Should you insure the health of your Boston Terrier?

We dig into the health risks of Boston Terriers (plus some fun facts on the breed) and explain why having healthcare cover can help save you from both unexpected and expected medical costs. Plus the pawfect insurance plan for your pooch.

Fun facts on Boston Terriers

  1. Did you know that Boston Terriers were bred to fight? Like their English Bulldog relatives, Boston Terriers were initially bred for pit fighting and were a lot larger and heavier in size than they are in more modern times. As dog fighting began to fall out of fashion and was deemed illegal, the breed began to morph into a smaller version.
  2. Dubbed the “Little American Gentlemen” in the 19th century (thanks to their tuxedo-like black and white markings), the breed as many of us know them to be, are certainly more lovers than fighters.
  3. Boston Terriers are known for their intelligence, coupled with their affectionate and lively natures, making them extremely lovable. Although, they are also known for acting stubborn from time to time and experiencing spurts of hyperactivity.
  4. Boston Terriers, being small in size and affectionate in nature, make for great additions to any family. They love children and are known to amuse people of all ages with their unique antics and expressions. They are especially great dogs for those living in apartments.

Discover: How to potty train your puppy in 7 easy steps

Health Facts on Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers are generally healthy dogs, however, as with all dog breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. This doesn’t mean that all Boston Terriers will get any of all of these issues, but it does mean that it’s important that you familiarise yourself with these conditions and know what to look out for to prevent and treat any conditions before they develop into more serious (and more expensive) issues.

Keep in mind that Boston Terriers are more susceptible to genetic health issues compared to a mixed breed. Which is why insuring the health of your pet is specifically recommended for purebreds.

For now, let’s touch base on the health conditions Boston Terriers are prone to (please note that this list is not exhaustive, but rather the most common conditions that Boston Terriers face). We are huge fans of Oneplan Pet Insurance, so for each condition, we will touch on how it is covered by Oneplan, as their cover is quite comprehensive in comparison to other Pet Insurers in South Africa.


This condition refers to a cloudy film over the lens of the eye. Boston Terriers are prone to suffering from both juvenile and adult cataracts, both of which can lead to vision issues and blindness if left untreated.

If the cataracts are small, then your dog might not have any significant vision issues, however, your vet should monitor cataracts because the thicker and denser they become, the more likely your dog is to suffer from blindness. To treat, your vet will need to surgically remove the lens and replace it with an acrylic or plastic lens.

The costs of treatment

In South Africa, your vet might refer you to a hospital for specialist care. The approximate cost will depend on the exact treatment needed, the cost including the initial consultation and the Ultrasound would be between R20 500 to R33 000. But it’s advised that you check in with your vet for an accurate quote.

Is this covered by pet insurance?

If we look at Oneplan Pet Insurance, they cover eye surgery after a 12-month waiting period. Keep in mind that during this waiting period, you are still able to claim for other events unrelated to the specified condition subject to the waiting period.

For example, your dog might suffer from Cataracts when you first purchase a pet insurance plan, but during this time, depending on your chosen plan, you can still claim for unrelated events such as vaccinations, vet visits or an unexpected accident.

Cherry eye

This is a prolapsed eye gland of the third eyelid (this is believed to be a hereditary condition). This issue frequently occurs in dogs that are less than a year old. To treat Cherry Eye, your vet might have to surgically reposition the gland or remove the prolapsed gland entirely.

Is this covered by pet insurance?

Again, looking at Oneplan, they cover hereditary conditions and eye surgery after a 12 month waiting period.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation occurs when your dog’s kneecap (the patella) is dislocated from its normal position in the groove of the femur (thigh bone) – a common issue in small dogs. This condition is typically present at birth; however, symptoms only appear later in life resulting in an abnormal gait or lameness.

To treat, surgery is required to correct the structures affected to free your dog from lameness and any dysfunction.

Read this: Owning a pet & working full time: 9 things to consider

Is this covered by pet insurance?

Oneplan covers hereditary and congenital conditions after a 12-month waiting period. Patellar Luxation is typically considered a hereditary condition. It is important to note that for cruciate ligament repairs, hip replacements, intervertebral disc and luxating patella they will only pay as follows:

Months 0 – 3: No Cover

Months 4 – 6: 25% of the total account subject to the event limit up to a maximum of R4000.00

Months 7 to 12: 50% of the total account up to a maximum of R8000.00

Heart murmurs

Heart murmurs are extra vibrations in the heart as a result of a disturbance in your dog’s blood flow. Heart murmurs are classified according to a variety of characteristics, and the symptoms will be dependent on this classification. According to PETMD – if, however, the murmur is associated with structural heart disease, your dog may display signs of congestive heart failure such as coughing, weakness, or exercise intolerance.

Your dog’s treatment will depend on the clinical signs presented. Puppies with low grade murmurs may not require treatment as the murmur may resolve itself in a period 6 months. However, it’s advised that your vet monitors any murmurs to ensure no complications arise.

Is this covered by pet insurance?

Heart disease is covered by Oneplan after a 12 month waiting period. However, vet visits to monitor and check for signs of heart murmurs are covered after a one month waiting period.

Stenotic nares

Stenotic nares occur when the nostrils are abnormally narrow, leading to breathing difficulties. Stenotic nares are commonly found in Brachycephalic (short-nosed/flat-faced breeds) breeds. To treat, they require surgical correction to widen the nostrils.

Is this covered by pet insurance?

This surgery is covered by Oneplan after 12 months as it is considered hereditary as well as congenital.

Pet insurance for your Boston Terrier

As we mentioned earlier, we truly believe that if you want quality health cover for your pet, then Oneplan Pet Insurance is the answer. They have a range of pet insurance plans for you to choose from. If you are looking for a superior plan to help cover the healthcare costs of your fur baby, then we would suggest their top plan – The Pet Super Plan. Equipped with all the cover you need for day-to-day care, accidents, illness and even kennel cover.

Related: Why Oneplan’s Pet Super Plan is the Top Pet Insurance Plan for Boujee Pets

Here are the details you need to know

**please note that these prices were valid at the time this article was written (May 2024), for more up to date information, click here.

Cost per month: from R450 per dog

Casualty (Vet Visits): Up to R1 650 per visit, or up to R6 600 per annum

Pet Med Savings (Routine Care): R900 per annum

Hospital Admission: up to R58 000 per annum

Post-Operative Care: up to R5 250 per annum

Kennel fees: In the event that something happens to you, and you cannot look after your pet, we will help cover kennel fees up to R200 per day and up to R2 000 per event.

Burial & Cremation: For if the unthinkable happens and you have to send your fur baby across the rainbow bridge, Oneplan will pay up to R1 500 for burial or cremation.

Optional Extras

Excess Buster: allows you to pay ZERO excess on claims for only R40pm per pet

Pet Med Booster: double your routine care benefit for only R90pm per pet (Pet Med Savings will go from R900 to R1 800). This add-on also allows you to pay ZERO excess on claims, like with the Excess Buster.

Diagnostic Booster: cover specifically for diagnostic procedures for R220pm per pet which adds R5 500 for diagnostic procedures.

If you have any more questions, feel free to hit up Oneplan’s care team.

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