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Anyone know a dog whos had a hip replacement...... how did it go.

(22 Posts)
shoptilidrop Tue 21-Oct-08 14:36:53

Confirmed by x rays yesterday, my beloved black lab has got severe hip dispacia. I feel terrible for him, hes only 7, and must have been in agony for some time. We are going to try and manage the condition through drugs, but the vet did mention surgery. Part of me thinks this would be great, as its the only way of getting rid of the condition. But part of me is doubtful. Its a huge operation, with about a 14 week recovery time, and he needs to have both legs done, so he will be out of action for 6 months. He wont be able to go upstairs, no exercise and wont be able to walk etc... I dont know how we would cope with this as a family. Im currently not working, but hope to be soon. DH is forces, so may very well be away. DD is almost 3, and my dog will need a LOT of care. So does anyone have a dog thats had this op/ or know of one, and how was it, and how is the dog afterwards.. and how are they say 6 months after recoverY.


beautifulgirls Tue 21-Oct-08 17:09:51

I cant comment from an owners point of view, but from a professional point of view, I would say that it is not always necessary to have both hips done, even if both are bad. Often improving one side to be pain free allows them to take a bit more weight on that side and allow them a much easier time on the unoperated hip such that pain can be better managed. Unfortunately it is not always the case though and you will only know after one hip has been done whether or not he will need the other one doing.

What pain management is he on at present? Getting things right at this stage can make a big difference to your final decision.

shoptilidrop Tue 21-Oct-08 17:35:32

hes on anti inflamantries, id lite food, and a course of 4 injections, one a week, ( cant remember what they will do.
So from a professional point of view. Is it really worth the surgery? will the hurt and misery it will cause to him, and the recovery be worh it in the long run, Or not really. Also will the way we are dealing with it at the momment be enough.. i dont want him to be in pain and keep him when hes not happy for my own selfish reasons ifkwim

beautifulgirls Wed 22-Oct-08 14:37:06

I would imagine from what you say he is having cartrophen injections. They help to preserve the cartilage surfaces within the joints basically. I find it works very well in some dogs and no response at all in others. If it does work he can have intermittant repeat courses of these 3 times a year I think, but if no response after these done don't bother to go there again.

I would also look into a few other options with him - though what they are doing sounds good so far. Ask if there is a hydrotherapy pool for dogs anywhere in a reasonable distance and see if you can get him in there - I have seen huge improvements in patients using this. Also ask about accupuncture too. Your vet can probably refer him to a vet for this if no-one at your own practice does this. Also if pain is getting hard to manage despite the pain meds he is getting ask about Tramadol being prescribed too. My own old labrador (14) has quite bad arthritis in 3 of her legs but copes pretty well with life on anti-inflammatories and tramadol. She only has gentle exercise these days but she is happy enough. Also if things are not going well on the anti-inflammatories you have for him right now, ask the vet to try one of the others available. Like humans not all patients respond in the same way to the same drugs, and a different one may just provide him with better pain relief than what you have tried so far, if that is not working. Personally the ones I like to use are Metacam, Rimadyl and Previcox. My own dog is on Previcox but I have used the other two with her and unfortunately they have not suited her.

I think you need to adopt a wait and see approach to things with him. There are many dogs that cope well with pain relief alone, but if he is not doing so well I would give surgery a serious thought as they can do very well afterwards, even with just one side operated on.

Hope that helps

beautifulgirls Wed 22-Oct-08 14:39:19

Also meant to say, once he has finished the cartrophen injections ask the vet for a glucosamine supplement such as seraquin to put him on - this does a similar thing to cartrophen, but in a different way.

