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Dog Hip Replacement Surgery and Costs

Dog Hip Replacement Surgery and Costs

If your dog is suffering from hip problems, you may be wondering about dog hip replacement surgery costs and what the procedure entails. Hip replacement surgery is a surgery that has been performed on dogs for quite some years, and its goal as in humans, is to replace the damaged joint. This procedure is usually a treatment of last resort, when all other treatment options have failed. If your dog is a good candidate for this surgery, you may be interested in learning more about its costs. Following are some rough estimates of dog total kip replacement costs and general information on the procedure.

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The Goal of Surgery

Canine hip dysplasia is a medical condition where the head of the femur doesn't fit snugly in the socket of the hip joint as it should. This misalignment causes loosely-fit hip joints with consequent instability and arthritis over time which can have a debilitating effect in dogs when severe. Affected dogs may becme stiff, in pain and reluctant to exercise.

The goal of total hip replacement (THR) is replacing the ball and socket of the hip joint with prosthetic implants so that the dog can resume normal activity.

Because dogs have relatively short lives compared to humans, it can be safe to say that hip replacements will last a lifetime without the need for any replacement due to wear and tear.

Dogs undergoing the surgery should no longer have pain and their life should go back to normal, doing things they used to before the crippling effects of disease. Muscle mass should be restored shortly and dogs can return to full activity. Overall the goal of total hip replacement in dogs is to improve quality of life. According to Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, owners of 95 percent of dogs undergoing this surgery reported a return to excellent function following the procedure.

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Candidates for Surgery

Before looking at costs for surgery, it's important determining whether your dog is a good candidate for the surgery. This is best determined by your vet by collecting your dog's medical history and evaluating your dog's x-rays, locomotion and overall health. As a general rule of thumb in order to be good candidates for the surgery, dogs must be in good health and must not be suffering from other joint or bone problems.

Also, dogs should have finished developing which in general in large to giant dogs can take up to one year. For dogs younger than that, ( like under 10 months of age) triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) may be an option for the purpose of preventing severe arthritis of the hips.

According to the Ohio State University, dogs that are good candidates for hip replacement surgery must also weigh 40 pounds or more and the x-rays must show that the bones are large enough so to fit in the various available prosthesis. For smaller dogs, micro total hip replacement (Micro THR) can be an option.

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Another important factor to consider is the dog's energy levels. A mellow dog is a better candidate than a hyper dog, considering the need for restricted activity following surgery to promote healing. In some cases, hyper dogs can be prescribed sedatives to allow for better recovery.

Dog Hip Replacement Surgery Cost

Dog ACTH test costs

Dog ACTH test costs

Total hip replacement in dogs is a surgery that requires the expertise of a board-certified veterinary surgeon. While there are risks for complications, having the surgery performed from a specialist is paramount so to lower these complications.

The cost of dog hip replacement surgery may cost anywhere between $5,000 to $7,000. Included in the cost is generally physical examination, blood work, x-rays, the hospital stay, the anesthesia, the cost for the implants, medications and the surgery fees. Not included are costs for follow-up appointments which may range between $ 200 and $300.

Of course, costs would double if both hips would need to be replaced. When two hips need to be replaced, the veterinary surgeon will typically decide to perform surgery on the worst hip first and after fully recovering from that, would proceed to other one. Doing both surgeries at once would mean a much longer surgery time and it may be too much for a dog to recover from both hip surgeries at once, explains veterinarian Dr. B. 

Alternative Surgery Options

In some cases, another option that is less costly is a surgery that is known as FHO (femoral head osteotomy). In this surgery, rather than replacing the ball and socket of the hip joint with prosthetic implants, the head of the femur is removed. Once the head of the femur is removed, the bone will heal and form fibrous scar tissue creating a fake joint. Best candidates for this surgery are dogs generally weighing under 40 to 50 pounds. This surgery may cost anywhere in between $500-1000 at a general practice vet or $1,000-1500 when done by a surgeon.

If total hip replacement and femoral head osteotomy are not an option, hip joint disease can always be medically managed if feasible. Affected dogs must be kept lean as excess weight puts extra strain on joints. A weight reduction program must be in place for obese dogs.

Dietary management is important too and today there are many beneficial supplements such as omega fatty acids and glucosamine/chondroitin. Pharmacological intervention includes use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Further helpful options include laser therapy, acupuncture, stem cell therapy and rehabilitation through activities such as swimming.


  • DVM360: Treatment options for hip laxity (Proceedings)
  • Ohio State University: Learn about Canine Total Hip Replacement

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