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Canine Total Hip Replacement (THR)


Canine total hip replacement (THR) is one of the most successful and gratifying orthopedic procedures for the patient and owner. The majority of dog’s (greater than 90%) with current hip replacements are completely painfree, have no exercise restrictions and live a full active life.

Consultation, surgery and back home all in the same day

Colorado Canine Orthopedics also offers in-house consultation followed by surgery the same day for out of town clients. Patients can undergo an examination and radiographic review, followed surgery all in the same day.

Components and surgical procedure

Four components make up a canine THR; stem, cup, head and neck (figure 1). Each component comes in numerous sizes that can be mixed and matched to fit each individual patient.

The titanium components are coated with hydroxyapatite to encourage bone ingrowth (figure 2). Once each component is implanted, the ball is positioned within the cup (figure 3). Bone integration takes one to two months resulting in permanent stability. This bone ingrowth technology is like that seen in humane orthopedics and human dental implants.

The surgical procedure takes between one to three hours. Patients are under general anesthesia but also receive an epidural for post-operative comfort. Preoperative radiographs are imported into an orthopedic planning software program to help determine size and placement. Following surgery postoperative radiographs are obtained to insure proper implant placement (figure 4).

Figure 4: Post-Operative Radiograph

Prognosis, healing and recovery

Overall, dogs undergoing total hip replacements have an excellent prognosis and return to full unrestricted activity. At Colorado Canine Orthopedics, virtually all animals undergoing total hip replacement wake up pain-free thanks to epidural analgesia and can comfortably walk out of the hospital the day of surgery. Weight bearing is permitted immediately. Most dogs start using the leg within 24 hours of surgery. Icing is helpful for a few days following surgery.

In the days and weeks following total hip replacement surgery, most dogs are very comfortable. The surgeons at Colorado Canine Orthopedics find total hip patients to be more comfortable following surgery than almost any other major orthopedic procedure. Not to mention, most patients quickly find relief from the previous pain associated chronic hip osteoarthritis.

Postoperative restrictions include in house confinement with short leash walks initially, progressing to longer and longer walks as weeks go by. Stairs are usually permitted with supervision. Off leash outdoor activity and excessive rough housing should be avoided for about 8 weeks.

The skin incision heals in about 10-14 days, but bone integration with the implants takes one to two months. Once healed, nearly all dogs return to full function.

As with any major orthopedic surgical procedure some complication risks exist. Approximately 5% of patients experience a short-term complication within the first four weeks following surgery. An example is hip luxation where the head slips out of the socket. Most of these complications are successfully managed but often require a second procedure. Approximately 5% of implants loosen and require replacement during the lifespan of the patient. Please be certain to discuss these potential complications with your surgeon prior to surgery. Despite complications, over 90% of dogs enjoy a lifetime normal, pain-free activity.

Why Choose Colorado Canine Orthopedics?

  • Our surgeons have performed thousands of total hip replacements (THR) surgeries over the past 20 years and arguably perform more THRs than anyone in the United States.
  • Colorado Canine Orthopedics is the only canine orthopedic specific practice in this region of the country.
  • All of our surgeons are board certified.
  • Our patients are able to go home the day of surgery.
  • Our prices are extremely competitive.

Cost of Canine Total Hip Replacement

Veterinary specialty care is a double-edged sword these days (no pun intended). All major orthopedic procedures are more sophisticated, successful, and less invasive today than they were in the past. These advances come at a cost for the surgeon and client.

The average cost for a typical Total Hip Replacement at Colorado Canine Orthopedics is approximately $7,960 - $8,360 depending on the patient’s size. Giant breeds incur slightly higher fees. Total hip replacements remain one of the most successful, but highest cost and lowest profit margin procedures performed at CCO. The implants alone are quite expensive.

About Hip Surgery Fees:

  • Fees includes pre-surgical X-rays, anesthesia and monitoring, nerve blocks or epidural, implants, post-operative X-rays and routine go home medications.
  • Consultation, pre-operative bloodwork and post-operative X-rays (4 and 8 weeks) are not included.

At Colorado Canine Orthopedics we are committed to providing only state of the art, non-compromised pet healthcare. We realize some pet owners may find this level of care relatively costly. However, despite the inherently expensive nature of our work, we are dedicated to providing the highest level of care at the most affordable price possible. We believe if you compare our fees to other specialty practices you will find this true.