How much did you say patella luxation cost to treat in my dog?

Anywhere from $1,300 all the way up to $3,300 per knee.

Patella luxation is a hereditary condition that affects the position of the knee. It is generally found in smaller breeds such as Spaniels, Pugs, Chihuahuas, and Poodles and is often bilateral (occurs in both knees.) It can also occur from trauma to the knee such as jumping off the couch or going down the stairs too fast.

The variations in cost come mainly from the type of procedure performed but the location also has some part in the price with the most expensive being on the east or west coasts (no surprise if you live there!)

Here's a sample invoice for a Chihuahua in Plantation, Florida for a $1,569 bill.

Clavamox  Oral 62.5 mg 20 $19.00
Baytril Tablets Oral 22.7 mg 20 $32.00
Rimadyl Chewables Oral 25 mg 2.5 $10.00
Tramadol Tablets Oral 50 mg 7 $14.00
Complete Blood Count w/ Differential 1 $40.00
General Health Profile in House 1 $75.00
Electrocardiogram Pre-anesthetic 1 $55.00
IV Catheter 1 $42.00
Fluid Intravenous per day 1 $35.00
Infusion Pump Daily 1 $5.00
Anesthesia General 1 $100.00
Anesthesia 1/2 Hour 1 $47.00
Anesthesia Electronic Monitoring 1 $25.00
Patella Surgery 1 $950.00
Buprinex Inj. 1 $22.00
Baytril  Inj. 1 $35.00
Hospitalization per night Inj. 1 $38.00
Daily Dr. Exam 1 $20.00
Infectious Control Fee 1 $5.00

Every veterinarian is different in how she/he charges but this invoice gives you an idea of the range of procedures, drugs, and services needed for a surgery such as this. And of course, there will likely be at least one follow up visit to check the surgery went well.

If your dog (or cat - cat's can have this too) has had this surgery, do share - how did it happen, how much did cost, and where are you located? We'd love to hear your experience.

Related Posts: Pet health story: Bronte, a Cocker Spaniel

Related stories: Destino's Luxating Patellas

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Pet Travel is increasing - what do you think?

Here's the last "bonus" item in my Pet Industry Trends for 2008 article.

More people traveling with their pets
From day trips with the dogs in the back of the car, to trips abroad with your pets, more and more people are including their cats and dogs in their travels. As a result, more hotels, such as the Comfort Inn all the way up to the Westin are accommodating pets beyond just allowing them on the premises. This gives small businesses the opportunity to provide services to local hotels for pets or for accessories to make traveling even easier.

Recently someone asked me about my pet travel assertion and how I determined this trend.

In answer to that questions, there’s no magic stat that I’ve seen; I use the mosaiic theory - put a number of other stats and observations together and draw a conclusion.

55-64 year-olds represent a very compelling demographic due to 4% projected growth through 2010, according to the Census Bureau. 55-64 year-olds are the fastest-growing age demographic in the pet industry, spending $7.75 billion in 2005, up 127% from 2000. With the active boomer generation set to spend more time with their pets, whether at home or on the road, we expect to see more travel products for pets over the next two years.

  • Boomers travel more than most (trends from the TIA Domestic Travel Market Report)
  • Proliferation of pet friendly hotels (intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Wyndham Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Radisson, Marriott, Holiday Inn, Days Inn, Comfort Inn, Red Roof Inn, La Quinta, etc.)
  • Appearance of numerous specialty travel services either for pets or involving pets (Bailey Knows Travel, Pets Welcome, Puppy Travel )

And so on…

What signs are you seeing to support my assertion or not?

7 Shopping Tips for Getting a Good Deal on Pet Insurance

Three_girls_2 If you are out shopping for pet insurance, what can you do to get good value for your money? Here are some practical tips you can actually do something to keep your dog or cat's premium down and the coverage up.

  1. Pay in full for the year
    Some companies give you a discount for paying your year's premium upfront
  2. Don't get routine care
    Wellness checks, vaccinations, flea and tick meds - why pay an insurance company to be the middle man for costs you know you are going to have every year?
  3. Go for a high deductible
    If you can budget for a $500 or greater annual deductible, let the insurance cover the vet bill above that for less money than if you had a lower deductible
  4. Buy online
    Some companies give you a discount for buying online instead of calling in
  5. Get a discount
    Is your pet microchipped? Is she spayed or is he neutered? Do you belong to an organization that has a discount with a pet insurance company? Are you part of the military? Always ask because you never know what discounts you can get.
  6. Ignore the frills
    Frills such as burglary rewards and dog liability insurance may not be necessary or covered elsewhere
  7. Insure all your pets with the same company
    Most companies offer multi-pet discounts

You can find a list of the US pet insurers on the left of the Embrace Pet Insurance blog or at

Happy Valentine's from your Embracers

Embrace_kitchen_area Everyone at Embrace sends your pets pats on the head and ruffles of the ears for a healthy Valentine's day.

We're celebrating the love with oatmeal cookies I made and turning our Lijit search field pink today.

What are you doing to celebrate Valentine's Day?

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