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As someone who grew up with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, I can’t possibly say enough good things about the breed. I mean, these indescribably cute fluffy sweethearts were literally bred to cuddle; they’re lapdogs by design. Cavaliers love people, and that’s why people love Cavaliers.
Unfortunately, the Cavalier King Charles 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 Cavalier. 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 Cavalier 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 Cavalier Cost?
Below are some sample pet insurance plans for a 1-year-old male Cavalier 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 Cavalier-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 Cavaliers
Mitral Valve Disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
The most commonly seen genetic health issue in Cavaliers, mitral valve disease, begins as a heart murmur that progresses into heart failure. When the valve separating the two left heart chambers fails to form a tight seal, the heart must work harder to pump blood through your dog’s body.
Surgery can’t always resolve the issue, but pharmacological treatments paired with regular veterinary follow-ups can keep your dog’s heart condition stable.
A study published in Canine Medicine and Genetics Journal found heart murmurs in 30.9% of the 541 Cavaliers included in the research. Ideally, dogs screened for this condition should not be bred.
Syringomyelia in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
This condition common in Cavaliers occurs when cavities form in the dog’s spinal cord and fill with fluid due to abnormal pressure in the skull. Cavaliers’ relatively small skulls can obstruct the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
Syringomyelia can cause severe head and neck pain. In some cases, it can lead to paralysis. Ongoing medical management can give affected dogs a good quality of life for at least two years. Surgery has an 80 percent success rate in reducing pain.
Signs of syringomyelia include:
- Scratching the back of the neck
- Sensitivity to touch around the neck
- Pain that causes whimpering or yelping
These signs are usually seen in Cavaliers between 6 months and three years old, but dogs of any age can start showing symptoms. Syringomyelia can only be diagnosed through an MRI.
Otitis Externa (Outer Ear Infections) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Sadly, Cavaliers’ iconic long, luxurious ears also make them prone to ear infections. There are several causes of ear infections, including allergies, hypothyroidism, trauma, ear mites, and bacteria.
Otitis externa (aka outer ear infection) leads to inflammation in the infected ears. Your dog will experience pain, redness outside the ear canal, and their ears will develop an odor. There may also be a black or yellowish discharge.
Untreated infections can worsen and affect your dog’s hearing or balance.
Patellar Luxation in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
The most common orthopedic condition for small dogs like Cavaliers, patellar luxation, occurs when the knee is dislocated. Close to 20% of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels will be affected.
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.
Typical Costs Of Treating Health Issues In Cavaliers and How Pet Insurance Can Help
If left untreated, many of the health conditions listed above can result in long-term consequences and even required surgery, which ultimately makes them more expensive to manage. Selecting a pet insurance plan suited for your Cavalier’s particular needs might save you tons of money on medical costs.
Here are just some sample veterinary expenses for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels:
- Mitral Valve Disease Costs: Diagnosing MVD may require X-rays or a cardiology specialist. Your veterinarian will want to put your dog on medications to manage the condition. These include diuretics for fluid removal and beta-blockers for central blood pressure reduction. Ultimately, MVD will cost you at least hundreds of dollars in medical bills.
- Syringomyelia Costs: Your dog will need an MRI to diagnose the condition (which costs $1,000 to $2,000). Medical management is an option, involving medications (~$50 per month) and adjustments like raised food bowls. Surgery to decompress the cerebrospinal fluid obstruction may be recommended for dogs with severe pain, but it’s very expensive (averaging $5,000-$10,000.)
- Ear Infection Costs: Many dogs will have more than one type of infection at present, so treatment will require multiple medications. The average cost of treatment is ~$150. Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) is a surgical option that involves removing the ear canal with the diseased tissue to prevent the recurrence of ear infections. Surgery is only necessary in chronic cases but could cost $3,000 – $5,000.
- 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 ($1,000-$5,000 on average.)
Knowing the signs and symptoms of these conditions common in Cavaliers 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 Cavalier?
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-$69 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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