Pet Insurance for CCL Repairs

Owners beware, obtaining health insurance for a dog with a known cranial cruciate injury is next to impossible, and most pet insurance companies will not pay for a CCL repair surgery if your dog has not been an incident-free, premium paying, member of their policy for at least one year.  Even dog owners with pet insurance often have a difficult time seeking reimbursement for the surgery, and this is something every pet insurance holding dog owner should be aware of.

Pet Insurance for CCL Repairs

Some plans, such as VPI, say they accept post-operative CCL dogs after a period of one year following recovery, but dogs with pre-existing conditions are often subject to higher monthly premiums and higher per visit or per service deductibles.  If you and your pet are faced with a surgery and you do not already have a pet insurance policy, you would be better off in the long run paying for the surgery out of the pocket and trying to obtain coverage after your dog has gotten out of the recovery window.  The last thing you want to do at this difficult time is to burden yourself with disputes with your insurance company, or wait for an insurance company to dictate when your dog may have his surgery performed.

7 thoughts on “Pet Insurance for CCL Repairs

  1. You have done a lot of work on this blog. I’m sure it will be very helpful to many dog owners going through the saem thing.

    You are right about the pet insurance. Just like any other insurance a pre-existing condition is usually not covered.

  2. wasnt going to leave a message,but thought id let you know that I know of NO pet health insurance that will insure EITHER knee, once one knee has had this TPLO surgery or injury. they say that the other knee (even if certified by your vet as being A-OK, is considered a pre existing injury. What a rip off.
    better to start saving fund for your dog now so that if the other knee goes out, you’ll at least have a start of funds.

    ps my dog is my service dog, and im paying $4500.00 (first bill hasnt come in yet) on a credit card. with my fixed income if will take years and years.

    goood luck

  3. what is moderation? i cant find my post on asking for financial assistance for my dog. Is it out there somewhere, or has it been denied? I love her so much that i will do anything for her even though i am on a fixed income and put it on a charge card. she is my service dog and she takes such good care of me that i would do anything for her. in CA it was 4500.00. Im sort of worried about paying it back, but she is far more important to me than money. It only took her a second to get injured, and I still cant believe it. I think she is getting better, but her knee or ankle (i cant tell which) cracks (like people do with thier fingers sometimes) when she gets up. I couldnt just wait to have her fixed because without her, i was nothing and nobody and doing less than existing. she has turned my life around, and it’s the very leat i can do for her. even if you cant help (i read all the other letters above), I will understand. I wouldnt have changed my decision for anything. She has changed my life so much I cant even tell you. I dont have an website and i hope it doesnt matter. My email is   Please know that I am praying for all the dogs I read about above. Ive never asked for financial help until now. it is very hard to do. But Promise is worth it and 1000 times more. Im asking for her even though it will help me by putting my mind at ease. Also, the vet says she will need a shot in her muscle for the rest of her life that is expensive. I don’t know there is anyone out there who can help, but thank you for listening, and good luck with your dogs. I can tell that you love them as much as I love mine.  PJ

  4. My rescue dog was given a 30 day Pet Insurance gift policy by the rescue group from Shelter Care (Now 24 Petwatch Pet Health Insurance) He became ill in that 30 days and I bought a policy to keep him covered. However, the 30 day gift policy you cannot “renew” or “upgrade” so it is not considered a continuation of coverage. The second policy to continue coverage is considered a new policy and nothing that happened prior to the end of the 30 days is covered. What a joke that is. However, between myself, the rescue and the veterinarian arguing with them for coverage under the 30 day gift policy for a tick bite that resulted in Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia, they did eventually cover about $600 of the $1200 that it cost to treat him. Now that 24 Pet Watch has bought out the company, they seem to be a little better at following their own policies. You do have to stay on top of your submittals though and be aware of the time window to contest a denial. My dog is having both knees done and the Pet Insurance only covers up to $3000 total as both knees are considered the same problem..Again, “who is making those stupid decisions”. That is like saying you can only have braces covered for your top teeth and you are on your own for the bottom. His surgery was $4400 with some preliminary xrays and blood work being done at my vets. My particular coverage is 70% minus a $100 deductible per incident. I anticipate using all $3000 on the first knee and will be on my own for the second knee. It doesn’t make any sense but I found that most insurance consider cruciate surgeries as bilateral and that both legs count as one item…really stupid but it is better than having nothing covered at this point.

  5. Hey All,
    First post. My 11 year old english pointer (with a host of complicated health problems) just got Dx’ed with CCl rupture. I’m glad I found this site and still trying to digest a lot of what is here.

    I just thought I’d start by mentioning I’ve always had my dogs covered with VPI pet insurance. I’ve used it A LOT. They’ve been wonderful with me over the last 15 years or so.

    My dog’s CCL rupture and future repair is covered, that being said, VPI doesn’t cover CCL damage that happens within the first year of coverage. This particular dog (her name is Mocha) has the “standard” plan coverage that amounts to $745 for a surgical repair, not counting some additional benefits for anesthesia and x-rays and such.

    Granted, that’s probably a ways off of the total cost, but I’ll be happy to take it. For what it’s worth, for my other hunting dog (Tripper), I signed him up on VPI’s superior coverage. If it were him, VPI base coverage is $1450.

    I’m a pretty big proponent of pet insurance and I do often recommend VPI as they’ve worked well for me helping out on the bills when one dog caught blastomycosis and when Mocha (the knee injury) was diagnosed with addison’s.

    FYI, My regular vet will do the CCL suture (I think they called it De’Angelo’s suture) for $450 incidentals. I’m calling around because I think I like the tightrope. I’ll just have to balance that cost Vs. the $745 that VPI will pay.

    I expect I’ll be back and questions and perhaps a comment or two.


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