Dog Health Conditions


Don’t Think it Will Happen to You?

According to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, every six seconds a pet owner is faced with a vet bill of more than $1,000. Unfortunately, when it comes to your dog’s health, there is no way predict the future. Consider some of these facts about veterinary care in the U.S.

  • Annual veterinary expenses in the U.S. exceeded $16 billion in 2016
  • 1 in 3 pets will need urgent vet care this year alone
  • Less than 1% of pet owners in the U.S. have pet insurance


Top 10 Health Issues in Dogs

Healthy Paws shared data from over 200,000 claims over a two year period. Here is a list of the top 10 health issues in dogs.

RankCondition% of Claims
#1Stomach Issues29%
#2Skin Conditions20%
#3Ear Infections11%
#4Eye Conditions7%
#7Urinary Tract6%
#9Cruciate Ligament5%


Source: Cost of Pet Care 2017


List of Dog Health Conditions

Standard major medical cover accidents and illnesses. And although accidents do happen, illnesses account for the vast majority of health issues and claims for dogs. Below is a list of common health conditions in dogs to give you a better understanding of what can happen and how much it might cost to treat.

ConditionCost to Treat
Achondroplasia$1,000 to $5,000
Acral Lick Granuloma$25 to $50
Addison’s Disease$2,400 per year
Allergic Contact Dermatitis$25 to $100
Alopecia$50 to $100
Anal Sac Disease$100 to $2,500
Anemia$500 to $2,000
Aortic Stenosis$3,000 to $6,000
Arthritis$200 to $10,000
Atopic Dermatitis$100 to $500
Autoimmune Diseases$500 to $20,000
Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia$1,000 to $5,000
BPH$20 to $60 per month
Bladder Stones$50 to $500
Boxer Cardiomyopathy$500 to $1,000
Boxer Colitis$80 to $100
Brachycephalic SkullVaries
Broken Bones$200 to $5,000
Brucellosis$50 to $100
Cancer$5,000 to $20,000
Canine Hip Dysplasia$4,000 to $6,000 per hip
Cardiac Issues$1,000 to $20,000
Cataracts$2,000 to $3,000 per eye
Cerebellar HypoplasiaVaries
Cherry Eye$500 to $1,000 per eye
Chronic Active Hepatitis$1,000 to $7,500
Chylothorax$6,000 to $10,000
Cleft Palate$2,000 to $4,000
Collapsed Trachea$4,000 to $7,000
Collie Eye AnomalyVaries
Comedone SyndromeVaries
Congenital Heart Defect$15,000 to $20,000
Copper Storage DiseaseVaries
Corneal Dystrophy$2,000 to $3,000 per eye
Corneal UlcersVaries
Cruciate Ligament Tear$3,000 to $6,000
Cryptorchidism$200 to $500
Cushing’s Disease$500 to $2,000
Degenerative MyelopathyVaries
Degenerative Spinal Stenosis$2,500 to $5,000
Degenerative Valve Disease$8,000 to $15,000
Demodicosis$50 to $100
Dental Problems$250 to $1,500
Diabetes$100 per month
Dilated Cardiomyopathy$10,000 to $20,000
Disc Disease$3,000 to $9,000
Discoid Lupus ErythematousVaries
Discospondylitis$8,000 to $15,000
Dog DiarrheaVaries
Dog Hernia$750 to $2,000
Dry Eye SyndromeVaries
Ductus Arteriosus$2,500 to $5,000
Ear Infection$2,500 to $5,000
Ectropion$300 to $1,500 per eye
Elbow Dysplasia$3,000 to $6,000 per elbow
Entropion$300 to $1,500 per eye
Epilepsy$200 to $15,000
Exercise Induced CollapseVaries
Eye Problems$50 to $3,000
Familial Shar-Pei FeverVaries
Fanconi Syndrome$9,000 to $11,000
Foreign Body Ingestion$200 to $5,000
GDV$1,500 to $7,500
Gastrointestinal Ulcers$1,000 to $7,000
Glaucoma$2,000 to $3,000
GME$6,000 to $7,000
Heart Cancer$5,000 to $20,000
Heart Diseases$5,000 to $20,000
Heart Murmur$5,000 to $20,000
Heat StrokeVaries
Hemivertebrae$2,500 to $7,000
Hemophilia$200 to $500
Hepatic Disease$2,000 to $5,000
Hepatic EncephalopathyVaries
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs$4,000 to $6,000 per hip
Hot SpotsVaries
Hypoplasia of Dens$5,000 to $8,000
IMT$500 to $1,000 per treatment
Infectious HepatitisVaries
Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseVaries
Insipidus DiabetesVaries
Interdigital Cysts$200 to $1,000
IVDD$3,000 to $9,000
Intestinal ProblemsVaries
Joint ProblemsVaries
Juvenile Renal DysplasiaVaries
Kidney ProblemsVaries
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease$2,000 to $4,000
Leptospirosis HepatitisVaries
Liver Disease$2,000 to $5,000
Liver Failure$1,200 to $1,500
Liver Shunt$2,000 to $5,000
Lumbosacral SyndromeVaries
Luxating Patella$1,500 to $3,000
Lyme DiseaseVaries
Masticatory Muscle Myositis$50 to $100 per month
MDR1 Gene MutationVaries
Mellitus DiabetesVaries
Mitral Valve Disease$1,000 to $5,000
Myotonia CongenitaVaries
Nasal Solar DermatitisVaries
NME$1,500 to $4,000
Open FontanelVaries
Osteoarthritis$200 to $10,000
Osteochondrosis (OCD)Varies
Osteosarcoma$5,000 to $20,000
Pancreatitis$800 to $6,000
Parvo in DogsVaries
Patellar Luxation$1,500 to $3,000
PDA$2,500 to $5,000
Pelger-Huet SyndromeVaries
Persistent Pupillary MembraneVaries
Poisoning in Dogs$250 to $5,000
Portosystemic Shunt$2,000 to $6,000
PRA$2,000 to $3,000 per eye
Prostatic CystsVaries
Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)Varies
Pulmonic Stenosis$15,000 to $20,000
Pyruvate Kinase DeficiencyVaries
Red Mange$50 to $100
Renal DysplasiaVaries
Retinal Atrophy$2,000 to $3,000 per eye
Reverse SneezingVaries
Rheumatism$200 to $10,000
Ringworm$50 to $100
Sensitivity to AnesthesiaVaries
Separation Anxiety$20-40 per month for meds
Shar-Pei FeverVaries
Sick Sinus Syndrome$5,000 to $15,000
Skin Tumors$2,000 to $10,000
Spine and Back Problems$6,000 to $10,000
Spondylosis DeformansVaries
Stomach Bloat$1,500 to $7,000
Stomach Ulcers$1,000 to $7,000
Torn Ligaments$3,000 to $6,000
Tracheal Collapse$4,000 to $7,000
Transitional Cell Carcinoma$2,000 to $20,000
Von Willebrand Disease$500 to $1,000 per treatment
Wobbler Syndrome$5,000 to $6,000
Yeast Infection$50 to $100


