Though they have gained a reputation as a dangerous breed, Rottweilers are intelligent and devoted companions. These dogs are protective of their territory and often form an intensely loyal attachment to their owners. While they may never welcome strangers unless encouraged to do so, with proper training and socialization Rottweilers can be happy, family-friendly dogs. Rottweilers are naturally calm, confident and intelligent which also makes them popular for use as police dogs, therapy dogs and service dogs.
A healthy Rottweiler can be expected to live between ten and twelve years but this breed is susceptible to contracting inflammatory bowel disease, osteocarcoma and a congenital defect called Sub-Aortic Stenosis. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, is among the chief health concerns commonly affecting Rottweilers. This disease occurs when inflammatory cells infiltrate the intestine, causing vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to loss of appetite and weight loss as well as skin and coat problems. Treatment options for this condition typically involve dietary changes and immunosuppressant medications which can cost between $20 and $200 a month.
Sub-Aortic Stenosis, or SAS, is a congenital defect resulting in scar tissue forming under the aortic valve which often leads to a narrowing of the aorta. This defect makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood which can lead to arrhythmias and sudden death. Many dogs born with this defect, treated or untreated, do not live beyond three years of age but the condition can sometimes be managed with beta blockers, the costs of which vary by drug. Open-heart surgery is not typically performed on dogs because it is too costly and medications can be just as effective in managing the condition.
Rottweilers in particular are predisposed to osteocarcoma, a type of cancer which produces tumors in the bone that can be difficult to treat. Treatment of this disease typically involves amputation of the affected limb followed by chemotherapy. Cancer treatments for dogs generally cost between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on the duration of the treatment.
Other Health Issues
Rottweilers, like many breeds, are also susceptible to hip dysplasia and bloat, or torsion, of the stomach. Hip dysplasia may require total hip replacement, which costs between $1,500 and $3,000 per hip, or joint repair, which typically costs around $2,500 for both hips. Bloat in dogs can be treated by inserting a tube into the stomach to release excess gas or surgically to repair organ damage and to suture the stomach in place. These treatments may cost around $1,000 if no complications arise and upwards of $5,000 if they do.
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.