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How Much Does Hernia Surgery for Dogs Cost? 2024 Price Update

Written by: Kerry-Ann Kerr

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

vet. examining labrador dog

How Much Does Hernia Surgery for Dogs Cost? 2024 Price Update

When our pets are unwell, there’s an obvious worry about their wellbeing, and we don’t want to think about them being in pain and scared. Alongside this worry is the concern about how much it will cost and whether this is a one-time cost or something you must anticipate reoccurring.

When it comes to hernia surgery, we have the answers for you. Going into a difficult situation with the facts is much easier to plan for, meaning you can focus all your attention on your dog and getting them through this ordeal.Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-01-TEST

The Importance of Hernia Surgery for Dogs

Your dog can suffer from five types of hernia, and each requires different treatment options.

  • Hiatal hernias: These hernias occur when part of the stomach pushes into the diaphragm where the esophagus and stomach meet. This causes the esophagus to move into the stomach and the dog’s stomach contents to pass through the diaphragm.
  • Umbilical hernias: Usually seen in puppies aged about 2 weeks, these hernias are generally caused by genetics. Sometimes they heal on their own, and if they don’t and aren’t treated, they can cause serious complications.
  • Diaphragmatic hernias: When the diaphragm allows the stomach or liver to pass through the chest cavity where the lungs are, it makes breathing difficult for your dog.
  • Inguinal hernias: These occur in the groin area (the inner wall of the dog’s rear leg). If the tear is large enough, the bladder, uterus, or parts of the intestine can move into the hernia, which is deadly if untreated.
  • Perineal hernias: The contents of the abdomen move through a pelvis tear near the anus, which happens in male dogs over five years old most often.
Dog Hernia
Image by: Firn, Shutterstock

While some hernias aren’t as serious as others, most can lead to complications, more health problems, or even death if left untreated. So, getting your dog the proper care for its hernia is essential.

How Much Does Hernia Surgery for Dogs Cost?

The cost of hernia surgery can vary, depending on the location of the hernia and the cost of living in your area. The signs of the different hernias can be mild to life-threatening if the condition is left untreated. However, with veterinary care, hernias are very treatable.

Most minor hernia repairs (including anesthetics but excluding pre-surgical lab work) should be around $150–$400. With every cost included, you can expect to pay from $700 for a common hernia to $2,500 for more complex cases. On average, however, you’ll find the cost around $1,600, including the cost of diagnoses, surgery, and your dog’s aftercare.

You might be wondering if there are alternative treatments to avoid this cost, but unfortunately, surgery is recommended because of the risk of entrapped tissue becoming strangulated (in other words, the blood supply is cut off) and dying.

If this occurs, there is a high risk of infection, leading to sepsis and death. Hernia treatment is generally effective, and the effects are permanent.

vet checking up labrador dog
Image by: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

Additional Costs to Anticipate

While recovering, you might need to hand-feed your dog to stimulate its appetite. Some dogs respond well to their food, but others may require specialized diets, wet food, or home-cooked meals if they’re not eating.

While your dog recovers, it will need a quiet, calm room to recover in. If you have small children or other pets, try to keep them away so your dog can relax. If your dog finds standing difficult, surgery may make it worse, and raised beds can help. Depending on your dog’s size, you can get raised beds for a reasonable price.

How Long Is the Vet Stay?

Pets will generally stay the night after the surgery and be discharged the following day if there are no complications. It’s recommended that your pet is closely observed for 12 hours following their discharge. They might seem disorientated and unsure of where they are as the sedation makes its way out of their system.

You’ll find your dog will want to relax and sleep; even if they seem a little disorientated, they should be responsive to you. As they need close observation, it’s recommended that you only leave your dog for short periods; you might even find that your dog appreciates the peace and quiet. You should only leave, of course, if you’re sure your dog can’t lick its stitches.

If your dog seems disoriented for a long time, you notice any discharge or swelling around the wound, or if your dog becomes uncomfortable, contact your vet for advice.

sick dog examine by vet
Image by: IgorAleks, Shutterstock

Does Pet Insurance Cover Hernia Surgery for Dogs?

Surgery tends to be covered under most insurances, but it depends on your insurance. If you’ve taken out an accident-only plan, it will exclude all illnesses and routine care expenses. These plans do not cover hospital boarding for something like hernia repair, and you would end up footing the entire bill.

Whether they’re accident only or accident and illness, some pet insurance plans might exclude medical conditions your pet is prone to. Some breeds are prone to hernias, like Collies, Boston Terriers, and Boxers.

If you change insurance providers after your dog has had a hernia, it will likely not be covered in the future since most policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. If the cost of your pet’s care ever worries you, talk to your vet, as some practices will set up payment plans to spread the costs into more affordable payments.

Husky dog lying on vet table with doctor and owner near by
Image by: ressmaster, Shutterstock

How to Avoid This Treatment in the Future?

Hernias are primarily hereditary, but you can take precautions by neutering or spaying puppies to reduce the risk of the offspring developing hernias. However, in terms of your dog suffering twice from the same problem, it’s very unlikely. Since there are several types, they could develop a different one.

Hernias can occur in pregnancy. Perineal hernias are associated in males with enlarged prostates or prostatitis that strain when trying to defecate. You can also help avoid hernias that result from traumatic injury by ensuring your house is dog-proof to reduce the chances your dog can get hurt. Also, ensure your yard is secure so they can’t escape.

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When your dog is unwell, one of the most worrying parts is the uncertainty. We hope this breakdown has given you some answers to these worries. If you’re ever unsure about what you need to pay for, look through your insurance policy, or contact your provider. If surgery isn’t covered by your policy and the cost is too steep, some veterinary practices will help you set up a payment plan.

Featured Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

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