Anyone who knows me knows that I value my dog Piper over and above any of my possessions. She’s just awesome- she is so excited to see me whenever I come home, she’s great company, before this whole thing she used to motivate me to get outside, and she reminds me to live more in the present- that’s what she does all the time.
And as I love her and value her so much, I’m willing to spend crazy amounts of money on her. I am willing to be super cheap when it comes to stuff for myself, but not for her. And anyone who doesn’t have a dog of their own doesn’t get it. It’s cool- I don’t mind. I thought people who bought their dogs titanium hips were crazy at one point too.
Yes, that’s right folks. In addition to being treated for hypothyroidism, Piper has congenital hip dysplasia, a condition where her hip sockets didn’t form right and as a result she developed osteoarthritis really early in life. She’s always “bunny hopped” when she ran, which is a sign of CHD, but this past January, Piper stopped putting weight on her back left leg. She’d have a few days where she’d be fine and then she’d have trouble climbing the stairs or would occasionally hold her back left foot in the air.
Not good for a 3 year old dog. I knew it was going to maybe require surgery, so I called my wonderful vet at Anchor Animal Hospital to ask for recommendations for a surgeon. We ended up choosing Tufts Vet in Grafton, MA because it’s a great hospital and it’s close to Worcester. At the visit they gave us 3 choices:
1. Medically manage with NSAIDs, swimming and low activity. Not a great option, as we had tried restricting activity, doing swimming AND two types of NSAIDs.
2. Femoral head osteotomy, a surgery where they lop off the head of the femur (upper leg bone) so that there isn’t a hip joint anymore and the top of the femur sits in the muscles instead of in a joint. Not a great option as it doesn’t work well on big dogs and dogs don’t recover full function.
3. Total hip replacement. BINGO! With this procedure, they would lop off the femoral head and the part of the pelvis to replace them both with a metal implant. The new hip joint has a VERY high success rate and most dogs recover 100% functionality. Sounds great?
6 k later…the jury is still out. Piper had surgery 1 week ago and right now is on strict cage rest. She’s putting a little weight on the leg, which is normal at this point but time will tell how well she’ll respond to the replacement. Stay tuned.