Is your furry friend suffering from persistent hip pain? Don't worry, our Jackson veterinarians have got you covered. They can recommend a solution, such as total hip replacement surgery, to alleviate your dog's discomfort. Our vets have all the information you need to know about hip replacement surgery for dogs.
Hip Replacement Surgery For Dogs
Your dog's hip joint, which is naturally a ball and socket, will undergo a total hip replacement procedure. It will be replaced with a metal ball made from cobalt-chromium metal alloy on top of the femur and a plastic socket made from high molecular weight polyethylene in the pelvis.
The joint is usually secured using bone cement, but some veterinary surgeons also opt for "cementless" implants, which offer similar results without the use of cement. One method has no clear advantage over the other, as both typically produce excellent outcomes.
Is Hip Replacement Surgery Ideal For Every Dog?
If your furry friend is experiencing hip pain due to dysplasia, it could impact their mobility and daily activities. If you observe symptoms such as stiffness, difficulty getting up, and a reduction in activity levels, they may be a suitable candidate for total hip replacement surgery.
It's important to note that total hip replacement surgery is only suitable for fully-grown dogs that are at least 9-12 months old and in good overall health, with no other joint, bone, or nerve issues. Dogs with arthritic hips but normal hip function are not ideal candidates for this procedure. Additionally, the size of your dog's bones is also a factor to consider. Generally, dogs weighing over 40 pounds can be fitted with a prosthetic hip joint.
What Happens During Your Dog's Hip Replacement?
The safety of your furry friend is of utmost importance during any surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia. To minimize the risks associated with anesthesia, a comprehensive examination and blood tests will be conducted prior to the surgery. Your dog will be in good hands during their stay at the hospital for their total hip replacement surgery.
The procedure is expected to last between 3 to 5 days, and the veterinary team will do everything in their power to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. After the surgery, many pet owners have reported a remarkable improvement in their dog's mobility and ability to perform activities they haven't done since they were young. Although rare, some complications may arise such as infection, implant looseness, hip dislocation, and nerve damage. Rest assured, these complications can often be effectively treated.
Following Your Dog's Hip Replacement Surgery
After your furry friend's hip replacement surgery, your veterinary team will give you comprehensive post-operative guidelines to ensure a smooth recovery for your pup. It's crucial to strictly adhere to your vet's instructions to avoid any potential complications. Your veterinarian will also provide detailed instructions on administering any prescribed pain medication.
To ensure proper healing, you should keep a close eye on your dog's incision site and look out for any signs of infection such as swelling or discharge. They may need to wear a cone or a suitable alternative to prevent your dog from licking the incision. Your dog's appetite should be monitored as the incision heals, as a decrease in appetite can be an early indication of infection.
For the first month following surgery, your dog's movement will need to be severely limited. This includes crate rest when unsupervised and only short, on-leash trips outside for bathroom breaks. Stairs and slippery floors should be avoided as much as possible, and if your pet must climb stairs, keep them on a leash to move slowly and carefully. No running, jumping or playing will be allowed for the first 2 months after the surgery.
However, depending on your dog's progress, your vet may allow short, on-leash walks during the second month. It's important to remember that these restrictions may seem tough, but following your vet's instructions and limiting your dog's activities for 2 months will help ensure a successful recovery and a return to a joyful, active, and pain-free life.
You and your pup will return to your vet's office for a follow-up appointment about 10 to 14 days after surgery, where their stitches or staples will be removed.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.