Did you mean id or jd diet - hopefully you meant jd? It didn't help my own dog at all, but I have had patients do very well with it, so definately worth a go.

shoptilidrop Thu 23-Oct-08 17:23:57

yes, i did mean jd, sorry that was a typo. Thanks very much for your advice. He is on Rimadyl at the momment. It has seemed to perk him up a bit - but it hard to get him to take it, it has to be take with food and hes such a fussy eater. He will go for days without eating ( he has always been like this) and now im having to coax him to eat twice a day. Also he wont eat the tablet, even though its palatable. so its a bit of an effort to get him to have it.
With the glucosamine supplement, ive seem them in tesco and holland and barrat, are they the same ones, could i give him those?
and how will i know if the injections will have made any difference??

Thanks for all your help.

beautifulgirls Thu 23-Oct-08 19:48:05

If you have pet insurance then get your glucosamine from the vet as they usually pay for these, but if you get it over the counter at the health food shop they will not usually cover it. Basically most are the same though yes. Some have a few added extras that may or may not help further.

Re the injections - just seeing how your dog is on a regular basis really. I like a system where you take say 3 things eg ability to get up from rest, ability to jump in/out of car and ability to walk about when calm and has been up and about a few minutes. Give them a score out of 10 where 10 is great and 1 is very very poor. Add them up each day or week and see how the scores compare over time. The higher things get then the better the meds etc are working for him. It is all quite subjective and some days will be worse than others.

Hmm, hard when he is bad about taking tablets. If you think you can get the tablets into him without them being in his meal then it is ok to feed him and then give the tablet immediately after his food. Longer term the Rimadyl may well reduce to once a day though. Metacam may be an easier option for you though as this is a liquid (once a day) rather than a tablet. I'd persist a while and try to get crafty with getting tablets in - peanut butter sandwiches, cream cheese, honey etc all go a long way to help with many dogs! Just beware of the weight gain with these!!

Ecmo Thu 23-Oct-08 19:51:45

My friends collie had the ball on the end of her hip removed. She is an agility dog and is now back doing agility although only at the lowest height and she no longer competes. She is much happier and it made such a difference as she was in a lot of pain before. HTH

Ecmo Thu 23-Oct-08 19:53:01

by ball I mean the ball joint of the hip bone IYSWIM!

midlandsmumof4 Sat 25-Oct-08 02:24:55

Well, don't know if this helps but a friend of mine has a Doberman of about the same age with hip problems. Initially, hip replacement was considered but an alternative therapy was swimming!! He goes once a week & this combined with medication seems to have done the trick. It may be worth looking into.

happyjuicegirl Sun 23-Nov-08 12:02:31

Hi, new to this site, and hopefully I can give you some positive words! My 9 month old GSD x Rott had a total hip replacement on Weds. He came home Thursday a different dog. He is happy, walking well on the new hip and has minimal discomfort. In fact, he is better than when he went in! He managed to tear his joint capsule around his right hip which meant that a rubbish hip became totally unstable and very painful. I either gave him the chance or put him to sleep. With him wagging his tail and wanting to play despite it all, I went for it. Being such a young dog, it wasn't the ideal time to do it, but with no choice we had to. Oh boy! What a difference! Happy, happy dog! It is a long recovery, with cage rest and exercise restriction, but the long term makes it well worth it. His other hip may or may not need doing in the future, and if it does, I won't hesitate. I hope your boy gets on ok.

Kie Mon 24-Nov-08 17:51:00

My 2-year old labrador was diagnosed with severe HD recently. We were referred to an osteo surgeon, but he was very positive about manging her without surgery (well until she is about 8 years old anyway!). SHe is also having the cartrophen injections, I have previcox to give her when she needs pain relief which I am glad about as I didn't really want metacam or rimadyl. We are on lead walks for 2 months initially, including hills, weekly hydrotherapy sessions, no playing in the garden with my other dogs (that tough), and the surgeon reckons she will be able to do everything she used to do, even agliity (but not competitively).

