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Femoral Head Ostectomy

As our pets age, they are prone to some of the same problems that we encounter with age. One of these is problems with the hips and other joints. Here at Jane Animal Hospital in Toronto, we see this happen often and, in many cases, our veterinarian will suggest a simple, fairly inexpensive surgery called femoral head ostectomy (FHO).

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The Hip Joint

The hip is made up of what is called a ball-and-socket joint. This consists of a bone with a "ball" on the end fitting into a socket. Muscles and joints hold the ball in place. It is then able to move around freely. When something damaged the joint, whether it is an injury or age, the pain sets in and the leg experiences pain and stiffness. Your pet may be in constant pain and be experiencing a reduction in the quality of life he is experiencing. It becomes time to visit a veterinary clinic.

Femoral Head Ostectomy

During the surgery, the veterinarian will remove the ball portion of the bone. At first, there is only an empty space with the muscles and joints holding everything in position. In the months that follow, scar tissue builds up and replaces the missing segment. This creates a new artificial segment. It will be important during the following months for you to spend time with physical therapy for your pet so this process can occur properly. This physical therapy will include things like swimming and range of motion activities. It should start at about a week to ten days after surgery, when the stitches are removed. Your vet will let you know when your pet is ready. 

While there are few risks with this procedure, it is normally only used for cats and smaller breed dogs that weigh less than fifty pounds. Sometimes the vet may feel a larger dog could benefit, but that is not the normal course of action. While your pet will be able to walk fairly normally after the surgery, his leg will be weaker, and he may not have the full range of motion. The pain, however, will be gone.

Veterinary Clinic in Toronto

If you have noticed your pet limping or seeming to favor one leg over the other, it may be experiencing hip problems that could benefit from femoral head ostectomy. Contact Jane Animal Hospital as soon as possible in order to speak with our veterinarian about the possibility. Your pet can be pain-free and active after the surgery. Don't wait any longer.


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