How Much Does a Dog Tail Amputation Cost?

Written by: Staff

A dog tail amputation procedure is the process of surgically removing part or all of the dog’s tail that’s damaged or diseased beyond salvage.  This can be done for a variety of reasons, but it’s most commonly done when a severe wound, an infection or tumor is present.

This procedure is done to prevent pain and suffering by removing the tail or to help prevent the spread of cancer if a tumor were found.  While considered an extreme situation, it will almost always be the last resort taken by a professional vet.

The tail, which is the end of the dog’s spine, is full of nerves, and if your dog were to injure it, it could cause quite a bit of pain, often calling for an amputation.

Phoebe, when she first found us by EraPhernalia Vintage . . . [
Phoebe, when she first found us” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by EraPhernalia Vintage . . . [”playin’ hook-y”] ;o

How much a dog tail amputation cost?

The cost of a dog tail amputation will depend on the extent of the injury, the vet’s office, inclusions with the bill, the length of the stay, if it’s a partial or full amputation, and the geographical location.  On average, this procedure can vary anywhere from $350 for a partial amputation to as much as $1,100 for a full amputation.

Members talked about this very question on Grey Talk talked about what it would cost to have a dog’s tail partially amputated.  According to the thread, members had paid anywhere from $180 to more than $650.

A certified tech on Just Answer said the costs would vary state by state, but she did mention her clinic amputated a dog’s tail for $600.

Dog tail amputation overview

Before the vet even considers amputating the tail, he or she will take x-rays and/or bloodwork to confirm their diagnosis.  An x-ray will commonly be done if a tumor is suspected or if the dog was in an accident, for example, while bloodwork will be included as well to make sure the dog can go under a general anesthesia.

This procedure, commonly done at the vet’s office, will require a general anesthesia and an overnight stay.  During the procedure, the hair will be clipped around the site of the amputation, followed by scrubbing the area to sterilize it.  Once sterilized, the surgeon will create a skin incision, dissect the muscle, transect the bones and will repair the tissue that was dissected.  Lastly, the skin will be closed and a dressing/bandage will be applied to prevent infection and the dog from licking at the site.  However, if the entire tail were amputated, then no bandage would be necessary.  For the next few weeks, the dog will have to wear a cone until the sutures are removed.

What are the extra costs?

Bloodwork, x-rays and the pre-operative exam can often be a separate bill, depending on the vet’s billing policy.

In the next 14 days or so, you will have to bring your dog in for a follow-up visit to have their sutures removed and to allow the vet to inspect the incision site to make sure no infections are present.  Some vet offices will tie this follow-up visit into their quotes, whereas other offices may charge separately

After the procedure and/or antibiotics, your dog will have to be on painkillers for the next few weeks.  This shouldn’t cost more than $40 to $50.

Tips to know:

Petful says while tumors, if found in the tail, can lead to a challenging surgery.  Since there’s very little skin around the tail, the larger the tumor is, the harder it can be to work with it.  Because of this, some vets will sacrifice part of the tail.

A bulldog tail can suffer from a condition known as “corkscrew tail,” a situation where the tail will grow inward, creating a deep fold pocket that can get infected if left untreated.  While painkillers can help with the situation, some vets may recommend amputated all or part of the tail.

The dog tail amputation recovery time, depending on your dog’s situation, can take two to three weeks on average, sometimes longer.

How can I save money?

Call around.  Even if you’re loyal to one vet, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion or even see what neighboring vet offices are charging.  If you’re able to find a lower price, you never know if your vet will match the estimate.

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Average Reported Cost: $657.5

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Wendy (Roanoke,  Virginia) paid $265 and said:

    265.00 for lab work tail amputation

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Grant (Clearwater,  Florida) paid $1050 and said:

    This is the estimate cost, as my dog has to have his tail amputated due to a near fatal crash.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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