Is your small dog experiencing hip pain? FHO surgery might be the solution. Our veterinarians in Somerset can guide you through how FHO surgery improves your dog's mobility and what the procedure entails.
Common Causes of Dog Hip Problems
Dogs can develop hip issues due to genetics, aging, or injury. OurMidway Veterinary Hospital frequently observes two typical hip problems in dogs across all locations.
These problems can be painful for the dogs.
- Canine hip dysplasia is usually caused by genetics, and it leads to abnormal development of the hip joints in dogs.
- Legg-Perthes disease is a hip condition that can happen to your dog. A problem with the blood flow to the top of the thigh bone causes it. This can cause the top of the thigh bone to break down over time, leading to problems with arthritis or damage to the hip joint.
Hip pain in dogs can be caused by certain conditions that can make it hard for them to move around over a long time. To address this problem, vets may suggest orthopedic surgery as a solution.
How Your Dog's Hip Joint Should Work
Your dog's hip joints function like a ball and socket. The ball sits atop the thigh bone and fits into the socket in the hip bone. When everything is working well, your dog can move comfortably and without discomfort. However, if something goes awry, the ball and socket might rub together, leading to pain and mobility issues. Inflammation can further hinder your dog's movements. For small dogs experiencing pain, a surgery called femoral head ostectomy (FHO) can be beneficial. This procedure reduces pain and improves your dog's mobility.
Hip Problems in Dogs That May Be Treated With FHO Surgery
FHO surgery can help dogs with many hip conditions.
- Hip dysplasia
- Severe arthritis
- Joint dislocation (luxation)
- Hip fractures
- Legg-Perthes disease
- Weak muscles in hind legs
Not every dog can have FHO surgery. Dogs weighing over 50 pounds are not eligible. Smaller dogs are better candidates since the fake joint created after surgery can support their body weight better than larger or overweight dogs.
Signs That Your Dog May Be Experiencing Hip Pain
If your dog has hip pain, they may show one or more of these signs:
- "Bunny hopping"
- Limping when walking
- Stiffness in joints
- Decreased tolerance or motivation to exercise or play
FHO Surgery Dog - Process
During FHO surgery, your dog's hip's femoral head will be taken out, creating an empty space where the socket was. Following the surgery, the leg muscles will stabilize the thigh bone, and a special scar tissue will grow between the thigh bone and the hip socket. Over time, this scar tissue will act like a cushion, creating a sort of 'false joint' between the thigh bone and hip socket.
FHO Surgery Dog - Cost
FHO surgery is a cheap way to help small dogs move without pain. The cost of the surgery depends on different things, so talk to your vet to get an idea of the cost. The cost can range from $900 to $1500.
The Recovery Process For Dogs Following FHO Surgery
Following FHO surgery, your dog might need to stay at the animal hospital for a short period, which varies based on their health and other factors. The recovery process typically occurs in two stages, with each dog recuperating at their own speed. While there are individual variations, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind:
Phase 1 of Dog FHO Recovery
Once your dog's surgery is done, you and your veterinarian will focus on managing pain with prescribed medicine. These medications will help ease pain, swelling, and inflammation at the surgical spot. Your dog should avoid vigorous activities for around a month after the surgery, and it typically takes about six weeks to fully heal. During this recovery time, your dog shouldn't run or jump, but short walks on a leash are fine. If your pet isn't in severe pain, your vet might suggest gentle exercises to help your dog's hip joint regain natural movement.
Phase 2 of Dog FHO Recovery
After a week of surgery, your pet will enter the second recovery phase. During this phase, their physical activity will gradually increase. This aids in rebuilding muscles and making their hip joint stronger. They might do things like walking up stairs by themselves or walking on their hind legs while you support their front legs.
This gentle activity also prevents stiffness in scar tissue and boosts your dog's long-term mobility. Your pet might need a mobility aid or a dog lift harness during this time. If your pet's recovery goes well after a month, they'll be ready for regular activity again. Just remember to avoid intense activities for now. Pets that were active before surgery tend to bounce back faster due to the extra muscle strength around their hip joint.
Caring For Your Dog After FHO Dog Surgery
After your dog has FHO surgery, your vet and their team will give you specific instructions for taking care of your furry friend. These instructions may differ depending on your dog's situation. Following these guidelines closely is important to help your dog heal quickly and prevent any issues. If your dog doesn't recover fully within six weeks, your vet may suggest physiotherapy for pets. Contact your vet immediately if your dog seems to be in pain or isn't improving after FHO surgery.
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.