shoptilidrop Wed 26-Nov-08 10:26:24

thanks for that.
I did think he seemed to have perked up quite a bit - so under te vets advice we have cut the rimadyl down to a whole tablet in the morning and a half in the evening. Its shocking to me that just cutting it that small amount and hes back to being grumpy and you can see he is in pain the the mornings. He has had the injections.
Im def leaning towards the surgery for him. He cant have more than a 10 min walk at them momment - thats nothing. Hes not allowed to run or play - it makes me sad for him. I want him to be happy so i thiunk the surgery will be work it.
Happyjuice - how is he now? Is he ok on his feet? what about stairs? Feeding? How long before he is allowed out? How much pain does he seem to be in? Do you work - is he ok on his own or is he needing 24/7 care at the momment?


happyjuicegirl Sun 30-Nov-08 15:12:05

Sorry I haven't replied sooner! Been busy making Christmas cakes for the school fair......!
Dexter is doing really well, we go back on Thursday for stitches out and a check up.
He is doing really well - very little pain (he's on Metacam as Previcox upsets his tum) and using the leg well. He has no lameness at all, but obviously he needs to heal and build up muscle so it's lead walks only and cage rest until further notice. He looks after himself really, I don't need to watch him constantly. The hardest thing is the huge Elizabethan collar - it makes a racket when he turns round in his cage and hurts if he bashes my leg with it! But it's only on for 2 weeks anyway, so you have to just get on with it. Contrary to popular belief, they adjust very quickly to them and they can eat, drink and be merry with one on! He doesn't do the stairs as he's not allowed anyway, but a fully healed dog is quite capable of stairs, jumping into the car, onto the sofa, etc! Lots of working dogs have gone back to full work after the op, so it really can be great for them. I'm at home most of the time so it's easier, the hardest bit is the first two weeks. After that, it gets easier (apart from trying to slow him down of course!!)as the leg gets stronger. He's having Cartophen weekly anyway for his elbows (they were operated on 8 weeks ago), so that will help his other hip too. It does amaze me that he's such a happy boy, despite having had so much, so young. Hopefully we can look forward to a great, mobile, pain free life now!

happyjuicegirl Sun 30-Nov-08 19:00:40

By the way, a brilliant company called Healthy Direct do a really good joint supplement for dogs called Joint Aid. It contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM and Vit. C. It's really good value, and lasts for ages. My boy has 3 capsules daily that he eats quite happily. You can open the capsules and sprinkle them directly onto the food aswell. He is also on Omega 3 as it contains EPA that is so important for joints. It is all good value and their website is packed with lots of other supplements for us humans too! HTH

eubank Fri 05-Feb-10 13:37:42

my 7 month old pug puppy wushi has just had a hip replacement . its a week today and he,s doing fine .. i dont know who told you he wouldnt be able to walk ! wushi is up on his feet around the house and only put in his playpen if he gets excited or when i think he needs to rest . yes theres rules . no jumping , stairs slippy surfaces or off leader walks . but i manage ok , yes its hard i wont pretend its not but i have 5 dogs and wushi being the youngest he wants to play 24/7.
i had a fantastic surgeon for wushi . the operation was complex with him being so small and it was expensive .£5.000 for one hip !
but its worth it . he must of been in extreme pain without us knowing for months before we knew anything was wrong but i beleive iv done the best for him and if i was you i would consider it

emma40 Wed 21-Jul-10 21:57:51


emma40 Wed 21-Jul-10 22:06:11

my 9 month old retriever is recovering from total hip replacement 3 weeks ago and is doing amazing. he is such a happy dog now. he could walk straight away and is already going on 3 ten mins walks a day. no jumping, stairs or slippery floors for anothe 5 weeks. he has been easy to care for with the use of stair gates and lifting our cushions up on sofa when not sat there. he is so mobile now like he has never been before. it was expensive as the first op failed due to his age and soft bones. it was cemented in second time around. best thing i have done in my life, giving our beautiful happy puppy life and not just that quality of life.. was expensive at £8000 so far and still paying for hydrotherapy twice a week to build his muscles up. worth every last penny. if he does need other hip doing we will not even have to think about it. we are not rich but chose to have a dog as part of our family so see it as job to take good care of our little boy ..

