Broken bones happen every day. Whether it’s a toe, tibia or rib, injuries like this are among veterinary medicine’s most typical traumas. 

That’s why Veterinary Pet Insurance has decided to put its database of pet health claims to good use by cataloging the most common reasons pets break their bones. Sourced from 5,000 claims from 2008, here’s the skinny: 

1. The “HBC”: Not surprisingly, “hit by car” claims the number one spot for fractures. A whopping 40% of all bone breaks were the result of this kind of “blunt trauma.”

2. & 3. Jumping, and Falling

Both of these were home-based injuries for which owners described either jumping of falling, usually from their arms or from furniture. These comprise another 40% of bone breaks.

Then for the last 20% of claims: 

4. Fighting (with other animals, presumably)

5. Slipping (usually while running) 

6. The object lesson (being struck by an object)

7. Getting caught (in tight spaces) 

8. Another object lesson (running into a solid object)

9. Underfoot (being stepped on)

10. The car accident (passenger trauma)

OK, so now comes the big question: What are we supposed to do with this data? 

Apart from the PR-worthy implication that pet insurance is worth the money is the obvious rationale for presenting it: Because preventing injuries helps everyone and knowing how they happen is eye-openingly beneficial. Nonetheless, what I really want to know is this: How much did the problem cost and how much was covered? 

Thankfully, VPI also offers us info on the first part of my question. According to PetMD, who summarized this issue nicely:

“The most common bones that were broken were the upper arm or leg, the lower leg, the bones of the lower forelimb (radius and ulna), and the shinbone, costing an average of $1,500 for treatment. Broken bones of the pelvis and vertebrae were the most expensive to treat, costing an average of $2,400 to $2,600.”

My take?” It’s all well and good to offer up all the “gee whiz” info on pet fractures in a press release, especially if it means pet owners will take better care of their pets now that they’re armed with some facts (seatbelts, anyone?). But what I really need as a pet health insurance pusher are the gory details. Come on, VPI, give it up: Tell us how much you paid out.