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Total Hip Replacement for Dogs

Total Hip Replacement for Dogs

Osteoarthritis in dogs is a serious condition, especially if it develops early due to conditions such as hip dysplasia. In severe cases of joint pain and loss of mobility in dogs, your veterinarian may recommend a total hip replacement (THR) as a treatment option. Our Vancouver veterinarians explain what dog owners should know about total hip replacements in this article.

The Cause of Hip Replacement Procedures in Dogs

Total hip replacements (also called THR) are one of a number of surgeries a veterinarian can perform on a dog that is affected by joint pain, especially osteoarthritis. 

In particular, osteoarthritis caused by and/or contributed to by hip dysplasia will often cause a dog to be a candidate for this procedure. 

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

The hip joint in your dog is a ball and socket joint. Hip dysplasia means that the ball and socket that make up your dog's hip have not developed properly and are not functioning as they should. Instead, the ball and socket grind and rub against each other, causing further breakdown, pain, and eventual loss of function in the affected hip.

In dogs, hip dysplasia is predominantly a hereditary condition, with genetics being the leading contributor to the development of the condition.

If hip dysplasia is not treated in its early stages, it will most likely worsen over time and affect both hips. Hip dysplasia may also be accompanied by other painful conditions, such as osteoarthritis in older dogs.

Dog Hip Replacement Surgery

In many instances, total hip replacement is the best choice for treating your dog's hip dysplasia using surgery since it is generally the most effective form of treatment.

THR involves removing both the ball and socket of one or more of your dog's hip joints and replacing them with metal or plastic implants to restore hip function and alleviate pain or discomfort.

Because THR is such a drastic and invasive procedure, most veterinarians will only recommend it for dogs who are in severe physical pain, have lost mobility, or both. Before the procedure, your veterinarian will perform a series of diagnostic imaging sessions on your dog to determine the size, dimensions, and shape of your pup's hips so that they can order custom-made implants to replace your dog's hips. Because of the invasiveness and complexity of the procedure, it is usually performed by a certified veterinary surgeon.

The Cost of Total Hip Replacement Procedures in Dogs

You might be wondering how much a hip replacement for a dog is. Because THR is the most drastic, invasive, and complex of the surgeries that can be used to treat hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis, since it involves anesthesia, lots of pre-operative bloodwork and post-operative monitoring, and because it generally needs to be performed by a certified veterinary surgeon, it is usually the most expensive treatment option as well. 

While the exact cost of a total hip replacement for your dog will vary depending on a number of factors, including where you live, your dog's size and breed, and their individual healthcare situation, this surgery will provide the best outcomes for dogs suffering from severe joint pain caused by hip dysplasia, but it will also be on the higher end of the cost spectrum when it comes to treatment planning.

Recovery From Total Hip Replacements in Dogs

Total hip replacement surgery typically lasts two to three hours, and your dog may need to stay in the hospital for one to three days afterwards. The recovery period is expected to last 12 weeks. Even if your dog has hip dysplasia in both hips, surgery can be performed on only one at a time, allowing for 3-6 months of recovery time between procedures.

How long can a new hip last in dogs?

The success rate of hip replacement surgery is, overall, very good, and your dog's new hip should be able to last them for the rest of their life.

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.

Is your dog suffering from hip dysplasia and may require total hip replacement surgery? Contact Columbia River Veterinary Specialists today to learn more about our orthopedic surgical offerings and how we can help your dog get back to their normal self. 

We Welcome New Patients

Columbia River Veterinary Specialists is accepting new patients by referral and for emergency services. Our experienced emergency vets  and specialists are passionate about the health of Vancouver companion animals. Ask your vet today about a referral.

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