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Consider Hereditary Conditions in Purebred Dogs


Petplan provides insight into the genetic predispositions of purebreds as Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show begins.

PHILADELPHIA (February 14, 2011) - The Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) Dog Show is considered the ultimate showcase of purebred dogs. With 2,500 champions, representing 173 breeds, this show offers dog lovers across the United States an opportunity to view the "best of the best" and often, spurs the purchase of a new pet. However, as WKC begins today, Petplan, the nation’s leading pet insurer, reminds potential pet parents that the expense of selecting a purebred is not simply with the initial purchase. Any prospective pet parent must take into consideration the hereditary conditions - and the potential costs of veterinary care - associated with many popular breeds.

"Westminster provides a beautiful representation of purebred options and inspires prospective pet parents to select from the many breeds showcased" said Natasha Ashton, Co-Founder of Petplan. "As a pet parent, who has had purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniels all my life, I know firsthand what excellent pets these dogs make but also, I know the hereditary health issues, specifically Mitral Valve Disease, which so often arise in these purebreds. These genetic pre-dispositions are central to why my husband and I launched Petplan in the United States as we wanted to ensure that we could provide our purebreds with the best veterinary care possible."

While most pet insurers do not insure pets with hereditary conditions, Petplan has done so since its launch in 2006. This decision allows all pet parents - including those of purebreds - to have confidence that their pet and their family budgets will be protected from any hereditary conditions known in purebreds, including:

  • Canine Hip Displaysia - a degenerative joint disease often found in larger breeds such as Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds.
  • Medial Patellar Luxation - a dislocation of the kneecap affecting many smaller breeds including Boston terriers, Chihuahuas, Cocker Spaniels and Dachshunds, to name a few.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - a blood disorder common in Dobermans and Scottish Terriers.
  • Portosystemic Shunt - an abnormal blood flow to the liver notably affecting Irish Wolfhounds and Yorkshire Terriers.

"There are more than 500 hereditary conditions and diseases that can affect purebreds," says Ashton. "It is critical for pet parents to understand the potential for significant veterinary care when selecting a purebred and more take steps to prepare for any health issues that may arise by ascertaining insurance and veterinary services for their new pet."

To learn more about Petplan, visit www.GoPetplan.com.

About Petplan

Petplan is America's #1 pet insurance company, offering comprehensive accident and illness health insurance for dogs and cats. Petplan offers simple, customizable policies to meet any coverage requirements and budget and is the only pet health insurance provider to cover all hereditary and congenital conditions for the life of the pet without dollar limits per condition. For more information, visit www.GoPetplan.com or call 1-866-467-3875.

Meg Kane
Brian Public Relations
Office: 610.337.3600 x. 263