Bone Infection Average Cost

From 257 quotes ranging from $500 - 2,500

Average Cost

$1,000

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What is Bone Infection?

Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of the bone or bone marrow resulting from a bacterial or fungal infection. The inflammation can be either acute or chronic and typically spreads from other areas of the body, most often when infection is carried to the bone by the bloodstream. The source of the infection must be documented in order to determine proper treatment and care.

A bone infection, otherwise known as osteomyelitis, is an inflammation of the bone or bone marrow. This typically occurs as a result of contamination from a wound or fracture or is carried over from another part of the body. Osteomyelitis is considered a serious condition and must be addressed immediately.

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Symptoms of Bone Infection in Dogs

Depending on the location of the infection, symptoms of osteomyelitis may vary. Initial signs of bone infection include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Depression

If a limb is affected by the inflammation, your dog may exhibit lameness or an inability to move the limb. As the infection spreads, additional symptoms may include:

  • Muscle wasting
  • Pus-filled discharge

Causes of Bone Infection in Dogs

Osteomyelitis is caused by an infection, either bacterial or fungal, that permeates the bone or has traveled to the bone from another part of the body. A bacterial infection can be caused by any pathogenic bacteria and is most commonly a result of surgery or contamination from a wound, such as a bite wound or a bone fracture. Care is needed both during and following any surgery to prevent contamination. Fungal infections vary based on geographical distribution and are usually carried to the bone from another site.

Specific Causes
  • Area trauma
  • Fractures
  • Post-surgery
  • Prosthetic joint implantation
  • Open wounds
  • Wildlife wounds
  • Bite wounds
  • Claw wounds
  • Systemic infections reaching bones

Diagnosis of Bone Infection in Dogs

If your veterinarian suspects that your dog has a bone infection, you will be asked to provide a complete history during an initial examination. This, combined with blood work and a urinalysis, allows the veterinarian to develop a more complete profile of your dog’s overall health. Evidence of infection may be revealed through blood cultures, deep fine-needle aspiration, a bone biopsy, or cytology, any of which may be recommended depending on your dog’s condition.

Lab work and further diagnostic tests, such as an x-ray, may be needed to reveal the location of the inflammation and make treatment more reliable. An ultrasound can provide a clearer image of the bones, allowing your veterinarian to determine the extent of the inflammation and the sites that need to be addressed. A culture of pus or other fluid around the infection site may be taken in order to identify the organism causing the infection, the result of which will help determine best treatment options.

Treatment of Bone Infection in Dogs

Osteomyelitis may require multiple steps to treat, depending on the extent of the infection. There are two main options for treatment, though both require that the wound is cleaned and that pus is drained from the infected area. If the infection occurred as the result of a bone fracture, the bone will need to be stabilized, and dead fragments of bone may need to be surgically removed.

Medical Treatment

A vigorous course of antibiotics can address the source of the infection. Oral or injected antibiotics are typically required for the long term to ensure that the infection is entirely cleared out. Once the results of the culture have been returned, your veterinarian will be able to identify the antibiotics needed to treat the infection and to prevent it from growing. Antifungal medications can be prescribed for a fungal infection.

Surgical Treatment

Depending on the extent of the infection, surgery may be required to drain the affected area, debride the wound, and remove large portions of dead tissue surrounding the fracture. If the fracture is severe enough, your veterinarian may recommend the use of plates, pins, or screws to stabilize the bone. Unfortunately, due to the risk of the infection spreading to other parts of the body, amputation may be necessary in order to save your dog’s life.

Recovery of Bone Infection in Dogs

The recovery process for osteomyelitis can be a long one. If the original injury was severe, your dog may not be able to put any weight on the affected limb. The bone will need to be stabilized while it heals, which means that any activity must be restricted and that general movement will be limited. You should create a quiet, secure space for your dog to rest in while the fracture heals and limit the number of distractions that may cause anxiety or discomfort during this time.

Antibiotics will likely be administered throughout the healing process. You will need to bring your dog to your veterinarian for follow up examinations at set intervals to check your dog’s response to treatment and to monitor the healing process. X-rays and blood work may be repeated to ensure that the bone is stabilized and that the infection is resolving.

