How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Spleen From a Dog?

Written by: Staff

Spleen removal is sometimes necessary for a dog for the same reasons that it is necessary for a human.

Referred to as a splenectomy, this procedure is done to remove the dog’s entire spleen, an organ responsible for storing blood vessels and cleaning toxins in the blood.  If a dog’s spleen were damaged, it could bleed profusely into the abdominal cavity, potentially causing serious damage.

The main reason a dog’s spleen is removed, according to Marvista Vet, is either due to a growth or a mass on the spleen which may have broken open and started to bleed.  Other reason may be due to cancer.

Goodbye Libby. We Will Miss You. We Lo by pmarkham, on Flickr
Goodbye Libby. We Will Miss You. We Lo” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by pmarkham

How much does it cost to remove a dog’s spleen?

On average, the cost of a complete spleen removal for a dog is going to range anywhere from $1,000 to as much as $5,500.  The spleen removal costs, on average, will vary depending on the diagnosis, the veterinarian (professional fee), geographical location, and the dog.

A member on was billed $3,381, with $500 of that being for a blood transfusion.  Another member on the same forum thread said they were quoted $1,600 to $2,250 for the same procedure.

Removing a dog’s spleen overview

During the procedure, the dog will first be placed under a local anesthesia and the abdomen area will be shaved.  Next, an incision will be made along the abdomen so the vet is able to cut out and remove the spleen, along with any associating fragments sealing off the ducts.  Once removed, the area will be cleaned and sutured shut.

Generally, dogs can go home within two days after the surgery.  Activities will also be limited for the first two weeks after the surgical procedure, and according to Vetary, the recovery time could take over a month to fully heal.

What are the extra costs?

To confirm the surgery, a vet will first want to take pre-operative tests to confirm the spleen is, indeed, the problem.  This can include an ultrasound, a biopsy, x-ray, blood work and/or physical exam.  If a vet, for example, thinks the spleen ruptured, then he or she may recommend a biopsy after the spleen has been taken out.  All of these, when combined, can easily cost an additional $500 to $1,000 on top of the costs mentioned above.

After the procedure, medication, such as painkillers, will be prescribed to fully heal.  These prescriptions will often be an additional cost.

An E-collar will also be required to prevent your dog from licking its sutures.  Again, depending on the vet’s billing policy, this may or may not be included in the estimates mentioned above.

In the case of excessive blood leakage, your dog may be required to undergo a blood transfusion.  The cost for a blood transfusion can cost about $500.

An emergency surgery, if it were done after hours at a 24-hour clinic or hospital, could increase the bill by more than 30 to 40 percent.

Tips to know:

Spleen removal does not guarantee your dog will be healthy again.  Depending on the dog’s situation and the injuries he or she may have encountered, the results will vary.  Always talk with your vet to study the pros and cons of spleen removal and explore other possible options before considering the procedure.  If the spleen is cancerous, has ruptured and/or is infected, then the vet will more than likely force you to remove it.

How can  I save money?

With any procedure, make sure that you talk with at least three vet offices.  Even if you are happy with the vet you are currently with, you may find they charge a lot more when compared to local vets.  It never hurts to price shop.

The surgery may not make sense financially, especially if the dog is older.  Make sure you get at least two opinions before considering the surgery.  Do keep in mind, though, that if the spleen were to burst, your dog would be in extreme pain.

Even if you cannot afford the procedure, many vet offices are more than willing to create a payment plan or offer financing options.

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Average Reported Cost: $2633.33

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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. Kimberly (Delray Beach,  Florida) paid $ and said:

    My dog suddenly died 4 days after surgery. Veterinary neglect.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Beacon paid $6500 and said: said:

    Emergency. I pound tumor on Maltese spleen. Came back benign. Very expensive but there was no choice. Dog was in extreme pain. He’s as good as new 6 months later.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. W (Phoenix,  Arizona) paid $1400 and said:

    9 year old, 70 lb Husky / Border Collie mix had 5 lb growth on spleen. Surgery took 3 hours. Came home same day and after 3 days his spunk returned. We watched him every minute to ensure he didn’t touch stitches. It’s been 10 days and he is doing great. Still waiting on test for cancer, but his blood work was clean.

    Was it worth it? Yes!

    Was it worth it? Yes

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