Hip dysplasia is a defect in the hip joint, similar to arthritis or osteoporosis. Oftentimes, the dysplasia needs to be corrected with surgery, and it costs a pretty penny.
Dog hip dysplasia surgery cost depends on where you live but you should expect to spend up to $7,000 – including consultation, anesthesia, prescription medications, surgery, and physical therapy. Pet parents without dog insurance may find themselves compromising on the quality of veterinary care due to the high cost.1,2 Before you make a decision, here’s what you should know about hip dysplasia and the cost of treatment.
Hip dysplasia affects dogs’ hips as they grow up.3 Sometimes the ball and socket don’t grow at the same rate, causing an unstable area. It causes the typical “bunny hopping” gait seen in canine hip dysplasia patients. Severe dysplasia cases lead to pain, limping, or lameness.
Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that can be triggered by a dog’s diet and lifestyle. An X-ray is needed for a proper diagnosis, but symptoms to look out for include avoiding play or activity, losing muscle mass, or the previously mentioned “bunny hopping” gait. All of these are indicators that your pup may be in pain.
There are three kinds of surgeries that may be offered to your dog. Here are their average costs and recovery time.4
|Type of surgery
||Average Cost Range*
|Double or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
||$1,200 to $2,000
||6 to 8 weeks
|Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO)
||$1,800 to $2,400
||6 to 10 weeks
|Total Hip Replacement (THR)
||$5,600 to $6,000
||8 to 20 weeks
* These ranges do not include medications or follow-up costs
Surgery is usually reserved for extreme cases of dysplasia, like limping or lameness. Your vet will likely charge a consultation fee between $50 to $150 to determine the state of your pet’s condition.³ They will look for looseness, range of motion, and grinding of the joints.
The next step includes diagnostics and blood work. Most X-rays cost up to $180, so be sure to get a full quote before agreeing to move forward with diagnostic testing.4 Finally, your vet will recommend a procedure if necessary.
DPO/TPO can cost between $1,200 and $2,000 and it’s recommended for dogs younger than 10 months.5 Your dog’s surgeon will cut and rotate parts of the ball-and-socket joint to improve hip function.
Recovery from DPO/TPO can be difficult due to the cutting and reattachment process on the pelvis so expect your pup to be resting for up to 8 weeks.4,5 X-rays will be required at the 6-week mark to check the healing process.
FHO is the removal of the head of the femur (the ball of the ball-and-socket joint) then allowing scar tissue to form a “false joint.”6 The cost of this procedure swings wildly between $1,800 to $2,400.³ Recovery can take longer than DPO/TPO and may incur additional costs to pet parents, especially if physical therapy is required.
Vets recommend FHO for small dogs (less than 45 pounds) but it can be done on larger dogs if their case allows.³,⁶ As you can imagine, the cost of a smaller dog isn’t the same for a larger dog who is more active and playful.
A THR is the most expensive option at $5,600 to $6,000 for the procedure, with an additional $1,000 for follow-ups and physical therapy.4 As the name implies, the entire ball and socket are replaced with prosthetic implants and cemented in place.
Recovery includes an average hospital stay between 3 to 5 days, plus almost 3 months of at-home care and physical therapy.4 While the most expensive option, a THR leads to the least amount of discomfort over the dog’s lifetime.5
Not all dogs require or need dysplasia surgery. Many dogs’ hips can be healed through physical therapy, dietary changes, and exercise regimens under the guidance of a veterinarian.5 Discuss alternative methods with your vet like anti-inflammatory medicines, supplements, and acupuncture.4,5 Exhaust all your options. You may save yourself tons of time and your dog months of pain.
There are many options for hip dysplasia surgery for dogs that can easily cost thousands of dollars. Each comes with significant investments in time to make sure your companion recovers so they can play well into their golden years. Discuss this tough decision with your vet in case alternative therapies are a better option.
No matter what you choose, MetLife’s Pet Insurance team has your back. Our policies cover both alternative therapies — like acupuncture — and surgeries for dogs experiencing hip pain.¹,² Get a quote today.