How Much Does a Dog Leg Amputation Cost?

Written by: Staff

Amputating a dog’s leg is done when the limb is either damaged due to an accident or if the dog has cancer, severe trauma, disease or a birth defect.  Some owners even consider this procedure if another option is too costly, such as repairing a fractured limb.  The aim of this procedure is to prevent pain and suffering or to prevent cancer, if found, from spreading.  Dogs can, and will, function extremely well when they lose one of their legs and will still continue to run, play and walk without any signs of discomfort or pain.

Amputation will always be the last resort and will be considered to be a radical option by most vets.

Call Me Mr Lucky by cogdogblog, on Flickr
Call Me Mr Lucky” (CC BY 2.0) by cogdogblog

How much does a dog leg amputation cost?

On average, this procedure can greatly vary anywhere from $800 to as much as $2,500.   The costs will depend on your vet, where you live, what’s included in the bill and the complexity of the surgery., for example, says the average cost for a limb amputation can be in the $700 to $1,000 range.  The costs will depend on whether the dog needs intravenous fluids during the anesthetic and/or special nursing care.

Helping Hands Vet, located in Virginia, lists its prices on its website.  A canine amputation due to cancer, trauma or dislocation can cost $755.

Dog leg amputation overview

Before the amputation, the vet will first want to perform a full examination to make sure this is the right treatment plan.  Depending on circumstances, it may require blood work, a biopsy and/or an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis.  Blood work, for example, can help determine if the dog has any underlying or concurrent health problems.  A chest x-ray, on the other hand, could determine if a tumor is present and if so, if it spread to the lungs.  If there’s a tumor, then a biopsy will be performed to confirm the diagnosis prior to the amputation.

Amputating a dog’s leg will require general anesthesia and will be commonly done at the vet’s office.  During the procedure, the dog’s hair on the leg will be removed and the area will be scrubbed to make as sterile as possible.  The veterinarian will then create an incision in the leg, dissecting the muscles while transecting the bones.  The remaining tissue will then be repaired and closed at the skin, and the remaining stubbed is usually left undressed.  For the next 10 to 14 days, the dog will have to wear a cone around its head to prevent it from licking or chewing at the surgical site.  The dog will stay overnight to monitor its progress throughout the night.

What are the extra costs?

After the surgery, the vet will prescribe painkillers and/or antibiotics, depending on the dog’s situation.  This medication can be considered a separate bill, depending on the vet’s billing policy.  The total costs for all medication should be less than $40.

10 to 14 days later, you will have to bring your dog back to have the sutures removed.  At this time, the vet will also check the sit to make sure there’s no infection, redness or discharge.  Depending on the vet, this follow-up visit may be billed or it may be included in the initial quote.

A prosthetic leg, while optional but highly recommended, can cost anywhere from $200 to $500.

Tips to know:

After recovery, be prepared to set up a quiet room for your dog to allow him or her to rest for the next few days.  Your vet will ask you to closely monitor the dog’s surgical site for any signs of blood, pus, or discharge.

How can I save money?

Consider looking for a veterinary teaching hospital in your area as these costs are often up to 50 percent cheaper than your local vet.

If you know for certain your dog needs its leg amputated, call a few vet offices in your area to see if you can receive a ballpark estimate over the phone.  Even if you’re loyal to a vet, it doesn’t hurt to ask since your vet may be able to match or come close to a competitor’s price.

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Average Reported Cost: $1000

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Mike Roberts (Layton ,  Utah) paid $1000 and said:

    Got a amputation on my dog done at Mountain View Animal Clinic. It was $850 plus an overnight stay of $100. The doctor said his average amputation surgery is $800.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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