Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

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jtalt7
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Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby jtalt7 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:33 pm

I am needing some feedback on what others have done and what their experiences have been. Kal is really an orthopedic mess. Left hip has only about 10% coverage and a grade 3 patella on her right and grade 2 on the left knee.

We did a deinervation on her left hip over a year ago. We are having some decent pain in that hip already now. Her right knee will pop in and out frequently when being worked. Right now she is limping on both rear legs after her normal workouts and a dock dogs event this last week.

I can not cut down her exercise. It is not possible. She is an intensely drivey dog and will be miserable if kept quiet the rest of her life (she is only 2yrs old)

I am meeting with the orthopedic specialist next week but I am looking for people's experience with FHO in an extremely active dog and THR. THR may be off the table because of price and I am terrified about post op........heard some nasty horror stories.

I am not concerned in the least about her working abilities afterwards, as in I dont care if she can compete in anything competitively any more. I need a relatively pain free, HAPPY dog who can have fun competing, I dont care if she places or anything else.

I am sure I will need to fix the right knee as well but her acute lameness has come up in the left after heavy working this week. She was sedated this week to make sure we do not have any ligament tears........no drawer

Thoughts............???????

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:47 pm

I know of an FHO done in a Chesapeake bay puppy (8 months) who did fantastic after surgery. I don't know if she was ever able to work, but she was comfortable, happy, and able to be a normal pet dog by the time I was no longer involved in her case.

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby jtalt7 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:31 pm

Thanks for the insight. I guess my problem is that Kal will not be happy unless she has a job and is always flying off something or running full tilt. I guess what I mean is that she still is going to have to do the work I just dont care if she is good.....make sense?

All I keep hearing is that you loose stability when you FHO (obviously, you are loosing the joint essentially) but what does that translate into when you have a dog that will continue to be extremely active? Will she be damaging herself further by losing that joint flying off the frame, dog walk and docks? I really am not a fan of the THR because of the potential for failure and post op comps but I also need her to be able to continue to do the things she loves. If she was happy being a couch potato solely this would be a non issue, I would have FHOed her when she was 1 but I choose the other surgery so she could still have function in that hip.

urggghhhhhhh I am so SICK of all my dogs having some jacked up condition or complications or whatever. I seriously am due a freakin healthy dog.

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Misskiwi67
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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:03 pm

IF she is a muscular dog, she will likely do fine. The muscles create a "false joint" and support the leg during activity.

She will not be as stable as she once was, maybe 85-90%, but she will be pain free, which for most dogs is a significant improvement.

I've been trying to get my parents to do an FHO on their boxer mix for over a year. I think it will create a vast improvement in his quality of life. He is only moderately active, but at times he is extremely painful.

In my opinion, even occasional pain and potentially occasional strict rest is better than constant pain. However this is your dog, so maybe thats not as much of an option. I think the orthopedic specialist will have a lot more experience to go by and will hopefully be better able to answer your questions.

If the THR fails, you will end up with an FHO... the only real loss is to your pocketbook, and of course the extended recovery period due to repeat procedures.

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby Red » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:19 pm

Have not done a hip surgery my older female yet (thought about it) and she is doing pretty good as she is , at 9 years old.The orthopedic specialist actually advised against it, when she was 1 year old and he operated on her patella.
Just wanted to say that I have read your posts about your dogs and they are lucky. There are not that many people that would put that much money and efforts on "crippled" dogs. I am at $9000 with just one dog, with knees, so I feel your pain. You are a good owner.

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby Chasesmom » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:27 pm

We're also in the market for a hip surgery on Chase and the doc seems to think he'll do fine with the FHO procedure. This thread is helpful so thanks. Couldn't you do the FHO (financially less) first and then if you don't like the results move on to the THR?

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby tanyavv » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:11 pm

I had a large heeler cross (about 30kg) that I did an FHO on when he was around 1 1/2 years old. He was a working cattle dog at the time. He worked for about another 3-4 years but could not after that. He was on pain medication for the last 5 years of his life. I am not saying I wouldnt have done it. THR was not available at that time and we lived in rural Montana.
My experience with the FHO is that they do well for several years, then have a harder time as they age. His pain was manageable and he lived until 14 when I put him down due to other health problems.
I will also say that when we quit working him he was more than ready to become a indoor dog and be lazy around the fire and have his twice a day walks. I dont know if that was his drive settling down or his pain making him slow down.
It is a very hard decision, and a very pricey one. We do THR where I work and I have only once seen a post op complication from it. I know that is anecdotal but true life experience. I do not, however, know those dogs pain status, working status down the road, we only see them for a few months for rechecks.
Hope that helps!

