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Pet Insurance 101

Does pet insurance cover cesarean sections?

Here’s what you need to know about paying for this treatment

If your pet is pregnant and their due date is approaching, it’s important to consider all delivery options. A common delivery procedure is a cesarean section (or C-section), which may be recommended by your pet’s veterinarian before birth or as an emergency birthing option. Fetch's on-staff veterinarian Dr. Aliya McCullough shares why C-sections are suggested for birth and how having pet insurance can help cover the costs of this procedure.

Why are cesarean sections performed on pets? 

C-sections are very common and are performed when there is (or might be) a birthing difficulty or as a life-saving procedure. There are risks to C-sections, like bleeding, infection and complications with anesthesia and the surgery itself. Immediately contact your vet if your pet is struggling to give birth. Key signs of birthing difficulty are: 

  • Increased length of pregnancy without labor
  • Green or black vaginal discharge (sometimes containing blood or pus)
  • Strong contractions that fail to deliver a baby within 15 to 30 minutes
  • Exhaustion 
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive pain
  • Signs of illness
  • Delivery of a stillborn puppy or kitten

Whether or not you’re familiar with whelping (when a dog gives birth) or queening (when a cat gives birth), it’s important to consult your veterinarian at the start of pregnancy to have a delivery plan in place. 

The average costs of dog C-sections 

The cost of a pet C-section depends on several factors, like your pet’s size, health status, what type of hospital or clinic the procedure is performed in and the location of the hospital. On average, a C-section costs between $500 to $4,000. 

Pregnancy-related costs not covered by pet insurance

Most pet insurance providers will not cover the costs arising from or related to breeding, pregnancy, whelping, nursing or the treatment of a pet’s babies. Be thorough when exploring options for pet insurance. Most pet insurance providers have sample policies on their websites for pet parents to view. 

Pregnancy-related costs covered by pet insurance

Fetch pet insurance covers complications that come with birthing, like the need for an emergency C-section, as long as the pregnancy falls after the waiting period of the effective start date of your policy. For example, Fetch pet insurance covered most of the costs of a Yorkshire Terrier’s emergency C-section. The total vet bill was $3,810, but Fetch paid back almost $2,448, according to Fetch claims data. 

Welcoming new puppies and kittens into the world is such a wonderful experience. That’s why it’s important to have pet insurance to ensure your pet can access any procedure necessary for a safe delivery. 

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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