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Home > Dogs > Does Pet Insurance Cover Hip Dysplasia? Standard Policies & FAQ

Does Pet Insurance Cover Hip Dysplasia? Standard Policies & FAQ

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The short answer is, some pet insurance companies do cover hip dysplasia, but only before the issue is diagnosed.  If your dog has a pre-existing condition, it will most likely not be covered.

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What is Hip Dysplasia?

Your dog’s hip joints are under a lot of pressure as they run, jump, walk, and play. It bears most of the load from their upper body weight when they launch themselves into motion and move about. When the ball and socket of the hip joints haven’t grown in equal amounts, the joint wears prematurely and causes pain that can eventually make it difficult for them to move.

This is an inherited condition called hip dysplasia.  Of the animals that have hip dysplasia, 95% of them will show evidence through x-rays by the time they are two years old.  What the x-rays won’t show is the severity of the disease, or when the dog will begin having problems.

Hip dysplasia model of a dog
Image Credit: Einar Muoni, Shutterstock

What are the Symptoms?

In the beginning, there may be no symptoms. But at some point, you may see one or more of these:

  • Stiffness in their back legs
  • A decrease in thigh muscle mass
  • Reduced activity
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or get up
  • Shoulder muscle growth from compensating for the pain in their hips

Cost of Treatment

Depending on your vet, an initial consultation averages between $50 and $150.  X-rays will be necessary to determine the condition of the hip joint.  They can run from $60 to $180 and up, depending on how many views need to be seen.

To better understand copay and deductibles, we recommend checking a few different companies to compare policies and find the one that best fits your needs.

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If surgery is a necessity, costs can go from $1,000 to upwards of $12,000.  There are many different types of surgery, depending on if one or both hips are affected, and to what extent.  Cost is determined by the type of surgery and the size of your dog. Afterwards, there will be follow-up appointments, postoperative pain management drugs, and possibly orthopedics.  Of course, all these prices could vary geographically.

Dog Hip Dysplasia
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

Companies that Cover Hip Dysplasia

  • Many Pets
  • Spot
  • ASPCA
  • Embrace
  • Fetch Pet

Each of these insurances clearly state that they do not cover pre-existing conditions.  It is nearly impossible to quote a monthly price without filling out an application.  There are many different plans, depending on your chosen deductible, and all the many services that you can choose from to be covered.

pet insurance coverage
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Prevention

Of course, prevention is always a better option than treatment, but because hip dysplasia is hereditary, it may not be preventable. However, there are things you can do to help keep your pet healthy as long as possible.

  • Supplements – You can purchase supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Proper nutrition
  • Proper exercise – Your veterinarian may recommend that you take your dog for two 20 minute walks each day, allowing your dog to set the pace
  • Braces – Although these aren’t actually a form of prevention for hip dysplasia, they do help prevent more pain

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Conclusion

There are only a few insurance companies that cover hip dysplasia, and none of those will cover pre-existing issues. Issues can be detected in X-rays as early as two years old. Although it is a hereditary disorder, there are many things that you can do to keep your pet healthy and mobile for as long as possible.


Featured Image Credit: tomas devera photo, Shutterstock

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