In this article: What is anterior cruciate ligament surgery? | How does ACL surgery coverage work? | What companies cover anterior cruciate ligament surgery? | Annual cost | Is ACL surgery common for dogs? | Is ACL surgery common for cats? | bottom line | questions and answers
If your pet has ruptured the ACL, pet insurance companies usually cover the surgery to treat it. However, because ACL problems are so expensive to treat, they are often subject to longer waiting times and stricter exceptions than other conditions.
The Home Media team breaks down these exceptions to help pet owners know what to expect Best pet insurance providers When it comes to an anterior cruciate ligament tear.
What is an anterior cruciate ligament injury?
Technically, animals do not have ACLs. This is the name of one of the ligaments in the human knee that connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). In your four-legged friend, this is called the cranial cruciate ligament, and there is one in each hind leg. However, since this ligament is generally referred to as the “anterior cruciate ligament,” this is what we call it.
An ACL tear is a fairly common injury to a dog’s knee joint, called the stifle joint. Cats can also tolerate ACL injuries, although they are more common in active dogs. A cruciate ligament injury can be part of a larger traumatic injury, or it can simply be the result of a dog landing awkwardly when running or jumping. It can also occur in older pets due to long-term wear and tear. Obesity is a risk factor for an ACL rupture because excess weight puts more stress on the joints.
What is anterior cruciate ligament surgery?
Cruciate ligament injuries are serious. Your pet will not be able to put much weight on the affected leg, and often surgery is required. There are several types of ACL surgery depending on the size of your pet and the severity of the problem.
- Side Stitching/Outside the Portfolio Repair: The strong suture creates a new false ligament to replace the torn ligament. Over time, the joint will settle as scar tissue develops.
- Osteotomy for tibial plateau settling (TPLO): Cutting, reshaping and rotating the top of the shin creates a more stable joint. Essentially, the weight will be distributed differently over the joint so that the ACL is not needed.
- Tibial tuberosity progression (TTA): Similar to TPLO, this procedure also cuts through the upper leg but secures it using steel plates and bone grafts.
After surgery, your pet will likely need physical therapy to complete his recovery. This may or may not fall under standard pet insurance coverage.
How does ACL surgery coverage work?
If covered, using pet health insurance for ACL surgery works similarly to other vet bills. After an initial visit to diagnose the problem and discuss treatment options, you will determine when the procedure will be done and any necessary admission to hospital. You will pay out of your own pocket, file a claim with your insurance company and receive compensation. The amount you receive will be determined by your chosen repayment rate, coverage limit, and discount. Coverage applies to all medical expenses, including X-rays, other scans, surgery costs, and medications.
However, it excludes all pet insurance coverage Pre-existing conditions Any health conditions that appear before the waiting period ends. Most policies have waiting periods of two to seven days for accidents or 14 to 30 days for injuries, but some providers have special restrictions for orthopedic problems, such as ACL injuries and hip dysplasia. For these providers, you will have to wait six to 12 months for coverage, and any issues that arise before the end of that period will not be covered.
Additionally, some companies have binary exceptions to the terms. This means that if your pet has ACL problems in one of their hind legs, the ACL problems in the other back leg will be considered a pre-existing condition and are therefore excluded from coverage. Since providers will be able to see your pet’s medical history, even a history of lameness at annual checkups may be enough to deny coverage. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy pet insurance when your pet is young and in good health.
What companies cover anterior cruciate ligament surgery?
Here are the details of ACL surgery coverage offered by recommended pet insurance providers.
Lemonade ACL surgery coverage
Lemonade Basic Pet Accident and Illness Insurance will cover ACL surgery. However, the company requires a waiting period of six months for “cruciate ligament events”. This means that if your pet shows signs of lameness or lameness at any time during that time, ACL treatments will not be covered, even if you do not seek primary veterinary care. Additionally, if you want physical therapy coverage, you’ll need to purchase a private add-on for about $2 to $5 extra per month.
To learn more: Pet lemonade insurance review
Coverage of localized anterior cruciate ligament surgery
If you’re concerned about ACL issues in the near future, Spot Pet Insurance only has a 14-day waiting period for all accidents and injuries. This is the shortest possible waiting period for an ACL injury. Spot progress – accidents only Pet insurance at a lower cost – which will cover sudden ACL injuries – but if your pet’s joints fail over time, you’ll need an accident and illness plan. It’s also worth noting that, unlike some providers, Spot has no upper age limit for new registrations, although premiums will be higher for larger pets.
To learn more: Spot Pet Insurance Review
Trupanion ACL surgery coverage
The Trupanion Basic Accident and Illness Plan will cover the treatment of ACL problems, whether they result from an injury or deterioration of the joint over time. With the Recovery and Supplemental Care add-on, you can add coverage for rehabilitative therapy for $2 to $30 per month. Trupanion has a five-day waiting period for accidents and a 30-day waiting period for illnesses, but there is no additional waiting period for ACL problems. There is also no specific exception to the binary clause, which is unique to this list.
