Dog CCL Surgery Prices in 2024: Procedure and Recovery Costs

Written by Alanna Davis
Published: March 30, 2024
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Having a sick pet can be an incredibly stressful time for any family. Luckily, modern medicine has come very far throughout the years, and more animals are thriving after illness than ever before. One of the procedures that has greatly enriched the quality of life for many animals is CCL surgery. But what does this operation entail, and how much can owners expect to pay out of pocket? Let’s discuss the reasons why dogs would need CCL surgery and explore ways families can financially prepare for this procedure.

What Is Dog CCL Surgery and When Is It Necessary?

cropped view of veterinarian examining back of weimaraner dog

Cranial cruciate ligament rupture is 100% treatable and euthanasia should never be considered.

©LightField Studios/

CCL stands for cranial cruciate ligament, which is a ligament located within dogs’ knees that connects their femur to their tibia. Sometimes, this ligament can rupture, which can be painful for your animal and make daily tasks like walking more difficult. Although many people think that this condition is brought on by vigorous activity or accidents, it is most often caused by gradual degeneration. This is far from an uncommon condition, and many dogs will experience either one or both ligaments rupturing throughout their lifetime.

In some cases, this condition can be treated without CCL surgery. However, some dogs don’t respond well to alternative treatments, making this operation one of their only options. However, there is a silver lining. Because this condition is so common, this procedure is also very common, and many veterinarians have a lot of experience performing this operation. Take some time to research local veterinarians who offer this surgery before settling on one.

How Much Does Dog CCL Surgery Cost?

Even though dog CCL surgery is quite common, it is still somewhat costly. However, the price will vary based on factors like your location, the veterinarian’s experience, and whether or not you have pet insurance. On average, owners can expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000. However, there are certain methods owners can use to keep these costs down, which we’ll discuss more later on.

What Is Recovery Like After Undergoing CCL Surgery?

Asian female veterinarian checking dog with stethoscope. Vet doctor stroking pet. Careful woman working in hospital in medical suit. Concept of pets care, veterinary, healthy animals

Engaging in strenuous physical activity after surgery will interrupt your dog’s natural healing process.


After your dog has completed their CCL surgery, your vet will provide you with a detailed care plan for their recovery. According to the Canine Cruciate Center of New England, “For the first 6 months after surgery, please do not allow your dog to become more active simply because they seem comfortable and capable of doing more. They are still healing, and complete restriction of activity is essential to allow this healing to happen. Excessive activity during the first 6 months after surgery can delay the healing process and, though it is rare, stumbles or falls can potentially disrupt or compromise your dog’s surgical repair.”

During this period of time, owners should limit outdoor activity to bathroom breaks only. Owners should not encourage their dogs to engage in high-intensity physical activity such as running, jumping, playing, or chasing. Unfortunately, dogs who have experienced a ruptured CCL may also develop osteoarthritis as well. Fortunately, this condition can be managed through the use of anti-inflammatory prescription drugs. Talk to your vet to formulate a treatment plan that suits your dog’s individual needs.

Are There Alternatives to CCL Surgery?

There are a variety of alternatives to CCL surgery in dogs that can be explored prior to scheduling surgery. In particular, smaller dog breeds seem to respond well to alternative methods of treatment for this condition, such as hydrotherapy, braces, acupuncture, massage, and oral medications. While these methods may improve your dog’s condition, in certain cases, undergoing CCL surgery will be the best solution.

What Happens if You Can’t Afford CCL Surgery?

medicine, pet care and people concept - close up of french bulldog dog and veterinarian doctor hand at vet clinic - Image

Many dogs will recover fully after CCl surgery and live normal lives once more.

©Hryshchyshen Serhii/

If you already have pet insurance, this may offset the cost of CCL surgery for your dog. However, many owners realize this too late and find themselves up against a mountain of medical bills. In these cases, some veterinary offices may offer payment plan options. This allows owners to gradually pay off what would be an overwhelming bill over the course of time. In some cases, nonprofit organizations will help financially during times of medical hardship. Contact ones local to where you live to see if this is something that is offered. Veterinary medical schools may offer this procedure at a lower cost than a typical clinic. Be sure to take time to review all your options before settling on one.

Final Thoughts

Hearing the news that your dog may need to undergo surgery can be devastating. However, it’s important to maintain a positive outlook during these times. In the case of CCL surgery, many dogs recover beautifully and go on to have vibrant and full lives afterward. As always, talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s personal needs so that you can form a plan that gives them the best chance at thriving after this difficult time.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © LightField Studios/

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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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