DonnaBL Sun 01-Aug-10 21:33:54

These are very reasurring comments for myself, as my Black Lab who is only 18months, is about to undergo a hip replacement on tues. And I'm a very worried owner and not quite sure what to expect in the long-run.
So keep the positive comments coming, as they are helping me come to terms with the right decision I have made.

beckyhershberger1 Mon 15-Jul-13 02:32:44

July 9th 2013 my Australian Shepherd had her right hip replaced. I knew it would be a long recovery but I didn't realize all of the meds that she would be required to take around the clock. I do have them regulated so that I don't need to get up in the middle of the night any more but her appetite is down so she won't eat her regular dog food and can smell any pill put in anything now. Including hot dogs, raw hamburger and home made chicken liver brownies which she love. Her energy level is coming back already so she complains about being in the crate at day 5 post surgery. She is supposed to be restricted for 8 weeks on a leash. We also have 3 goldens which I can't let into her area.

shepherdsdelight Mon 15-Jul-13 07:27:11

Not sure whether I should post. My experience of this op with our little tibetan terrier was sad.
Diagnosed with severe displaysia in both hips. Checking his papers I belatedly realised his mother should NEVER have been used for breeding - despite the breeder reassuring me the score was within acceptable limits for the breed. Not true - hip score total of 23, and for that breed the acceptable total is 20.
Vet eventually referred us to the (supposedly fantastic[hmmm]) 'bionic vet' of tv fame (but before he was on tv) for replacement of the worst hip. I was bullied and guilt-tripped into agreeing to the op - very, very intimidating man. (We are getting some amazing results with this new surgery. (note - SOME amazing results).) Surgery scheduled 'immediately' ie next day! Recovery period was difficult but we got through it. Then Hydrotherapy for weeks. No miraculous turnaround in our lttle dog's demeanour. He was always quiet and unobtrusive, and very very fearful of many everday objects (like black bin bags). And sadly not good with some other dogs.
Seven months after the op he woke one morning and was unable to move. Turned out that the hip replacement had 'failed'. The ball bit had come out of the socket. Local vet referred me back to 'bionic vet' and meanwhile I did some more research. Turned out that hip replacement on SMALL dogs is VERY experimental. Bionic vet has made a name for himself pioneering this op on ever smaller dogs - and even cats!. Might be cynical of me but ....of course he needs cases to perfect his pioneering surgery. There were other more tried and tested treatments and operations we could have used - but ......... if only......
Insurance all used up on first op and recovery treatments so we would have to cover costs of remedial surgery.
Bionic vet wanted to operate immediately but I refused without talking again first to my local vet. Bionic vet did say that since my dog's op seven months previously he had made further refinements to the op to help prevent failure of the artificial joint (so my dog was not the only 'victim'). Once again I felt I was being bullied into an op that I wasn't sure was in the dog's best interests. After much argument, and tears, and a phone call from my local vet he eventually 'let' me take my dog back to my local vet to discuss the options (without the bullying tactics).
Talked through all the options with my local vet - including sawing through the titanium head of the joint, and 'fixing' the joint permanently which would leave him with less mobility in the joint but, hopefully functioning. Then there was the consideration that the other hip was also very bed - and whilst it might never need operating on, we shouldn't rule out the possibility.

Very, very sadly I came to the conclusion I had a very poorly bred little dog who I felt had suffered enough in his short life - and had the prospect of even more ops and/or years of pain ahead.
sad sad sad

charligirl Wed 06-Nov-13 22:23:10

Oh I am so sorry shepherdsdelight how awful for you both.

I came to this thread as my 7 month old black lab boy was diagnosed today with severe hip dys in one hip, he's limping but they say not in pain. Vet is investigating surgery and referral. We have wooden floors throughout the house so that isn't helpful, hydrotherapy not an option with 100 miles round trip to nearest place. But your posts about larger dogs have encouraged me, will wait to see what vet says.

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