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Discussion Starter #1
My 10.5 month old GSD has been symptomatic since he was ~2-3 months old. He is scheduled for the first of two total hip replacement (replacement of ball and joint areas of the hip with prosthetics) surgeries on 2/25/2020. The surgeries will be done approximately 3 months apart for healing purposes.

Has anyone had any experiences with the procedure? I would really appreciate any suggestions, feedback, or recommendations. I would also appreciate some idea of what to realistically expect both short and long term (post-procedure).

Thank you very much - in advance - for your responses.
Etta
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
His primary Veterinian felt that they were severe. The ortho said that he was glad that we decided to have the surgery, although he had “seen worse”. This was the second orthopedic specialist we had taken him to. This current orthopedic surgeon is certified and is well-known for this type of orthopedic surgery. (I’m not certain whether or not the first one was).

My GSD has been symptomatic since he was about 2-3 months old. He has muscle atrophy on both rear hanches, bunny hops except when walking (and occasionally when walking) and use to whimper at night due to pain. We increased his pain meds, of course. He also has an arch in his back from trying to shift weigh to his front limbs. His front quarters appear to be over developed when compared to the rear.

They don’t ‘think‘ he’ll be able to do SAR, ‘football type’ competition, or bite-work, which is unfortunate. But, he should not be in pain or need ongoing medication; and, he should certainly be able to chase balls and play, and do some nose work. ? We ave not heard whether he will need therapy. Does anyone have any experience?
 

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Hi goneridin2,

I recently went through a total hip replacement with my young boy. He is now 16 months but the right hip was replaced when he was 11 months old. The procedure and results were amazing. I have a video of him after 3 months using the leg and he has 0 issues. In-fact, his muscle mass on his hip replaced leg is almost double the one that still has dysplasia. We now hike and run without problems.

I have a thread that may have some useful info for you, but I can give you some quick info for stuff that really helped me out. I posted this to someone in another thread.

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.

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 he has anxiety.

My dog, Haku, had a cement-less 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 cement-less was better. I did have to be very careful with stairs, slipping, and getting up though. any calmer older 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 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. Even a few. 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 progressed, 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, which was actually our biggest issue. He is just a spaz.

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. Cross paws, bashful (paw on nose) There are some great crate rest tricks youtube videos.

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.

Going to a dedicated Rehab specialist 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 "prison." It also was a great way to see progress. At our last rehab checkup, his new hip leg was actually MORE muscular than his other leg! He also gained more muscle in the non surgery leg than before surgery. Was very interesting.

I bought myself a car backseat platform thing that covers the gap behind the front seats so he wouldn't slip down there. 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 not 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.

You will become weirdly attached and resentful of the sling haha. Use it. Use it much longer than you think. 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 and back to my hand holding the end, 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, which hopefully you already have. 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.

Good luck with 2 back to back replacements. I found after 3 months we had a great routine and even considered doing the other there and then but for financial reasons and my mental sanity I am going to wait. He has drastically improved with just 1 though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi goneridin2,

I recently went through a total hip replacement with my young boy. He is now 16 months but the right hip was replaced when he was 11 months old. The procedure and results were amazing. I have a video of him after 3 months using the leg and he has 0 issues. In-fact, his muscle mass on his hip replaced leg is almost double the one that still has dysplasia. We now hike and run without problems.

I have a thread that may have some useful info for you, but I can give you some quick info for stuff that really helped me out. I posted this to someone in another thread.

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.

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 he has anxiety.

My dog, Haku, had a cement-less 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 cement-less was better. I did have to be very careful with stairs, slipping, and getting up though. any calmer older 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 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. Even a few. 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 progressed, 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, which was actually our biggest issue. He is just a spaz.

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. Cross paws, bashful (paw on nose) There are some great crate rest tricks youtube videos.

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.

Going to a dedicated Rehab specialist 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 "prison." It also was a great way to see progress. At our last rehab checkup, his new hip leg was actually MORE muscular than his other leg! He also gained more muscle in the non surgery leg than before surgery. Was very interesting.

I bought myself a car backseat platform thing that covers the gap behind the front seats so he wouldn't slip down there. 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 not 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.

You will become weirdly attached and resentful of the sling haha. Use it. Use it much longer than you think. 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 and back to my hand holding the end, 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, which hopefully you already have. 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.

Good luck with 2 back to back replacements. I found after 3 months we had a great routine and even considered doing the other there and then but for financial reasons and my mental sanity I am going to wait. He has drastically improved with just 1 though.
Thank you SO VERY much for our feedback. That is wealth of information. Ruger turned 11 mos old last week. His vet has asked us to give him daily bleach baths for the 3 wks prior to surgery which had to be rescheduled due to a skin infection that he seems to have picked up during his ‘work up’. That has made me a bit nervous. They rescheduled surgery (& charged me $687 for the overnight stay!?!)

The thing that is rather disconcerning right now is the fact that they want us to apply a solution of 1/2 cup of 6% household bleach combined with 1 gallon of water to his entire body working it into the skin thoroughly without rinsing or blow drying - just towel drying. This is to be done daily for 21 days. Everything that I’ve read calls for 1/4-1/2 cup bleach to 40 gallons of warm water for 10 minutes before rinsing in warm water and towel drying.

