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Is FHO a good idea?

Species: Dog
Breed: mix breed 35kg
Age: 8-11 years
my 11 year old 35kg male dog suffers from severe hip displasia & pain relief medication is no longer effective. it has been suggested by our vet that a femoral head ostectomy is the next stage. we are concerned that at his age the trauma of the procedure outweighs any benefit he would receive.(a hip replacement op has also been suggested but as pensioners the cost of this is outside of our finances)
your comments would be much appreciated


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

These are always very tough decisions!

I do find that most dogs recover extremely quickly from a femoral head ostectomy (FHO). When this surgery is done, the head of the femur is removed. This removes the part of the bone that is sitting in the hip joint. The result is that there is no bone rubbing on bone in the hip joint and pain is greatly reduced. You would think that dogs would have a hard time walking with no intact hip joint but they almost always do extremely well.

You may want to ask your vet to look into a new procedure called hip denervation. Our orthopedic surgeon has been doing this and it is a great surgery for older dogs with hip problems. What he does is he goes into the hip joint and scrapes off the nerve endings in the joint capsule. There are almost no side effects and the recovery time is fast. I have been recommending this for my older patients with hip dysplasia.

I hope everything goes ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.