4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

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Conrad's Mom
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4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

Postby Conrad's Mom » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:04 am

Hi everyone and thank you in advance for your advice.
My darling 4mo little man has had an accident that has resulted in damage to the ball of the joint in his hip. The specialist vets say that if we do not have the surgery he will end up with osteoporosis and arthritis. This will happen rapidly and by 1 he would not be able to walk. There seems to be no other way out, because of the tiny chip that has gone loose inside his joint we have to take out the joint. I am heartbroken. It is devastating seeing my baby suffer like this and know he is not even through the worst of it.
Can I please ask if anyone has had anything similar happen to their chowbaby and if anyone has taken a chow through to full recovery after an FHO. please

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Pinoy51
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4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

Postby Pinoy51 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:41 am

I'm so sorry to hear that. Hope someone can give you advise. I can only hope for the best and that your Vet knows what he is doing.
Best regards
Pinoy51

Rory's Dad
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Re: 4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

Postby Rory's Dad » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:15 pm

That is terrible. I hate to recommend extra expenses if your vet is correct, but that all seems very extreme. I would get some additional input before resorting to hip removal (if i am reading post correctly).

Rory is our 18 month old male. He tore his ACL at about 6 months as best we can tell. First diagnosis was a knee sprain, 2nd was a cartiledge chip. He had xrays and the vet and consultant (extra $100 fee) diagnosed arthrisis in both the knee and hip, and a degenerative condition in the hip. We had an expert view the same xrays and get additional views. She concluded the ACL tear, which results in a loose knee and inflamation.

He will still require surgery to repair the ACL, but in your case it seems like a less extreme course of action could be available...remove only the chip? I think that predicting complete immobility within a year for a dog of that age sounds like a fear tactic.

I am not vet or expert, but i think a second look might be worthwhile.

Conrad's Mom
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Re: 4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

Postby Conrad's Mom » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:14 pm

Money is no object in this case. Conrad is a beloved family member and the family adores its little Zoo...
I have had 8 specialists give advice including some leading academics in the field. Have also spoken to human specialists on the off chance that a procedure exists in human medicine that i can convince the vet docs to try on Conrad. All have given the same advice. The option of removing just the chip is available in theory but, it carries a 9 out of 10 chance of atrophy which will result in amputation as the procedure that we are now going for will no longer be an option. The fracture is such that the damaged part of the femoral head will never grow back up. The chip will no longer be there but the exposed bone will. This will lead to severe damage ( I am seeing deterioration in him after less than a month since the accident) followed by all the rest of the dreadful things. I have had all of the specialists tell me that they will only do it if I am prepared to take that risk. I cannot do that.

Full hip replacement, an extremely difficult and expensive option here in Australia, is also not possible in Conrad's case as he is a growing puppy.

I know it all sounds drastic, final and tragic and I have cried my eyes out begging people to consider all options and leave no stone unturned. We are simply waiting for the day now. My husband has built a ramp for him to use to avoid the already minimal stairs leading to the back yard. Conrad is being an almost ideal patient. Has allowed me to put a high collar on him to stop him from ripping his sore leg into shreds. He has already done enough damage to cause an angry dermatitis ... We must fix that before the operation to make him more comfortable during recovery.

He will have around the clok care and all the help he might need.

Wish us luck please .

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Re: 4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

Postby Rory's Dad » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:41 pm

Sounds like you have already considered all my concerns. Not only do you have my wishes for best luck, but also for best results.

Conrad's Mom
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Re: 4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

Postby Conrad's Mom » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:06 am

Thank you

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Re: 4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

Postby kitten1426 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:24 am

So sorry to hear that you have to go through this. Our Mia went through the FHO surgery on BOTH hips last October. She's a rescue, so we know nothing about her breeding. She had very bad hip dysplasia, that that given her almost crippling arthritis. She was just short of 2 years old when she had the surgery done. I had thought about doing some kind of little blog to document her progress, but just never got to it. Please excuse the long post, but here's what we went through:

The idea scared the living daylights out of us. How the heck can she even support herself, let alone walk or run or play, etc without hip joints?! We went to an excellent speciatly vet, who gave us 3 option - some kind of stem cell therapy (expensive and had to be repeated every 6 - 8 months), total hip replacement (also expensive, and apparently can have issues if she got ANY kind of infection later in life) and the FHO surgery. The vet told us it was exactly what he'd do if she were his dog, or that of a family or friend. We really didn't have a choice. We set up the surgery on the way out of the consult.

