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Fang's Story

Cat Amputation – Our cat's transition to having three legs instead of four

The Cost of Amputation Surgery

January 22nd, 2013 · 18 Comments · Fang's Story

Alright, it took me a long time to find these, and for that I apologize. I hope that they are still useful to those of you that asked!

Here are the bills for the whole amputation process. There are three. The first was the exam where they checked out Fang’s lump, and took an X-Ray of it to see what it was (10/23/12). The next was a second X-Ray of Fang’s lungs to make sure that cancer had not spread, did a urine test, and also gave me the Gabapentin to administer before surgery (10/28/12). Finally, the last bill was for the actual amputation, medications, overnight stay, etc (11/03/12). All together I paid about $2,200. It was a bit expensive but actually much less than I expected to pay for a major surgery. Hope that helps! (Click on the small images for full sized ones.. there’s a breakdown of the cost.)

11-23-12Bill-RadiographandExam

Bill for 10/23/12 – First Exam and XRay

10-28-12Bill-Radiograph

Bill for 11/04/12 – Actual Amputation

11-04-12Bill-Amputation

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • jerry

    This is very, very super duper useful, thank you so much for sharing it with is.

    I had no idea that a feline amputation would be about the same as it is for a canine. Thank you for enlightening us.

    Hey Fang I hope you’re doing well and staying out of trouble. Rock on kitty!

  • Kaitie

    Hello from BYC! Just wanted to post that for my cat’s amputation (Nancy), which included x-rays, an overnight stay and all the medication, only cost a little over $400. She only had her paw amputated to the wrist joint, but it is interesting to see the different prices in different areas.

  • cldavis

    Thanks Jerry! We are doing well – and *mostly* staying out of trouble! 😛

    Kaitie – Wow, that is MUCH more affordable. That is amazing! I feel like those prices would make it so much more feasible for some families to be able to do this for their pets, whereas it’s definitely difficult to find the cash for an over $1,000 surgery. May I ask where around abouts you guys are located? Was the vet a family friend, or did you guys have pet-insurance?

  • Kaitie

    We are located in Southern York county in PA. We first took her to the “big name” vet in the area and they quoted a little less than your’s. We definitely could not afford that, especially since her incident occurred 3 days after Christmas. We ended up finding a small rural vet that is only open 2 days a week. Since she only had to cut the dead part off at the joint (her foot had died at this point from blood loss) and then stitch her up, she said it was a quick surgery.

    We do not have insurance on the cats, but we do for the dogs. Our one lab is accident prone (bull in a china shop) and our other is elderly, so it seemed like the best choice for us.

  • chelleb78

    I live in rural AL. We have a small town vet, but he prides himself in staying current on research and treatments. He did Little Man’s biopsy, xrays, blood work, surgery, boarding for 5 days, fluids, meds… the whole nine yards for a total of about $600. My bill listed an “unnamed discount” so I’m not sure what it really would have cost us. He felt bad that this was from a reaction to a vaccine that he gave him. I often wonder if that’s why they didn’t charge us for boarding, etc. At the time, I didn’t think to ask. I was just grateful. I don’t blame him for what happened. We we’re just doing what we thought was best. Cost is a variable thing. It depends on where you live, too. Some vets offer special pricing for pets in need as well. It’s always good to ask about things like that.

  • cldavis

    Holy smokes! Well, even though we paid a lot, I feel like our vet spent a lot of time emailing with me and making sure that I was comfortable with everything that was happening with Fang’s surgery. Maybe we could have gotten that service somewhere else for cheaper, but I’m not upset about it – I mean, I feel like we bought a happy life with Fang and it was worth far more than we paid.

    HOWEVER, it looks like there are some crazzzzyyyy price differences by area, and man oh man I would suggest that people shop around a bit more, now.

    Thank you guys SO MUCH for sharing that information!

  • chelleb78

    I didn’t even think about “shopping around”. I have used that same vet for as long as I can remember. It’s the only clinic in that town, and I trust them. I was prepared to pay more, but it was a huge relief… especially since my husband was already so uncertain about everything.

    It’s really hard to put a pricetag on quality of care and improved wellbeing. YOU being comfortable with the process is all that matters. =)

    It is good to know about the price differences for those just facing amputation… to know that there are options still available even if you think you can’t afford it. You just have to know what questions to ask. I had no idea!

  • Emily Smith

    I’ve learned more from all of you in the last couple of days than I could ever have found anywhere else.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. My boy goes to the vet on Monday, so say a little prayer for him.

    Thanks again,
    Ollieburger

  • Emily Stokes

    Our cat Nina is going through a really similar situation; thank you for the helpful info!!

  • ChrisVD

    Tomorrow I’m going for second-opinion on my daughter’s 15 year old cat Princess. In past couple months a small lump just above her paw developed. We visited a local vet who advised it was not advisable to treat her, let it go its natural course, her prognosis about 3 months to live. Well, the lump is very big now. But she is as healthy as a 15 year old cat can be if one overlooks the fibralsarcoma of her paw and resulting difficulty to walk (limp). I know if left its ‘natural course’ she will not survive much longer. I even have discussed burial vs cremation alternatives with my daughter. Yet the more I read on the internet the more optimism for options to save her exist it seems. Therefore ‘a second opinion’ tomorrow from another vet. The first vet told us amputation would be cruel for our cats quality of life. yet I read of how cats adapt. Your info on variance of costs for amputation also gives me hope I can find a ‘reasonable’ charge for a vet’s services to amputate. I will let y’all know how things go. Meanwhile, if any reader lives in BC Canada or Washington State (I live in Vancouver BC) and know a great vet that can do it for $1000 or less, please leave a message. Thank you, and my best wishes for all your treasured pets.

    • cldavis

      I’m so sorry to hear about Princess. It’s difficult to have your fur kid go through this.

      I am very surprised that the vet you saw did not see amputation as a viable option – either there is more to the story than I think there is (did they find out that it was cancerous and has spread throughout the body?) or I have to really wonder about the merits of the vet. Cats do extremely well on three legs, and have great quality of life (unless they are too overweight or arthritic to support themselves). If there’s cancer that metastasized to the lungs, then I can understand perhaps not going with amputation since Princess is 15 and would have to go through surgery recoup and then chemo (which can certainly work for kitties, by the way). I think it’s really smart that you’re getting second opinion on this. I’m sorry that you got such bad advice that has now made you wait for some time until the lump has had the opportunity to grow. For pricing information, the Tripawds community is huge and I really suggest creating a post on the forums to ask people in your area what sorts of prices they got. There is a huge variance in price over different areas, usually seeming to go along with the cost of living. Please try it out – there’s so much support, information, advice and love right there at your finger-tips – I promise: http://tripawds.com/forums/

  • Tracy Vilar

    My fur baby Sydney is going to have to have her front leg leg amputated. I’m so upset! It’s going to cost anywhere from 1400-1700 my vet says. I know the price is prob a lil high, but I feel like I have to do it for her. She’s my best friend! I can’t let her go with out trying.

  • Renee J.

    We live in Alexandria, VA. It can be pricey because of the proximity to DC. Our 9yr old cat was diagnosed with anaplastic sarcoma. We paid our vet for the visits, and cytology. We were referred to an Oncologist who charged $225 for the consult. We paid $350 for the chest x-ray, abdominal ultrasound, and radiologist reading. They confirmed diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma, that it has not metastasized, recommended partial leg amputation. I called their surgery department to schedule and was quoted a $125 consult fee,and $3,500-$4,000 for the surgery. Does not include medications or follow-up care.

    • cldavis

      Wow! I have heard that some areas are more expensive than others, but I am really amazed at the price they are charging you. I am so sorry that you and your kitty are going through this; I hope that everything will be better soon. Is there a possibility for you to take a trip over state lines, to maybe find a vet that is a little bit better in terms of price? It’s a lot of driving, but might be worth it.

      • Renee J.

        I’ve put a call in to our regular vet to see if they have the surgical capabilities there, they have always been so affordable and they help where-ever they can, like waiving exam room fees and giving us a military discount (my husband is active). This specialist is also a 24hr emergency kind of place, and it seems they are quoting emergency surgery level fees. I was extremely put off by the “surgical consult fee” given that my vet, and the oncologist have already physically examined her and recommended this surgery along with discussing the details. Especially considering the surgery is at the same office as the oncologist but “different departments”. We are looking around at other options.

  • Adrienne C

    Our cat started to drag his front leg last week. We went to a vet that came recommended by friends. We had a steroid shot for $116, xrays and blood work for $1100, another blood test to test for a blood clot for $120 and today is an echo for his heart at $410. The vet is very nice but I feel no one knows what’s wrong and lets do every test out there to see if we can find something. I think paw amputation is probably on his horizon as it is cold and getting hard due to lack of blood getting to it. I can’t imagine how much that is going to cost. I hope they work with us since we already spent a small fortune just doing inconclusive tests. BTW I am from Long Island so I am sure the prices are extremely high because of that reason too. 🙁

    • cldavis

      I’m sorry to hear that. Here’s hoping that you don’t need an amputation, but if you do, you can always shop around for a better price. They seem to vary considerably depending upon where you are. Our fur-babies sure can cost a lot! But, it’s worth it for their well-being.

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