Top 10 Conditions That Affect Both Humans and Pets

By PetMD Editorial on Sep. 30, 2009

You and Fido May Suffer From Similar Health Concerns, According to VPI


September 30, 2009

Didn't think you and your pet could share a medical history? Well, a report from the Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) indicates that animals and humans can, in fact, suffer from similar conditions. Based on the company's 2008 medical claims, they have released a list of the top 10 most common human conditions that affect pets.

They are:

1. Allergies – Pet owners are not the only ones who suffer from allergies, animals do, too. Saliva from insect bites as well as pollen, and other airborne allergens, can aggregate allergic reactions. Like in humans, allergies are treated with antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medications.

2. Bladder infections – Next time your pet has an "accident" indoors, it may be the result of a bladder infection, or bacterial cystitis. Be mindful of changes in your pet's urinary habits.

3. Arthritis – Since pets age faster than humans do, degenerative diseases like arthritis can start earlier than one would imagine. A lifetime of wear and tear on your pet's joints can result in decreased movement and severe pain.

4. Diabetes – This disease is as serious for humans as it is for pets, and requires daily management. If your pet suffers from this condition, weight-control treatments and timed meals are recommended.

5. Skin Cancer – It's not just a day in the sun that causes this condition in pets, rather prolonged sun exposure that can lead to cancer. Pet owners should monitor the animals's white ear tips, pink noses, and all other light-colored area that are more susceptible to sunburns.

6. Gum Disease – Pets should be brushing after meals, too! Pets suffer from excessive plaque buildup, which can lead to gum recession and other types of gum disease. If you're not brushing your pet's teeth regularly, regular check-ups are strongly encouraged.

7. Acne – Even though your pet may not fall under the category of "hormonal teenager," acne can affect them, too. While cats are more prone to breakouts than dogs, both species can suffer from itchy and painful acne.

8. Stomach Ulcers – If your pet is vomiting, or displays abdominal discomfort, it could be that they are suffering from stomach ulcers. These can stem from drugs, kidney or liver disease, or even pancreatitis.

9. Cataracts – A change in the transparency of the lens in your pet's eye could signal the onset of cataracts. Like humans, surgery may be necessary to reverse the condition.

10. Laryngitis – An evening of howling and hollering could lead your pet to lose its voice. If your pet's new, raspy voice proves continuous, then a visit to the veterinarian may be necessary as it could indicate an upper respiratory tract infection.


Even though humans and pets share these ten ailments, it is never safe to share medications with your pets. The symptoms may be similar, but your beloved animal requires special attention. See your veterinarian before self-medicating your pet.

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