“Our veterinarian wants to refer us to a specialist for a total hip replacement because our dog’s hip dysplasia is so bad. It will cost about $2,000 per hip. Do you think we should do that?”
The total hip replacement is a major surgery. It requires very special knowledge, special equipment, support staff and the prosthesis (artificial joint) itself. The old hip is literally taken out and replaced with a plastic socket and a metal ball. The dog is totally free from the pain of hip arthritis after surgery, because the arthritic joint is gone.
There is some pain after the surgery due to the incisions through the muscles and movement of muscle tissue in order to get access to the joint. After an initial healing period, these dogs do quite well. By the way, both hips will not be done at the same time. There will probably need to be at least two months between procedures.
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The best recommendation is for you to have a family meeting and discuss the expense and the aftercare. Then talk to the specialist and ask all your questions. You will be impressed with the professionalism of such a specialist and with the speed in which your dog recovers.