Five months later, the only way you'd know that Mia's had surgery is that her fur is still growing in. We were told not to overdo her movements for the first 2 days after we had her back. We had just gotten home and settled her on her pillow, when she decided to get up on her own and walk across the room to look out the door! We immediately called the vet, who kind of laughed at us... don't force her, but if she wants to do it, let her.

I will say, the incision area and staples aren't for the squeemish...I called her "fraken-puppy." She wasn't herself for about a week. She didn't really have an appetite, which is very off for her - we just kept trying different things and hand-fed her. Going to the bathroom was fun - We carried her down the 3 steps to the back yard (SCARED STIFF that we'd somehow hurt her!) and used a towel looped around her middle to help support her back end.

Rehab as we were instructed, was walk, walk, walk, walk and walk some more. When you think you've walked enough... walk more. In all honestly, I don't think that we walked her as much as we should have - the weather didn't always cooperate, and she didn't really seem to have the endurance. Her muscles had already atrophied from the arthritis, and needed to be built back up.

Mia pretty much told us when she'd had enough. We'd start with walking around the yard - she'd have enough and would sit down. I'd give her a short rest and then push her a little more. When she was sitting down every few steps, it was enough. In the beginning, all walking was supported by the towel, but very quickly was only for balance. As we went on to longer walks, I'd start with her walking on her own, and the more she started dragging behind me (Mia's normally a puller...) I'd use the towel to support her.

We have 3 other dogs...our vet said that they'd be her best rehab. We were given the ok for regular exercise after about 14 days (and we did inform the vet of the "horses" that we have...) That being said - we would cringe every time the other three started tearing around the yard. When they got extra crazy, I'd just stand over Mia for a little bit of a block. Her walking was wobbly, but she wanted to play. Most of her play ended up being just a couple steps in the direction of the ones running. Then one day, after about a month and a half, we saw her take a couple running steps!

After about 2 months, Mia was running a few steps - no where near what she'd done pre surgery, but still progress. I'd say about 3 months or so in, she's pretty much been back to normal. She's been TEARING around the yard now, for well over a month. She tries keeping up with our airdale, but he just outruns her - pretty much always has, but she tries her hardest! She does her sit up/beg - but with a little support on my leg. She'll "dance", jumping up on her hind legs, though only for a second or two. I'd say the only thing she doesn't do anymore is take a flying jump into the back of our SUV, though she will jump out ;o)

All in all, we're VERY happy with how the surgery turned out. It's a very scary thought - it does seem drastic, but somehow, it really works. I had found this site: http://topdoghealth.com/home-rehab-guid ... omy-guide/ and signed up for the weekly rehab tips. While I didn't follow directly, it gave me ideas of how to help Mia. Actually, I think she ended up being a week or so ahead of the tip emails.

We wish you all the best with Conrad, and that he had a good recovery!

...Mia and Kodi's Mom
Our dogs...Kodi Male chow..[Mia Female Chow RB :( :( ]...Bear Male Airedale...Shelby Male Collie...And Moose airedale.
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pvetter
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Re: 4 mo needing Femoral head removal surgery HELP

Postby pvetter » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:00 pm

FHO is an easy recovery surgery. Once your baby has recovered -and with your support- he'll do fine. Our beloved alpha male endured two failed hip replacements resulting in a third procedure, an FHO. Despite being extremely worn down from the two failed previous surgeries, he recovered very well from the FHO. It's important NOT to let your Chow become stressed or worried by seeing how upset you might feel. They are excellent patients and set a great example for the rest of us. It's also important to make his recovery as pleasant as possible. We cooked our boy all his favorite roasted chicken and fish dishes, even some turkey and macaroni bake (rice based noodles only) he likes a lot, carried him to the vehicle for gentle rides around the area to break the monotony of recovery, and kept current on pain meds. Friends even sent him edible get well cards! First "meat card" I ever saw.

Now over a year post op, our guy is feeling the difference in length between his back legs. An FHO will shorten the leg by as much as 3/4 inch in an adult, and they will walk with a limp. So we let HIM decide on the length of his walks. But our boy was rescued by us at age 4, and the surgery performed at age 6. A younger dog may adapt better. I believe eventually Tashi will have to get another FHO in his other hip. But I've heard from many neighbors and such that their dogs have all fared very well over time. Hope this helps.


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