Dog hip dysplasia connotes abnormal growth of the hip joint. Either the ball of the femur (thigh bone) does not fit well into the socket (acetabulum) of the hip, or the hip joint is so loose that the ball bangs around in the socket.
It should slide smoothly, not grind against each other; otherwise it will suffer over time and possibly lead to surgery or hip replacement.
It’s painful for dogs but also for owners who can’t bear to watch their pets suffering. Know more about this condition including the surgery cost.
Dog Hip Dysplasia Surgical Procedures and Costs
Sadly, your vet will ask you to consider surgery in cases where the condition is too severe. The cost for dog hip dysplasia surgery and especially dog hip replacement cost can be rather expensive.
There are different surgical procedures available to be performed by a board certified surgeon.
- Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
It’s usually performed on young dogs less than 10 months old. This surgery aims to improve the function of the ball and socket joint by cutting the pelvic bones in two (DPO) to three (TPO) places and rotates the segments.
Dogs stay for two nights at the hospital following surgery followed by total rest at home for an additional 6-8 weeks. X-rays are required after about 6 weeks to check the healing progress of the surgical area.
TPO costs $1,200 – $2,000 per hip surgery.
- Femoral head ostectomy (FHO)
It can be performed on young and mature dogs. It involves cutting the ball of the femur.
The body then creates a “false joint” which greatly helps in pain relief. Early use of the leg is important so forms of physical therapy are started usually after suture removal 7-10 days after surgery.
FHO costs $1,780 – $2,380 depending on the patient’s size.
- Total hip replacement (THR)
This procedure replaces both the ball and the socket with prosthetic implants. The new ball is made from cobalt-chromium metal alloy and the socket from high molecular weight polyethylene plastic. Special bone cement is used to hold them in place.
Length of hospitalization can be from 3-5 days, including the day of the initial exam. The sutures may be removed 10-14 days after surgery.
For the first month after surgery, your dog should only be allowed outside on a leash for a short walk. While inside the house, your pet should avoid stairs and slippery floors. No running, jumping or playing is allowed in the first 2 months after surgery.
For the second month after surgery, you may take your pet on longer leash walks. After the end of the second month, your pet may return to full activity.
THR cost ranges from $5,600 – $6,000 inclusive of the price of the implants, blood work, x-rays, hospital stay, antibiotics, anesthesia, and surgical fees.
Charges for follow-up evaluations is about $200 – $300. The cost of surgery can make a big dent in your budget. When you do decide to go with the option of surgery, dog hip dysplasia is covered by insurance.
If you don’t have one, there are many hospitals that customize payment schemes for your convenience.
There is a high success rate, especially for hip replacement surgery. However, as with most surgical procedures, there is no guarantee against complications. But the idea of giving your pet a chance at a pain-free, active, and full life is totally worth it.
What are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia?
- Weakness is felt on one or both hind legs.
- There is a decrease in your pets’ They are reluctant to run around, jump, or climb stairs.
- They exhibit bunny hopping so-called because they simultaneously lift both hind legs like a jumping rabbit.
- They find it difficult to lie down or stand up.
- You will hear an audible clicking sound coming from the hips while walking.
- They feel pain when you touch their hip or pelvis area.
Find Out if Your Pet Has Hip Dysplasia
If you see signs of your pet exhibiting the above, take it to a veterinarian for a physical examination. The vet will check for abnormalities in the movement of the hip joints like looseness in the joints, reduced range of motion, and grinding sound.
X-rays will have to be taken to confirm the condition. These let the vet identify the severity of the situation and prescribe the best course of treatment accordingly.
There are hip screenings available for $195. If your pet is close to 13 weeks of age and tests positive, it is a good candidate for Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS). This procedure aims to achieve a better fit of the ball and socket.
JPS is done by fusing the growth plate of the pubic bone to limit the growth. The hip socket is then forced to rotate over the ball as it grows – giving it a snug fit.
Other Treatment for Hip Dysplasia
Depending on the seriousness of hip dysplasia that your pet has, there are several effective ways to approach your dog’s condition the non-surgical way.
- Weight monitoring –Do not overfeed your dog. Oftentimes, we give out table scraps or treats generously. If your dog is already overweight, it needs to reduce weight. Control food portions as needed and follow a rigid diet as advised by your veterinarian. It also helps you save some food money!
- Proper nutrition and supplements – Prepare foods rich in omega fatty acids because they help reduce the inflammation of the hips. Glucosamine and chondroitin are usually given as supplements to rebuild the cartilage around the joints.
- Controlled exercise – Regular and low impact exercises like swimming or walking on a leash are good but avoid hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt.
- Physical therapy – Massages help in reducing pain and increasing your dog’s mobility. Hydrotherapy like using underwater treadmills can also be beneficial. Do check with your veterinarian or a dog therapist to know your pet’s limitations.
- Pain medications – NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are prescribed.
- Acupuncture – Asian holistic approach meets Western medicine. Acupuncture is recognized to provide pain relief. This service costs about $90 for an initial consult and first treatment.
What Causes Hip Dysplasia?
Experts will tell you that it is mainly attributed to genetics. This means that dogs with bad hips may more than likely pass it on to their puppies. It is more common for large dog breeds like German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Saint Bernards to suffer from hip dysplasia.
Small and medium size breeds are not an exemption, though. They are also susceptible to this medical condition.
Excessive weight gain or obesity can also result in hip dysplasia. Too much weight brings about unwanted strain and pressure to the joints.
The same goes for too much or too little exercise. There’s a fine line between dogs that are hyper-energetic for their own good and dogs that just laze around all day.