Typical Vet Fees for Dogs and Financial Assistance for Surgery Help


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The cost of owning a dog goes beyond their breed price. As they grow bigger, health issues will normally surface. Some canines may require surgeries for treatment. This means that as their owner, you are responsible for their health, including the vet bills that have to be paid. Some pet owners were swamped with hefty fees, especially if they didn’t seek for a financial assistance for dog surgery.Here’s our rough estimate of the possible costs of the common disorders and injuries that will require a surgery:

Surgery Cost of Common Dog Disorders/Diseases

Patellar luxation$1,200 to $2,500
Hip dysplasia$2,000 to $6,000
Neuter surgery$50 to $200
Legg-Perthes disease$300-$5,000
Portacaval shunt$2,000 to $3,000
Gastric torsion$3,000 max.
Ectropion$3,000 max.

No matter how expensive a dog surgery could be, it’s important that you have it done for your pet. Their lifespan and overall health are at stake here. While you can ignore the symptoms, their condition can take a worse turn. Death may happen.

Pet medical costs vary depending on the severity of the condition, the health status of your dog, breed history, age, and personality.

Typical vet fees for dogs

Take note that not all medical issues among dogs will require a surgery right away. But it’s important that you prevent their pre-existing health conditions before it becomes worse. For most dogs, here are some of the vet fees that you have to prepare for:

Vaccine Boosters – Boosters like these are required to improve the fighting mechanism of the dog’s body against infections and other harmful conditions. One of the common vaccines administered to dogs is anti-rabies shots. An average dog will have to be vaccinated 2 to 4 times a year. A booster shot will cost around $18-$25.

Fecal exam – This exam is performed to diagnose any gastrointestinal parasites that dogs can contract as they grow old. Such a thing is usually part of the yearly general medical exam and will have a separate $45-$50 fee.

Heartworm test – As another part of the annual medical exam, the heartworm test is done to detect the presence of the life-threatening parasitic worms that will reside on the doggos’ heart and internal organs. This one costs around $45 to $50.

Office call – This one is the physical examination for check-ups. The price will depend on your location, vet, clinic, and how intensive the procedure is. But roughly, it will tax your pocket with an additional $45 to $55.

Take note that these are just the basics. Some owners are asked to pay for more procedures depending on the condition of their dogs. The vet may need to perform dental cleaning, geriatric screening, and allergy testing which all can range from $85-$400.

Cost of emergency treatments

Aside from the scheduled procedures above, emergency treatments will be a different thing. For example, a road accident that happened at night may cost you roughly $200 for out-of-hours treatments. If the vet has to say overnight and monitor the doggo, the cost can double. Surgeries and added examinations will put a hole in your pocket without a financial assistance for dog surgery.

financial assistance for dog surgery

Dog surgeries and potential costs

At least once in your dog’s lifetime, there’s a chance that he will undergo a surgery to treat a certain illness. Take note that certain breeds have varying risk levels to specific health issues like those we listed here. It’s important that even before the problem strikes, you’re ready and informed about what you should expect. Just because they are dogs doesn’t mean vet bills won’t come close to hospital fees of humans.

A lot of hereditary disorder and diseases are usually treated with surgery. Here are some of it including the price and what you should expect:

Patellar luxation

This condition happens when the kneecap or patella of you dog suddenly slips out of its original position. When the dog runs, it will suddenly lift a back or front leg due to pain. Most likely, the dog will kick sideways to get the patella back to its position. Although there seems to be a natural fix, the sliding and popping of the joint will become worse.

If your dog has a Grade 1 patellar luxation, seek treatment right away. Once it reaches the Grade 3 or 4 levels, there’s no other solution but to conduct a surgery. The groove on the femur will be reconstructed to hold the patella properly. It will cost around $1,200 to $2,500 depending on the clinic and location.

Some of the dog breeds prone to patellar luxation are Akita, Basset Hound, American Water Spaniel, and Affenpinscher.


One of the most common eye problems among the hound breeds is glaucoma. When too much pressure accumulates behind their eyes, extreme pain and blindness will occur. Some of the telltale signs you should watch out for is the bluing of the cornea, constant squinting, teary eyes, and white or red spots in the eyes.

If you observe one or two of these signs, take your dog to the vet right away. Glaucoma is a medical emergency that has to be treated with a surgical procedure. Depending on the severity, the treatment would cost around $1,100-$3,000. Continuing treatment may also be recommended by your veterinarian which is added vet fees for dogs.

Breeds that are prone to this disease are Beagles, Basset Hounds, Boston Terriers, and Chinese Crested Dog.

Hip dysplasia

Common to short-legged breeds, hip dysplasia happens when the joints were formed improperly. This is a hereditary disease that you could prevent by getting a pup with parents free from such condition. Hip dysplasia will lead to arthritis if not treated as the dog grows older.

This condition will result in discomfort and pain. Your dog will become lame and will find it hard to get up or down on their feet. Remember that hip dysplasia is more likely to happen on overweight dogs.

Your vet will run x-ray examinations to check which legs are affected. Corrective surgery for this condition will cost around $2,000 to $6,000. If the case is already life-limiting, the vet may recommend that your dog wear a special wheeled mechanism to support his gait.

