Pet parents, particularly those with dogs and those with or researching pet insurance, will be well aware of the term ‘hip dysplasia’. It’s one of those conditions that we’re all warned about when getting puppy, and is also set aside – along with other potentially hereditary or congenital conditions – as a special case when it comes to most pet insurance policies.
But how much do you know about hip dysplasia? We hope to answer all your questions here.
What is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is an abnormality of the hip joint in which the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together properly. This can be caused by genetic factors, over-exercise, obesity, environmental influences, or a combination of these. It can cause pain and discomfort, and can lead to early-onset arthritis. Treatment options include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery.
Which dogs does Hip Dysplasia affect?
Hip dysplasia can affect any breed of dog, but it is most commonly seen in large-breed dogs such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Rottweilers. Smaller breeds such as Poodles and Chihuahuas can also be affected.
Does Hip Dysplasia affect cats?
Yes, hip dysplasia can affect cats, though it is much less common than in dogs. Treatment options are similar to those for dogs, though surgery is usually not recommended for cats due to the increased risk of complications.
Could Hip Dysplasia kill my dog?
The good news is, hip dysplasia is unlikely to be fatal for a dog. However, it can cause severe pain and discomfort – which is no life for any animal. If left untreated, hip dysplasia can lead to early-onset arthritis, which can greatly reduce mobility and quality of life. In rare cases, it can lead to complications such as bone fractures or infections, which can be life-threatening.
Can Hip Dysplasia in dogs be treated?
Yes, hip dysplasia can be treated. Treatment options depend on the severity of the condition and the age of the dog. In mild cases, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications may be sufficient. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the abnormality.
How much does dog Hip Dysplasia surgery cost?
If your dog has hip dysplasia, surgery costs will obviously be a concern. We all want our pups to live happy and healthy lives, but veterinary treatment isn’t free.
The cost of hip dysplasia surgery in dogs depends on which of the three likely procedures they have. Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) surgery, which involves removing the ball of the joint, is a pain-management procedure rather than a cure and will cost $1,200 to $2,500.
Double or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (DPO/TPO) surgery is often carried out on puppies that show signs of hip dysplasia, and involves a remodeling of the joint. You can expect to pay around $3,000 for both hips.
The most common surgery for hip dysplasia in dogs is Total Hip Replacement (THR) surgery. Signs of hip dysplasia might only be noticed once they’re obvious: the unfortunate animal is in significant pain or having clear mobility problems. THR, much like with human hip replacements, replaces the entire hip joining with artificial implants, and can restore a dog pretty much back to normal. It comes at a cost, though. Total hip replacement for dogs costs anywhere from $3,500 to $7,000 per hip (inclusive of all meds, blood work, etc), with a double replacement costing up to $14,000.
Can you get pet insurance that covers surgery?
The short answer is yes. Most pet insurance policies cover hip dysplasia, although there may be extended waiting periods before the coverage.