Boxer Dogs Pet Insurance: How to KO Health Problems

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How Pet Insurance for Boxers helps ensure a long and active life

Woof woof! Do you have a bouncy Boxer dog in your life?

An energetic Boxer dog has a way of wiggling his way into your heart. Maybe it’s that zest for life, those goofy good looks, or the puppy-dog eyes, but being a pet parent to a Boxer means falling utterly under their spell. And if he becomes ill, you’ll move heaven and earth to get that bounce back again, which is why health insurance for boxers is a must-have.

These tornadoes-in-a-fur coats are the living embodiment of unbridled enthusiasm. Indeed, the Boxer’s full body wiggle when his long-lost pet parent returns (who left the room for two minutes) is guaranteed to warm the stoniest of hearts. In return for such devotion, your want to be able to meet all his needs…including the cost of veterinary treatment should he become sick.

Should I get Pet Insurance for my Boxer?

The short answer is “Yes”, because the sad truth is Boxers are a breed with more than its fair share of health problems. You may have heard of the ‘Boxer bump’ (a potentially serious form of skin cancer) but do you know they’re also prone to aortic stenosis (a heart problem), debilitating colitis, and melting eye-ulcers?

Read on to better understand health conditions a pet parent may pawtentially face and why pet insurance for your Boxer is such a good thing.

Let's look at the health conditions that are well-recognized in the Boxer

The Signs and Treatment Costs of Common Boxer Conditions

Condition

Signs

Treatment

Cost

Inherited heart disease

Breathlessness,

Lack of energy

Collapse.

In puppies a specialist can use a special balloon catheter to stretch the narrowing in the aorta.

Echocardiogram- £200-500

Medical treatment £50 / month

Surgical correction£4,000+

Skin allergies

Itchiness,

Thickened greasy skin,

Sores and skin infections

Modern drugs are effective, with minimum side effects

Apoquel (oclacitinib) approx. £3 – 4 / day

Boxer bump (Mast cell tumours)

Skin growths: multiple or rapidly growing

Surgical removal

​Initial surgery £600-900

Drugs £7 / day

Underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism)

Lack of energy,

Patchy hair loss,

Weight gain

A thyroid supplement

Blood tests £80

Daily pill £1

Pancreatitis

Vomiting

Diarrheoa

Abdominal pain

Ranges from nil by mouth at home to hospitalization for intravenous fluids

Hospitalisation for pain relief and  fluids £200+ / day

Eye Ulcers

Squinting

Painful eye

Eye drops through to surgery

£80 - 600

Ulcerative colitis

Severe bloody diarrheoa

Weight loss​

Medical treatment

Antibiotics for several weeks - £2 – 4 / day

It’s a scary list, isn’t it? Now you see why a good pet insurance policy makes sense!

But rather than lose heart, let’s take a look at what those conditions mean to your dog, and how they are treated

Congenital Heart Disease

Sadly the Boxer dog is a martyr to a number of heart-related problems. These include issues affecting young animals, such as a narrowing of the main artery leaving the heart (aortic stenosis). However, adult dogs may also suffer from a dilated heart in their middle to later years.

On the one paw there’s never been a better time for the problem to be identified. From proBNP blood tests which detect distressed heart muscle, to echocardiograms which can follow the flow of blood, it’s possible (now as never before) to reach a diagnosis.

But on the other paw, treatment is expensive or can require lifelong medication. Whilst some drugs such as diuretics and beta blockers are inexpensive, some of the state-of-the-art drugs could cost several pounds a day for a large Boxer.

Whether your priority is to cover a one-off expense in the short term, or to match a regular monthly expenditure in the long term, the best pet insurance for your Boxer will vary so be sure to do your homework. [Also see: A No-Nonsense Guide to Finding the Best Pet Insurance for Dogs. ]

Boxer Bump (Mast Cell Tumours)

When something is scary and frightening, it is the British way to make light of it. Hence mast cell tumours are popularly known by the inoffensive name, “Boxer bump.”

