How much did you say a ruptured cruciate ligament cost to treat in my dog?

Anywhere from $1,200 to $4,600 a knee - ouch!

Here's an example of TPLO surgery performed on a 7 year old mixed breed dog in Nashville, Tennessee, February 2008.

Total cost for the surgery is $2,765 - yes, that's really over two and a half thousand dollars.

Pre-op View X-Ray 144.00
Post-op View X-Ray 96.00
Radiographic Interpretation 15.00
H4 Serum Profile (IRMA) 45.00
Packed Cell Volume 14.00
Total Protein 10.00
IV Cephalic Catheter w/ Placement 21.00
IV Infusion Pump/Set/Monitor 34.00
Lactated Ringers Solution (Liter) 50.00
Surgical Prep Fee 40.00
Operating Room 80.00
Orthopedic Setup and Equipment 56.00
Disposables 41.00
Anesthesia Inhalent, Isoflourane 360.00
Anesthesia Monitoring Equipment Bundle 76.00
ACL Repair - TPLO LG 650.00
Plate TPLO (L) - LG 210.00
3.5m Bone Screw 126.00
Bandage - Pressure Wrap (LG) 24.00
Antibiotics 208.00
Analgesic 84.00
Misc In Hospital Meds 80.00
Elizabethan Collar 17.00
Antibiotics - Oral Dispensed 48.00
Acepromazine 30.00
Hospitalization  50.00
24 Hr Nursing Care Level 3 156.00

There were some items not covered by the pet parent's Embrace Pet Insurance policy - she did not select the Drugs and Dental Extension for example so the take-home antibiotics and Acepromazine were not covered - but the total Embrace payout in this case was $2,322.90.

As you can see, this treatment is not inexpensive. And you just know you've probably already spent $300 on your first visit to the vet and then a follow up visit just to make sure the surgery went well.

And just to rub salt into the wound, once one knee goes, the other is 40% more likely to go as well. That's why most pet insurance companies treat the second cruciate ligament tear as a continuation of the first. Something to consider if your insurance has per incident limits (which Embrace Pet Insurance does not.)

If you are in the mood for some feisty reading, check out Terrier Man on his opinion of cruciate ligament injuries. He doesn't hold back on his view that surgery is not necessary for smaller dogs and for partial tears. I don't feel qualified enough to opine on his perspective. Just something else to consider when facing a cruciate ligament injury.

Related posts:
What happens when my dog's cruciate ligament tears?
Ski - a dog who recovered from a cruciate ligament injury without surgery
My dog or cat is limping

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