All dogs and dog breeds are susceptible to particular health issues. Here's why you should get pet insurance for large mixed breed dogs
A lot of people think that mixed-breed dogs are less likely to suffer inherited health issues than pure breeds, but this is only true to an extent – to a pretty small one, in fact – so it’s equally important for pet parents to get pet insurance for large mixed breed dogs as it is for any other dog.
Large mixes – also known as large crossbreeds or crosses – are, after all, combinations of pure breeds and can therefore inherit similar genetic dispositions. It’s even been suggested that they could be at risk from disorders associated with both parents (or all their ancestors), doubling the potential trouble.
Health issues in large mixed breed dogs can vary greatly – it depends on the mix – but here are a few common examples. Don’t worry, though, pet insurance will pay for all or most costs of treating them.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)
Many large breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, or Irish Wolfhounds, can suffer from an enlarged heart – as can mixes involving these breeds. The heart becomes thicker and weaker, potentially causing heart and respiratory failure if not diagnosed and treated quickly. Depending on the severity, the condition can cost more than $2,000 to treat but pet insurance can pay a big chunk of that. If you find that your dog seems weaker than usual with the odd fainting spell, then it’s worth getting them checked out.
This condition is common in big dogs such as – but not only – Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Weimaraners and German Shepherds, plus large crossbreeds. It’s a compression of the spinal cord that causes neck pain and weakness in the legs. Spinal surgery can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $5,000 depending on how bad things are. If left untreated, a dog may struggle to walk, potentially losing all mobility in their legs.
This condition affects a lot of breeds and mixes, but perhaps large dogs more than others. It’s caused by problems with the alignment of the joint, which pops out of place and is extremely painful. It can cost around $3,000 to treat, but it’s well worth it because leaving it untreated usually leads to arthritis: an incurable disease that requires lifelong medication and therefore lifelong vet bills. That’s a month's vet fee for the rest of a pup’s life. A good pet insurance plan will cover preventative measures and/or after care, as long as it’s not a pre-existing condition, so get insured early.
Gastric torsion is when a dog’s stomach twists on itself, cutting off blood flow. It can occur very quickly and requires immediate attention from a vet. Treatment will be covered by accident and illness plans but as it can be life-threatening, it could also be covered by an emergency plan. Large, deep-chested dog breeds like Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Akitas, and German Shepherds are particularly susceptible to gastric torsion.
Epilepsy is a common inherited condition in larger dogs; more specifically, primary or idiopathic epilepsy, which can cause seizures. It usually becomes evident that a dog has epilepsy between the ages of six months and three years, which means it’s vitally important to get your pup insured at a young age before they’re diagnosed and it becomes a pre-existing condition – because medication can cost $200-$5,000 per year.