How Much Does a Dog Hip Replacement Cost?

Written by: Staff

A hip replacement for a dog will be needed because of a condition known as hip dysplasia, which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your poor pooch.  If abnormalities have been in shown in your dog’s x-rays, it could be a good indicator your pet needs the surgery.  The cost of this procedure will vary depending upon the geographical location, the vet performing the procedure and the complexity of the procedure.

The Bionic Hip Puppy Sammy by Shmoomeema, on Flickr
“The Bionic Hip Puppy Sammy” (CC BY 2.0) by Shmoomeema

How much does a dog hip replacement cost?

On average, a dog hip replacement is going to cost anywhere from $1,500 to as much as $5,500+ when you factor everything in.  This is usually for the surgery alone and will not include any other additional fees as noted below.  According to our research, the age of the dog, the condition of its health, the breed, and the size will play a big role in the pricing.

Ohio State University broke down the costs and said it can cost anywhere from $5,200 to $5,500 when you factor in the examination, lab work, hospitalization fees, antibiotics, x-rays, anesthesia, surgical fees and implants.

Embrace Health Insurance shared a bill totaling close to $4,700 for a complete canine hip replacement.

For non-hip replacements, says the norm is in the $1,000 to $3,000 range.

Types of hip replacement surgeries for a dog

There are four common types of hip replacement surgeries for a canine:  a triple pelvic osteotomy, total hip replacement, excision arthroplasty or Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis.

Triple pelvic osteotomy

A triple pelvic osteotomy will be performed on puppies younger than 10 months old that suffer from severe joint looseness with no joint damage.  During the procedure, the veterinarian will break the pelvic bone and realign the hip joint.

Total hip replacement

A total hip replacement will be performed on pets that suffer from a chronic hip dysplasia. In order to fix the joint, the vet will replace the ball and the socket of the hip joint with a prosthetic implant using a special bone cement compound.  The aim of this surgery is to create a mechanically-sound, natural hip function.  If successful, your dog will be more comfortable and will see an improved quality of life.  Owners who have witnessed their dog undergo this surgery also noted they were able to see an improvement in muscle volume, improved hip motion and even an increase in activity levels.

Excision arthroplasty

An excision arthroplasty will be performed on smaller dogs less than 40 pounds.  With this procedure, the head of the femur will be removed and will also be replaced with an implant, similar to the total hip replacement.

Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis

Lastly, the Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis procedure will be performed on juvenile puppies younger than 20 weeks.  The pelvic bones will be fused together, changing the angle of the hips and preventing the changes of osteoarthritis in the future.

What are the extra costs?

Before the surgery begins, a vet will want to take an x-ray to diagnose the exact problem and learn about the pet’s history and current health.  These x-rays, according to Ohio State University, will show the abnormalities in the hip joint and will help the doctor choose the properly sized prosthesis, but this will only be part of the picture.  Depending upon how many x-rays are performed, each x-ray will cost anywhere from $50 to $250.

Aside from the x-rays, routine blood work will be required to receive a complete blood and chemistry profile.

All vet clinics will have its own billing practices.  As noted in Ohio State reference, there’s a lot that can be charged to your account while preparing for the surgery.  Some vet clinics will bundle it into one bill, while others may charge separately.

After the surgery has been performed, medication will be administered to keep the pain levels at a minimum.  Pain medications can cost around $10 to $40 per prescription.

About 14 days after the surgery, a follow-up appointment will be necessary to remove the sutures and check on the dog’s condition.  If the vet doesn’t include this is in the initial costs, this can be an additional $250 to $300.

Tips to know:

The average stay at the hospital will be three to five days.

If the dog is younger than nine to 12 months, then this surgery cannot be performed since the dog is still considered to be growing until it reaches full maturity.

Your dog will be a candidate for THR if it’s affecting your dog’s locomotion and activity levels.  Your dog must also be in great shape and have no other underlying medical issues.

As with any surgery, complications can often happen.  These complications can include loose implants, sciatic nerve damage, embolism and even femur fractures.  The complication rate is 10 percent. says your dog will need a lot of rest after the surgery, usually around a few weeks, followed by a gradual increase of lead exercise.

Larger breeds will be more susceptible due to the heavier weight they put on their joints.  According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever and German Shepherd are the top three breeds prone to hip dysplasia.

How can I save money?

A hip replacement surgery is not always the best route to take.  Depending on the overall health of the dog, some vets may flat out deny the surgery and will simply recommend alternative treatment plans such as proper nutrition, oral supplements or anti-inflammatory drugs.  Be sure to talk with a vet to ensure that this is the best route to take.  It doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion.

Do not just stick with the family vet.  Instead, highly consider talking with a few others in the local area as most will be able to give a ballpark estimate over the phone instead of making you come in.

If your dog is prone to having injuries, highly consider getting some sort of pet insurance policy.  These policies are relatively cheap and can help ease the costs of most medical bills should they arise.

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Average Reported Cost: $6500

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How much did you spend?

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  1. tomdfw1 (Plano,  Texas) paid $6500 and said:

    I called a number of surgery centers and they all want more than $5500 for total hip replacement.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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