Hip dysplasia is a skeletal condition that affects the hip joint of dogs where essentially, the joint begins to rub against the socket inappropriately – causing deterioration and loss of function over time. Although very large breeds are most susceptible to this, dogs of all sizes can be affected.
The disease is largely hereditary; with certain breeds such as Great Danes and Saint Bernards commonly develop it at some point in their lives.
Poor nutrition and exercise can also contribute to the likelihood of developing the condition – both too much or too little exercise in fact. Overweight or obese dogs that have added pressure put on these joints are so predictably predisposed.
Your vet will ask you to consider surgery in cases where the condition is severe.
Find Out if Your Pet Has Hip Dysplasia
If you see signs of your pet exhibiting the above, take them 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. Initial consultation costs around $50 to $150.
X-rays will have to be taken to confirm the condition of the hip joint. These let the vet identify the severity of the situation and prescribe the best course of treatment accordingly. X-rays typically cost around $60 to $180 depending on the number of views required.
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.
Dog Hip Dysplasia Surgical Procedures and Costs
Lifestyle changes and medications can be used to help mediate the effects of hip dysplasia. However, if all else fails, surgery is the best option. The cost of the surgery depends on the severity of the progression of the condition for the most part.
There are different surgical procedures available to be performed by a board certified surgeon. These surgeries overall can range in f from $2,000 to $6,000 – with the dog hip replacement cost being the most expensive as it is the most invasive of the three.
- Double or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
This is where the pelvis is broken in specific parts and then allowed to heal in order to correct the hip joint by realigning the head of the femur into the socket. This surgery requires the most grueling recovery and can be quite painful, so it is best done on younger dogs 10 months or less as they recover much quicker and are heartier throughout the process.
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 to $2,000 per hip surgery.
- Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)
FHO involves removing the tip of the femur which results in an artificial or a “false joint” which greatly helps in reducing pressure on the hips and 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.
Normally, the hip function does not fully return. However, pain is severely reduced. This is recommended for both young (1 year+) and adult dogs.
FHO costs $1,800 to $2,400 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. This procedure eliminates almost all discomfort and restores full hip function.
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 to $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 to $300.
Other Costs to Consider
Your dog will require postoperative pain management drugs – $50 to $100 depending on the dosage. Ideally, the procedure will eliminate pain for the long-term. Unfortunately, depending on your dog’s specifics, pain management may be an ongoing cost for the rest of your dog’s life.