Sadly the Boxer breed is at increased risk of developing mast cell tumours. This complex cancer runs the full spectrum of aggressiveness from being a solitary skin lump that never causes a problem, through to spreading across the skin or invading organs.

Put simply, it’s just not worth taking a risk and surgical removal of any skin lump is imperative. Should the worst be the case, and the tumour is highly aggressive, vets have a heavy-duty arsenal of options for treatment….but the drugs are expensive.

And the cost doesn’t end with drugs because regular blood tests and monitoring are required, which means a significant regular expense of hundreds of pounds. All of which means dog insurance for a Boxer makes ultimate good sense.

Underactive Thyroid Glands

Being slow, sluggish, and lacking in energy is unusual for a Boxer…unless they have underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism.) Surprisingly, hypothyroidism is quite common in the breed and it’s not confined to older dogs. From as young as two-years of age, Boxers are diagnosed with this energy-sapping condition that leads to a dull coat and thickened waistline.

Happily, once identified (blood tests) the treatment is simple and involves taking a daily pill. The one slight downside is the dog needs to take medication for the rest of their life, and monitoring blood tests are required from time to time.

Pancreatitis

A pancreas: We’ve all got one, but for a Boxer it can be more troublesome than most.
The pancreas produces digestive juices that break down fatty foods. If these enzymes leak out of the pancreas, they digest the surrounding tissue. Think of spilling a bottle of bleach on the bathroom carpet and you get the idea!

A high fat diet (sausages!) can trigger an attack of pancreatitis, but Boxers are unfortunately one of those ‘clear sky’ breeds where an episode can happen unexpectedly and out of nowhere.

Fair enough, mild cases are managed by withholding food for a couple of days. However severe episodes of extreme vomiting lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and shock. Some dogs then develop a pancreatic abscess which is a serious complication.

These more complex cases require hospitalization and intensive care, including intravenous fluids and aggressive pain relief. Episodes can last for several days and incur considerable expense to nurse the dog through to the other side.

Eye Ulcers

Another Boxer weakness are those gorgeous puppy-dog eyes. There’s something about the ‘glue’ which binds the cells of the cornea (surface of the eye) together, which isn’t quite right in the Boxer dog. This lends itself to sheets of cells flaking away, like peeling paint, causing eye ulcers. To make matters worse, these ulcers often respond poorly to treatment and alarmingly cause the cornea to ‘melt’ away.

Prompt treatment is essential, but you need to be realistic about how long it takes to resolve the problem. It’s not unusual for affected dogs to need a minimal of 6 – 8 weeks of treatment – and these are the lucky ones. The worst cases need to see a veterinary ophthalmologist and undergo specialist surgery to save the eye.

All of which comes at an ‘eye-watering’ price, which is again testament to the importance of pet insurances for Boxers in particular.

Ulcerative Colitis

This condition which causes bloody diarrhoea is so common in the breed it’s also known as ‘Boxer colitis.’ It ranges from unpleasant to seriously debilitating, resulting in emaciation and possibly death.

Your vet will need to rule out other conditions causing weight loss and stomach cramps (such as pancreatitis) before starting treatment. Tests required to reach a firm diagnosis include blood panels, ultrasound imaging, and possibly even bowel biopsies.

Therapy involves lengthy courses of an antibiotic from the fluoroquinolone family, which is, unfortunately, a very expensive class of antibiotics which means a full treatment course can be costly.

And finally…

The very best time to take out pet insurance for your Boxer is when they are a puppy. This makes sound sense since an active puppy is more likely to get into scrapes.  But more than this, when you renew the policy annually, you build up an insurance history which ensures your dog is covered into old age. (You’ll find it difficult to find a company to provide first-time cover for an older pet.)
Remember entering into pet ownership is a big responsibility, and the costs can quickly mount. It’s worth taking the time to think through your budget and decide what type of policy best matches your dog’s needs. This could be insurance cover for a large one-off expense or the peace of mind of lifetime policy affords…but one thing’s for sure… pet insurance for Boxer dogs is a must-have for those serious about being prepawed for all eventualities!

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