Frodo has a new hip

Frodo is a special dog whose developmental/ degenerative hip dysplasia left him feeling very sore and uncomfortable. Hip dysplasia is unfortunately not an uncommon disease of many medium to large breeds of dog. The problem is genetic in origin, but also has an environmental and/or nutritional component in some breeds. The hip joint is a ball and socket configuration which enables a very smooth and wide range of movement.

Frodo's hips were unfortunately poorly fit between the femoral head (ball) and the acetabulum (socket). Today there are many different options for the treatment of hip dysplasia in dogs, including natural supplements, joint supplements, medications and surgery. The best treatment depends on the dog's age and temperament and the severity of the disease. Managing the problem can be much easier if it is picked up when they are puppies. Speak to your vet to discuss options, especially in large breed puppies, to be able to prevent the hip dysplasia becoming worse into adulthood.

Frodo is only three years old, and due to the severe nature of his hip dysplasia, it was elected a total hip replacement would be required.

Dr Chris Preston, one of Australia's leading veterinary orthopaedic surgeons and pioneer of joint replacements in dogs from Melbourne, performed Frodo's surgery at Adelaide Animal Hospital earlier this year*.
Using an implant very similar to that used in people, Frodo's hip was removed and replaced with a plastic socket and metal head/ neck. This procedure relieves the pain and discomfort that Frodo suffered from osteoarthritis.

Total hip replacements in dogs have a very successful outcome with more than 90-95% of all dogs returning to full function. This is a better result than most people achieve - walking on four legs instead of two certainly has its advantages! Joint replacement for dogs is now possible for hips, knees and elbows, which can relieve a large amount of pain in dogs due to osteoarthritis and other conditions affecting their joints.

Frodo has made a full recovery, and is bouncing around (quite literally) and enjoying life to the full.

* Please note that Dr Preston is based at the Pet Emergency and Specialist Centre in Victoria. As such, we are unable to offer hip replacement surgery as a standard service at Adelaide Animal Hospitals.

Click here to find out more about arthritis in pets.

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