Breed-Specific Conditions and Pet Insurance for Dobermans


Ru Chen

- Updated March 5, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Doberman pinschers are prone to breed-specific conditions.
  • Diagnosis and treatment for heart, neck, and hip problems can be expensive.
  • Pet insurance can help cover the vet expenses.
Breed-Specific Conditions and Pet Insurance for Dobermans

Doberman pinschers are smart and affectionate, a popular large dog breed with a history of working in security and search-and-rescue. They can make wonderfully loyal companions. However, dog owners need to know that Dobermans are prone to certain health issues, including bloat and cardiomyopathy.

In this guide, we will go over breed-specific conditions, how to manage them, and how pet insurance can help you and your Doberman.

Common Breed-Specific Conditions in Dobermans

Dobermans have high risks of certain health conditions. Here are the most common breed-specific conditions in Doberman pinschers.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a genetic heart disorder that is commonly seen in Doberman pinschers. Unfortunately, this is a fatal disorder that ultimately leads to congestive heart failure or sudden death in Dobermans. Dilated cardiomyopathy affects a Doberman’s heart muscle, hindering it from contracting properly.

Clinical symptoms of DCM include:

  • Rapid breathing even when at rest or asleep
  • Restless sleep
  • Coughing and gagging
  • Weakness
  • Inability to exercise
  • Fainting
  • Not interactive
  • Poor appetite

A vet needs to perform various tests in order to diagnose DCM in a Doberman. These include using a stethoscope, blood and urine tests, X-rays, and ECGs.

With how grave the DCM prognosis is in both humans and dogs, ongoing research aims to identify better treatment methods. To reduce the effects of dilated cardiomyopathy, a vet may prescribe diuretics, heart medications, and diet therapy. It is critical to listen to a vet in regards to how to help a dog with DCM since the disease is fatal and will lead to early, sudden death. Normal lifestyles may no longer be possible for a Doberman diagnosed with DCM.

Von Willebrand's Disease (vWD)

Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is an inherited bleeding disorder that can occur in Doberman pinschers. Dogs with vWD don’t have the von Willebrand Factor, which is a protein that mains an instrumental role in blood clot formation. The von Willebrand disease can cause abnormal bleeding in Dobermans.

Common symptoms of vWD include:

  • Skin bruising
  • Bleeding gums
  • Nosebleed
  • Excessive bleeding

There is unfortunately no cure for this inherited disease. However, knowing that a dog has vWD is critical, particularly if your Doberman requires surgery. Before surgical procedures, a dog with vWD will be administered various IV medications or blood products to control their bleeding. A vet may also avoid prescribing your Doberman medications that can create additional bleeding risks, such as NSAIDs.

With proper knowledge and management, a Doberman with vWD can have a normal lifespan. Since vWD is an inherited blood disorder common in Dobermans, DNA screening for Dobermans often includes testing for vWD Type 1.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition that occurs in dogs when their hip joint doesn’t fit properly. While it is not as common in Dobermans as in other large dog breeds, it can still cause a lot of pain for your Doberman. Hip dysplasia often results in the need for pain management and treatment. Symptoms include:

  • Irregular gait
  • Walking with three legs
  • Difficulty in climbing stairs
  • Hip and lower back pain

Early detection of hip dysplasia can make it easier to deal with the negative impact of the condition. Vets may prescribe pain medications and weight management plans to help a Doberman pinscher with dysplasia.

Wobbler Syndrome

Wobbler Syndrome is a neurological disease that can be found in Dobermans and other large breeds. Wobbler Syndrome symptoms can include:

  • A wobbly gait
  • Walking with head down
  • Paralysis
  • Weakness

To diagnose Wobbler Syndrome in Dobermans, X-rays and MRIs may be necessary. To treat Wobbler Syndrome, a vet may recommend surgery, anti-inflammatory drugs, and restricted activity. A dog with Wobbler Syndrome should also avoid using neck leashes. Instead, a chest harness can avoid causing additional pain and neck issues.


Dobermans are prone to hypothyroidism, which is the most common endocrine problem in dogs. Hypothyroidism causes abnormally low levels of thyroid hormone. Typically, this results in long-term, chronic symptoms, including:

  • Lethargy
  • Inability to exercise
  • Weight gain
  • Skin problems

Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed through blood tests. Vets may prescribe synthetic thyroid hormones as a daily medication in order to manage a Doberman’s hypothyroidism. If your dog has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it is important for them to continuously take the prescribed medication. Halting the hypothyroidism medication can be harmful.


The Importance of Pet Insurance for Dobermans

Pet insurance is a great financial tool for Doberman owners. It serves as a way to reimburse pet owners for expensive vet services that are covered by the insurance policy.

Reduced costs for breed-specific conditions

Doberman owners in particular should consider pet insurance because of all the breed-specific conditions that are dangerous or even lethal to Dobermans. Without insurance, it can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in upfront vet bills as your veterinarian tries to diagnose and treat certain health conditions. X-rays for dogs can cost up to $500, whereas an MRI can cost up to $6,000. Without the necessary tests, your vet may not be able to make a critical diagnosis for your Doberman pinscher.

Routine vet expenses

Pet insurance and wellness coverage can also help you wtih routine veterinary expense. Annual wellness exams, routine checkups, dental cleanings, and anti-parasitic precautions can improve your Doberman’s quality of life. With suitable pet insurance, you can offset the costs of routine vet expenses throughout your Doberman’s lifespan.

