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If you’re a Shih Tzu parent, it’s tough to determine the best thing about this dog breed. With their small size and luxurious, fluffy coats, Shih Tzus are adorable. They’re also affectionate dogs who love to be wherever their people are.
Unfortunately, the Shih Tzu breed is predisposed to certain medical conditions. While these health issues can be expensive to treat, you may be able to cover the high costs if you invest in pet insurance for your dog early.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right pet insurance plan for your beloved Shih Tzu. This guide will help you select a plan that covers everything you want it to, so you can be there for your dog when they need you most.
Compare The Top 9 Pet Insurance Plans for Your Shih Tzu 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 Shih Tzu Cost?
Below are some sample pet insurance plans for a 1-year-old male Shih Tzu 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 Shih Tzu-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 Shih Tzu
Patellar Luxation in Shih Tzus
The most common orthopedic condition for small dogs like Shih Tzus, patellar luxation occurs when the knee is dislocated. Some affected dogs will have a minor limp, while others may end up immobile. Uncorrected, patellar luxation can lead to arthritis later in your dog’s life.
Ear Infections in Shih Tzus
Shih Tzus have floppy ears, making them more susceptible to ear infections. Infections in the ears can be triggered by allergies, underlying diseases, or even just too much moisture in the ear canal. Make sure to clean your Shih Tzu’s ears regularly!
Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca) in Shih Tzus
This eye condition occurs when the tear glands no longer produce enough tears to keep your dog’s eye moist. It causes pain, itchy eyes, and can lead to infections. Symptoms include a thick discharge, squinting, pawing at the eye, or a dull, dry appearance of the eye.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in Shih Tzus
Because Shih Tzus are small and have short faces, they’re prone to a breathing condition called Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. It means airway obstruction or abnormalities, like the dog’s nasal passages are too narrowed, soft palate tissue blocks their trachea, or their windpipe diameter is small enough to make breathing difficult.
Cushing’s Disease in Shih Tzus
This disease occurs when the body produces too much of a hormone called cortisol. Cushing’s predominantly affects middle-aged to senior dogs, and you may notice your dog is extra thirsty or losing patches of hair. Your Shih Tzu may also urinate more frequently and have accidents.
Typical Costs Of Treating Health Issues In Shih Tzu and How Pet Insurance Can Help
If left untreated, certain conditions can result in long-term consequences, which ultimately make them more expensive to manage later. Knowing the signs and symptoms of these conditions common in Shih Tzus can help you catch them early. When in doubt, take your pup to the vet to have them diagnosed.
Many of the health issues listed above can be very costly to treat, especially when surgery is required. Here are just some sample veterinary expenses:
- Patellar Luxation Costs: Treatment for patellar luxation depends on the “grade” of dislocation. If it’s Grade 2 and above, surgery may be needed to correct the issue. That orthopedic surgery could cost thousands of dollars. Again, you want to treat it, or it may lead to arthritis or other complications.
- Ear Infection Costs: Treatment costs will depend on whether your dog has ear mites, a bacterial infection, or a yeast infection. Ear mite medicine is available cheap over the counter. Bacterial infections require antibiotics, and yeast infections require antifungal meds ($25-40.) Preventative care insurance may cover ear cleanings. Taking your dog in for diagnosis could cost $150 at least.
- Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Costs: Again, this depends on the symptoms and causes of breathing difficulty. Soft palate resection surgery costs $500-$1,500. Stenotic nares resection may cost $200 – $1,000.
- Cushing’s Disease Costs: Some of the higher costs involved with Cushing’s are in the diagnostics since it can be challenging for vets to initially determine what’s affecting your Shih Tzu. Ongoing treatment for the disease can range from $50 to $200 per month. They’ll also need frequent bloodwork to see if the drugs are working.
- Dry Eye Costs: Dogs affected by dry eye will need to have prescribed ointment applied for the rest of their life. That will cost you $40-$80 per month on average.
What Is Pet Health Insurance And Why Do I Need It For My Shih Tzu?
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-$62 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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