Dog Health Care May 16, 2017 Share 0 Tweet Pin 0 Share 1 Why Pet Insurance for Beagles makes for a Happy Healthy Hound…To paraphrase a well-known song: “There ain’t nothing like a hound dog”, and the Beagle is definitely a dog worth singing about..These velvet-eared hounds with beguiling brown eyes have strength of character out of proportion to their size. For example, Beagle pet parents know only too well that the Beagle is apt to turn stone-deaf when his nose picks up an interesting scent…which is pretty much all the time.Indeed, do you know that a Beagle has 44 times the number of scent receptors in the brain, than we humans? The Beagle is blessed with over 22 million receptors, whilst we made do with a measly 5 million. That’s a bit like getting 4G on your mobile instead of a dial-up connection on a desktop!Of course Beagles are unique in other ways, including the health problems the breed are prone too.Why Take Out Pet Insurance for a Beagle?Congratulations if you’re about to get a Beagle pup or already have a Beagly fur-family member. Life will never be dull! But you also need to be realistic. Beagles are nosy dogs that swallow objects for safe-keeping…and as a result suffer regular tummy upsets and the risk of bowel obstructions.But more than this, the Beagle is linked to an increased likelihood of developing certain medical conditions. The wise pet parent is aware of this and puts in place a means of providing for untimely treatment costs.Beagle-related Health Problems and the Treatment Costs InvolvedConditionSignsTreatmentCostMenigitisSevere neck painFeverLong courses of steroidsMRI scan £1,500Spinal fluid analysis £200Steroids £40 / monthBleeding disordersUnexpected bleedingExcessive blood loss from minor cutsBlood transfusionEmergency consultation £120Hospitalisation £600 / nightMast cell tumoursSkin lumpsCan be single or multipleSurgical removalAnti-cancer drugsSurgery from £700Drugs approx. £5 / dayEpilepsySeizuresAnticonvulsant medicationMRI scan £1,500Medication £1 – 2 /day for lifeSlipped discsBack pain Loss of sensation to the limbsRestPain relief SurgeryMedication £40 /month Surgery £2,500-4,000Cherry eyeRed “cherry” like swelling of the inner eyelidSurgical replacement of the prolapsed glandSurgery £400-900(May recur)DiabetesExcessive thirstUrinary accidentsWeight lossInsulin injectionsRegular blood tests £100 /quarterInsulin £50+ / monthNow do you understand why you need a good pet insurance policy? We will now explore these medical issues in more detail so as you know what to look out for in your Beagle’s pet insurance policy. Pet insurance for Beagles certainly sounds something to bark about! Meningitis Our Beagle buddies are prone to an inherited condition that attacks the body’s own cells. It goes by various names, including BPS ‘Beagle Pain Syndrome’ and SRMA ‘Steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis’. Unhappily, this condition is linked to young active dogs under two years of age. It arises because the immune system turns on the body’s own cells. In this case, it causes inflammation of the blood vessels running through the nervous system. What you see as a pet parent is a dog in excruciating pain, especially of the head and neck. The beagle feels so bad he won’t eat (serious indeed for a beagle!) and won’t move. Diagnosis involves an MRI scan and taking samples of spinal fluid, to rule out infectious meningitis (important as the treatment is high doses of steroid which could be dangerous if infection is present). The condition can respond to immunosuppressive medications, but the doses are high, which means an accurate diagnosis from the outset is crucial. Bleeding Disorders Our Beagley best buddies are also at risk of the doggy equivalent of Haemophilia. Some lines of the breed lack a blood clotting agent known as Factor VII. Those dogs that are affected are unable to clot their blood properly which means a risk of heavy bleeding from minor injuries. There’s no preventative treatment for dogs, like there is in people, and reacting promptly to excessive bleeding is key. The dog must be rushed to an emergency facility that’s capable of administering blood transfusions and giving fresh plasma containing clotting agents. This is costly in all respects, from needing to see a vet in the middle of the night to the specialist nature of the treatment, and so pet insurance is worth its weight in gold (or clotting factors!) Mast Cell Tumours Mast cell tumours are so deeply unpleasant on so many levels. They are a form of skin cancer, with the potential for life-limiting complications such as spread to internal organs. Where things are extra tricky is that they can mimic other more harmless looking skin lumps, hence lulling the pet parent into a false sense of security. When your pet pal belongs to an at-risk group such as being a Beagle, Boxer, Boston terrier, or Golden Retriever, then it’s best to assume the worst and have any skin lumps surgically removed. It’s also wise to get those lumps analysed to see how serious they are. In a worst case scenario for the dog that pops up repeated lumps of the most serious grade, then preventative medication may be needed. The good news with this is that it’s highly effective, but the bad news is its expensive at around £5 a day for an average sized Beagle. Epilepsy The Beagle breed is well-known for developing seizures or fits for which no underlying physical cause if found (in other words ‘epilepsy’.) If your dog has occasional fits then no treatment may be necessary. However, dogs that have fits monthly or those fits are severe or long-lasting, then anticonvulsant medication is essential. As well as the cost of the medication itself (an average of £2/ day for life) there is a need for regular blood tests to monitor blood levels and organ function. All-in-all this is a strong argument for having life-long pet insurance cover in place from puppyhood. Slipped Discs The recipe of an exceptionally active breed with a debilitating painful back condition leaves a sour taste in the mouth. But it is a sad truth that Beagles are prone to slipped discs. This can mean weeks of cage rest (not easy to do and keep your sanity!) or even surgery. Surgical removal of the affected disc can mean the difference between permanent paralysis or regaining good use of his legs. This cuts right to the heart of what owning an active dog means, because their quality of life hinges on just such differences. Having a financial provision in place for the unexpected, means so much in terms of peace of mind. Cherry Eye This is a cute name for a not-so-sweet condition. The ‘cherry’ part refers to the appearance of a bright red, round swelling (Hey, it looks like a cherry- get it!) at the inner corner of your dog’s eye. This is actually a tear producing gland that has prolapsed out of its protective pocket and is sitting where it’s not welcome. Cherry eye looks unsightly and can lead to complications such as a drying out of the surface of the eye. The gold standard is to surgically replace the gland back in its pocket…but this is notoriously difficult to do and carries a 50% failure rate…which means repeat surgery and the costs involved. Diabetes Anyone who knows Beagles appreciates they are a bottomless pit when it comes to food. Unchecked this leads to a thickened waistline and carrying extra pounds also predisposes to diabetes. But things get worse because the Beagle is one of the breeds with a genetic connection to developing diabetes – meaning the dog has not one but two risk factors. Diabetes is controlled by giving injections of insulin. These days we have VetPens that deliver the insulin, so coping with this condition has never been easier, but you guessed it – the cost of daily medication but the monitoring involved all mounts up in the long term, which makes pet insurance for your Beagle seem a wise choice indeed. And finally, Once your Beagle becomes ill it’s too late to take out insurance. The best time to take out health insurance for a Beagle is when they are a puppy. Then keep up the payments throughout their life. Knowing what you do about their health conditions, carefully weigh up the pros and cons of lifetime cover against time-limited cover. To understand the ins and outs of the implication check out our No-Nonsense Guide to Finding the Best Pet Insurance for Dogs Don’t delay: Protect your dog today!