Cost of Bone Infection in Dogs

A bone infection can usually be treated medically or surgically. Medically speaking, the wound would need to be cleaned and drained of pus. The veterinarian will usually prescribe injectable antibiotics which can cost between $15 and $38. If the cause of the bone infection is fungal then an antifungal medication would be prescribed. Ketoconazole 200mg usually costs $100 per 100 ct. If the bone infection is surrounding a fracture then it will need to be treated surgically. Once again, the wound would need to be cleaned and drained of pus. The veterinarian may need to remove large portions of the dead tissue in order to get to the fracture. This can cost between $1,500 and $2,250. Plates, pins or screws may be needed to stabilize the bone which can add an additional $500 to the bill. However, more often than not the infection is at risk of spreading throughout the body and causing death. In these cases the veterinarian will suggest amputation in order to save your dog’s life. Amputation usually costs between $400 and $900.

Bone Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Bear
Rottweiler
6 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

I have a 6 yr old male Rottweiler with history of trauma on front leg due to playing with our Lab. Front leg swelled up, and is now getting worse-approx 3-4 Times size over last several months. In last 2 weeks has rapidly become lumpy looking-like ping pong balls under skin. We thought he had just injured it, like in the past and the vet would say it will absolve itself. This time it hasn’t. Took him to vet, he felt of it and told us it’s bone cancer or soft tissue cancer-no doubt. He said no need to X-ray. Could it be a bone infection? He is still walking-will not eat his regular food but has appetite for chicken/broth and anything not dry dog food. He has lost weight over last month. He is very alert and doesn’t seem to be in pain. Vet sent us home with tramadol and novox. In your opinion, should I ask vet if it could be bone infection and maybe try antibiotic? If so, what antibiotic would you recommend and for what duration? Vet recommended we keep him comfortable until he no longer gets around or eats and then put him to sleep. I’m heartbroken...

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations
I would suggest having a biopsy taken to determine the underlying cause; with x-rays some bone cancers and inflammation can look similar so can be unrewarding. The biopsy will be able to determine the specific underlying cause of the issue and will allow for treatment to be directed effectively; if it is a bone cancer, amputation may be an option. It may be worth visiting another Veterinarian in your area to ask their opinion and to get a biopsy done. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Rocco
Doberman Pinscher
6.5
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My 6 year old doberman Rocco has had a lump on his back paw for a year or so. we were constantly told by our vet to just monitor it and bring him in if it changes or bothers him. it never has and still doesnt bother him. Recently he started limping with his front leg. we brought him in and they gave a round of metacam - limp did not imporve. We went back and had xrays done and told the vet to aspirate the lump - the lump came back as spindle cell. One vet said it's bone cancer - euthanize him. Pretty heartless, considering she's not even an oncologist. She was the vet in on the weekends and only going by the x-ray and the fact that the back leg has the tumor.
We took him back on Monday to our regular vet and he said it could be an infection and not related to the tumor, but because of the tumor, there is a large chance the cancer has spread and is causing osteosarcoma in the front.
Rocco is in good spirits still, just a little lame due to pain. Vet says we can start the antibiotics to see if anything imporves or get a biopsy which many people don't do because it is so painful. We are stuck and don't know what to do. We also have a young child at home and finances are tight.
My last few days have been awful.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations
Decisions can be difficult when talking about the life of a loved one, I would recommend removal of the lump with a wide margin (even if it means partial amputation of the paw) which can then be sent for histological examination. The histology report would give an indication to the type of mass and the overall prognosis. Antibiotics can be given, but a biopsy or mass removal would be my next step to get to the bottom of the overall problem. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sophie
Doberman Pinscher
8 mos
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Intermittently won't use leg

Medication Used

Clindamycin Hydrochloride

When my pup was 3 mos old she got a deep cut in the pad of front right paw. It was cleaned and sutured by vet and in a splint for 6 weeks. She was on antibiotics for first 2 weeks. She is 8 mos now and frequently won't step on that leg for about a day, then runs like crazy next several days before it occurrs again. X-rays show a bone deformity. Does this sound like a bone infection? She is starting antibiotics again today for 2 weeks.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations
Bone deformities may occur for a few reasons including infection, trauma, inflammation, growth defects among other causes. I cannot say whether the cause is infectious, but the area may just be sensitive since her injury as a pup; activity may cause pain leading her to favour that leg and then the day after she’s fine again. If there is no improvement after this next course of antibiotics, I would just keep an eye on it; the next step would be a bone biopsy to see what is going on in the bone. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Unknown
Cairn Terrier
5 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

low platelets

We rescued a 5-year-old male Cairn Terrier. He was neutered by the Animal Shelter on 10/28/16(the same day we picked him up). He has healed quickly with no complications. He is outwardly healthy, nose is cold and wet, hi-energy, eating well and starting to regain weight. Numerous test have been done and we are told his platelets are low to the point he could bleed to death, I believe the vet said 65,000. We have tested for all tick and flea borne diseases and all of those tests are negative. We are being told next steps are to treat for a bone marrow issue with prednisone….possibly for life.

I am concerned with the validity of the test results given the healthiness of the dog. What questions should I be asking and should I get a second opinion before spending thousands of $$’s and treating a dog that may not be sick?

Thank you in advance.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations

There are numerous causes of low circulating platelets in the blood, some are congenital and other are acquired. Usual causes of low blood platelets are infections, reactions to medications, tumours, decrease in production (kidney or liver disease) and immune-mediated disease. From your question, your Veterinarian believes that the dog has immune-mediated thrombocytopenia where the immune system attacks the platelets in the blood, before treatment with corticosteroids beings, I would check the bone marrow (by aspiration) for megakaryocytes to see if the damage is to the megakaryocytes (rare) or to the platelets in circulation; there are also tests like immunofluorescence assay to test for antibodies on megakaryocytes (from bone marrow aspirate) and ELISA for antibodies on the platelets, using both tests will determine the source of the platelet destruction. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Izzie
Labrador Retriever
11 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Pain
Lethargy

Medication Used

Gabapentin

Hello. My dog is being treated for either bone cancer or bone infection. The xrays were inconclusive. They wanted to do a bone biopsy but I figured we could try to treat as infection first. She is 11 1/2. What drugs should we be using?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations

Osteomyelitis (bone infections) and Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) can be indistinguishable on x-rays. Bone infections are usually caused by trauma, surgical complications, wounds from fighting and systemic infection; if Izzie hasn’t a history of these causes, bone cancer may be more likely. A bone biopsy would determine if the cause is infectious or cancerous; in either case, swift treatment (or medical management) is required to provide Izzy with the best quality of life. I would recommend a bone biopsy or more in depth radiological studies (bone scans or CAT scans) which may help in determining a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Pickles
terrier mix
13 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Skin Lesion
Limping, lump on paw pad

Our terrier mix presented with a small "growth" on the toe pad of a front paw about 3-4 weeks ago. Since then a large lump has developed and the"growth" is now a sore. The vet put him on a course of antibiotics initially but without effect. She then did a needle aspiration and it did return as "a benign tumor but with a few mast cells". There has been no improvement so an x-ray was done of the paw and it shows some changes in the bone of that toe which might indicate bone cancer or bone infection. He is on a different antibiotic now to treat the possible infection. After being on it for 7 days there has been change. He limps and at time will not walk on it. He is 13 years old. What are the chances it is bone cancer versus bone infection?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations

It is really one of those questions where it could be 50:50 as sometimes the two are misdiagnosed as the other; the fine needle aspirate would have indicated cancer, was it examined by your Veterinarian or sent to a board certified Pathologist? I couldn’t really tell you which one it is more likely to be; if you are seeing some improvement, another x-ray may be useful to see the structure of the bone. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

correction: there has been no change since 7 days on antibiotic

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Charlie
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
5 yrs 9 mos
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My Cavalier mix Charlie started limping in his right hind leg about a month ago. Vet put him on 75 mg Calprofen - I tab a day. Within two pills, he stopped limping. I of course finished the RX. About two weeks later he started limping again. The vet started a second dose of Calprofen. This time it didn't stop the limp.
This past week, the vet ordered a blood test to assure the meds weren't presenting adverse affects. All was normal. We then took an xray. The xray showed a black mark in the middle of lower bone (forgive me - forget the name of the bone) and "fuzziness" around the outer perimeter of the bone. She believes it is bone cancer. Before I make any other decisions about Charlie's care, we are continuing the Calprofen and have also included Tramadol - 50 mg - every 12 hours. The approach right now is to control the pain. Charlie continues to have a great appetite; is interested in things around him; continues to be social with my other dog Lincoln, a full Cavalier; continues to limp - but will sometimes "hop" on the leg - and or hold it up slightly. When the vet manipulated his leg - or when I press on it firmly - he does not whimper or pull away. Does the black mark in the middle of the bone mean cancer............ or could this be an infection?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations

Although infection, inflammation and cancer of the bone may look similar on an x-ray; cancer (or osteosarcoma) is the most common form of bone cancer in dogs and is a more likely diagnosis in a dog that hasn’t had open traumatic wounds or systemic bacterial infection. A biopsy of the bone may be taken to get an accurate diagnosis from a Veterinary Pathologist so that a treatment plan (which may include amputation) can be implemented quickly, local lymph node aspiration may be clinically important to indicate any spread if cancer is diagnosed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Graci
Labrador Retriever
9 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Fever
Swelling

Dog began to limp on hind leg, eventually became nonweight bearing on that leg, was taken to vet had xray which they never said for sure what it was but assumed cracked bone, was given NSAIDS x2 weeks, began to get worse with increased swelling/warmth, back to vet today for another xray, was told either bone infection or bone cancer, given antibioics for 7-10days to call back if no improvement.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations

X-ray diagnosis of bone problems can be difficult to identify, usually fractures are easily evident unless they are near joints or are small fragments that are hidden behind another bone structure. Osteomyelitis (bone infections) and Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) can be indistinguishable on x-rays which makes diagnosis difficult, a therapeutic test of antibiotics for seven days can be done to see if (it is an infection) the condition improves or a bone biopsy may be performed to determine a diagnosis; if after seven or ten days of treatment with antibiotics, I would ask your Veterinarian about bone biopsy to determine between infection (non-antibiotic responsive) or cancer. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Smurfy
1 Year
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

What is the reason of leg infection

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1201 Recommendations

Usually infections in bones are caused by trauma, post-operative complications, fractures or systemic infection. Infections of the soft tissues of the leg can be caused by trauma, bite marks, cuts etc… Please take Smurfy to visit your Veterinarian if you suspect he is suffering from leg problems. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My dog had bladder stones. They had a Urethrostomy procedure in June 2016 to get his bladder stones out. Which is an open wound… now it November 2016 and X-rays show left shoulder as possible bone cancer. Could the infection have traveled there? He can not use his leg and there is atrophy. Please advise

What was the recommendation for the dog that had bladder stones urethostomy procedure which is an open wound and now shows possible bone cancer inwhich the left leg has atrophy. What was your advice?

My friends dog had the exact situation happen to her dog. Amputation is Scheduled. Please respond asap!!
214-808-6921 Lisa Joiner
Or
Lodi KHATTER 214-298-4000.
Thank you!!!

my six month old dog was diagnosed with a bone infection between neck and bottom jaw. Vet says she has a 50/50 chance of survival even with the ZydaClin she has been on for almost two weeks. Vet says she would need long term antibiotics but it still my not work. Vet says because she now has limited mouth motion she could get to the point when she cannot eat. Well today she did not eat only drank water. She has not been able to get all her puppy vaccines because she has been on 3 different antibiotics since I rescued her from a poor living arrangement with her original owner. Now she has contracted kennel cough from her outpatient exam and xray at the vets office. Can you give me some advice on what I should do now.

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