How Much Does It Cost To Amputate a Dog's Leg?

Four Minutes
Nov 13, 2023

You’ve probably seen an inspirational story or video on social media about a dog who’s living their best life, even with a missing limb (or two). Their capabilities may warm your heart, but facing your own pup’s leg amputation might take some time to come to terms with.

If a vet recommends a limb amputation for your furry friend, it can feel scary picturing their new life as an amputee. But sometimes, it’s the best decision for your dog’s overall health.

Dog leg amputation costs will vary depending on where you live, the dog’s size, and whether the dog needs their front leg or hind leg amputated. The price ranges anywhere from $1,000-$2,000, but it can be less expensive for smaller dogs.1,2

Here’s what else you need to know about amputating a dog’s leg, including how a MetLife Pet policy can help cover surgery and related costs.

When Do Vets Recommend Limb Amputation?

A vet will not recommend the surgical removal of a dog's limb lightly. But in some cases, amputation is the only option.

However, it’s important to remember that if your pet sustains an injury or develops a disease or infection, that doesn’t mean an amputation will happen. Typically, it can be used as a last resort to save the dog’s life and improve chronic pain.

Medical issues or conditions that may result in an amputation include:3

  • Catastrophic injury
  • Certain cancers, like osteosarcoma, a bone cancer
  • Infection
  • Soft-tissue damage
  • Frostbite
  • Birth defects or other abnormalities

What To Expect During Amputation Surgery Recovery

Your dog will likely be able to come home within a week post-surgery, so long as they can walk without discomfort and barring any complications.4

When it’s time to come home, your vet may provide some pain medication and antibiotics for your dog to ensure they feel more comfortable and that infection won’t hinder recovery. Dogs may have a bandage at the surgical site and might be required to wear a collar during the recovery period so they don’t bother the incision. Your vet may also prescribe a sling or other assistive device to help with balance and movement.3

In the days and weeks following surgery, you should:

  • Keep them indoors for the first few days, aside from potty breaks.
  • Keep them away from slippery floors or stairs.
  • Avoid rough play or exercise.

Complications to look out for

Even if your dog is cleared to come home, close monitoring is recommended for potential complications. These can include:4

  • Infection
  • Hemorrhage
  • Fluid under the skin near the incision
  • Hernia
  • Neuroma (cut nerves from the amputation form painful masses of nerve tissue)

What’s the Prognosis Following Dog Amputation Surgery?

Most dogs, particularly those who had a rear limb amputated, are able to regain near-normal levels of functionality and activity with their remaining limbs after they’ve fully recovered.3

In one small study, 78% of surveyed pet owners whose furry friends had limbs amputated said they were “very satisfied” with the results.5

Thankfully, phantom limb pain — or pain at the incision site — is uncommon.4

Pet Insurance Can Help With Dog Amputation Costs

When dealing with your pup's limb amputation, you'll have a lot on your mind. But worrying about dog leg surgery costs shouldn’t be an added stress.

Between vet visits, blood work, medication, anesthetics, and the surgery, dog leg amputation costs can add up. A dog insurance policy can help you manage the vet bills so you can focus on helping your dog adjust to their new normal. Get a free, personalized quote today, so you’re prepared for whatever veterinary care your pup needs.

We Can Help Cover Vet Bills
While You Focus on Your Dog’s Care

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “Surgery Services & Pricing,” Access Veterinary Care, 2023

2 “Affordable Pet Leg Amputation Surgery,” Anicira

3 “What Happens When Your Pet Needs an Amputation?,” MedVet

4 “Limb Amputation,” American College of Veterinary Surgeons

5 “Analysis of patient outcome and owner satisfaction with double limb amputations: 14 dogs and four cats,” PubMed, 2022 

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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