Three months after Femoral Head Ostectomy

Three months after Femoral Head Ostectomy

Tomorrow is April 18th, on January 18th, three months ago, Bacio went his for his FHO surgery on his right hip.  His hip dysplasia is so severe it was pretty much a flip of the coin deciding which leg to operate on first.  With all the set backs, falling, and stubborness we’ve gone through with Bacio, we’re finally seeing major improvements.  I have to give a HUGE thanks to Integrative Pet Care for the progress we’ve made.  In fact, Bacio graduated from his therapy program today!  To anyone who’s pet is facing some sort of physical ailment, I cannot recommend them highly enough.  Cost was a major concern for me, but it has been worth every penny.  For the past two months the therapists have been using laser treatments, floor exercises, and an underwater treadmill to help Bacio build muscle and stability.  My dog cannot only walk again, but his overall mood has been improved.  He no longer just mopes all day on his bed, he’s excited to go outside and go to the park, he plays with toys and Yuki again, and he even tries fighting with Yuki (this I could do without).

Now that the weather is getting warmer, on sunny days we go for about a mile long walk around the boulevards or at the park.  Bacio is so happy about it not only does he loves these walks, but he’s actually trotting most the time, and I’ve even let him run a little bit.  For the first time ever, he’s running like a regular dog… for 5-10 seconds.   I’m still pretty concerned about his ligament stability and such so I don’t let him run too long for fear he’ll take a step in a hole or uneven ground.  The nice part about walking in the park, there are benches throughout the park, and when the little guy starts getting tired, we just take a break for a bit and people/dog watch.

Going further, Bacio still needs to develop more muscle in his right leg.  He has gained a centimeter in the past 2 months.  I have lots of home exercises that were taught to me at Integrative, but Bacio is so stubborn about doing them.  I have to wait till he’s hungry and willing to work for treats to get him to exercise.  We also have the option of a punch card type of thing at IPC to use the hydro tank.  The doctor at Fox Lake Animal Hospital said that the average time in between FHO surgeries is four months.  Bacio is definitely no where near ready for surgery number two, but I’m hopeful that with some more time and work we can get the left hip operated on by the end of summer.

So once again I have to thank everyone for their support, I wouldn’t have made it this far without you guys.  Bacio says thanks too, but in that little kid way, when they get told to say thanks.  I have to also really thank the therapists at IPC and Dr. Flaherty.  Also, good luck to Dr. Flaherty in New York! All you New York pets are lucky!

6 thoughts on “Three months after Femoral Head Ostectomy

  1. Thank you so much for this blog! It’s just what I was looking for. My 60 lb. Golden Retriever (also 3 years old) just had FHO surgery 8 days ago and I’ve been hoping to find documented progress of recovery just like this. The photos and video are awesome and help me to feel better that Dexter is on the right track. Your doggie looks to be about the same size as mine and his poor, skinny hip after surgery looks about the same…although your incision looks longer than Dexter’s. I hope your puppy continues to do well and get stronger! I will check back often for updates! Thank you again!

    1. I’m happy it could help you! I know before Bacio had his surgery I was scouring the web looking for anything and everything. I was fortunate to talk to a couple of people face to face about their experiences with their dogs. I’m still very nervous about anything Bacio does out of the ordinary. The therapists that worked with him said because he’s so slim he may take a bit longer to recover than most dogs. Every time I see him make progress though I get a proud mamma moment. For a while it was rough, especially after he fell and he didn’t seem to be using his leg for a long time. After a little injection of confidence though he started improving faster. I wish you and Dexter all the best on his recovery, if you have any questions you can email, and hope that the blog helps you avoid mistakes that I made with Bacio (make sure he takes things slow and don’t rush the stairs!!!!).

  2. I am so appreciative of your blog. My boy just had his surgery..and we r a month into recovery and physio. I feel tapped out financially and emotionally. I can’t afford the laser treatments anymore and continue to do at home physio..but I don’t see the improvement. I feel horrible and guilty that I have made him worse..and he’s still not touching the ground with his leg…your baci was walking better in 4 days than my kobe at a month. I need to stay positive for my boy but some days it’s very hard…he is my world and I wonder if I actually helped him or did I hinder him. He’s only 6…and now for the rest of his life I’m worried he will be struggling. Just needed to vent. Thank you.

    1. You did help him! Bacio’s first surgery was rough, he took forever to want to walk again. I felt like I had to force it, but like Bacio, Kobe needs to walk! That muscle and scar tissue need to develop. The more he gets moving the more he’ll stay moving. Bacio doesn’t walk like a normal dog mind you, he still has a wobbly walk and he still falls sometimes when he goes up the stairs. What I don’t have to worry about anymore is if he is in pain. Dogs are very adaptable and will figure out how to keep moving. As weak as Bacio appears sometimes, he’s actually much stronger than he looks I think, because we went camping and hiking when you made this comment. He was hiking through forest trails in the mountains! Kobe will get better just be persistent and patient with his recovery.

  3. Hey there!!

    My new sweet rescue pup Ella (German shepherd/sharpei mix) got hit on the highway yesterday and her hip popped out of place. They tried a closed hip replacement last night by just putting her under anesthesia and pretty much popping it back into place. She was doing so great and was even bearing weight on it today, but it popped back out because the tissue is too compromised. The vet has told us she will need some sort of hip replacement surgery and options discussed were the total hip replacement or FHO. I am devastated and looking for some support and advice. A few of the vet techs have said the FHO is better cost wise and seems to have better results, although I’m nervous because the research I have seen says it is not as applicable to larger dogs, and she is right at 50 pounds. It seems you have been through both types with bacio and was hoping for some insight! Ella is an active 2 year old who loves to play and run and jump and I am so so worried she will be forever affected.

    1. Hi Franie! Sorry to hear about the incident! First before I say anything, I have to state that I am in no way a vet, and I have no veterinary training, my comments are based solely on my experiences with Bacio. I was told initially that Bacio was too big for FHO by the first vet I had seen when he was a year old. I was devastated as well, being told $8800 + rehab costs seemed completely unattainable to me (I was only 23 at the time). I saw another vet down the road, and he recommended the FHO. I asked him about the weight issue and he said that he’d performed the surgery on dogs bigger than Bacio. It wasn’t going to be the same as a THR but he wouldn’t be in pain and he’d be able to walk. He told me that he probably would never be an agility dog or anything like that, and that he may have limitations. I was told to think about it, do some research and then decided. When I was trying to do research I found that there weren’t many people talking about the procedure and that’s why I blogged about all of it. Bacio walks, runs, hikes, and jumps up and down off the couch. Its been 4 years since his surgeries, as I’ve said the only thing I would change is getting them done sooner if I would have been able to. For reference he’s weighed about 60-65lbs his whole adult life. Stairs are one of his only problems and it is only because he tries to go down them way too fast. Hope this helps!

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