Pet insurance is health insurance for your dog. It covers veterinary costs for illnesses and accidents. It can save you thousands of dollars if your dog needs treatment for a serious health issue. Pet insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions so it’s important to purchase coverage while your dog is healthy!



Achondroplasia, also referred to as Dwarfism, is a form of osteochoendrodysplasia in which the bones do not grow to the normal size based on what is expected of the breed. This is caused by a mutation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor gene. The result is abnormally short limbs, a condition called dwarfism. Related Conditions: Dwarfism in Dogs

Symptoms and Types

Here are some symptoms to look out for with your puppy to determine if they might be susceptible to achrondroplasia or dwarfism.

  • Larger than normal head
  • Undershot jaw with shorter nose
  • Crooked teeth
  • Abnormal bone shape
  • Overall lack of growth
  • Shorter than normal bone development
  • Enlarged joints
  • Bowed limbs


Breeds Commonly Affected

In some breeds this trait is selectively encouraged. Other breeds that are reported to be affected are bulldogs. This disorder is genetically acquired and considered a hereditary disorder.


Treatment Options

Depending on level of severity many dogs live long, healthy lives without need for treatment. If your dog suffers severe pain anti-inflammatory medications can alleviate pressure and in some cases orthopedic surgery is necessary to manage the pain.

Cost to Treat

$1,000 to $5,000 if corrective surgery is necessary


Acral Lick Overview

Acral Lick Granuloma, also called acral lick dermatitis, is a frustrating skin condition caused by compulsive, relentless licking of a single area. Acral lick granuloma most often occurs on the front of the lower legs. The area is unable to heal, and the resulting pain and itching can lead the dog to keep licking the same spot.


Treatment includes discouraging the dog from licking, either by using a bad-tasting topical solution or an Elizabethan collar.

Cost to Treat

$25 to $50


Addison’s Disease

Addison’s Disease is a chronic endocrine disorder where the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient steroid hormones (glucocorticoids and often mineralocorticoids). Lifelong, continuous treatment with steroid replacement therapy is required, with regular follow-up treatment and monitoring for other health problems. It is generally diagnosed via blood tests and medical imaging.


