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There’s more to the Bernese Mountain Dog than his looks, though you can’t help but swoon at the breed’s luscious fur and regal stature. These big floofs are gentle sweethearts who inevitably insist on being lap dogs despite their size. Bernies also make great hiking companions and siblings to older kids.
Unfortunately, the Bernese Mountain Dog breed is predisposed to certain medical conditions, especially due to their size. 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 Bernie. 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 Bernese Mountain Dog 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 Bernese Mountain Dog Cost?
Below are some sample pet insurance plans for a 1-year-old male Bernese Mountain Dog using the zip code 75001 (Texas) as an example.
- Pets Best – $104.75 per month
- Embrace – $76.60 per month
- Healthy Paws – $81.34 per month
- ManyPets – $95.79 per month
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 Bernese Mountain Dog-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 Bernese Mountain Dogs
Histiocytic Sarcoma in Bernese Mountain Dogs
Also known as malignant histiocytosis, this is the most common cancer seen in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Sadly, it is a very aggressive form of cancer. Symptoms that the cancer has spread (referred to as “disseminated”) include:
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Weakness and lethargy
- Abnormal breathing or coughing
Dog parents should be prepared that prognosis for this type of cancer is relatively poor, as not all affected dogs respond to treatment, and disseminated histiocytic sarcoma can spread very quickly.
Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) in Bernese Mountain Dogs
Von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is an inherited bleeding disorder where a vital protein involved in blood clotting is absent. In Bernese Mountain Dogs, vWD is an autosomal recessive trait.
Some dogs carry the trait without experiencing symptoms. Others may suffer spontaneous bleeding from the nose, mouth, or digestive or urinary tracts. Teething or infections may also cause bleeding.
Dogs with this condition should not take drugs that affect normal blood clotting. There is no cure, but the condition can be managed to reduce the likelihood of severe complications.
Hip Dysplasia in Bernese Mountain Dogs
Hip Dysplasia is one of the most common problems in larger breed dogs, and Bernies are pretty large: these dogs can weigh between 85 and 110 pounds. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, and hip dysplasia causes malformation of the two components. That makes it difficult for your dog to walk, and the chronic laxity can cause abnormal wear, which leads to osteoarthritis.
The earlier you have your Bernese Mountain Dog diagnosed, the better their outcome will be. Pet insurance often covers annual exams. If the condition worsens, it may require surgery.
Gastric Torsion (a.k.a. “Bloat”) in Bernese Mountain Dog
Gastric Torson (a.k.a “bloat”) occurs when your dog’s stomach fills too rapidly with gas, food, or fluid. Bloat is a sudden, life-threatening condition where the stomach can twist, blocking the organ’s entrance and exit. It can even obstruct blood flow, which is a medical emergency.
Larger dogs like the Bernese Mountain Dog are more likely to suffer from this condition. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential when it comes to gastric torsion. Preventative measures, like regular exercise, proper diet, and not eating or drinking too quickly help as well.
If you notice any of these warning signs, you should take your Bernie to the vet right away:
- Swollen belly
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
Typical Costs Of Treating Health Issues In Bernese Mountain Dogs and How Pet Insurance Can Help
If left untreated, many of the health conditions listed above can result in long-term consequences and even require surgery, which ultimately makes them more expensive to manage. Selecting a pet insurance plan suited for your Bernie’s particular needs might save you tons of money on medical costs.
Here are just some sample veterinary expenses for Bernese Mountain Dogs:
- Histiocytic Sarcoma Costs: The costs of treating this cancer will depend on whether it’s localized or if it has spread and whether successful treatment is even possible. Diagnosis will likely involve blood tests, urinalysis, X-rays, and ultrasounds to check organs for tumors, which will cost hundreds of dollars. Chemotherapy treatments range in price from $200-$400 per treatment, and ongoing radiation therapy could cost $1,000 to $5,000. Surgery will also hit you with a bill in the low thousands.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease Costs: While there’s sadly no cure for this disease, dogs with vWD can live perfectly normal lives with management and avoidance of risky activities. If your dog has severe bleeding due to an injury, it may require a blood transfusion. This typically costs $100 to $300 per unit.
- Hip Dysplasia Costs: The cost of surgery for hip dysplasia can range from $4,000 to $6,000 per hip. Surgical options include Triple Pelvic Osteotomy, Femoral Head Osteotomy, and Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis, all costing thousands of dollars. Without surgery, your dog will suffer discomfort and eventually severe pain.
- Gastric Torsion (“Bloat”) Costs: If your dog’s stomach has twisted, it will probably need emergency surgery to untwist it. The average cost of treating a bloat case with surgery runs between $2,000 and $5,000. If there are complications, the cost could be even higher. Pet insurance with emergency coverage can literally be life-saving in this case.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of these conditions common in Bernese Mountain Dogs can help you catch them early, saving your dog and your money. When in doubt, take your pup to the vet to have them diagnosed.
What Is Pet Health Insurance And Why Do I Need It For My Bernese Mountain Dog?
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-$161 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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