’s important to diagnose chronic medical conditions early so your pet’s veterinarian can design a treatment plan tailored to your cat or dog. Pet insurance for chronic conditions, like Figo, can help manage these ongoing expenses.
Having a dog or cat with itchy allergies can be frustrating. Your pet might chew on its feet, skin, or other body parts to relieve the itch. To complicate matters, the source of your pet’s allergies can be difficult to determine. It might be an ingredient in their food, a reaction to seasonal environmental irritants such as tree pollen, your neighbor’s lawn care, a reaction to flea bites, or something else entirely.
Treatment for pet allergies will require one or more visits to your veterinarian to determine the source of your pet’s irritation. If food allergies are suspected, your vet might prescribe a prescription pet food that omits certain ingredients that have been found to cause allergic reactions in pets.
If your pet’s veterinarian notices fleas or flea dirt on your pet, you will be prescribed flea prevention to apply to your pet regularly. Sometimes, the cause of a pet’s allergic reactions cannot be easily determined, especially if the occurrences don’t appear regularly. In these situations, your veterinarian might prescribe a dose of antihistamine when your pet is experiencing itchy symptoms.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the joints between your pet’s bones degrade. Symptoms can include:
Difficulty standing up after lying down
Vocalizing upon lying down
Snapping at other pets that approach
Loss of energy on walks
Hesitancy to use stairs or get onto furniture
Your pet’s veterinarian will review X-rays of your dog or cat to diagnose arthritis. Depending on the severity of your pet’s condition, treatment might include joint replacement, ongoing physical therapy, pain medications, or a combination of those treatments.
Diabetes occurs when the body’s endocrine system cannot process sugar correctly. The symptoms of diabetes in pets are like the symptoms of diabetes in humans.
Take your pet to the veterinarian if you notice any of the following:
Drinking more water than usual
Urinating more frequently and having accidents in the house
Changes in appetite, ranging from an increased appetite to a decrease in appetite
Weight loss, despite being hungry and eating more kibble
Chronic or recurring infections, both external, such as skin infections, and internal, such as urinary infections
Your pet’s veterinarian will run a urine culture, draw blood, and check for hyperglycemia. If diabetes is diagnosed, your vet will prescribe a special diet for your pet. You might need to administer daily injections of insulin to your pet, but the needle is small.
Many pets become accustomed to the daily procedure, especially if it includes extra cuddles from you.
Obesity is a frustrating condition because it is preventable. Left untreated, obesity can lead to additional health problems, such as diabetes and arthritis. Treatment for obesity can include increased exercise and measuring the food given to your pet instead of refilling the pet’s bowl whenever it is empty. Your pet’s veterinarian might prescribe a weight loss formula or prescription pet food.
These are some of the more common chronic health conditions that a pet might experience. Take your pet to their veterinarian for wellness visits every year — twice a year if your pet is a senior — to diagnose chronic medical conditions early.
Not all pet insurance is the same. Figo Pet Insurance, underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, covers expenses associated with your pet’s chronic condition, beginning with your pet’s first diagnostic visit to the veterinarian, and its ongoing visits to monitor and treat its condition, so long as they are not pre-existing.
Figo Pet Insurance offers customizable plans for your dog and cat, without confusion. You can even visit any licensed veterinarian and veterinary specialist, worldwide.
As a bonus pet perk, our exclusive Pet Cloud mobile app gives users access to a 24/7 Virtual Vet professional in case questions or emergencies arise. Plus, the mobile claims filing experience is lightning fast and seamless.