How Much Does a Dog Broken Leg Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

A dog’s broken leg, also referred to as a fracture, can be just as painful and debilitating as a broken leg for a human.

Just like a human, a dog can break its leg in many ways.  This can include simply playing around, being hit by a car, bone cancer, an inherited defect, age or even because of the breed.

Poor lil girl, broke her leg by jeffreyw, on Flickr
Poor lil girl, broke her leg” (CC BY 2.0) by jeffreyw

How much does a dog broken leg cost?

On average, the cost to treat a dog’s broken leg is going to vary anywhere from $400 to as much as $3,500.  If multiple bones within the leg are broken, you can expect to pay more than $2,000; however, if the break is not as severe as expected, it can be less than $600.  The costs will depend on which leg was broken, the severity of the break, if the break is open or closed, the vet you are working with the geographical location.

Depending on your local cost of living and the severity of your dog’s broken leg, Vetary.com says the costs could be anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000, but the national average is $2,000.

Dr. Harrison on JustAnswer.com answered this very question.  He said a simple splint at his office could cost $55 to $75, but first, there would be an exam charge, and if an x-ray were required, this could be an additional cost as well.  To perform the surgery, the costs could cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, depending on what’s fractured and who’s performing the surgery.  A specialist, for instance, will cost more.  These costs will vary, according to him, because you need to factor in the blood work, x-rays, aftercare, medication and hospitalization.  When everything is said and done, the costs could be as little as $100 to more than $3,000.

VetStreet.com says the cost of a broken leg and hospitalization, along with radiographs, anesthesia, pain medication, the surgery itself and follow-up visits, can cost upwards of $10,000, depending on the number of fractures and how long your dog needs to stay at the ICU.

Overview

Before any treatment options are even considered, the veterinarian will first order an x-ray, an ultrasound and/or blood work to determine the extent of the damage, but before doing so, your vet will more than likely administer pain medication and/or run a fluid IV to help the dog cope with the pain and prevent any incoming infections.  A catheter could also be used in case your dog can’t stand to urinate. In the case of severe trauma, such as a car accident, the vet will want to check all internal organs to see if any complications were to occur in the abdominal, lung, chest and/or heart area.  With some car accidents, it may cause a collapsed lung or even other fractures outside of the leg.

Depending on the severity of the break, the vet will have a few choices.  For breaks that are not as severe, a simple cast or splint can be put on and the dog will still be allowed to get around, even if it means doing so on three legs for a while.  The other option is surgery, which is usually only necessary with severe breaks of multiple bones, may include using a fixation device implanted under the skin and in the bone by using screws, plates or wires.  In very rare circumstances, the dog’s leg may need to be amputated in the case of a damaged leg beyond repair.

The recovery period will depend on the dog’s circumstances, but in most cases, the hospital stay will range anywhere from as little as one day for a cast to as long as two weeks for a complex surgery.  During this time, the vet will want to monitor your dog’s progress.

What are the extra costs?

The x-ray performed before the treatment can be an additional cost, depending on your vet’s billing policy.

Whether or not your dog needs surgery, medication for pain and swelling after the treatment will be prescribed.  Plan on budgeting about $30 to $50 for the prescriptions.

Follow up consultations after the surgery usually won’t be included in the initial cost of treatment.

Physical therapy for your dog may be required if the leg needs to be rehabilitated.  This often entails your dog running on an underwater treadmill-like device to help the dog gain back its strength.

Emergency care will always increase the bill by more than 50 to 200 percent.

Tips to know:

Some visible signs that your dog has a broken leg may include swelling, bleeding, holding its leg up, whining, a visible wound, and/or the inability to support their own body weight.  They may also limp as it attempts to walk or may just lie around, licking their leg.  Most dogs will not want to be touched or patted when they are in pain.  They may even become aggressive if you attempt to touch or move the injured leg.  Sometimes a broken bone does not produce any external wound.  If your dog displays symptoms of a broken leg, you take it to a vet even if the signs are not visible.

How can I save money?

If you can’t afford the procedure, check with your vet’s office to see if they have any payment plans available.  Some offices may be able to set you up with financing or even setup a payment plan.


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