Hip Replacement for Small Dogs Now Possible

New procedure makes total hip replacement an option for dogs as small as seven pounds.

Miami Veterinary Specialists says it has performed the very first total hip replacement on the East Coast for a small breed dog: in this case, a Yorkshire Terrier named Monty.

Total hip replacement has been available to large breed dogs since 1974. But now, new technology is making the surgery possible for dogs as small as seven pounds, according to the Miami-based pet hospital.

The new surgery is an alternative to the Femoral Head and Neck Ostectomy (FHO), which usually involved a long and painful recovery. With the new surgery, replaced hips for small breed dogs allow a return to normalcy.

“With FHO, it’s easy to remove the head and neck, but sometimes the dog doesn’t use the leg for weeks or never uses it well at all. Recovery from surgery is long and painful. The long-term result is not good,” said Juan Sardinas, DACVS, DECVS, of Miami Veterinary Specialists.

After an FHO, the limb lacks normal range of motion. There is also upward displacement and limb shortening. Patients who undergo an FHO also do not regain normal muscle mass and experience pain with manipulation.

For Monty, normal weight bearing was achieved several days post-op, in a dog that had been lame for several months prior to surgery, according to Miami Veterinary Specialists.

“The day we brought him home, besides being a bit sluggish, he was back to normal. Literally within a week, Monty was running around the house and jumping,” said his owner, Gina Melnick.

For more information on total hip replacement, or to read Monty’s case study, visit www.mvshospital.com and click on “About Us.”

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