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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29979
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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How successful are FHOs

Customer Question

how successful are FHOs
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 11 months ago.

Hello,

Assuming the procedure has been properly selected for the right candidate, very successful!

It is often a very immediate away of releiving bad hip pain associated with severe hip dysplasia. There are several indications for FHO.

Of course, normal function can never be returned to the leg with this procedure. Some patients are candidates for total hip replacement as an option. But, it is far more costly as well.

But, in general, can be very successful, and I encourage the procedure be done by a surgical specialist.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What do you mean "normal function". Will the dog never walk the same?
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 11 months ago.

Well, it would be unlikely since the top of the femur is being removed. I would imagine so sort of persistent limp would be expected. But, a limp they can live with and have a good quality of life. Again, I can't vouch a FHO is the appropriate procedure, but to answer if success, yes. I would just make sure you have consulted an actual orthopedic specialist to ensure that's the best option. A FHO is relative easy for some general practice vets, so I often see this procedure being recommended without consideration for other procedures. But! If you have already talked to a specialist, that's good.

But, we can't expect 100% normal function. We couldn't since the hip joint is not being restored. For a return to normal function, that is more of a "total hip replacement" surgery.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
8 month old French bulldog with a fractured growth plate in socket and luxation. She had the surgery two weeks ago as I had it immediately after the accident. I had agreed upon a toggle when we thought it was just a dislocation, but when they got her under anesthesia and able to get better x rays, they saw the fracture. With her being under, I did not have the luxury of running her to a specialist for an FHO. I don't think a hip replacement is available for a 20 lb French bulldog under a year.....second guessing myself but I just didn't want her to be in pain anymore. We had just gotten home and the dog was very excited and my 12 year old was holding her and the dog was excited wiggling and my daughter could not hold on to her anymore.....she landed on her hip on the Mexican tile.....so we are all feeling quite badly at the moment
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 11 months ago.

Understood. Well, don't worry much about the fall, unless it caused a problem with the incision site. The top of the femur is already gone! So, can't really worsen any fracture issue unless the fall caused a new fracture.

Sounds like the surgery was very reasonable to consider.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No, the fall is why we had the surgery
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 11 months ago.

Oh...

I am very sorry to hear it.

Accidents happen. Nothing more we can do but do the best we can to correct the injury. Once she is healed it will be okay.

Dr. Andy

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 11 months ago.

Wish I could do more, but about best I can say. In general, FHO is a fast remedy for a difficult situation.

Dr. Andy

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 11 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Eloise. How is everything going?
Dr. Andy
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She is 3.5 weeks post op, walking on it but she has been since day one. I don't let her run, so I don't really know if she's progressing. She sometimes runs off in the house and will pick it up during a "canter", but walks and trots fine with it. Her muscle has atrophied a bit. I did not consult a specialist since it was an emergency of sorts. I did not want her in that pain for days. Now, I'm wondering what else could have been done for an 8 month old French bulldog
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 11 months ago.

That is an answer that is not worth spending time worrying about. With a severe injury and a clear option to do a relatively straightforward with few complications procedure like an FHO, it sounds like a slam dunk to me.

3.5 weeks is still a very short period of time. You will know more in another month.

I hope my responses have been satisfactory.

Dr. Andy