Pet Wellness Guides > Dog Splenectomy Cost (2023) - Pet Insurance Review
Dog Splenectomy Cost (2023)
“Your dog needs surgery.” It’s a sentence no pup parent ever wants to hear. While spays and neuters are the most common surgeries performed on our pups, some dogs require other surgeries such as a splenectomy. What does this procedure entail exactly and what is the dog splenectomy cost in 2023? We’ll answer those questions and more, so keep reading!
What Does the Spleen Do?
The spleen is a fascinating organ with lots of different responsibilities in the body. Your pup’s spleen stores red blood cells and releases them when necessary (like after an injury or trauma or during periods of stress.) It also acts as a sort of filter, scrutinizing red blood cells as they pass through and eliminating old cells or ones that don’t meet certain requirements. If the spleen didn’t cull bad red blood cells they could eventually cause blood clots. But the spleen is even smarter, instead of just getting rid of oddly-shaped red blood cells, it first captures them and then recycles the iron inside, preserving this essential nutrient.
The spleen is also part of the immune system and helps your pup fight off infections. It stores lymphocytes (a certain type of white blood cell) that helps your pup’s body fight off pathogens.
Can Dogs Live Without Their Spleen?
So as you’ve just seen, the spleen is a pretty significant organ that does some pretty incredible things in the body. So what happens when the spleen is removed? Well, like the human body, a dog’s body has been incredibly designed. It turns out other organs can “pick up the slack” after the splenectomy. While your pup’s immune system may not be quite as robust as a dog with their spleen intact, they can still have a wonderful quality of life.
Reasons for a Splenectomy
We’ll get to dog splenectomy cost in just a moment, but first, let’s look at some of the most common reasons dogs require their spleens to be removed:
If one or more cancerous tumors (masses) have formed, it causes the organ not to function properly. In addition, when these masses grow in size, they can increase the chance of the spleen rupturing, which is a life-threatening issue. Even if the masses are benign in nature, they can still get to the size where a rupture may occur. This is why many vets recommend a splenectomy when they discover a mass in or on the spleen.
Once the spleen has been removed, all or a portion of it can be biopsied to see if the mass was cancerous or not. If cancer was found, then additional therapy may be needed to address metastasis (the spread to other tissues and organs).
Ruptures of the spleen often happen when a tumor or a mass has remained hidden. Over time it grows and then suddenly, the dog presents as very sick. Spleens may also need to be removed when there has been some sort of trauma or impact. For example, if a dog is kicked by a horse, hit by a car or falls from a great height.
Whatever the cause, a sudden rupture of the spleen can cause internal bleeding and a medical emergency. Time is of the essence in these situations and the dog will need surgery immediately to save their life.
Splenic torsion occurs when the spleen twists. It can happen on its own but usually happens in conjunction with stomach torsion (gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV). When the stomach twists or flips, it pulls the spleen along with it. Splenic torsion occurs most often in large breeds that have deep chests like Great Danes and German Shepherds.
We saw earlier that the spleen acts as a sort of filter, protecting the body from infection. Well, sometimes this filter can suffer from a bacterial infection itself. And in those instances when antibiotics aren’t sufficient for controlling the infection, the vet may recommend a splenectomy to keep the infection from spreading.
How Much Does a Dog Splenectomy Cost?
According to Lemonade Pet Insurance, the cost for a dog splenectomy is between $3,500 and $5,000. Various factors impact the price you can expect to pay, including the specific diagnosis, your veterinarian’s professional fee, the size of your dog and your geographic location.
In addition to the base cost of a splenectomy, there may be some additional costs that should be factored in. As an example, there will usually need to be some pre-op testing that may include blood tests, ultrasound and/or biopsy. When combined, these can easily tack on an extra $500 to $1,000 to the price.
Then there are the medications, such as painkillers and antibiotics, that will also add to the cost.
The overnight hospitalization will also add-on an additional $500+ to the bill.
And should your pup require a blood transfusion, you can be looking at an additional $500+.
Sure, your dog’s spleen does a lot of significant things, but that doesn’t mean they can’t live a long life without one. They will need your help to get through the recovery stage, but once they have healed, they can have a wonderful quality of life.
Pet Insurance Can Help You Help Your Pup
As we just saw, dog splenectomy costs can really add up to a bill that may be impossible for some people to pay, putting you in a heartbreaking decision. Pet insurance helps you give your pup the very best care by reimbursing you for up to 90% of the bill.
If your vet has recommended your pup have a splenectomy and you’re unsure of how you’ll be able to handle the bill, get a free customized quote from the top providers in the country.
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- https://www.lemonade.com/pet/explained/dog-surgery-cost/ “Dog Surgery 101: Costs, Care, & More”
- https://www.amcny.org/blog/2023/04/12/the-spleen-do-dogs-and-cats-really-need-one/ “The Spleen: Do Dogs and Cats Really Need One?”
- https://davidsonvet.com/splenectomy/ “Splenectomy: Not as Uncommon (or Scary!) as You Would Think”