olympic-sized injuries affecting athletes and pets

dog skiing
Posted by fetch! blog editors on Apr 02 2018


Petplan compares common qualities — and injuries — of athletes and animals

Newtown Square, PA (February 15, 2018) – Our furry friends have more in common with Team USA’s best competitors than you think. Petplan pet insurance says cold-weather warriors can be slipped up by many of the same health conditions, whether they’re on two or four legs.

With the Winter Games now in full swing, Petplan picked popular competitors that share characteristics with certain canine pedigrees and names the injuries they can have in common:

Chris Corning, Snowboarding
Physical profile: Immensely active and strong, yet agile enough to maneuver on any terrain.
Petplan says: Back problems are on the roster for both athletes and animals; snowboarder Chris Corning qualified for the 2018 Olympic games despite a back contusion. Large dog breeds like Doberman Pinschers, Weimaraners, Great Danes, Rottweilers and Dalmatians can battle Wobbler syndrome, a condition of the spinal cord that typically costs $4,228 to treat.*

Nathan Chen, Figure Skating
Physical profile: Graceful showman with a compact build and athletic ability.
Petplan says: Hip surgery sidelined Nathan Chen in 2016, but he’s back in the game for PyeongChang (with five quadruple jumps in his long program!). Hip pain in dogs can be a symptom of hip dysplasia, which is common in breeds like Retrievers, American Staffordshire Terriers and German Shepherds and can cost as much as $1,850 to treat.*

Steven Nyman, Skiing
Physical profile: Possesses power and athleticism. Rugged and tough, but still agile.

Petplan says: The top U.S. downhiller will miss his fourth Olympics run after tearing his right ACL in late January. Knee injuries are one of the most common conditions in dogs of all breeds, especially large, active dogs like Labradors, Newfoundlands, German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Golden Retrievers. A torn knee ligament usually requires surgical correction and costs an average of $3,480 to treat.*

Meghan Duggan, Ice Hockey
Physical profile: A great athlete who understands teamwork, can move fast and go all day long.
Petplan says: As the captain of the U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey team, sprains and strains to the shoulders, ankles and groin are occupational hazards for Duggan. They’re common in all breeds of dogs, too: lameness is Petplan’s third most claimed for condition, costing an average of $966 to treat.*

As Petplan’s pairings highlight, the talent to play hard and take on anything isn’t the only thing linking our pets with Olympians.

“Pets are a lot like athletes in that they take life at full speed and stop at nothing to play the game. But what makes a medalist on the ice and in your backyard can lead to serious injury,” says Petplan co-founder and co-CEO Natasha Ashton. “In fact, pets probably rack up medical bills as fast as any Olympic competitor; every six seconds a pet parent is handed a vet bill over $3,000!** For animals and athletes, good preventive care is key. And it never hurts to have a little help paying the bills.”

*Average costs based on 2017 Petplan claims data.
**Source: 2014 Petplan claims data.