How Much Does Luxating Patella Surgery Cost?
A luxating patella is a condition in which the kneecap dislocates or shifts from its natural position. While this does happen in humans, it is most often seen in dogs. If you happen to own a dog, it might have medical problems such as popping of the kneecaps due to their very flat patella ridges. The poor thing might then have a hard time moving its legs because of this type of condition. As such, your veterinarian might require your dog to undergo a luxating patella surgery to address its medical condition. A luxating patella is one of the five most common genetic problems that is found in dogs. While this may be somewhat expensive, it will greatly improve your dog’s quality of life and can therefore make you life easier as well. Caring for a dog that has medical issues can be very inconvenient.
How much does it cost?
- The cost of a luxating patella surgery may vary widely. There are factors that could affect its cost such as the state or region, health condition of the dog, number of legs that require surgery, skill and experience of the veterinarian, hospital fees, etc. On average, be prepared to pay around $1,800 to $3,400 per leg that needs luxating patella surgery.
- According to Petspress.net, luxating patella surgery costs around $1,000 to $1,500 per leg. On the other hand, the cost of having a patella luxation fixed varies depending on the severity of the luxation, whether one or both knees are affected, and the size of the dog. The cost ranges from $2,400 to $3,200 according to Seattletimes.com.
What is going to be included?
- The cost of luxating patella surgery may include the cost of the surgery itself, the veterinarian’s fee, hospital fee, anesthesia, pre and post-operative care as well as medications and treatments.
- Some dog breeds have a very flat patella ridge. This means that the kneecap does not sit snugly in the groove, popping out medially to the inside or laterally to the outside.
- In larger dogs, the kneecap pops laterally. Smaller dogs usually tend to have their kneecaps pop to the inside.
- The luxating patella surgery includes moving a part of your pet’s body that is weight-bearing to correct the popping of the kneecaps. The surgery includes risks associated with anesthesia as well as infection, among others. After the surgery, it can take up to two to three months for recovery.
- Vets are going to judge the severity based on four grades. A grade one is the mildest and grade four is the most severe. The higher the grade, the more the surgery may cost.
What are the extra costs?
- There may be extra costs for extended medications or treatment of the dog. The vet may require other procedures aside from the luxating patella surgery which means additional costs.
- In case of complications such as infection or collapse, you will be spending additional costs in order to treat your dog and help it attain its full recovery. This includes follow-up visits to the vet.
- X-rays, surgeon fees, and anesthesia may all be billed separately depending on the company policy.
Tips to know
- Get a second opinion of your dog’s condition before going for a luxating patella surgery. This will help you decide on what is the best option to address your pet’s health condition. You may find that just by allowing your dog to lose weight, the problem can get better.
- Make sure that during post surgery, your dog does not jump or move fast for two months so that it will be able to fully recover.
- Take good care of your dog by investing in its health and well-being. This will ensure you that it will stay healthy and live longer.
- Be sure to ask the vet about how many procedures that they have done.
- There are three main problems that can cause a luxating patella:
- The first abnormality that is usually present is a trochlear groove that is too shallow. In order for the patella not to jump out of this tract, the groove must be deep enough to accommodate and cradle the patella as it moves up and down in the groove. Some dogs are born with an abnormally shallow trochlear groove.
- The second problem is probably a result of the first. It is a weakened and stretched lateral patellar ligament. Again, although only one knee may appear to be affected, in most cases, both knees of your pet share some degree of this problem.
- The third problem occurs when the lower attachment of the kneecap ligament is too far to the inner side of the shinbone or tibia. This is a frequent problem in dogs that are bred to have exceptionally short legs (like dachshunds). When dogs develop luxating patellas before the tibia has reached maturity, it is also possible for this lower point of attachment to shift inward – throwing off the entire joint alignment.
How can I save money?
- Make sure that you follow your vet’s advice especially during post-surgery. This way, you will avoid incurring additional costs for treatment of your dog due to complications or collapse.
- To prevent larger vet bills like this from happening in the future, highly consider a pet insurance policy to save money.
- If you cannot afford the surgery payment up front, consider asking about financial assistance or payment plans. Most reputable vet offices offer programs to assist the customer.
- Make sure you try other treatments before opting for surgery.