The following symptoms are common for Addison’s Disease.

  • Diarrhea
  • Body shaking
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy



Treatment involves replacing the absent hormones with steroid replacement therapy (also known as chronic adrenal insufficiency, hypocortisolism, and hypocorticism). Treating Addison’s disease can be expensive but pet insurance can help. However, you must have a pet insurance policy before your dog shows signs of Addison’s disease or it will be considered a pre-existing condition and will not be covered.

Cost to Treat

$2,400 per year for the life of your dog, Ongoing treatment is approximately $200/month for shots, steroids and blood tests.


Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis, or simply allergic dermatitis, is an allergic reaction to grooming products, food, and environmental irritants, such as pollen or insect bites. It is the most common skin allergy in dogs.


A dog with allergic contact dermatitis may scratch relentlessly, and a peek at the skin often reveals an ugly rash. Corticosteroids can help with itchy rashes, but the most effective treatment is to identify and avoid exposure to the allergens.


Depending on the severity topical ointments are an option for less severe cases and medications may be necessary if symptoms and discomfort persist.

Cost to Treat

$25 to $100



Alopecia is a complete or partial lack of hair in areas where hair normally is present. It’s quite common in dogs as either a primary problem or as a secondary result of another underlying condition (such as thyroid issues and asthma). Alopecia is purely cosmetic and not life-threatening. However dog owners should make sure they limit sun exposure and apply sunscreen when necessary due to the lack of fur and potential for skin cancer.


Depending on the severity diet changes, topical treatments and medications can help alleviate or control the problem.

Cost to Treat

$50 to $100


Anal Sac Disease

Your dog has two anal sacs, which are glands on either side of the anus. These sacs act as your dog’s territorial markers and explains why dogs are so interested in sniffing each other. Anal Sac Disease Overview Anal sac disease occurs when your dog’s anal sac(s) become impacted and inflamed. When this happens your dog will experience pain each time he passes feces. Anal sac disease is very common in all dog breeds.


The hallmark of anal sac disease is a dog scooting his bottom along the ground. Other symptoms include biting or licking the anal area. Essentially any obvious sign of discomfort or pain in or around your dog’s anus could be a symptom.


A vet can manually express full anal sacs to relieve the pressure. In severe cases your dog’s anal sacs may need to be surgically removed.

Cost to Treat

$100 to $2,500 if your dog needs surgery for removal. Removal of the anal sacs is a delicate and specialized surgery.



Anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the circulatory system. Adult dogs are anemic when the concentration of red cells in whole blood is less than 37% by volume. Anemia can be caused by trauma, cancer, immune-mediated disease, which is a disease in which the body attacks its own cells or organs, infectious disease, toxins, genetic defects, inflammatory disease, iron deficiency, drug reactions, kidney failure, and generalized chronic (long term) illness.


Dogs with a sudden onset of anemia may be clinically sicker than animals with chronic anemia. The impact of anemia and the symptoms on your dog will depend on the cause of the anemia as well as the severity of the anemia. This is due to the fact that animals can become partially adapted to the anemia over time, and may feel relatively good in spite of the anemia. Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Pale gums
  • Lethargy
  • Generalized weakness
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Episodes of collapse
  • Evidence of blood loss
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • External blood loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Yellow discoloration of the skin
  • Abdominal distension
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss



There are many treatment options available including medications, transfusions, IV’s, antibiotics, vitamins, dietary changes and surgery. Pet insurance will pay for anemia treatment if your dog suffers from the disease but you must be enrolled before your dog is diagnosed or shows signs of Anemia.

Cost to Treat

$500 to $2,000


Aortic Stenosis

Aortic stenosis is a congenital disease characterized by ventricular outflow tract obstruction on the left side of the heart. Also referred to as subvalvular aortic stenosis. There are three types of aortic stenosis:

  • Valvular (present at the valve)
  • Subvalvular (present below the valve)
  • Supravalvular (present above the valve)


Breeds Commonly Affected

Aortic stenosis is a congenital disease and it is especially common in Newfoundland dogs. Here is a list of some potential breeds who might suffer from congenital aortic stenosis.



Depending on the severity of the case surgery and cardiac catheterization may be necessary. Some veterinary hospitals around the country are beginning to offer the cutting balloon valvuloplasty. In milder cases beta-blockers and other medications may be used to manage the symptoms.

Cost to Treat

The cost may range from $3,000 to $6,000 for surgery. Follow-up care could make the cost even higher.

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