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My GSD just turned 5 on December 1st and today we went in for xrays as her hips were never great. The xrays were horrible and Luna needs both hips replaced immediately for any hope of a normal life. Thankfully we caught it in time and with surgery she would live a great life according to our vet (I really hope this is true and am looking for personal stories supporting this).
Not sure what to expect, we have an appointment with the surgeon/specialist in the next few weeks.
anyone else have any experience with full hip replacement? what are some steps to take before and after to make sure my dog is not stressed out?
 

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I don't know, but giving your question a bump...
I know other members have gone through this!
Sorry she has to go through this.

@JonRob had gone through this a few times with his dogs, I was hoping he would answer.
But maybe you can search some previous threads to see what members have said about the hip replacement process...
 

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My GSD just turned 5 on December 1st and today we went in for xrays as her hips were never great. The xrays were horrible and Luna needs both hips replaced immediately for any hope of a normal life. Thankfully we caught it in time and with surgery she would live a great life according to our vet (I really hope this is true and am looking for personal stories supporting this).
Not sure what to expect, we have an appointment with the surgeon/specialist in the next few weeks.
anyone else have any experience with full hip replacement? what are some steps to take before and after to make sure my dog is not stressed out?
Hi Luna,

I wanted to chime in as I am just in my last week of the restricted activity time after my 14 month old's full hip replacement.

My dog was diagnosed at 5 months after xrays. I noticed because his hips were clicking and popping. After months of research and referral to a really great ortho surgeon I decided to do a full hip replacement on his right hip at 11 months old. He has his final xrays next Wednesday so I cannot say for sure how well he can run and play and stuff yet but from what it looks like so far it is amazing.

I would absolutely do it again, and am going to actually watch and see how his left hip does and may do it in the future sometime. My only regret was maybe not waiting till he was older, only because keeping him calm and quiet was an absolute nightmare. But he has some issues on that front that we were working on before and has anxiety.

My dog, Haku, had a cementless hip replacement done. I am glad they put this one in because after the research I preferred the idea of this, where the bone grows into the implant instead of being cemented in. I know both are very good options though, but with such a young dog I felt the cementless was better. I did have to be very careful with stairs, slipping, and getting up though. any calmer dog this would be no problem.but my 11 month old crazy was having non of it even on Trazadone..

If your dog is used to sleeping with you, camp out with him in a room where no stairs are needed and sleep on the floor. I have been sleeping on a 3 inch foam topping for 3 months >.<

Buy bulk of everything before surgery (if you are doing this alone like me) as getting out is more stressful than you think. Also don't just assume you will be "lying around all day" I dunno, somehow this didn't happen till later haha. But again he was only 11 months old.

The incision healed amazing with no issues, and he never showed much discomfort from the hip, especially after 2 weeks. At 7-8 weeks his limp was completely gone.

Things that were game changers for me:
Getting a ramp for any stairs. Haku refused to be picked up and tried to jump the stairs in panic. I made a ramp from wood and non-slip mat flipped over and nailed into the board. cheap and worked perfect.

Baby gates EVERYWHERE. As the healing progresses I slowly let Haku have access to more and more areas. He always dragged a leash though or was tethered to me in case he got the zoomies.

Trick work. I learnt a lot of things he could do lying down to keep him busy. Things like targeting, put ball in cup. Put toys in basket, Nod, Look Left and Right, Push a ball with nose etc. I found a great crate rest trick youtube video Ill try link it.

Teaching him mat work. This was a game changer into allowing him with me in the kitchen while cooking and also outside to soak up some sunshine. He got it pretty quick that he was supposed to stay lying on the mat and it let me allow him with me a lot more than I thought. In the beginning I sat on his leash a lot.

After I gave him more freedom in our small room and stopped micromanaging him so much, treat dispensing toys, boxes to rip up and scent work were the best. The scent work was amazing as it was low impact on his legs but he loved it and is super focused.

Rehab was awesome. We didn't need to go for the physical but it helped so much mentally for both of us. We had a ton of fun learning body awareness, balancing and ramp work, leg weaving, stretches etc. It tired him out and got us out our "cell." It also was a great way to see progress. We just had our last rehab checkup and his new hip leg is actually MORE muscular than his other leg! He also gained more muscle in the non surgery leg. Very interesting.

I bought myself a car backseat platform thing that covers the gap behind the front seats. This was awesome and driving around letting Haku put his head out the window helped a lot.

The first 3 days were the absolute worst. Haku was confused and restless, I was nervous and unsure. My mom stayed over to help me because Haku wanted to follow me every time I got up. It made even going to the bathroom or kitchen hard for a long time.

The first 2 weeks were also tough. Mainly just keeping him quiet and me jumping up every time I thought he would fall haha.

Weeks 3-9 he was just plain naughty. Most of this was his age. He felt great and didn't understand why he couldn't run and play. An older dog I feel would cope much better and have more impulse control. Walking a dog reactive dog after a hip replacement was fun.....I definitely learned some awesome "keep calm" handling skills.

Gradually increasing walk times where all I did was let Haku sniff helped him calm down a lot.

I bought a large maze slow feeder and I froze his kibble with chicken broth and it was the best purchase I have ever made.

If you have an excitable dog I would recommend always having a harness on him except for sleeping. Having something to grab onto when he tried to run etc was important. Also if he suddenly pulled, jumped, or zoomied on a collar the hips swing out and I was very nervous about that.

The sling is irritating but at least twice he slipped and I caught him with the sling, don't assume he will not slip! I used the sling down the ramp right up till week 10. On walks the sling was very hard so I used the back end of my 6 foot leash looped under by his hips in case something happened and it worked great.

I put all my furniture in an xpen because he so tried to jump on it. We messed up twice. He once snuck up my stairs, and again jumped on the couch. It was week 6 or 7 so we were okay but still!! BABY GATES!

And lastly, I kept Haku on sedatives almost the entire recovery due to his insane desire to move. He reacted badly to the recommended dose so I dropped it and it took the edge off and was awesome.

The only other things I can think of right now is ABSOLUTELY get a good surgeon. I was recommended to mine by multiple people and he has done thousands of this surgery. He was absolutely fantastic. Very very expensive but if I was going ahead with it I wanted it done well.

I will update our progress in a few days/ weeks if you like!
 
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