Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nationís oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, analyzed medical claims submitted in 2007 to find the most expensive insured conditions commonly suffered by dogs. The following is a list of some of these.

1. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): This disease is most often genetic and cannot be prevented. It is most common in Dachshund dogs due to a genetic problem with the disc. You can minimize the chance of this problem by preventing your dog from jumping off the bed or furniture. Provide a ramp for assistance if needed.

2. Lung Cancer: Unfortunately, there is nothing that we know of that can prevent this condition. It may be helpful to minimize your dogís exposure to second-hand smoke.

3. Gastric Torsion (Bloat): This is a life-threatening condition resulting from a distended stomach that rotates into an abnormal position (torsion). Untreated, it results in death. It is most common in large breed, deep-chested dogs (such as the Great Dane). There are some things you can do to help prevent this condition: divide meals into 2 or 3 meals per day rather than one large meal; feed a mixture of canned food and dry food; avoid elevated feeders; any diet changes should be made gradually over a period of 3 to 5 days. Feed susceptible dogs individually and, if possible, in a quiet location.

4. Foreign Body Ingestion (Small Intestine): This condition is entirely preventable. This is cause by the ingestion of an object that canít pass through the intestine (e.g., socks coins and toys). Supervision of your dog when heís at play can help prevent this; also, providing him with indestructible toys such as the Kong.

5. Cruciate Rupture: This condition is due to a rupture of a ligament in the knee. It is difficult to prevent, as you cannot predict how or when it will happen. It can occur to any dog at any time when running or playing. Make sure he rests during play, and donít over-exercise him.

6. Foreign Body Ingestion (Stomach): This condition is also preventable. This is similar to #4, but this time the object is caught in the stomach. Keep all items that your dog might ingest out of his reach. Observe his behavior when playing with toys to ensure he doesnít try to ďeatĒ them.

7. Cataract (Senior): There is nothing that we know of at this time that can prevent this condition.

8. Bone Cancer: There is nothing that we know of at this time that can prevent this condition.

9. Broken Limb: This condition is treated with a surgical pin to stabilize the bone.

10.  Brain Cancer: There is nothing that we know of at this time that can prevent this condition.

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