Spleen removal is a medical intervention that will sometimes be necessary for a dog for basically the same reasons as for a human.
Also known as a splenectomy, this procedure will be done in order to remove the dog’s spleen. This organ is responsible for storing blood vessels and cleaning toxins in the bloodstream and can be removed if it becomes damaged. If left unchecked, bleeding into the abdominal cavity could cause major damage which would lead to serious complications.
For a dog, the main reason for a spleen removal is either due to growths or masses on it that may have broken open and started bleeding. Other reasons may be cancerous tumors, according to Marvista Vet.
How much does it cost to remove a dog’s spleen?
A complete spleen removal for a dog will usually cost somewhere between $1,000 and $6,000. The actual price of the spleen removal, usually, will be dependent on the dog, your geographical location, the vet and their fees and the actual diagnosis.
One PedigreeDatabase.com member was quoted $3,381 out of which, around $500 being for the blood transfusion. Another forum user said they were quoted anywhere from 1,600-$2,250 for similar procedures depending on which hospital they had been in contact with.
Details on the procedure of removing a dog’s spleen
The veterinarian first places the dog under a local anesthesia and shaves off any hair from its abdomen. Next, they’ll make an incision along the stomach so that they can remove it’s spleen as well as any other fragments blocking ducts. Once removed, all of the area of the procedure will be cleaned up before being sutured shut again to ensure that there are no bleeding points left behind in the area.
Dogs will generally be able to go home after just two days of recovery but there are also restrictions on the activities they can do for a month post-surgery. According to Vetary, some dogs could take more than a month before fully healing from the surgery.
Any additional expenses to consider?
Surgery to remove a ruptured spleen can be costly and are not always covered by insurance. Vets may perform tests on the dog before surgery, such as an ultrasound, x-ray, or bloodwork, in order to determine if this is indeed the problem. If so, then further testing will likely cost around $500-$1,000 depending on what type of additional exams need to be done before and after the surgery has been done.
After surgery, your dog will need to take painkillers prescribed by the doctor as well. These medications may be additional expenses not included in your estimates. Also, a collar is necessary after surgery because it prevents dogs from licking their sutures and aids in healing time. This too could cost more than what was initially estimated for these procedures during the initial consultation.
In the event that your dog is bleeding excessively, they may require a blood transfusion. The cost of such an unpleasant procedure can be about $500. In the case of emergency surgery, if it’s done after hours at either a 24-hour clinic or hospital, then this bill could increase by more than 30 to 40 percent.
Important things to consider
Spleen removal is not the end all be all. Depending on your pup’s situation, removing a spleen can make things worse in some cases and more manageable for others – so it should only be considered as an option when necessary. If you’re tempted to remove a stricken or cancerous organ, consult with your vet first before making any decisions about which course of action will suit them best.
Is there any way to spend less?
You need to do your research before making an appointment with a vet. Talk to at least three different offices around town and compare prices for what you want done, as well as the quality of care that is provided. You may be surprised how much you can save by doing proper research.
Should your aging dog happen to have a ruptured spleen, it is best that you act quickly. The surgery may not make sense financially, especially if the dog is older and near death’s door. However, vets are usually more than willing to work out payment plans or offer financing options in these cases where time could be of the essence for your furry friend.