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Hip Reduction Surgery in Dogs

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    What is Hip Reduction Surgery in Dogs?

    Hip Reduction is commonly used to treat hip dislocation in dogs. There are two types of reductions: closed and open. A closed hip reduction is the most common type and a more conservative treatment to physically manipulate the dislocated hip back into place. On the other hand, an open hip reduction is a surgical procedure that involves placing the joint of the hip back into its natural position. 

    What Does Hip Reduction Treat in Dogs?

    Photo Credit: Upstate Vet

    A Hip Reduction is typically used to treat hip dislocation in dogs, which is clinically referred to as coxofemoral luxation. Hip dislocation may be caused by a number of issues including hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, trauma, or even cancer. Hip dysplasia, in its genetic form or otherwise, is the most commonly observed reason behind hip dislocation and the need for a hip reduction in dogs.                                                                    

    What Happens During a Hip Reduction Surgery?

    Photo Credit: Clinician’s Brief

    The procedure for a hip reduction is dependent upon which type of approach is taken – closed or open. 

    Closed Hip Reduction

    In preparation for a closed hip reduction, the veterinarian will administer a short-acting anesthesia before physically manipulating the coxofemoral joint back into its proper place. The coxofemoral joint is defined as the “ball-and-socket” joint in which the “ball” is the head of the femur and the “socket” is the acetabulum of the pelvis. Following the manipulation, a sling, bandage, or wrap will be placed on your dog for at least two weeks. 

    Open Hip Reduction

    An open hip reduction surgery can be performed based on the preferences of the surgeon. For example, different approaches used for the procedure may include toggle rods, surgical anchors, and prosthetic joint capsules. The toggle rod approach is the most commonly performed. When this approach is used, the following steps are taken: 

    The veterinarian will begin by administering general anesthesia before cleaning and shaving the region to be operated on. Following this, an incision will be made near the hip muscles along the natural seams. The joint capsule will be opened, using a special drill a hole will be made in the acetabular wall, which is the back wall of the hip bone. Additionally, a “bone tunnel” will be drilled through a region of the femur referred to as the femoral neck. Utilizing heavy suture material, a toggle pin will be threaded through the hole and bone tunnel. The placement of the hip will be adjusted until it’s in the correct position. The heavy suture material will be tightened and attached to another toggle pin to secure on the other side of the joint. This allows for the joint to be securely held in place. Following this, the joint capsule and initial surgery site would be sutured and closed. Just like a closed hip reduction, a sling, wrap, or bandage is secured and your dog will wear it for up to fourteen days. 

    How Much Does a Hip Reduction Cost?

    The cost of a hip reduction in dogs varies based on many factors including whether a closed or open approach is taken, health factors of the dog, and the location of the clinic. The cost may range from $1,500 to $15,000, however, the average cost of the procedure is $2,500. 

    How Can Hip Reduction Surgery Be Prevented?

    Unfortunately, many conditions that lead to the need for a hip reduction cannot be prevented such as genetic hip dysplasia and cancer. However, automobile accidents are a common cause of hip dislocation as well so be sure to keep a close eye on your dog when outdoors. Avoid overfeeding and maintain a healthy weight in your dog to avoid hip dysplasia in large breed dogs. 

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    Canine Total Hip Replacement Surgery

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      ​​What is Total Hip Replacement Surgery in Dogs?

      x ray of dog before and after total hip replacement
      Photo Credit: Animal Surgical and Orthopedic Center

      A total hip replacement (THR) in dogs is a surgical procedure that involves the replacement of a severely damaged or diseased hip joint with an artificial component. Total hip replacement is a surgical treatment for treating severe arthritis, hip dysplasia, fractures, and dislocations. THR is widely regarded as safe and effective, with a high likelihood of significantly increasing limb function and enhancing their quality of life.

      What Makes a Dog A Good Candidate For Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

      Dogs who are suffering from severe arthritis, hip dysplasia, fractures, and dislocations that cannot be resolved aside from THR and are in a measurable amount of pain are usually those that received a THR. Dogs need to be in overall good health as well as have no other joint or bone issues, nerve damage/disease, or other medical illnesses. Dogs who receive THR need to be skeletally mature and finished growing which is usually between 9-12 months old. X-rays will also reveal if the size of the bones can fit a prosthesis. THR surgery is usually done on dogs over 40 pounds.

      Are There Any Risks With Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

      husky recovering from total hip replacement surgery
      Photo Credit: UC Davis

      Any type of anesthetic or operation comes with its own set of hazards. These dangers will be discussed with you by your veterinarian or orthopedic surgeon. In dogs, the reported complication rate after total hip replacement is between 7% and 12%. It is crucial to identify and treat issues as soon as possible after a complete hip replacement. Swelling at the incision site (seroma) or a low-grade infection of the skin around the incision are examples of mild complications. However, there are three significant problems that might result in the hip replacement failing and requiring further surgery.

      Impact Infection

      As with any infection, an infection of the impact is something that should be taken very seriously. While skin or wound infections may be able to be controlled with antibiotics, infections of the actual implants require the implant being removed and replaced.

      Implant Loosening

      There’s a possibility of the implants losing due to either “aspect loosening” or low-grade infection. Aspect loosening is when the patient’s body rejects the implant and occurs in about 5-15% of cases. If aspect loosening occurs, the implant needs to be removed and/or replaced. 

      Luxation or Dislocation of the Implants

      Luxation or dislocation of the implants is fairly rare is occurs in only about 2-4% of patients and usually within the first 3 weeks post-surgery. If this happens, another surgery under anesthesia will be required to fix it.

      What Happens During Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

      Vets performing total hip replacement on a dog
      Photo Credit: Fitzpatrick Referrals

      THR surgery for severe arthritis, hip dysplasia, fractures, and dislocations surgery is a multi-day process. To prepare for general anesthesia, most dogs getting a complete hip replacement will have a comprehensive examination and a blood test profile. 

      Total hip replacement surgery takes two to three hours on average, and your dog may need to stay in the hospital for one to three days afterward. A 12-week recuperation time is expected. Even though your dog’s hip dysplasia affects both hips, surgery on one hip at a time is possible, providing 3 to 6 months of healing time in between procedures.

      During the actual surgery, the ball (head of the femur) and socket (acetabulum) are removed and replaced with prosthetic implants. The acetabular socket will be rebuilt and equipped with a polyethylene cup, while the stem and ball are constructed of cobalt-chromium. Bone cement may or may not be used to hold the implants in place, depending on the implant type chosen by the surgeon for your pet.

      Around 90% to 95% of dogs that receive a complete hip replacement perform really well and have outstanding function. Every operation has some risk, but your dog’s surgeon will do all in his power to avoid any complications. Hip dislocation, implant loosening, infection, and nerve injury are all rare problems that can typically be easily addressed.

      How Do You Care for a Dog Post-Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

      dog on a walk after total hip replacement surgery
      Photo Credit: A Veterinarian's Perspective

      When dogs are released from the hospital a few days after having total hip replacement surgery, it’s crucial to ensure proper healing. Stitches or staples will usually be removed in 10-14 days following surgery. Your veterinarian will also provide a pain management regimen which might include pain medication and crate rest or confined to a small area during recovery for about 3 months. While dogs are usually able to bear weight on the limb fairly soon after surgery, their activity must be closely monitored and activity limited to being on a leash when not in confinement to prevent over-exertion. Each veterinarian will provide their own post-op instructions and they should be followed as closely as possible for best results.

      How Much Does Total Hip Replacement Surgery Cost?

      Due to the involvement and difficulty of canine total hip replacement surgery, it comes out to being one of the most expensive veterinary surgeries. It comes out on average to being $3,500 to $7,000 per hip or if both hips need to be replaced (which is often the case), the cost runs on average $7,000 to $14,000. This is an instance when having pet insurance can offset the high cost.

      How Can Total Hip Replacement Surgery Be Prevented?

      Preventing total hip replacements comes with preventing the reason for needing the surgery. So essentially working to prevent hip dysplasia and severe arthritis. One way to stay on top of the causes that result in THR is having regularly scheduled vet appointments.

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      Success Story: Louie’s Story – Bilateral Hip Dysplasia

      Success Story: Louie’s Story – Bilateral Hip Dysplasia

      This very cute yellow Labrador is Louie who is now 17 months old.  At eight months old, it became clear to his beloved family that he was in pain. X-rays from the local veterinarian revealed that Lewis had bilateral hip dysplasia. At the X-ray reporting service, he reviewed the X-rays and made an initial treatment plan to try and avoid surgery. This included physical therapy, hydrotherapy, and gait restriction, but after 5 months, hip and pain levels did not improve, so she was referred to Professor Noel Fitzpatrick.

      Discover Louie’s Story from Fitzpatrick Referrals 

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      What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

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        What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

        When your dog’s hips move, they work like a ball and socket and because of this, one or both of your dog’s hips may be affected by hip dysplasia. This occurs when the ball and socket of the dog’s hips have not grown properly, resulting in a dysfunctional joint. They grind against one other rather than glide smoothly, causing a deterioration over time and eventual loss of function of the hip joint. As a result of the condition’s discomfort and reduced mobility, hip dysplasia can significantly impair your dog’s quality of life if left untreated.

        This painful disease is more frequent in big or large breed dogs, although smaller breeds are not immune to it. As a result of the condition, your dog’s quality of life can be significantly decreased if left untreated. Hip dysplasia causes discomfort and impairs your dog’s mobility. This issue is particularly tough for pet owners to deal with since it may be unpleasant to see an otherwise healthy dog suffer with the symptoms of hip dysplasia.

        What Causes Canine Hip Dysplasia?

        Among dogs, hip dysplasia is predominantly hereditary, with genetics playing a major role in its development. A variety of smaller breeds, including French bulldogs and pugs, may also be vulnerable to hip dysplasia, but it is more frequent in big breed dogs like mastiffs, St. Bernards, Rottweilers, retrievers, and bulldogs. 

        Untreated, this disease would certainly develop with age and damage both hips if left untreated in the early stages (bilateral). It’s possible for hip dysplasia to be worsened by other painful diseases, including osteoarthritis. An unhealthy weight and diet, rapid growth, and certain forms of activity can all contribute to the development of this disease. Overweight dogs are more likely to develop hip dysplasia because of the excessive tension placed on their joints. 

        To ensure your dog gets the correct amount of daily activity and the right nutrition for their age, size, and breed, it’s vital to visit your veterinarian.

        Photo Credit:

        What are Clinical Signs of Canine Hip Dysplasia?

        Hip dysplasia symptoms vary from dog to dog, as they do with many other diseases. However, it may not become noticeable until the dog reaches its middle or senior years, despite the fact that it usually begins to develop when the puppy is five months of age. Pet parents should be on the lookout for the following signs as their puppy matures: 

        • Pain or discomfort during physical activity (or a reluctance to exercise, run, jump or climb stairs) 
        • Rear legs are rigid when walking
        • Anxiety or stiffness when jogging or getting up from a sitting 
        • Back legs and thighs lose muscular tone 
        • When he moves, his joints grate or grind
        • Rear leg lameness
        • Decreased range of motion
        • Running with a ‘bunny hop’ (lifting the hip when running)

        Can Canine Hip Dysplasia Be Prevented?

        Dogs are often born with the predisposition to develop hip dysplasia. To actually prevent this, breeders need to stop breeding dogs with the predisposition and doing proper health testing of all their dogs. Before getting a dog from a breeder, you should ensure that the dog and their parents have undergone the proper testing and been screened for the disease. You can also help prevent the disease by helping the skeletal system grow properly, providing essential supplements for joints and growth, giving dogs a proper diet, testing early for hip dysplasia and avoiding exercising young and at-risk dogs.

        How is Canine Hip Dysplasia Diagnosed?

