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Saint Bernards found their origins in the snowy Alps of Switzerland, rescuing souls who found themselves at the mercy of the harsh elements high above the world. But these gentle giants aren’t all about the work. They’re also fantastic family dogs with the patience of, well, a saint! And just like Nana Dog from Disney’s animated Peter Pan, Saints love children. Ready for rescue or playtime, this large dog will take good care of the whole family.
Because your Saint Bernard is the heart of your family, you’ll do anything and everything to give them the best life possible. And part of that ‘anything and everything’ is annual checkups with the vet to keep your pup fit and healthy. But no matter how diligent of a dog parent you are, illness and injury can still happen. St. Bernards are prone to hip dysplasia, bloat, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, epilepsy, and can experience heatstroke more easily than other breeds. Treating any of these problems can get expensive, but you can be financially prepared to fend off whatever comes with pet insurance. To help you find peace of mind and the best pet insurance plan for your Saint Bernard, 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 St. Bernard 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 Saint Bernard Cost?
Below are some sample pet insurance plans for a 1-year-old male St. Bernard 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. You also want to know what type of coverage your plan has and if it will help with St. Bernard-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 the Saint Bernard
Hip dysplasia occurs when the ball-and-socket joint in a dog’s hip doesn’t form correctly, leaving the joint to dislocate or the femur head to sit wrong in the socket. The issue eventually leads to pain and decreased mobility. This Saint Bernard health problem plagues many large breeds, and once diagnosed, the genetic condition will require lifelong care and management by a veterinarian. The Saint is also prone to dysplasia issues in their elbows as well.
RELATED: What You Need To Know About Hip Dysplasia
The Saint Bernard is a big dog with a deep chest, making the breed more susceptible to 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.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
While the Saint is a dog with a heart made for love and nurturing, those sweet hearts can experience a problem with Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). Commonly brought on by St. Bernard genetics, DCM is a heart disease that causes cardiac muscles to dilate and thin, leading to pumping and blood flow problems. It can lead to congestive heart failure in dogs and must be monitored by a veterinarian to maintain quality of life. A Saint Bernard with DCM may struggle to breathe, exhibit weakness and fatigue, lose interest in food, and even collapse if their heart works overtime.
Saint Bernards are genetically predisposed to seizures, but the exact cause behind them is often unknown. Seizure episodes that repeatedly happen without a primary cause are referred to as idiopathic epilepsy. Epileptic episodes happen suddenly, often without warning, and can last from a few seconds to minutes. There are different types of seizures, but symptoms can appear similar, with confusion, twitching, blinking, drooling, and behavior changes or bodywide stiffening that comes with rapid jerking movements.
RELATED: The 5 Things You Need To Know About Seizures In Dogs
Originating in the chill mountains of Switzerland, Saint Bernards can struggle in hot weather. Because of this, they run a higher risk of overheating, which can lead to heatstroke. Heatstroke symptoms can occur at temperatures of 105°F (40.5°C) and above and present with dry and sticky gums, abnormal gum coloring or bruising, lethargy, confusion, rapid breathing, and heavy panting. Seizures are possible as well. Heatstroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate vet attention.
Typical Costs Of Treating Health Issues In Saint Bernards and How Pet Insurance Can Help
Taking your dog to the vet for annual visits is a bill you expect. But when the vet discovers a problem or emergency strikes, medical bills can stack up fast. With the right pet insurance plan for your St. Bernard, you’ll be financially ready to deal with any bills, leaving you to concentrate on your best friend’s recovery.
Take a look at what it costs to treat the Saint Bernard health problems mentioned above:
- Hip Dysplasia Costs: Severe cases of hip dysplasia could require expensive surgery with costs ranging between $2,000 – $7,000. And even if your St. Bernard doesn’t need surgery, treatment could involve oral medications, injections, and even physical therapy, which can create bills of $500 or more yearly. Treating hip dysplasia can wear away at your wallet, but pet insurance offers financial protection against the high costs of orthopedic problems in dogs by helping with vet bills and prescription medications.
- 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 estimated surgery costs to repair GDV average between $2,000 and $5,000, but complications could inflate bills further. And dogs who experience bloat once run a higher risk of having it happen again. With the right pet insurance plan for your St. Bernard, you’ll be saved from the sudden and staggering bills bloat can create and never be forced to make heartbreaking choices because you can’t afford care.
- DCM Costs: To diagnose heart disease in dogs, vets will turn to X-rays, electrocardiograms, and echocardiograms, and this cardiac examination could cost an estimated $1,000. And though DCM in dogs can lead to eventual heart failure, heart medications can help slow deterioration. Your vet might prescribe quite the cocktail of medicines to manage heart disease, including ACE inhibitors, diuretics, nitroglycerin, vasodilators, and beta-blockers. These vital heart medications could run anywhere from $50 to $200 per month. Pet insurance plans that offer coverage on your Saint’s prescriptions can save you big.
- 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 dog 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. A pet insurance plan for your St. Bernard can help maintain your finances by cutting test and prescription costs when dealing with this tricky but common health problem.
- Heat Stroke Costs: Heatstroke is an emergency that can get pricey fast. Depending on the severity, your dog may require IV fluids and other treatments, like oxygen or blood tests to monitor organ function. These emergency care costs can easily create a bill of $1,000 and likely more. Pet insurance can make an urgent situation cost much less, so you only have to worry about your pup’s health and not how you’re going to pay for the care.
What Is Pet Health Insurance, And Why Do I Need It For My St. Bernard?
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-$173 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. With our free pet insurance comparison tool, you can get quotes from multiple insurance companies with no obligation to commit.
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 have to suddenly shell out thousands of dollars. Learn more about how pet insurance works here.
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