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby lilangel » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:12 pm

I don't think the amount of money one spends or the number of invasive surgeries one has performed on a dog determines if one is a good owner or not. I think making decisions based on what will give your dog the absolute highest quality of life with the least amount of physical and emotional pain and discomfort and the least amount of extreme anxiety is a lot more important. If spending $10,000 falls under those parameters then of course that is the way to go. I am not making any judgments, just laying out how I would prioritize decisions. I would not for instance opt for extensive chemotherapy for a dog with advanced terminal cancer just to give the dog another year or two of life, half or more of which will be spent in extreme pain or agony or doped up beyond being capable of being a dog. JMO. No judgments on the decisions others make.

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby DogNerd » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:36 am

We've done several in our rescue, most recently on a young malinois, but also a couple on smaller dogs and one on a pit mix. The pit mix (old thread on her: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=53320 ) was adopted by a friend of mine so I still see her all the time. She has been VERY active these past years and only recently has seemed to slow down a bit. My friend is also a dog walker so Grrl (her name now) has been out with her every day running hiking and swimming a couple of hours a day pretty much since she has had her. She's a ball dog and though she seemed mellow when she first came to us, she turned out to be quite active. She has held up very well. You can see no difference in either side to look at her now and there have been no complications.

I just also thought of another dog - a friend's belgian mix that she adopted from another rescue I worked with. He had already had the FHO when she adopted him (just) and she had trouble getting him to use the surgery leg. Eventually they found that there was some issue and had to go back in and fix it. After the second surgery he recovered completely and perfectly and is active and healthy to this day (it has been about 4 or 5 years.)

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby Shoshana » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 am

My friends have 2 German Shorthair Pointers that have had hip surgery.

The male only has one back leg and he had his hip replaced I think around 4-5 years ago. No problems at all. He actually was more mobile after because they changed the angle of the hip to accommodate his one leg. He's 11 now and still going strong. He does have some strength issues when he first wakes up but that is recent and may not be related to the surgery - he has other issues - Valley Fever and arthritis.

The female had her hips pinned when she was 8 mos old and while she doesn't seem to be in any pain, she still runs funny. She is 2 yo now.

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby jtalt7 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:25 pm

Thanks for all all input. So had our appointment last Friday and it went ok I guess. So I found out the surgery Kal had a year ago was essentially a waste. The specialists dislike the procedure and now its too late to do the correct procedure since there is extensive remodeling and arthritis.

So what do we do from here......Dasuquin, FA, Adequan and as needed nsaids. She does not want to FHO her. Her exercise requirements are too high and it will cause probable bone on bone. In an ideal world she would not be worked so hard but we all would be miserable. She really doesnt want to do THR right now BUT she will need it in the future. So start saving my pennies now. We also with be doind HA injections into her hip during dock dogs season ( acid something).

We are not touching her knees as she feels we would do more bad then good operating. Would probably speed up the arthritis.

She told me to stop being so hard on myself, medicate when needed and cross those surgery bridges when they come. So we will continue to have fun for as long as we can and then replace thd hip when she needs it.

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Re: Hip surgery AGAIN, need experiences please

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:00 am

jtalt7 wrote:Thanks for all all input. So had our appointment last Friday and it went ok I guess. So I found out the surgery Kal had a year ago was essentially a waste. The specialists dislike the procedure and now its too late to do the correct procedure since there is extensive remodeling and arthritis.

So what do we do from here......Dasuquin, FA, Adequan and as needed nsaids. She does not want to FHO her. Her exercise requirements are too high and it will cause probable bone on bone. In an ideal world she would not be worked so hard but we all would be miserable. She really doesnt want to do THR right now BUT she will need it in the future. So start saving my pennies now. We also with be doind HA injections into her hip during dock dogs season ( acid something).

We are not touching her knees as she feels we would do more bad then good operating. Would probably speed up the arthritis.

She told me to stop being so hard on myself, medicate when needed and cross those surgery bridges when they come. So we will continue to have fun for as long as we can and then replace thd hip when she needs it.


Hyaluronic acid - good stuff, don't use it a lot, but it works well when we do use it.

That sounds like a reasonable plan to me, and I hope you have many many months of reasonable comfort to save before her hip hits final stages and requires a THR.


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