Watch out since a lot of dog breeds are prone to this including the American Bulldog, St. Bernard, Pug, Mastiff, and Brussels Griffon.

Neuter surgery

Although this isn’t exactly a disorder, a lot of dog owners prefer to have their canines spayed to prevent breast tumors or uterine infections for females and testicular cancers for males. It’s also proven that neutered dogs tend to have better temperament due to the absence of hormonal changes.

Unlike sky-high vet fees for dogs, neutering is pretty affordable at $50 to $200. The cost will depend on the age and weight of the dog. It’s both a life and a money saver since you’ll get to prevent any diseases or disorder associated with reproduction.

The decision to spay a dog depends on the owner. There’s no specific breed that requires urgent neutering unless there’s an imminent threat to their health.

Legg-Perthes disease

The Legg-Perthes disease is the brittleness of the femoral head brought by poor blood circulation in the hip area. This is evident among pups between 6 to 9 months. Such a condition can cause fractures even in mild falls or movements.

A few signs of this disease are limping, pain while moving the hip, and lethargy. Usually, the vets will perform a radiograph test to diagnose this condition. If your dog indeed has this bone problem, a surgery and physical therapy thereafter will be the solution. Your vet can prescribe ice treatments and painkillers as temporary aids.

The average cost for this surgery is around $300-$5,000 depending on the severity. Take note that the recovery phase will require full immobilization. Your vet should advise about home care and how you will discourage your canine from walking. And since the cost is steep, it’s best to seek a financial assistance for dog surgery.

Portacaval shunt

The portacaval shunt is a condition where embryonic blood vessels in the liver don’t go away after birth. This causes blood to be bypassed by the liver which can cause neurological problems if not treated. Most often, the portacaval shunt is a complication of another liver disease.

Some of the signs of this condition are stunted growth, lethargy, seizures, pacing, and bladder stones. It’s important that you bring your dog to the clinic so the vet can perform ammonia tolerance test, radiograph, and liver ultrasound.

The only cure for this condition is surgery. But before sending the dog under the knife, it’s important that their health is stable to achieve a high success rate. The surgery will cost around $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the clinic – very expensive vet fees for dogs.

Gastric torsion

Also known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion happens when the tummy of the dog becomes distended with gas. The stomach then twists which can be life-threatening if not addressed early. Some of the signs that your dog has gastric torsion are drooling, anxiety, and bloating.

Typically GDV can be treated with non-surgery procedures only if the condition is diagnosed early. The vet will take x-rays of your dog’s stomach to check the severity of the condition. In most cases, a tube will be passed through the dog’s esophagus to remove the excess gas. For severe cases, the vet would have to puncture the abdominal wall of your dog to release the gas.

Though it looks like a simple procedure, the cost can reach up to $3,000.


Ectropion is the condition when the eyelids droop too much away from the eyes. Although this may look like a natural case for “sad-looking” dogs like Bassets and Bulldogs, it can cause irritations in the long run. Contaminants can make the situation worse which will result in eye infections.

Even if you have a dog with a sad-looking gaze, watch out for pawing or excessive tearing. Bacterial conjunctivitis may take place if the condition isn’t treated properly.

Your vet will run several tests including physical examination, urine test, and blood test to diagnose the problem. Mild cases of ectropion can be treated with eye drops, but if the infection is already in the advanced stage, a surgery is required. This will cost around a few hundred dollars to a maximum of $3,000.

financial assistance for dog surgery

Financial assistance tips

Many dog owners struggle to pay the above-mentioned fees. But you don’t have to shoulder everything. You can seek for a financial assistance for dog surgery from various pet organizations. Also, preparing ahead and tapping your dog insurer will cut a few hundred bucks off the bills.

Look for charities and organizations

For urgent vet visits and treatments, the Red Rover organization can help if you’re cash-strapped and your pet is experiencing life-threatening diseases. Usually, they give an average grant of $200 to fill a chunk of the fees. It may not save you from the bills, but this is already a big help.

You also have the option to seek aid from the Pet Fund if your pet has a non-urgent but non-basic situation like cancer treatment, heart disease, and the likes. The grants may vary but your pet should be adopted instead of purchased.

If you really don’t have the means to visit the vet, The Anti-Cruelty Society offers low-cost vet services for a variety of conditions. For example, they offer to neuter for a meager fee of $60 to $130. Some of their services may waiver vet fees for dogs.

Pet insurance

If you’re a proactive pet owner, you probably foresee a health issue coming even before it does. A pet insurance will be your go-to assistance when your dog is ridden with diseases. Just make sure that you read the fine print very well to know which are included and which are not.

Pre-existing conditions before you even availed the insurance aren’t counted. Make sure to disclose everything and don’t try to scam the insurance company. Your further claims might be voided if you try to slip a claim.

A financial assistance for dog surgery won’t cover the entire cost of the procedure, but it will be a big relief. With the common illnesses discussed earlier, it will help you prepare for possible health issues that your dog may face in the future.

If you’re planning to avail pet insurance, here’s some vet advice to guide you: