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Does Pet Insurance Cover Hip Dysplasia?

For those with canine or feline pets, the phrase "hip dysplasia" is not unfamiliar. Being one of the most common and possibly deadly diseases afflicting cats and dogs today, hip dysplasia is a disorder everyone should be aware of before acquiring a new puppy or kitten. The condition often causes so much pain to pets and is also very expensive to treat. As such, many pet owners are eager to know whether pet insurance covers hip dysplasia. This article answers the question, “Does pet insurance cover hip dysplasia?" Let's get started.


Here are the things we will be discussing:

What's the issue at hand: Hip dysplasia in pets

How to prevent it: Not breeding pets with the condition

The question is: Does pet insurance cover hip dysplasia?


What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a condition that arises as a consequence of faulty development of the hip joints — the ball and socket joints. The ball is the femoral head, while the socket is located in one of the pelvic bones called the acetabulum. In an ideal situation, the acetabulum should fit the femoral head tightly. However, hip dysplasia occurs when the bones of the ball and socket joints do not fit together correctly. This results in an incomplete subluxation, wherein the ball slides in and out of the socket.

This condition often causes the cartilage and hip bones to deteriorate as the pet ages, leading to high chances of developing arthritis, muscular atrophy, and diminished mobility. Research has shown that hip dysplasia is hereditary, and large-breed dogs are at a higher risk.

hip dysplasia in dogs

How to prevent hip dysplasia in pets

Dog breeders have a critical role in minimizing the occurrence of hip dysplasia. One strategy to prevent passing the illness down to future generations is not to breed dogs that already have it. This is because hip dysplasia is often a hereditary condition. You should only buy pets from reputable breeders who thoroughly vet their animals for health problems. Furthermore, you can reduce your pet’s chances of developing hip dysplasia in the following ways:

  • Monitoring the pet's skeletal development.
  • Feeding it a healthy diet.
  • Not exercising the pet too much when it is still young or at risk.
  • Supplementing its diet with essential nutrients.
  • Testing it for the condition early on.
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How much does dog hip dysplasia surgery cost?

It is easy to see why many pet owners are often concerned about the cost of hip dysplasia surgery. While the cost of hip dysplasia surgery in dogs can be high in most cases, the actual price can vary depending on the specific method utilized.

  • The femoral head osteotomy (FHO) is a surgical procedure that removes the ball of the joint and is used to control discomfort rather than cure it. This surgery can cost from $1,200 to $2,500.
  • Dog double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO). This technique includes joint reconstruction, costing about $3,000 for both hips.
  • Total hip replacement (THR). As the name suggests, total hip replacement (THR) is a technique that replaces the complete hip joint with artificial implants, similar to a human hip replacement.

A total hip replacement for a dog may cost between $3,500 and $7,000 (including any required medications or blood tests), with a double replacement possibly costing up to $14,000.

Is hip dysplasia covered under pet insurance?

Most pet insurance plans cover hip dysplasia within certain limits. Because hip dysplasia is a congenital abnormality, symptoms often appear before or around delivery time. Yet, your pet may not exhibit any symptoms of hip dysplasia until it is an adult or senior. At this point, the hip will have degenerated substantially.

The best approach to ensuring you can afford to treat your dog if it develops hip dysplasia is to enroll in comprehensive hip insurance as soon as possible. No pet insurance provider will cover diseases that have already been identified before the effective date of the pet insurance policy. Several pet insurances that cover hip dysplasia allocate unique waiting periods for such orthopedic conditions. The waiting time is usually 6–12 months. Furthermore, where there is a bilateral condition exclusion, coverage for dysplasia in both hips may be unavailable if your pet has symptoms in one hip before or during the waiting period.

