While purebreds may be more popular among dog owners, mixed breed dogs also make excellent pets. The overall health of a mixed breed dog depends on the parentage, which also determines the hereditary conditions to which the dog may be prone. Though there are some diseases to which all breeds are susceptible, mixed breeds may have a higher incidence of certain conditions based on their size, head shape and chest shape. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these diseases.
Health Problems by Size
The adult size of a mixed breed dog is one of the best ways to predict likely health concerns. Large breeds, for example, are particularly prone to inheriting hip dysplasia – a condition in which the femoral head does not sit properly within the hip joint. Over time, joint slippage leads to degeneration and arthritis. In severe cases, total hip replacement may be necessary – a procedure which can cost between $1,500 and $3,000 per hip. Triple pelvic osteotomy, or TPO, is an alternative procedure involving cutting and rotating the pelvis to prevent further slippage – this procedure costs around $2,500.
Small and toy breeds are susceptible to spinal problems like intervertebral disc disease and joint problems like patellar luxation. Intervertebral disc disease, or IVD, is a condition in which the discs of the lower back become herniated, causing stiffness or paralysis. This condition can be surgically repaired through fusing or removal of the affected discs, a procedure which costs between $3,000 and $5,000. Patellar luxation is a condition in which the knee cap, or patella, slips out of its normal location. Surgery to repair the joint generally costs between $1,200 and $4,000 per leg.
Health Problems by Head Shape
Short-faced purebreds and mixed breeds with small or short heads, often suffer from brachycephalic syndrome. Brachycephalic syndrome is a term used to define a group of conditions including an elongated soft palate, stenotic nares and everted laryngeal saccules. An elongated soft palate may protrude into the airway, interfering with normal breathing. Stenotic nares, or malformed nostrils, collapse during inhalation to make breathing difficult. Everted laryngeal saccules is a condition in which the tissue surrounding the vocal cords is pulled into the windpipe during inhalation, obstructing airflow. Surgical repairs are common for all three conditions and the cost for these procedures generally ranges from $1,000 to $2,000.
Health Problems by Chest Shape
Broad-chested breeds are susceptible to contracting gastric torsion, or bloat. This is a condition in which the stomach swells or rotates, cutting off the blood flow to other organs. If not treated, this condition can quickly become fatal. Surgical repairs for this condition often involve inserting a tube into the stomach to deflate it or repositioning the stomach and suturing it in place. The cost of these procedures ranges from around $1,000 in mild cases to $5,000 for cases in which complications arise.
Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.