Hip dysplasia is a serious orthopedic condition that is especially common in larger dogs. Because it is hereditary, some breeds, such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Labrador Retrievers, are more prone to developing hip dysplasia than others. But this painful condition does not discriminate — it can also affect smaller dogs and cats.
What is hip dysplasia?
The hip is a ball and socket joint. In a pet with healthy hips, the ball moves smoothly within the socket. But when a pet has hip dysplasia, the joint has not developed properly. As a result, the ball grinds or rubs against the socket, causing the pet a lot of discomfort and pain. Over time, hip dysplasia will cause the cartilage and bone of a pet's hip to deteriorate and wear down.
How much does treatment for hip dysplasia cost?
Numerous factors will determine what type of treatment your vet will recommend for your pet. In mild cases, your vet may suggest making lifestyle modifications, such as reducing your pet's weight and giving them joint supplements, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain medications.
Unfortunately, many pets with hip dysplasia will require surgery, which can be very expensive. The two most common surgeries used to treat hip dysplasia are:
Femoral head ostectomy: average cost $1,200 to $2,500
Total hip replacement: average cost $7,000 (for one hip) to $14,000 (for both hips)
Does pet insurance cover hip dysplasia?
Pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment for unexpected injuries and illnesses AND any associated diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and blood work. The good news: in many cases, pet insurance may alleviate the financial burden of treatment for hip dysplasia. The bad news? There are exceptions.
Hip dysplasia is one of those conditions where it really pays to check the fine print in a pet insurance policy. Many insurers cover treatment for hip dysplasia as long as it's not a pre-existing condition. Some policies, however, exclude hereditary conditions, such as hip dysplasia, by breed. Meaning if you own a breed (such as a Rottweiler) that is predisposed to hip dysplasia, your claims related to this condition could be denied.
A claim may also be denied if:
Hip dysplasia is diagnosed during your insurance's waiting period.
Your pet had surgery on one hip before getting coverage (some pet insurance companies will then consider hip dysplasia a pre-existing condition).
The pet insurance company you chose has a maximum payout per incident (a maximum amount they will pay out in claims for this condition), and you have exceeded that amount.
Hip dysplasia is costly to treat, even non-surgically. Joint supplements and pain medications, for example, can cost between $50 and $200 a month. With the right pet insurance plan in place, many of the medical costs associated with hip dysplasia will be covered for you, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. To learn more about how Figo deals with hip dysplasia, contact us today.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.