Recovering from FHO - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Recovering from FHO

My girl had FHO surgery one week ago today. Temperament and character wise, she is back to her lovable, naughty self

I know with this type of surgery it is important to get her to begin using her (left) leg as quickly as possible. Other than a few toe touches, I have not seen her bear any weight as of yet.

Has anyone else gone through this process?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 11:49 AM
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Re: Recovering from FHO

Yes-Ilsa had it done in March. She's a mix-about 47#. She actually was touching down the day after surgery and the day after that, when I picked her up, she was using it, jumped in the car and was jumping from front to back seat...yikes! Do not recommend that! She didn't do that once we got home though and she calmed down.

However, she is very stoic, has what seems to be a high pain tolerance and not that sensitivity to things.

BUT-here is what happened-after a while, she decided it was easier to lift that leg to walk/run and stopped using it. THEN, I would leash her again and make her use it. So she would, until off leash, and then back to being a tripod! So I would yell to her-use your leg-and she'd put it back down. I thought we were doing well until I really looked and realized she was skimming the foot-so it wasn't actually touching down. She totally fooled me. :

SO-I told the vet and he said if that continued, I would have to bring her in and he would wrap the other leg so that she would have to use the FHO leg to run. I told Ilsa (seriously-I know-crazy) and she's been doing much better. She has until the end of this month to prove to me that she will use that leg all the time or else she goes in for a wrap.

Telling you all this to say-they will touch down as they feel comfy-and each dog varies with that. Call the vet if you are concerned, just to check up on her progress. It never hurts for them to take a look or hear your worries. Also, I think the recovery took longer than I thought. She did the touching down so quickly that I expected the rest to roll right along, but it took her quite a while to be able to be proficient in using the leg for turns, etc. And keep an eye out for faking it!





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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 01:02 PM
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Re: Recovering from FHO

I had a GSD that had FHO surgery done about 15 years ago. It was not done by an orthopedic surgeon (bad me ) and the bone was not cut correctly.

After the surgery the vet told me she should start using it right away and encourage her to do so. Well she did not want to use it but did learn quickly what "use your leg" meant and would try and appease me as eager to please as she was. Anyhow, after several weeks of having to remind her to use her leg and she would for a few steps and then stop I knew somethingw as not right.

Long story short she had to have another surgery by an orthopedic surgeon to repair as much as possible.

I'm not trying to scare you but if after a copule of weeks she is still not using it I think I would be concerned.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 09:03 PM
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Re: Recovering from FHO

Maybe some gentle massage? Arnica will help with any muscle trauma, and Symphytum (sp?) will help with bone pain.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 09:22 AM
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Re: Recovering from FHO

Quote:
Originally Posted By: chruby
After the surgery the vet told me she should start using it right away and encourage her to do so. Well she did not want to use it but did learn quickly what "use your leg" meant and would try and appease me as eager to please as she was. . .

I'm not trying to scare you but if after a copule of weeks she is still not using it I think I would be concerned.
Yes, I want to say you definitely need to know your dog with this too-Ilsa won't do anything just to be compliant, so her being selective in the use of the leg wasn't a concern for me-because I saw she could do it when it was convenient for her. However, we went back to the vet probably more frequently than necessary for re-checks. And called them-so I would call and talk to them, bring her in-it's coming up stitch removal time, right?

It is nerve wracking, I think, these ortho surgeries! I actually think it was easier with open heart surgery for Anna, than this FHO or Mariele's luxating patella surgeries-because you don't walk on your heart and the instructions were so cut and dry!





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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Recovering from FHO

8 years ago I had TPLO done on a different dog. She was in a cast, and I had very specific instructions that time around. Definitely much easier when you have a protocol!!

The surgeon basically said we need to encourage her to use the leg. But...we are still only one week post-op so I am not too worried yet.

I did make an appt for this coming Tuesday with a rehab vet. That, and stitches come out on Thursday. So we have two upcoming vet visits and can get feedback.

Plus, once the stitches are out, she won't have to be on 24/7 surveillance any more
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 10:20 PM
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Re: Recovering from FHO

Yes Jean, it was nerve wracking, especially since the vet told me and everything I read said that the success of the surgery depended on the dog developing scar tissue and that would best happen with early use after the surgery.

Hoping the op has better luck with her dog. Keep us posted.

Mom to:

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aka Maya, TDI ~TC ~ CGC ~ TD ~ UDT

Fenja von Wolfstraum
aka Heidi, TDI ~ CGC ~ CD ~ BH

Gass Moravia Artex
aka Chico, BH ~ AD ~ SchH3

RIP- Roxy, Boone & King
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 09:50 PM
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Re: Recovering from FHO

Yeah, my Ecco had FHO surgery exactly 4 weeks ago today. He dislocated his left hip while attempting to jump over his dog gate I had placed to keep him away from the slippery tile I had just finished mopping. On his way over the gate, his hip got caught and it became dislocated.

He began using the leg since the day after surgery. After a week or so he began to put more weight on it. However, when he wants to get somewhere faster or is following me quickly he will lift it and use 3 legs. He is slowly trying to run again and was successful yesterday when he booked off after a cat that had invaded our yard.

I know I was very impatient and wished he would heal quicker, but I just had to tell myself to be patient and take it a day at a time.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Recovering from FHO

We just had our first session with a vet/physical therapist who works with an underwater treadmill. The vet also showed us quite a few manual manipulations and some massage to use. Even before today, I have been seeing steady improvement and more of a willingness for Tasha to use her leg again.

There is currently a 5 cm difference in muscling right/left. Poor honey, we have a lot of work ahead!!
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