Does Pet Insurance Cover Thyroid Issues?

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Pet owners are often relieved to find out that their pet insurance will cover thyroid issues. In fact, they will reimburse the pet owner for all expenses related to the thyroid issues, including diagnostic testing, diagnosing the thyroid issue, and treating the animal. If prescription pet food is recommended by the veterinarian, pet insurance will typically cover this as well. There are a couple of different thyroid issues that can affect a dog or cat.

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Hyperthyroidism in Dogs

Hyperthyroidism in dogs occurs when the dog’s thyroid produces too many thyroid hormones. While it’s very rare in dogs, hyperthyroidism can be a very serious condition for dogs. Fast and early diagnosis and treatment are required for the best possible prognosis. It’s often diagnosed by a mass or tumor on the thyroid gland. Surgical removal of the mass is often the most common treatment.

Symptoms might include gagging, weight loss, vomiting, increased appetite, fast heart rate, difficulty swallowing, and increased thirst and urination. With hyperthyroidism, as well as many other thyroid issues, the vet may recommend prescription pet food to help the animal gain or lose the necessary weight it needs depending on the condition.

Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Feline Hyperthyroidism occurs when the cat has an over-active thyroid, which results in the thyroid producing too many thyroid hormones. Diagnosis is usually done by a physical examination and a blood test to measure hormone levels. Symptoms include a heart murmur, weight loss, behavior changes, diarrhea, and vomiting. The main treatment for hyperthyroidism is providing the cat with anti-thyroid medication to control the amount of thyroid hormones produced.

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism is a common con-genital (acquired) endocrine disease caused by an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones. It can occur as a congenital disease if it’s there at birth, or it can occur when the dog develops autoimmune-related damage to the thyroid, which results in a decrease in hormone levels.

The acquired type can generally be found in middle-aged dogs that are medium to large in size. Dogs most affected are Afghan hound, Airedale terrier, Boxer, Chow Chow, Cocker Spaniel, and Chinese Shar Pei. Symptoms may include coat and skin abnormalities, lethargy, slow heart rate, constipation, cold avoidance, and weight gain.

Hypothyroidism in Cats

If the medical exam determines that a cat has hypothyroidism, it means that the cat has an underactive thyroid, which results in the thyroid not producing enough thyroid hormones for a healthy metabolism. Unlike hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism is quite rare in cats.

Hypothyroidism most commonly affects cats that have received iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism or have undergone surgery. It can also be caused by abnormalities in the thyroid gland or cancer. Symptoms include weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, inactivity, weakness, hair loss, low body temperature, and hair matting.

Other Thyroid Issues

In addition to hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, cats and dogs may be affected by other thyroid issues. These might include:

  • Thyroid gland abnormalities
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Idiopathic atrophy of the thyroid gland
  • Inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Goiters

Annual Cost of Thyroid Issues

The cost of thyroid issues in your dog or cat can vary by several things, but the main factor is the stage at which the issues is diagnosed. It’s generally less expensive if it’s caught in its early stages. The cause of the thyroid issue can also affect the cost. Generally, the bill for thyroid issues will include examination, diagnosis, treatment, possible surgery, prescription medication, and possibly prescription pet food.

Pet insurance may cover most of these services. The most of thyroid medication can range from $20 to $50 per month. The cost for treatment of thyroid issues can range from $800 to $1,000 the first year and from $300 to $700 each year thereafter. These costs don’t typically include the cost of prescription food if it’s required.

Plans That Cover Thyroid Issues

Luckily for dog and cat owners, the cost of thyroid issues is often covered by pet insurance. However, not all pet insurance companies will cover this under their basic illness/accident plants, so be sure to research prior to deciding on a specific policy plan. Below are a couple of pet insurance companies that offer this coverage.

Embrace Pet Insurance Thyroid Coverage

Embrace offers a comprehensive pet insurance plan that covers almost everything thyroid-related, including testing, diagnosis, treatment, follow-ups and prescription medication as well as surgery if recommended. Embrace also offers a Wellness plan that would cover the cost of prescription pet food if its vet recommended.

Pets Best Pet Insurance Thyroid Coverage

Pets Best is another popular pet insurance company that offers excellent coverage for many health issues, including thyroid issues. Their BestBenefit Accident and Illness plan covers all the services required to diagnose and treat thyroid issues. They also cover prescription medications as well as prescription food if it’s recommended by the veterinarian.

With each company, the pet owners will need to pay the deductible and whatever co-pay the specific play dictates. Pets Best does allow pew owners to customize their plans to the one that best meets their needs.