Pet Insurance for Pitbulls

By | 2018-12-11T13:36:13-04:00 December 11th, 2018|Pet Insurance|0 Comments

Despite their often negative reputation, when trained and socialized well from a young age, American PitBull Terriers can make extremely loving pets. If you’re a pitbull owner, you probably love your pitbull immensely and want to make sure that they’re able to live a long and happy life. Dog insurance can help you to achieve this goal by ensuring that you can afford to provide your pitbull with the medical care they need when ever they need it.

What kinds of health issues do pitbulls face?

Luckily, pitbulls aren’t as prone to serious health issues as many other pure breeds (ex. french bulldogs). However, they do tend to face the following health conditions:

  • Allergies: Pitbulls often suffer from this (thankfully highly treatable) health concern—usually skin allergies, rather than food allergies.
  • Cataracts: Like in humans, when the lens of the eye thickens and becomes cloudy, this limits dogs’ ability to see.
  • Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland underproduces necessary metabolic hormones, this occurs. Hypothyroidism is treatable with medication.
  • Hip dysplasia: This is a malformed ball and socket joint in the hips. Surgery may be necessary along with other forms of management.
  • Heart disease: Congenital heart disease like aortic stenosis as well as heart rhythm irregularity can be a problem.

What are the costs of treating health issues for pitbulls?

Medical treatment for these common health concerns can be extremely costly—as much as several thousand dollars. Here are the costs of treating some of these issues:

  • Allergies: A total package for allergy testing and treatment can cost around $600 to $1,100.
  • Cataracts: Cataract surgery for dogs typically costs around $1,500 to $5,000, and averages around $3,500.
  • Hypothyroidism: Diagnosis of hypothyroidism requires a physical exam and thyroid panel, averaging $218. Treatment is fairly reasonable at about $32 a month.
  • Hip dysplasia: Surgery may be necessary for serious cases of hip dysplasia, and costs $1700 to $4,500, or even more.
  • Heart disease: This depends on the type of heart issue; in the case of aortic stenosis, the treatment itself is affordable (beta blocking drugs aren’t too costly) but necessary monitoring via echocardiogram can cost $500-$600.

How might pet insurance be able to cover some of these costs?

Pet insurance companies will cover the majority of these issues, with some caveats (and it does depend which company and plan you choose). Allergies are usually covered in plans that include illness coverage (as opposed to just accident coverage); for instance, ASPCA Pet Insurance covers allergies as well as other major and minor illnesses. Some pet insurance companies cover cataracts. For example, Nationwide Pet Insurance doesn’t cover cataracts in dogs under the age of 7; Healthy Paws, meanwhile, covers cataracts and other hereditary conditions “as long as symptoms are not present before or at time of enrollment.” 

Hypothyroidism is quite common. Is it covered? That depends. Many companies, like Healthy Paws, will cover a chronic condition like hypothyroidism as long as it isn’t considered pre-existing. A pre-existing condition is one that shows up before your insurance waiting period. In the case of hip dysplasia, some pet insurance companies will cover this issue. For instance, Healthy Paws covers treatment for hip dysplasia “as long as the condition is diagnosed after the pet is insured, after any waiting periods, and as long as the pet is insured by the age of six.” Other companies won’t cover genetic conditions like this one.

If you’re concerned about any of these issues arising in your pitbull’s case, it’s a good idea to look into the pet insurance plan you’re considering to make sure it covers these common health concerns. Read the policy closely and make sure to ask questions about any areas that may be confusing.

About the Author:

Nina Gunther-Segal is as avid an animal lover as she is a writer. Her fascination with the animal kingdom was sparked by a childhood spent around all kinds of creatures, from the usual suspects--dogs and cats--to hamsters, rats, snails, fish, horses, and all kinds of farm animals. Today, Nina enjoys taking her Lab-Akita mix, Henry, on walks in the woods and to local swimming holes.

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