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PetDr, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 68
Experience:  PetDr has been a veterinarian for 13 years and working as a medical director in one of the best hospitals in NJ.
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I have a 14 month old dachshund with severe hip dysplasia.

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I have a 14 month old dachshund with severe hip dysplasia. He is using nsaids and supplements, but pain is much worse. What is the earliest age at which he could have a femoral head osteotomy?
I am terribly sorry about Murphy's hip problem. I cannot imagine how devastating it must be for you to see him in pain. Fortunately femoral head osteotomy can be performed once a puppy is over 9 months old. Please let me know if this answered your question. Otherwise I'd be glad to answer your concerns further. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the answer. Just to clarify, is a dachshund puppy considered to be "past the growth phase" at nine months? What I am trying to clarify is that if the surgery is done now, at 14 months, is there any possibility that the dog is still in active growing phase and the femur could potentially "re-grow" causing pain again and necessitating another femoral head osteotomy?

Puppies, like humans, have growth plates in their bodies, and this is a normal part of
bone formation and development. These growth plates need to be closed which typically occurs around 9 mo, though there are some dogs that is ready at 7mo, and others (usually those neutered early) that won't be ready until closer to 11 mo. Since Murphy is 14 months old I would say it is safe to go ahead with surgery.

PetDr and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Leanne,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Murphy. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thanks for the follow-up. Murphy the dachsie is suddenly much worse the last 2 or 3 weeks, and I have started to give him tramadol to fill the gap day as he can only tolerate meloxicam every other day (loss of appetite). He can barely put any weight on the leg now.


I have made an appointment with a different vet at the clinic, the most experienced vet and clinic owner. I had been told that the dog must wait until he was 18 months old before surgery to prevent the bone from regrowing. I'm thinking that 18 months is the most conservative of estimates and is the outer limit for large breeds. Agility trainers quote the same timeline you did, 9 months for small dogs that will be under 20 pounds, and up to 14 months for dogs that will be 25-45 pounds. Murphy is 17 lbs and I can't see him any larger than 20 lbs. I will take a printed copy of your "Answer" with me and hope we can get the surgery in the works asap. I think I will probably become a little insistent.




Thank you for the feedback, I will be here to answer any concerns you may have. Good luck.