This was prescribed in lieu of 3 days of bathing the surgery site only with HIBICLEANS. Were you asked to do anything like this? I’m really worried.
 

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I don't have any 1st hand experience with this. A friend had this done in Texas with a vet who is based in CA but does surgery in Texas and I think either MN or WI every month for a couple of days....her dog had had a broken leg (femoral head left in socket, femur displaced, huge mass of calcium at break obscuring the joint on initial x-ray/exam), not HD...other hip beautiful. The dog - 3 or 4 ?? years later is fine, lives an active life and she travels all over doing Nosework trials....she was started in IPO, but out of caution when the dog was recovering decided not to go that route and discovered nosework, at which she excels. From all discussion with her, this is a very sucessful surgery, albeit a very expensive one.

Good luck!

Lee
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I don't have any 1st hand experience with this. A friend had this done in Texas with a vet who is based in CA but does surgery in Texas and I think either MN or WI every month for a couple of days....her dog had had a broken leg (femoral head left in socket, femur displaced, huge mass of calcium at break obscuring the joint on initial x-ray/exam), not HD...other hip beautiful. The dog - 3 or 4 ?? years later is fine, lives an active life and she travels all over doing Nosework trials....she was started in IPO, but out of caution when the dog was recovering decided not to go that route and discovered nosework, at which she excels. From all discussion with her, this is a very sucessful surgery, albeit a very expensive one.

Good luck!

Lee
Thank you, Wolfstraum. This information is very helpful. I have been quite worried about the whole procedure. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thank you, Dunkirk. Ruger’s surgeon’s prescribed solution strength is about 40 times stronger than what is recommended in this article and also is inconsistent with everything I’ve read online. The surgeon’s recommendation is to administer those baths 3-7 times more often and that it not be rinsed off after 10-15 mins. It quickly cleared up the skin infection, but now seems to be creating significant inflammation and itchiness due to excessive irritation and drying of the skin.

I think I’m going to step back and follow a more conservative regiment up to the 3 days prior to surgery, at which point I’ll revert to the daily application.

Thank you again for your help and insight. It is comforting to have this group as a resource.
 

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Thank you SO VERY much for our feedback. That is wealth of information. Ruger turned 11 mos old last week. His vet has asked us to give him daily bleach baths for the 3 wks prior to surgery which had to be rescheduled due to a skin infection that he seems to have picked up during his ‘work up’. That has made me a bit nervous. They rescheduled surgery (& charged me $687 for the overnight stay!?!)

The thing that is rather disconcerning right now is the fact that they want us to apply a solution of 1/2 cup of 6% household bleach combined with 1 gallon of water to his entire body working it into the skin thoroughly without rinsing or blow drying - just towel drying. This is to be done daily for 21 days. Everything that I’ve read calls for 1/4-1/2 cup bleach to 40 gallons of warm water for 10 minutes before rinsing in warm water and towel drying.

This was prescribed in lieu of 3 days of bathing the surgery site only with HIBICLEANS. Were you asked to do anything like this? I’m really worried.
When was the surgery rescheduled for? Feel free to ask any questions as I know I got really depressed in the middle of our recovery, right around when I couldn't remember how it felt to have a dog that was not attached to me by a leash at all times, it just got really tedious and the micromanaging was stressful. But again, I have a dog that was just diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder so that explains a lot of why it was so hard! Hopefully you will have it much easier!

The bleaching and bathing pre-surgery depends on the surgeons preference. To be honest they only told me to limit his food the day before! I had done a ton of research so decided myself to give him a bath the night before surgery, making sure there was enough time for him to be dry. He has a very short coat though so no issues. That is all he had done. I have read other places doing the bleach dips but we just winged it gosh.
 

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Just in case you are like me and freaking out about the surgery, I have some videos of Haku post Hip Replacement. The first video is his first time off leash at week 13 after the op and his last check up. He was around 14 months then. He sure was happy to be exploring the yard again! He didn't even hesitate to trot and run even though it had literally been 3 months of only walking. Unbelievable.


The second video is him about 2 weeks ago playing "find it" with his ball since I can't play fetch with him (due to some other injury, unrelated to THR)


Hope they make you feel better! I know I researched till my eyeballs hurt day after day trying to find success stories and happy endings for THR :O but I am quick to anxiety haha.
 

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When was the surgery rescheduled for? Feel free to ask any questions as I know I got really depressed in the middle of our recovery, right around when I couldn't remember how it felt to have a dog that was not attached to me by a leash at all times, it just got really tedious and the micromanaging was stressful. But again, I have a dog that was just diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder so that explains a lot of why it was so hard! Hopefully you will have it much easier!

The bleaching and bathing pre-surgery depends on the surgeons preference. To be honest they only told me to limit his food the day before! I had done a ton of research so decided myself to give him a bath the night before surgery, making sure there was enough time for him to be dry. He has a very short coat though so no issues. That is all he had done. I have read other places doing the bleach dips but we just winged it gosh.
As a result of the recent pandemic, the surgery was postponed until a future date aTBD — possibly in June — possibly later.
 
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