Is your pet experiencing hip pain and limited mobility? Our team at Trail Pet Hospital is pleased to offer Femoral Head Ostectomy or FHO surgery to relieve your furry companion's discomfort and restore mobility. You can count on us to be here for you and your pet every step of the way!
What Is Femoral Head Ostectomy?
A femoral head ostectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the head and neck of the femur (thighbone) of a diseased or injured hip joint. That helps eliminate bone-on-bone contact, improves joint function, alleviates your pet's pain, and restores mobility. The procedure can significantly enhance a cat or dog's quality of life.
Why Would Your Pet Require Femoral Head Ostectomy?
A femoral head ostectomy may be considered to address pain and lameness of the hip that is not alleviated by medications, weight loss, and other non-surgical treatments. It is typically recommended for smaller dogs and for cats, especially those with a healthy weight. Larger dogs with hip damage often require a total hip replacement.
Here is a look at some common causes of hip damage requiring FHO surgery.
- Chronic Hip Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is more prevalent in older and overweight pets. When the cartilage at the end of the femur breaks down, bone-on-bone grating occurs, leading to pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the bones in the ball-and-socket hip joint don't grow at the same rate, causing pain, instability, and degeneration. FHO can help alleviate pain and improve mobility.
- Femoral Head Fracture: Fractures of the femoral head or neck can occur due to trauma or accidents. FHO surgery may be necessary to remove the damaged femoral head and restore mobility.
- Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease: This condition occurs when the blood supply to the femoral head is disrupted, leading to bone degeneration. Over time, the bone can crack, weaken, and potentially collapse the joint.
What Are Symptoms of Hip Problems Requiring Femoral Head Ostectomy?
Symptoms of hip problems in dogs or cats may include the following:
- Pain or Sensitivity: Pets may display signs of pain, such as vocalization, flinching, or sensitivity when the hip joint is touched or manipulated.
- Difficulty or Reluctance to Rise: Pets may struggle to get up from a lying down or sitting position, displaying discomfort or stiffness in the hip area.
- Altered Gait: Pets may show an abnormal or "bunny hopping" gait, where both hind legs move together instead of separately. They may also start having a swaying or wobbly walk.
- Limping or Favoring One Leg: Pets may avoid putting weight on one or both hind legs. That can result in a noticeable limp or favoring of the unaffected leg.
- Decreased Activity: Cats and dogs with hip problems may become less active and reluctant to engage in physical activities they once enjoyed. They may also have difficulty jumping or climbing stairs.
- Muscle Loss: Over time, the muscles in the back legs may appear smaller or less developed due to reduced use and lack of mobility.
Seeing one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean your furry companion will require FHO surgery. However, they warrant further investigation. Consulting with one of our veterinarians at Trail Pet Hospital will help you determine the best solution to improve your pet's quality of life.
Recovery from FHO Surgery
Make sure to follow our post-operative care instructions and administer pain medication as instructed to manage your pet’s discomfort the first few days. Recovery will depend on your pet's age, overall health, and activity level. In general, it takes about 6-8 weeks to recover fully. Make sure your pet avoids strenuous physical activity. You can take your dog for short strolls. Cats, on the other hand, may need to be placed in a crate or a confined space to prevent them from jumping and climbing.
The second healing phase involves a gradual increase in physical activity to rebuild muscle mass, strengthen the hip joint, prevent scar tissue from becoming too stiff, and improve long-term mobility. Make sure to follow the exercise recommendations we provide to promote healing.
FHO Surgery Near Me in Dallas, TX
If you suspect your pet may have hip damage, contact Trail Pet Hospital today. Our team will evaluate your furry friend and help you determine whether FHO surgery is the best option. We understand how important it is for your pet to be able to live a pain-free life, and we are committed to providing the best possible care. We invite you to call 972-629-9766 to schedule an appointment or request one online today!
Proudly serving patients in Dallas, Plano, The Colony, Addison, Richardson, and the surrounding communities.