Top pet insurance companies that cover hip dysplasia

The following are some of the best pet insurance companies for pets with hip dysplasia:

Spot

Spot Pet Insurance provides a selection of plans that may cover a broad range of medical expenditures, including those related to frequent accidents and diseases (such as hip dysplasia) and preventive treatment if desired. Both dogs and cats may benefit from these insurance plans. If a pet's hip dysplasia is not a preexisting disease, owners may be entitled to a refund for alternative therapies, diagnostic tests, treatments, drugs, and surgery. Spot offers pet owners a variety of pet insurance policies, each with its annual benefit limit (which may range from $2,500 to infinite coverage).

With an annual deductible ranging from $100 to $1,000, you may choose 70%, 80%, or 90% coverage for qualified medical expenses. You must wait 14 days before filing a claim for any reimbursed pet-related costs. If your pet needs medical attention during this time or exhibits signs of hip dysplasia before the waiting period expires, it is typically assumed that they have a preexisting condition.

ASPCA

As long as hip dysplasia is not a preexisting ailment, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) will cover the expenses. The insurance provider has guaranteed coverage for over 400,000 dogs and cats and has handled over 1.6 million claims. These plans cover a variety of genetic and congenital disorders, including hip dysplasia. ASPCA assists with some expenditures, including examinations, treatments, prescription medications, alternative medicine, and surgery.

When you purchase pet insurance from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), you may choose between an accident-only or an accident-and-sickness plan. To ensure your pet's veterinary insurance covers hip dysplasia, choose the accident and sickness protection option with a complete coverage plan. When an accident or disease is reported, treatment usually takes 14 days. This coverage will cover your pet if hip dysplasia is not diagnosed before the end of the term.

Lemonade

Hip dysplasia incurs long-term medical maintenance expenditures, such as prescription drugs and specialist therapy, that can quickly accumulate into several thousands of dollars. As a result, Lemonade pet insurance ensures that pet owners can pay their medical fees by providing financial coverage of up to $100,000 per year and easy access to their insurance via their mobile app. If you're enrolling a young pup at Lemonade, there is a six-month waiting period for hip dysplasia and other orthopedic problems.

Embrace

This insurance policy allows pet owners to be reimbursed for vet visits, diagnostic tests, treatments, and even surgery for their furry pets. Although Embrace covers bilateral conditions if neither side has a preexisting condition, coverage for the other hip will be withdrawn if one side is diagnosed or treated. For sickness, the waiting period is 14 days; for accidents, it is 48 hours; and for orthopedic disorders, it is six months. This implies that you cannot use your pet's insurance to pay for hip dysplasia treatment for the first six months.

If you go to your veterinarian and seek an orthopedic examination and waiver, the six-month waiting time might be shortened to 14 days. When you purchase your insurance policy, you can choose an annual limit ranging from $5,000 to $30,000, and there is no limit to how much you can spend on this coverage.

Fetch pet insurance

Fetch Pet Insurance, formerly known as Petplan, is another alternative to pet insurance that covers conditions like hip dysplasia. If hip dysplasia is not a pre-existing condition and no claims are submitted during the six-month waiting period, Fetch will cover the expenditures. Fetch coverage may cover several medical expenses, including screenings, diagnostic tests, treatments, therapies, surgeries, rehabilitation, and more.

You can build a pet insurance policy with Fetch that reimburses you for 70%, 80%, or 90% of the permitted treatment costs. Three different yearly deductible amounts are available: $300, $500, and $700. Your pet will be regarded as having a preexisting ailment if they are diagnosed with hip dysplasia or exhibit symptoms before the six-month waiting period (from when your insurance is activated).

Bottom line

An excellent way to acquire the best pet insurance for hip dysplasia is to sign up for a policy with no breed limitations or long waiting periods. For dogs of breeds considered prone to hip dysplasia, it is best to arrange a veterinary evaluation well before any possible issues. This examination is often performed using standard X-rays. You can supplement your accident and sickness pet insurance with preventive care coverage, which will pay for certain vet expenditures, including yearly exams, immunizations, heartworm testing, and regular orthopedic checkups.

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