Jump to content
BC Boards

FHO vs THR?


galwaygirl
 Share

Recommended Posts

We got the news Friday that our 1 y/o Harper has moderate HD in her left hip. She had been developing a strange rear leg gait over the past few months which is what prompted me to get her x-rayed. Luckily, with all of the research I had done on abnormal gaits, I was mentally prepared for this diagnosis. From what the vet told me, there are two possible procedures for moderate HD: an femoral head ostectomy or a total hip replacement. THR is the golden standard of HD procedures and is about 4x the cost of an FHO. I am not as concerned with the cost as I am with the functionality of the limb after a procedure like this. I've read that the dog is much more likely to regain full functionality of the leg following a THR when compared to the FHO. Harper is so young and active that my main concern is her ability to regain maximum use of her leg following surgery. I have a consultation at the NC State vet school later this week so hopefully they can shed some light on the best option for us. Does anyone have experience with either of these procedures? I would be interested in hearing how your dog did in the days/months/years following surgery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Carlie was diagnosed with HD in both hips at the age of 2 years old. She continued on her life of agility and sheep work until age 7 when she just didn't want to any more due to her hips. I had bilateral FHOs done on both hips at the same time. The recovery wasn't too bad. She was walking within 2 weeks and kept improving from there. She was actually back in the agility ring competing 6 months later! With an in shape, light border collie (light is relative, Carlie is 30 lbs, which is much better than doing it with a 90 lb lab!) I would do the FHO without a second thought. Carlie has a slightly irregular gait when running, she bunny hops like she used to before the surgery, but I'm not sure if any of it is due to the surgery or it's just the way she learned to run her whole life. She is pain free so it's not from hurting, I think it's a learned thing.

 

She is a happy, healthy dog who still, at age 10.5 years, loves to play ball and frisbee and is doing a sheep herding demo this weekend. She is retired from agility now but it was her decision. She would rather hunt small critters in the agility field and if that's what makes her happy then that's what she can do! I would do the FHOs all over again in a heartbeat!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends on your definitions of work and active. An FHO can be just fine for a pet or weekend warrior hobby trial dog. For a working dog expected to do lots of chores or work for longer than a few minutes at a time, you might want to talk to the surgeon about the THR. **Both types of surgery will have failures (dogs who are still in pain, need further surgery to fix something, etc). A THR that fails can be modified into an FHO, but an FHO that fails has few options.**

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of non-surgical options are you looking at? I did water therapy, swimming, hill walking, etc with Carlie to keep her muscles in shape to help stabilize the joint and keep the pain down. I also did joint supplements and some pain meds if she ever overdid it while playing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of non-surgical options are you looking at? I did water therapy, swimming, hill walking, etc with Carlie to keep her muscles in shape to help stabilize the joint and keep the pain down. I also did joint supplements and some pain meds if she ever overdid it while playing.

 

There is a rehab facility about 5 minutes from my house that does underwater treadmills, message therapy, acupuncture, etc. After I get the go-ahead from my vet, I'll visit them to see what will work best for Harper. It sounds like the underwater treadmill can be quite effective. If you have recommendations on types of supplements that would be great too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds good! I live in the same city as a vet school and they have an underwater treadmill but it was too expensive for me. I made do by swimming Carlie and putting her on a leash and walking her in the shallower water on the shoreline. I've also heard of people buying the little 3 foot tall kids pools and walking them around in them. I did a little massage therapy with her and she really enjoyed that!

 

I had Carlie on Dasuquin with good results. I also fed pretty heavy doses of omega fatty acids.

 

Good luck with your pup!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I thought I would give an update on the HD front. We got an appointment with the NC State ortho vet who did a full ortho exam on Harper and reviewed her x-rays. The vet was awesome! She recommended strongly that I not go the surgery route yet, saying that young, active dogs can benefit greatly from physical rehab as opposed to surgery. So I currently have her on Dasuquin with MSM, Rimadyl, and fish oil supplements. The Dasuquin takes a few weeks to start working but the Rimadyl is helping a lot (though it's not a permanent solution). The fish oil is probably helping and if nothing else, her coat seems to be super shiny. We have an appointment Friday to try out an underwater treadmill. We'll most likely go 2-3 times a week for 4 weeks and then move to home therapy. I'm excited to see what kind of results we get from this, since I hear it's the best rehab available. Harper tends to be nervous in new situations, so hopefully she adjusts quickly. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great news!

 

My Celt was slated for surgery when the ortho vet saw him (our local vet had felt an obvious need for surgery) and she did not feel he needed surgery, just (in his case) crate rest and Rimadyl (and continuing joint supplements). It worked for him and has worked so far, as he maintains an active life as a working farm dog.

 

Getting a second opinion for something as serious as this is a good idea, in my opinion.

 

Very best wishes!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...