Every pet parent dreads the day when they have to take their four-legged best friend for a medical consultation, especially if it’s regarding an orthopedic disease. Patellar luxation is among the most prevalent and can be quite severe in some cases.
Treatment usually involves surgery. However, milder situations may only need rest and physiotherapy sessions. But how much does patella luxation treatment cost?
The cost of patella luxation dog treatment varies depending on the severity and the type of treatment involved.
- Generally, non-surgical treatment options are the least expensive, ranging from $500-$1500. If surgery is required, it can cost anywhere from $1000-$5000 per knee.
Note: It is more common in small breeds of dogs than large breeds, such as miniature poodles, Chihuahuas, and Yorkshire terriers.
What Is Patella Luxation?
Patella luxation is a condition in which the patella, or kneecap, slips out of its normal position. The patella is normally situated at the lower end of the thigh bone (femur) and slides up and down a groove in the femur as the knees are bent and straightened. In patella luxation, the patella slips out of its groove, resulting in pain and lameness.
Causes of Patella Luxation
Causes of patella luxation can be divided into three main groups:
1. Congenital Causes
A congenital cause of patella luxation is an abnormality present from birth. Examples include abnormalities in the shape and/or size of the bones, ligaments, or muscles around the knee joint.
2. Traumatic Causes
This type of patella luxation is usually caused by an injury or trauma to the knee. The ligaments and muscles that hold the patella in place can be weakened, stretched, or even torn as a result of the accident.
3. Idiopathic Causes
This type of patella luxation does not have an identifiable cause. It is usually seen in older dogs and may be the result of wear and tear on the knee joint.
The most common symptoms of patella luxation are lameness and pain. The affected leg may be held up or carried in an abnormal position, and the dog may appear to skip or hop on the leg when walking.
Other signs include:
- Swelling in the knee joint
- Difficulty straightening the leg
- Stiffness in the joint
- Visible slipping or “clicking” of the kneecap out of its normal position.
Treatment of Patella Luxation and Its Cost
Treatment for patella luxation will depend on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. The treatment is typically broken down into several components: diagnosis and pre-treatment care, surgical correction, post-operative care, and rehabilitation.
1. Diagnosis and Pre-Treatment Care
A veterinarian will first need to make sure that patella luxation is the root cause of your pet’s joint pain. This can include X-rays or an MRI, which can cost anywhere from $400-$800. In some cases, fluid analysis or blood tests may also be necessary, which can add to the overall cost.
2. Surgical Correction
If your dog has a severe case of patella luxation and requires surgery, it will likely cost anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 per knee, depending on the complexity of the procedure. Read more about the cost of patella luxation surgery.
3. Post-Operative Care and Rehabilitation
After the surgery, your pet will need a period of rest to allow for proper healing. Depending on the severity of the case, this may range anywhere from several weeks to months. Your veterinarian will also likely recommend physical therapy to help with muscle strengthening, which can cost about $50-$500 per session.
Prevention of Patella Luxation and Its Cost
There is no sure way to prevent patella luxation. However, there are some steps you can take to help reduce the risk:
- Provide adequate nutrition and exercise for your pet: Proper nutrition and exercise help keep joints strong and healthy, which may help reduce the risk of patella luxation.
- Avoid activities that may cause trauma or injury to the knees: Keeping your pet away from high-impact activities, such as jumping and running on hard surfaces, can help reduce the risk of knee joint injuries.
Cost of Prevention
The cost for preventive measures is typically minimal since most involve making small lifestyle changes to your pet’s nutrition and exercise routine. However, depending on the extent of preventive measures, they may cost anywhere from $100-$500.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Patella Luxation Treatment
The cost of treating patella luxation depends on the following factors, such as
- The severity of the condition.
- The type of treatment needed.
- The veterinarian performs the procedure.
- Additional costs may be incurred.
- If surgery is required or if other treatments such as physical therapy are prescribed.
- The location where you receive treatment may also affect the overall cost
Patella luxation is a serious condition that can cause pain and immobility in your pet. Treatment for patella luxation can be expensive and may cost from $1000-$5000 per knee. Prevention is also important and can help reduce the risk of patella luxation in dogs. Adequate nutrition and exercise, as well as avoiding activities that may cause trauma to the knee joints, can help keep your pet healthy and strong.