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Named for the striking ridge of hair along its back, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a sighthound initially bred to hunt lions alongside humans in South Africa. This history makes them so good at lure coursing and protecting the family home. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an intelligent, athletic dog who shows love and extreme loyalty to his human and canine pack members.
Overall, this breed is fairly healthy, but the Rhodesian Ridgeback 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 Rhodesian. 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 Rhodesian Ridgeback 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 Rhodesian Ridgeback Cost?
Below are some sample pet insurance plans for a 1-year-old male Rhodesian Ridgeback 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 Rhodesian Ridgeback-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 Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Dermoid Sinus in Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Dermoid Sinus is a severe inherited skin disorder caused by the incomplete separation of the skin and the nervous system during embryonic development. It’s present in about 5-7% of Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies.
There are five types of Dermoid Sinus identified by the severity of the channel. In some dogs with DS, the tunnels can run deep into underlying tissues and even into the spinal cord, which increases the affected animal’s risk of spinal cord infection. If the sinus between the skin and spinal cord becomes infected, a painful abscess could form, and the infection can lead to serious neurological diseases like meningitis, myelitis, or encephalitis.
This video will show you how to detect a DS in your Rhodesian Ridgeback. Of course, you should rely on the expertise of your vet to make an official diagnosis.
Atopic Dermatitis in Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Also known as skin allergies, atopic dermatitis is a top health concern for Rhodesian Ridgebacks. There are many causes for atopic dermatitis in dogs, including genetics and environment-specific allergens.
Signs of skin allergies in dogs include:
- Scratching or biting at skin often
- Licking their paws
- Rubbing their face
- Frequent ear infections
- Red or inflamed skin
Untreated atopic dermatitis might result in lesions, thickened skin, hair loss, or scarring from your dog biting, licking, or scratching their skin too much.
Mast Cell Tumors in Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Mast cells are white blood cells found in connective tissue throughout the body, under the skin, near blood vessels, and in the lungs and digestive tracts. Typically, the mast cells play a role in the body’s response to inflammation and allergens. The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed is more likely than others to develop mast cell tumors.
Mast cell tumors most commonly form on the skin’s surface, like on a dog’s legs, head, or abdomen. Frustratingly, mast cell tumors do not have a characteristic form. They often resemble other types of skin lumps and lesions. MCTs can also fluctuate quickly in size.
If you notice any suspicious or unusual lump on your dog’s skin, have them assessed by your veterinarian. Like with many diseases, the sooner mast cell tumors are diagnosed, the sooner they can be removed and the more likely your dog will recover.
Elbow Dysplasia in Rhodesian Ridgebacks
The term elbow dysplasia represents several defects relating to the elbow socket. This condition occurs when the three bones making up the elbow joint don’t properly fit together, causing progressive arthritis and pain.
Elbow dysplasia can be challenging to detect initially because some dogs don’t appear to show symptoms. In others, it may manifest as a slight limp or lameness in the limbs.
Autoimmune Hypothyroidism in Rhodesian Ridgebacks
The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism. Sometimes, the thyroid can become under-active, which is called “hypothyroidism.” It occurs when the immune system recognizes the dog’s thyroid as foreign and attacks it, slowing your dog’s metabolism.
Hypothyroidism could result in weight gain, lethargy, or changes in hair and skin condition in your Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Typical Costs Of Treating Health Issues In Rhodesian Ridgebacks 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, ultimately making them more expensive to manage. Selecting a pet insurance plan suited for your Rhodesian’s particular needs might save you tons of money on medical costs.
Here are just some sample veterinary expenses for Rhodesian Ridgebacks:
- Dermoid Sinus Costs: It’s important to find a veterinarian/surgeon knowledgeable about this particular condition. Imaging to determine the depth of the tube will cost several hundred dollars, and surgical removal of abnormal tissue/closure of connections to the spinal canal may cost $2,000 – $6,000. However, surgery to remove the DS is not always possible, and your dog may suffer from low quality of life. If your Rhodesian Ridgeback is already exhibiting neurological symptoms, there may be permanent damage despite corrective surgery. There’s also a risk of reoccurrence and infection if the DS is not entirely removed.
- Atopic Dermatitis Costs: Treatment costs for allergies can vary greatly depending on the severity. In mild cases, diet changes or special shampoos can help alleviate symptoms. Your dog may require corticosteroids and antihistamines to control itching, and they might even need immunotherapy injections (which are on the higher end of the cost spectrum.) On average, allergy management in dogs will cost you $150-$500 per year.
- Mast Cell Tumors Costs: The costs of treating canine cancer depend on the severity of the tumors, where they’re located and the dog’s size. Consultation fees with a veterinary oncologist might cost you $100-$250. The earlier tumors are detected, the more likely they can be removed; therefore, your dog’s prognosis will be better. Surgery to remove localized mast cell tumors might cost around $1,500. If the tumors have spread to other parts of the body, the vet may recommend chemotherapy ($200-$2,000) or radiation therapy ($2,000-$6,000). Pet insurance can often help cover these high costs.
- Elbow Dysplasia Costs: Orthopedic surgery to correct the issue is pricey, ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 on average. Depending on the severity of the condition, your dog may not need surgery. Still, treatment for arthritis and other joint issues can be expensive. Your dog will likely require ongoing pain medications (~$20 – $50 per month) and joint supplements. The vet may also prescribe physical therapy, which could cost $50 per session.
- Autoimmune Hypothyroidism Costs: Hypothyroidism isn’t curable, but it is treatable. You’ll need to administer thyroid replacement hormone for the remainder of your dog’s life, meaning monthly or bi-monthly purchases. Weight gain, however, can lead to other medical problems, which could cost a lot.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of these conditions common in Rhodesian Ridgebacks 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 Rhodesian Ridgeback?
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-$103 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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