        Vets usually check for hip dysplasia whenever a dog comes in for a checkup. Every six months or so, your veterinarian should do a physical exam to check on your dog’s physical health. In order to detect grinding noises, discomfort, or restricted range of motion, your vet may adjust your dog’s back legs. If hip dysplasia is suspected, your veterinarian may suggest blood tests that can detect inflammation as a result of joint illness.

        An extensive health and medical history will also be requested from your veterinarian, including a list of your dog’s symptoms and any injuries that may have resulted in the pain they are in. Finding out your pet’s ancestry can help you determine whether or not your dog is at risk for getting hip problems. When it comes to identifying the degree of hip dysplasia in your dog, standard x-rays may also be extremely helpful.

        What are Canine Hip Dysplasia Treatment Options?

        Photo Credit: Unknown

        Dogs with hip dysplasia have a variety of treatment choices, ranging from lifestyle modifications like nutrition and exercise to pain medications and surgery. There are actually three main surgeries to treat Canine Hip Dysplasia:

        Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)

        Surgery to repair a dog’s ball-and-socket joint is most often performed on puppies under 10 months of age. DPO and TPO treatments include severing the pelvic bone into pieces and rotating them to enhance ball-to-socket coverage and reduce hip laxity. Although the cost of surgery varies, for most dogs, both hips will cost around $3,000 to fix. 

        It will take many weeks for your dog to be able to enjoy leash walks again, and they will require frequent physical therapy in order to regain full mobility after these procedures are completed (although you may notice joint stability improve within as little as four weeks). Following surgery, the majority of dogs will recover in four to six weeks on average.

        Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)

        For both young and older dogs, FHO can be beneficial If they have hip dysplasia. FHO involves removing the femoral head (ball) and allowing their body to build a “false” joint. Despite the fact that FHO does not restore normal hip function, it can be an efficient way to manage pain in dogs. 

         There are a number of factors that influence the cost of FHO surgery including the size and age of your dog, as well as the severity of the problem. However, you should anticipate to pay between $1200 to $2,500, which includes pre-surgical bloodwork, the surgical procedure, anesthesia, post-surgical

        As a result of the procedure, your dog may need to stay in the hospital for a few hours to a few days, depending on their health. For at least 30 days after FHO surgery, your veterinarian will provide you detailed advice on how to care for your dog. However, you must restrict your dog from engaging in any vigorous physical activity during recovery. In most situations, your pup will be fully recovered within six weeks after surgery. Dogs may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory medicine daily for up to a month afterward, depending on the kind of surgery. In that case, these medicines may only be required on an irregular basis.Once they have fully recovered, they can return to their normal

        Total Hip Replacement (THR)

        The most successful surgical treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs is a total hip replacement. THR includes the use of plastic and metal implants to replace the whole hip joint, restoring hip function and alleviating most hip dysplasia-related pain.

        THR surgery also happens to be a radical and expensive choice and in most cases, this operation is recommended only if the dog is in a great deal of pain or is near to being completely immobile as a result.  In order for THR to be successful, your dog’s prosthetic components must be custom-made for them, and the surgery must be performed by a certified veterinary surgeon.

        When it comes to dogs, the cost of THR for hip dysplasia may range from $3,500 per hip to $7,000, depending on your dog’s condition and other criteria such as size, age On average, surgery can cost up to $14,000 for dogs that are afflicted on both sides of the body (which is frequent). The cost of the operation includes pre-surgical blood testing.

        In general, total hip replacement surgery takes two to three hours, and your dog may need to stay in the hospital for one to three days after the procedure. You should expect a 12-week recovery period in order to achieve thorough healing. However, even if your dog’s hip dysplasia affects both hips, surgery can only be performed one at a time, which allows for a three to six-month interval between treatments.

        Photo Credit: Fitzpatrick Referrals

        When your dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, vets understand that it may be a heartbreaking experience, as the disease is painful and can restrict mobility. Many dog owners are rightfully concerned about the financial strain that this disease can cause but there is still a chance, however, that your veterinarian will have the ability to propose an alternative or a combination of therapies that will help your dog recover and be in less pain.

        Your dog may also benefit from supplements to aid in the effort of alleviating pain as well as help with prevention.