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Oh, to see a Lab smile! It’s one of the happiest sights you’ll ever see. With such delightful grins and loving personalities, it’s no wonder Labrador Retrievers are one the most popular dog breeds of all time. And to keep your Lab bestie smiling, you’ll do anything they need. You feed your pup the best foods, choose the most fun toys, and only buy the comfiest beds. As a responsible dog parent, you also take your dog to annual vet appointments and stay on top of any changes in their health. Happy, healthy, and well-protected are the name of your parent game!
And one more way to keep your pup protected is a quality pet insurance plan tailored to your dog’s specific needs. Labs are healthy dogs, but they do experience particular health problems, like cancer, joint issues, epilepsy, liver shunts, and bloat. Issues like these not only bring worry over your pup’s health, but they can also cause stress over how to pay high vet bills. Having a pet insurance plan for your Lab in place before issues arise can ease financial burdens so you can focus on your dog’s health. To help you find peace of mind and the best pet insurance plan for your Lab, we’ve created a free and easy-to-use comparison tool to simplify the insurance quest.
Compare The Top 9 Pet Insurance Plans for Your Lab Using our Free No-Obligation Quote Tool below
The simplest way to compare pet insurance prices is to use our tool below. The comparison tool will show you quotes from the top 9 pet insurance carriers, including Trupanion, Pets Best, Lemonade, ManyPets, FIGO, HealthyPaws, Prudent Pet, Spot, and Embrace pet insurance.
How Much Does Pet Insurance for a Lab Cost?
Below are some sample pet insurance plans for a 1-year-old male Lab using the zip code 75001 (Texas) as an example.
Ultimately, your plan’s premium will depend on several factors, including your dog’s age, size, and breed, as well as where you live. Prices can also vary when coverage is tailored to Lab-specific health problems. Let’s get more into those medical conditions and how much you can expect to pay to treat them.
Common Health Problems Associated With Labs
Because of genetics, a larger build, and their tendency to be active, Labs commonly develop joint problems brought on by hip dysplasia, luxation, and arthritis. Each of these joint issues can cause pain and problems with mobility.
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – Occurring when a joint forms incorrectly and doesn’t sit in the socket correctly, elbow or hip dysplasia can eventually lead to pain and decreased mobility.
- Luxating Patella – Known also as a dislocated kneecap, patellar luxation can be mild to severe. In bad cases, pain can decrease mobility in the affected leg.
- Arthritis – An inflammation of the joints, arthritis can cause pain and stiffness that increases the more a joint erodes. And because Labs can get a little chubby, that extra weight puts stress on joints, causing them to wear out quicker.
RELATED: From The Vet: 7 Signs Of Arthritis All Dogs Owners Should Be Aware Of
Also called liver shunts, this congenital or acquired condition occurs when blood vessels that should pass through the liver don’t. Instead, these vessels flow directly from the digestive system, sending blood back into the circulation system without first going through the liver for detox. Portosystemic shunts, PSS, can cause symptoms such as neurological problems, digestive issues, and overall poor quality of life.
Labs are genetically predisposed to seizures, but the exact cause behind them is unknown. Seizure episodes that repeatedly happen without a primary cause are referred to as idiopathic epilepsy. The Labrador Site reports seizures will cause dogs to collapse, lose consciousness, and make involuntary jerking movements. Seizures can typically last for as long as three minutes.
Labs tend to struggle with obesity, and while chunky pups are undoubtedly cute, it’s not healthy. Being overweight to the point of obesity can put Labs at higher risk for certain medical issues, one being Gastric dilatation-volvulus. Known more commonly as “bloat,” Gastric dilatation-volvulus happens when food, gas, and liquid painfully distend a dog’s belly and then twist the stomach. This twisting traps the stomach contents and compresses the abdomen’s blood vessels. Gastric dilatation-volvulus is a life-threatening situation for dogs and must be treated immediately.
