Jump to content
Grandmashazzie

Hip surgery for Labrador

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, I would love to hear any thoughts you have on the pros and cons of hip surgery. I have a black lab who, despite my best efforts to source a pup from parents with good hip score, turned out to have severe hip dysplasia. This was diagnosed when he was 6 months and at one point I considered euthanasia as his gait was so bad. The vet encouraged me to persevere with him having good pain control and the hope that as he grew he would get some range of movement. This indeed happened and he appeared fairly good until recently. He is now 4 and a half years and has just seen vet. His gait is not good and he walks at a diagonal and sits perched on the edge of his orthopaedic bed at an odd angle. On examination he has very limited extension on one back leg and the vet said he would undoubtedly be in pain 😔 . She commenced him on a supplement and started him on Galiprant painkillers. We discussed surgery and at this point I am not overly keen . I think watching the very lovely Noel Fitzpatrick operate on dogs has put me right off putting my dog through such an ordeal. We have kept him insured with pet plan so surgery would be covered financially I just question whether it is right/too much to put him through as if he has one hip done then he will need other one soon after as both sockets are shallow.Or given his age should he have surgery. My thought are if his pain is controlled he may get another few years and that’s not too bad a lifespan, but the worry is how do you know he’s not in pain. Apart from his sideways walk we had no indication he is in pain now. Many thanks for reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sympathise Shazzie - I have an old lurcher, who is a bit arthritic now, and doesn't tolerate GAs well; it is a toss-up and I do try to take a long view of the situation, as you are doing. I will know when his time comes.... when he stops enjoying his runs/walks and squeaks too much.

You have to ask whether you are prolonging a life or prolonging a death.

I'm afraid that some vets aren't always impartial, and will prolong things to bring in more fees (this happened to a friend)

Good luck, and don't be afraid to be the best friend to him and give him a dignified end before it gets too bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you DM, I know what you mean re the vets. We have group practice and I would say they are all excellent. One is I guess the boss, you know when you see him he will suggest, blood work, scans, X Rays, he has his business hat on, the other young chap seems to specialise in surgery and is also mad keen on tests, the other one is a woman in her 40s who works part time and seems more in tune with the pet and owner and didnt push for X Ray when it was obvious on clinical examination what was going on,which Is why I went to her specifically. It is hard to know what to do, his is a gorgeous big dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poor fellow - given his age I would opt for referral to an orthopaedic practice for more advice and options - especially as he is insured.   All vets will have their favourite referral

practices and take it from there.   Hope he gets sorted soon.   Love a black lab!.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel for you....I've been told by several sources that animals do tend to mask pain and it's almost impossible to ascertain how much they are actually hurting. Your chap is fairly young but, as you say, then there is the decision as to what/how much to put him through. 

I do know someone in our village who was referred to Noel Fitzpatrick (although not for the same thing) and was given an honest opinion as to odds and what they could expect from surgery. It must be a toss up between probable/possible outcome and how much you feel your chap would benefit. It's not an easy decision and you know your lad best and can, presumably, work out how much it's affecting him. As a pet owner of various animals over many years all I can say is go with your gut feeling and try to think of what is best for him rather then keeping him going if he is in constant pain. With the benefit of hindsight, I've realised that I have probably kept a couple of my beloved pets with us when I should have made the call not to and that's hard to live with, for me. However, it's all about quality of life for your boy and if the painkillers are working then that buys you some time to think things through and take further advice. 

Best wishes to you and virtual support from here in terms of your lad!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×