How Much Does Cat Broken Leg Surgery Cost?


Since cats are very active, it is not unusual for them to get into fights or suffer from falls.  As such, they are prone to fractures in the same way that humans are.  If a fracture happens, it is important that you give this immediate attention and take your cat to the nearest veterinarian.  This way, you can avoid aggravating its condition.

Ignoring the problem can also make the bones heal wrong, something that may cause even more problems in the future.

One of the popular remedies for treating a broken leg is surgery; however, there are also non-surgical treatment options available as well that your veterinarian can discuss with you.

a lone Violet in the flower box by EraPhernalia Vintage . . . [
a lone Violet in the flower box” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by EraPhernalia Vintage . . . [”playin’ hook-y”] ;o

How much does cat broken leg surgery cost?

The cost of treating a cat’s broken leg depends on the severity of the fracture and the vet you go to.  A surgical procedure, if necessary can range anywhere from as little as $500 to as much as $3,100 for the surgery by the time you add in the office visit, radiographs/x-rays and the surgery.  A vet, most of the time, will recommend surgery if the wound is open, but if the wound is closed and there are no complications, then a split and cage rest can help heal the fracture.  If this were the case, it would cost close to $400 to $650 for the splint, x-rays and doctor’s visit.

According to Blurtit.com, the initial office visit exam and x-rays can cost around $150 to $350, and the surgical procedure may cost more, around $500 to $1,500.

Forum members on Catforum.com reported that the surgery for a cat’s broken leg can cost at least $2,000.  Non-surgical treatment, such as the putting on of a restrictive bandage is much cheaper, usually being about $600.

Vetary.com says a surgical fracture repair can be costly, with many surgeries costing $1,500 to more than $4,000 for a complex surgery.  This fee, according to the website, should include the surgery, intravenous fluids, radiographs and the actual repairs.

A vet on JustAnswer.com answered this very question and said the price will really depend on the treatment options and the particular type of fracture.  According to his response, if the fracture is closed, meaning there’s no open wound, then it can be healed with a splint and no surgery will be required.  However, if the fracture is opened and there are complications that arise from the displacement, then surgery will be recommended, which will be the costliest option.  He said that if you were to bring the cat into his clinic, the first set of x-rays would cost $140 and the total bill of care, without complications, would be about $600.

Cat’s broken leg overview

The treatment for a cat’s broken leg may include a surgical or non-surgical option.  Before any treatment is performed, a vet will always want to conduct a physical exam and take x-rays of the area in question to examine the fracture, where the bone fragments are located.  This is often performed when a cat has been sedated.

If the veterinarian determines surgery is the best action, then an incision will be made through the skin to expose the fracture.  Depending on the circumstances, a combination of pins, wires, screws and/or plates will be used to help stabilize the fracture so the broken ends are supported.

The recovery time, depending on your cat’s situation, can range anywhere from as little as four to as long as 12 weeks.  This will depend on your cat’s age and the nature of the fracture.

What are the extra costs?

Depending on the vet’s billing policy, you may have to pay a separate fee for the x-rays ($100~), office visit ($50~) and fluids during the surgery ($150~).

Extended treatment and/or medication, in order for the cat to fully recover from its broken leg, needs to be considered.  Painkillers are often prescribed for the following weeks to help your cat cope with the process and shouldn’t cost more than $50.

A follow-up visit will be required about 14 days after the surgery to remove the sutures.  Depending on the vet’s billing policy, this follow-up visit may or may not be included in the original estimate.

Depending on the complexity, a cast may be required, which can cost upwards of $200.

In extreme circumstances, an amputation may be required if the fracture site were to become infected.  SEE: “How much does a cat leg amputation cost?

Types of fractures

Closed fracture

Closed fractures occur when the bone is broken but the skin, muscles, and tendons are not affected.

Greenstick fracture

If the bone is cracked but not actually broken, this is referred to as a greenstick fracture.

Compound fracture

A compound fracture occurs when the bone penetrates the skin and protrudes from the leg.  This type of fracture carries a high risk of infection.

Epiphyseal fracture

If the fracture affects the growth plate, it is known as an epiphyseal fracture.  This type of fracture occurs when the cat hasn’t fully matured.

Tips to know:

Before taking your cat to the vet, observe the way that he or she walks.  If the cat is putting pressure on the leg with only a slight limp, the injury is most likely just a sprain.  If they are putting no weight on the leg, it is probably broken and needs attention.  Other cat broken leg symptoms may include howling, moaning, growling if touched, not walking or swelling or bruising at the injured area.

How can I save money?

Even if you’re happy with your vet, talk with a few others in your area to see what they may charge.  Some may be able to offer you ballpark estimates over the phone.  Doing this can make you assured that you’re paying a fair rate.

If you can’t afford the surgery, either ask for a payment plan option or see if any organizations are available in your area that can help you with the procedure.  A vet on JustAnswer.com listed a handful of organizations that may be able to help.


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