Research by the Animal Health Trust discovered that 70% of Golden and Labrador retrievers carry a genetic factor that increases the likelihood of mast cell tumor development, making the breed prone to developing this common yet very serious form of cancer. Mast cells are part of the immune system and carry the task of soothing inflammation and allergic reactions in canine body tissue. But something about the genetics of Labs can cause these cells to malfunction and grow into cancerous tumors.
RELATED: Do You Know These 5 Warning Signs Of Pet Cancer?
Typical Costs Of Treating Health Issues In Labs and How Pet Insurance Can Help
Labrador Retrievers are happy and healthy dogs, but like any other breed, they’re still prone to specific health problems, and emergencies can happen. Caring for ongoing conditions and emergency vet situations can create financial hardships in a hurry. But a small monthly payment for the right pet insurance plan for your Labrador retriever can save your bank account and give you time to care for your pup without worrying over bills.
If you’re not sure pet insurance is right for your family, take a look at the average costs for treating the common health problems in Labrador retrievers:
- Joint Problems Costs: According to Veterinarians.org, depending on your dog’s joint problems, you could be looking at $300 a year for treatment to $5,000 for orthopedic surgery and post-care. If surgery isn’t necessary, treatment for arthritis and other joint issues can still be expensive. Your dog may need medications to relieve pain at a cost of $20 – $50 monthly depending on severity and size. The vet may also prescribe physical therapy to maintain quality of life and each session averages $50. As joint problems are a continuing condition, vet bills can wear on your bank account. Pet insurance can soften the expense of treating arthritis, luxation, and dysplasia.
- Portosystemic Shunts Costs: With bills coming in anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000, PSS is expensive to treat as dogs will need surgery, medications, and hospitalizations. And before treatment, tests to find PSS include expensive scans and bloodwork. This one health problem in Labs alone makes pet insurance a worthy monthly expense.
- Epilepsy Costs: Because epilepsy isn’t a cut-and-dry condition to diagnose, your vet might perform a full batch of tests like bloodwork, a CT scan, or even an MRI, which can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on where you live. Once a treatment plan has been established, prescription meds can cost $200 to $5,000 a year. And while your Lab adjusts to their meds, you may be required to do blood tests every month before moving to a twice-yearly process. Between diagnosis, treatment, and vet maintenance, epilepsy is pretty pricey to treat. Pet insurance can help maintain your finances by cutting test and prescription costs when dealing with this tricky but common health problem in Labs.
- Bloat Costs: The only way to correct GDV is an emergency surgery in which the stomach is corrected and tacked to the abdominal wall. The Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences estimates surgery costs to repair GDV average between $2,000 and $5,000, but complications could inflate bills further.
- Cancer Costs: When cancer is suspected, diagnostic costs for bloodwork, scans, and exploratory surgery can range from $200 to more than $1,500. Once the diagnosis comes, the treatment begins, and costs start mounting with surgery that averages $1,500, radiation prices of $2,000-$6,000, and chemotherapy costs that can climb to $5,000 depending on severity. Additional prescriptions can average $50 monthly, but the best pet insurance plans for Labs will reduce cancer costs greatly.
What Is Pet Health Insurance, And Why Do I Need It For My Lab?
Pet health insurance works very similarly to human health insurance. Your policy quote will range in monthly price, depending on your dog’s breed, age, and where you live. Typically, you’ll spend around $15-$88 per month as a pet parent.
Pet insurance is mainly about peace of mind, knowing you won’t be totally overwhelmed in case of an emergency. Enrolling even when your dog is young and healthy will ensure you have plenty of coverage when they need expensive medical care later. If you choose a plan more suited to your dog’s particular breed, you’ll be more prepared when something happens later on in their life.
Some plans cover accidents and illnesses, while others only cover accidents. Certain plans do cover breed-specific illnesses, and others do not. It all depends on what type of coverage you choose. You can get quotes from multiple insurance companies with no obligation to commit with our free pet insurance comparison tool.
Whatever plan you choose, you’ll feel better knowing you can take care of your dog when they need you most. Plus, you won’t suddenly have to shell out thousands of dollars. Learn more about how pet insurance works here.
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