Emergency vet expenses

If your Doberman is acutely ill or gets into an accident, pet insurance can help immensely in offsetting the expensive costs. Diagnosing the issue often requires advanced imaging, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the situation. Following that, a Doberman may require medications, surgical intervention, or other emergency pet services.

While pet insurance requires pet owners to pay a monthly or annual premium, it reduces the financial burden that comes with costly upfront vet bills. When caring for a Doberman pinscher, it is recommended to obtain suitable pet insurance.


Understanding Pet Insurance Coverage

Pet insurance provides financial reimbursements for covered claims. After you receive an invoice from your vet, you can file a claim with your pet insurance company. If the claim is accepted, your insurance provider will send you a reimbursement check or deposit to assist you in paying your vet bills.

There are three main types of coverage for dogs:

Accident-only: The most basic pet insurance plan will cover accidental injuries, such as when a dog breaks a bone, swallows poison, or gets bitten.

Accident and illness (comprehensive coverage): This covers both accidents as well as illnesses, such as chronic and acute health conditions. Commonly covered claims include cancer, diabetes, diagnostic test, medications, and skin infections.

Preventive care plans: Preventive coverage and wellness plans offer quick reimbursements for routine pet care. This may include dental cleanings, dog vaccinations, and deworming medication.

What is the best Doberman pet insurance?

Ideally, Dobermans should get comprehensive pet insurance that covers breed-specific conditions. While accident-only pet insurance is great for healthy Doberman pinschers that are energetic and play outside a lot, it may not be enough since Dobermans are susceptible to breed-specific conditions.

Dilated cardiomyopathy, von Willebrand’s disease, and Wobbler Syndrome cause serious problems for Dobermans, including death and paralysis. Early detection is vital for many inherited disorders and diseases, allowing vets to prescribe the proper care and medications for a Doberman. Diagnosing and treating these breed-specific conditions can be far more expensive than regular pet treatments.

For example, diagnostic testing for Wobbler Syndrome can cost thousands of dollars. With pet insurance, pet owners can cut down that cost significantly, only needing to pay up the deductible of a few hundred dollars.

On top of standard pet insurance, you may want to purchase preventive care insurance for your Doberman pinscher. This typically comes in the form of an insurance add-on or a separate wellness plan. Wellness plans can provide extra financial value since pet owners generally need to take their pets to the vet a few times a year for regular checkups.


How to Find Pet Insurance for Dobermans

Researching pet insurance providers is an important step for any dog owner. Here are the main factors to consider when comparing pet insurance policies for a Doberman.

Pet insurance provider

The insurance provider you choose will determine all of your pet insurance policy’s terms, conditions, and claims. We recommend you to look at our top pet insurance providers, which showcases an up-to-date list of the best pet insurers of the year. Popular pet insurance companies include:

Depending on which insurance provider you opt for, you may receive various member perks and benefits. Some pet insurance companies offer pet health hotlines to ensure your Doberman can always receive health advice, even during holidays.

Premium cost

The insurance premium is how much you need to pay for pet insurance. A higher premium typically means the policy provides more comprehensive coverage. However, it also raises your yearly insurance expenditure, which may not be desirable if you are on a tighter budget.

Compare different pet insurance company premiums to get an idea of how much insurance costs for your Doberman. Dog insurance typically averages around $50 a month. Insuring a Doberman may cost more or less depending on your coverage needs, location, and chosen plan.

Deductibles and co-pays

The insurance deductible is how much you need to spend out-of-pocket in vet bills before insurance actually kicks in and accepts claims.

The co-pay is how much of the remaining balance you need to pay once you have reached the deductible. Some pet insurance policies will agree to cover all of the remainder, while others require you to pay a certain amount.

Coverage limits and exclusions

Many pet insurance policies have age and breed restrictions. Before buying an insurance product, always check to make sure your Doberman meets the coverage requirements.

Pre-existing conditions are generally excluded from pet insurance policies. Because of this, you may want to obtain pet insurance while your Doberman pinscher is still a young puppy.

Other exclusions are also common. For example, most pet insurance plans do not cover cosmetic surgery.

Insurance provider platform and claims process

If you prefer handling your payments online or through a mobile app, check to see if your desired pet insurance provider offers these options. The convenience of filing claims can also be a determinant factor when you pick between different providers, especially if your dog suffers from any chronic conditions that require frequent vet visits.

Customer reviews and satisfaction ratings

Take the time to read customer reviews and ratings of your desired pet insurance company. It is a good idea to learn about how other dog owners feel about a company’s claims process, coverage, and customer service.

Special considerations for Doberman-specific health conditions when selecting coverage

Dobermans have higher risks of:

  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Von Willebrand’s disease (vWD)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia

Check with your pet insurance company to ensure that these breed-specific conditions are covered by your chosen policy. If not, you may need to purchase an insurance add-on or endorsement to broaden your coverage for your Doberman.



Doberman pinschers are prone to health conditions such as heart problems, hip dysplasia, and neck problems. Pet insurance can help cover the costs of vet visits, diagnostic tests, medications, surgery, and treatment plans. Coverage can also extend to accidents, which helps protect the active and energetic Dobermans.

When searching for the best pet insurance for your Doberman pinscher, make sure the policy covers the most common breed-specific health conditions for Dobermans, such as:

  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia

Through proactive pet care and the financial protection of pet insurance, you can provide the best care possible for your Doberman.

About The Author

Ru Chen

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about insurance, business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

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