To learn more: Trupanion Pet Insurance Review
Bring ACL surgery coverage
Fetch by Dodo offers one accident and illness plan that covers ACL surgery, but there is a six-month waiting period for all injuries of the hips and knees. However, if you have a vet examine your pet in the first 30 days of your policy and certify that there were no previous knee problems, you can waive this waiting period. In this case, only the normal 15-day waiting period applies for all accidents and illnesses. Fetch will also cover rehabilitation after surgery.
To learn more: Bring Through Dodo Pet Insurance Review
Embrace ACL surgery coverage
Similar to Fetch, Embrace also offers a one-stop accident and illness plan with a six-month waiting period for orthopedic conditions including cruciate ligament problems. There is also an orthopedic test and exemption process that can reduce this waiting period to 14 days after a vet exam. Bilateral conditions are not covered, but some forms of rehabilitation, such as hydrotherapy, are.
To learn more: Embrace pet insurance review
Health coverage for anterior cruciate ligament surgery
Through the Accident and Sickness Plan, Healthy Paws will cover ACL surgery after only a 15-day waiting period. There are also no maximum payments per accident, year or lifetime. However, bilateral conditions are excluded.
To learn more: Pet health insurance review
Discreet coverage for pet ACL surgery
Prudent Pet offers an accident only plan that will cover ACL surgery as a result of injury as well as an accident and illness plan to cover chronic conditions. There is a six-month waiting period for knee and ligament problems that can be waived with a physical examination. Like many insurance companies, Prudent Pet includes bilateral exclusion for ACL problems.
To learn more: Wise Pet Insurance Review
Annual cost of anterior cruciate ligament surgery coverage
Here are some Sample pricing For plans covering anterior cruciate ligament surgery. These prices do not include wellness or preventive care add-ons to cover immunizations, sterilization and other anticipated healthcare costs.
*Our sample pricing is based on quotes we received for a 4 year old male dog, medium sized, mixed breed, medium sized, medium sized and 4 year old male dog in Denver.
Is ACL surgery common for dogs?
Fortunately, only about 5% of male dogs neutered before the age of 1 and 8% of female dogs have cruciate ligament problems. However, about half of dogs who have an ACL injury in one leg will eventually injure the other. The following dog breeds are more likely to break this ligament over time, eventually causing it to tear or rupture.
- Labrador retrievers
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
Is ACL surgery common for cats?
ACL problems are less common in cats, but they do occur. A partial tear or tear may be managed with medications, joint supplements, and exercise restriction. However, if there is no noticeable improvement after about six weeks or so, surgery is usually the next course of action.
Conclusion: Does pet insurance cover ACL surgery?
ACL surgery is usually covered by a standard pet insurance policy, but there are some basic limitations, including long waiting times and exceptions for the bilateral case. Overall, Spot and Healthy Paws provides pet parents with faster coverage for an ACL problem, and Trupanion offers full coverage of ACL treatments (including surgery).
Frequently Asked Questions About Pet ACL Surgery
Methodology: Our ranking system for the best pet insurance companies
Our review of pet insurance companies is based on in-depth industry research that includes reading hundreds of customer reviews, simulating the bid and purchase process, speaking to representatives on the phone to assess customer service experience and surveying 1,000 dog and cat owners nationwide in order to identify the most important elements Pet insurance coverage. We scored each provider on a 100-point scale based on those items.
Here are more details about each factor and how they are weighted:
- Monthly Pricing (25 points): How much each company charges for pet insurance plans is an important part of a customer’s decision. The best pet insurance companies combine comprehensive coverage with affordable plan options.
- Plans (15 points): The best pet insurance companies offer accident and sickness plans, accident-only plans, and add-ons for wellness or preventative care to give customers the option to choose a plan that is better for their pet.
- Covered treatments (15 points): With this factor, we ranked companies based on the treatments and procedures they cover. Companies with a wider range of built-in treatments and unique coverage scored more points than providers with more standard or generic policies.
- Customization options (10 points): Customizing your policy is a valuable way to make sure you only pay for what your pet needs. Providers with more options for annual limit, discount rate, and reimbursement received the highest scores.
- Customer Service (10 points): We scored companies on their websites’ overall accessibility and usability, customer service availability, mobile apps (if applicable), money-back guarantees and telehealth options, awarding points to insurance companies with more customer experience offerings.
- Industry reputation (10 points): To determine each company’s industry reputation, we reviewed recent ratings and certification information from Better Business Bureau (BBB) and companies listed on their years of industry experience and availability in the country.
- Waiting Periods (10 points): Companies with shorter waiting times for accidents, illness, and orthopedics between the date of subscription and the date of coverage start scored higher than companies with longer waiting times.
- Eligible age (5 points): Some companies do not offer policies for pets over a certain age. We have deducted points from providers that have age limits for covered pets.
We use our ranking system to compare each company against key factors to help us determine the best pet insurance companies in the industry. In addition, we keep our research up to date and revisit our reviews on a regular basis.