November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Veterinary Pet Insurance and the Animal Cancer Foundation Unite to Fight Against the Nation’s Number One Disease-Related Killer of Dogs and Cats

Brea, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2012) – In 2011, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, received more than 48,000 claims for cancer diagnosis and treatment in pets – making cancer-related conditions collectively the fourth most common type of medical claim received last year. In a continuing effort to educate pet owners about the prevalence, detection and treatment of pet cancer, VPI again recognizes November as National Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Partnering with the Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF), VPI will host the sixth annual VPI K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk on Nov. 11, 2012 in Long Beach, Calif., to raise funds for pet cancer research. In addition, for each new Facebook “Like” in November, VPI will donate $1 to the Animal Cancer Foundation, up to $10,000. To date, VPI has raised more than $108,000 to benefit the ACF.

VPI launched National Pet Cancer Awareness Month in 2005, calling attention to the number one disease-related killer of dogs and cats. Below are the 10 most common cancer-related claims received by VPI last year:

Cancerous Conditions
1. Lymphosarcoma or Lymphoma
2. Skin Cancer (Malignant Skin Neoplasia)
3. Splenic (Spleen) Cancer
4. Bone or Joint Cancer
5. Hepatic (Liver) Cancer
6. Thoracic (Chest) Cancer
7. Bladder Cancer
8. Brain or Spinal Cord Cancer
9. Oral (Mouth) Cancer
10. Peritoneal (Membrane Lining the Walls of the Abdominal and Pelvic Cavities) Cancer

Treating these pet cancers can be a heavy financial burden for pet owners. Last year, VPI policyholders spent more than $17.4 million on the top 10 cancer-related conditions. Lymphosarcoma or Lymphoma was the most expensive condition on the list, costing policyholders an average of $2,367 per pet.

To ensure that VPI policyholders are able to pursue optimal cancer treatment, VPI’s medical policies include benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous conditions, including chemotherapy and radiation when necessary.

“Cancer continues to be a widespread medical condition among cats and dogs,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Educating pet owners to ensure they recognize the signs and symptoms of pet cancer, in addition to the importance of being financially prepared for any and all circumstances, is imperative in the fight against cancer and all pet illnesses.”

Cancer Detection Tips

To detect cancer early, pet owners should be attentive to any growing lump or sore that fails to heal. They should also monitor their pet for 1) drastic changes in the pet’s appetite or weight; 2) unusually strong odors coming from a pet; 3) discharge or bleeding from any body opening; 4) difficulty chewing or swallowing; or 5) an unwillingness to exercise.

Further detection tips and information on National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, as well as registration information for the Long Beach VPI K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk, can be found by visiting For more information on the Animal Cancer Foundation, please visit

Note to editors: VPI can provide state-specific cancer data and arrange interviews with pet owners whose pets have survived cancer or are currently receiving treatment for cancer. Send requests

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies and is the oldest and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. CareGuard® coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2012); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2012). 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

About Animal Cancer Foundation

Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer by funding research in and increasing public awareness of comparative oncology, the study of naturally occurring cancers in pets and people. ACF provides research grants to medical and veterinary oncology professionals studying comparative oncology models. ACF does not fund studies that would induce cancer in pets. Clinical trials are offered to pet owners in their local oncology practices. ACF serves as a preeminent resource in educating the public and scientific communities to the value of the comparative oncology model not only to discover valuable new ways to treat cancer in pets, but that these advances may lead to more effective, less toxic therapies for people.

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P.O. Box 2344
Brea, CA 92822-2344