More than 200,000 dogs insured by one Swedish company at the beginning of either 1995 or 1996 were included in a retrospective, cross-sectional study. They could be covered for veterinary care at any age, but were eligible for life insurance only up to 10 years of age. Accessions for veterinary care that exceeded the deductible cost were used to calculate the risk of morbidity. The morbidity and mortality data have been stratified by gender, age, breed, location and human population density. In each year, 13 per cent of the dogs experienced at least one veterinary care event and the mortality risk was 3-0 per cent. The risk of morbidity varied with age, gender, breed, and location. The risk of mortality increased principally with age. It was possible to derive population-based risks of morbidity and mortality from these insurance data.
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