Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sylvia and Her FHO Surgery (Trish's Blog)

AGPR (where I came from) is a great rescue and the volunteers that help all of my Pyr friends are awesome people. Trish Rimo and Mike Diegel are two of those wonderful volunteers and they are fostering my friend Sylvia. Tomorrow Sylvia is having surgery and Trish has been nice enough to fill us in about the FHO surgery with this blog and will keep us updated on Sylvia's progress. Sylvia deserves a great furever home, she is such a sweety.

Sylvia and Friend

Sylvia’s Orthopedic Condition and Surgery to Correct It

Canine hip dysplasia is a genetic disease of dogs that causes looseness, abnormal development and arthritis of the hip joint. It is not particularly common in Great Pyrenees. However, Sylvia, our foster from Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue, has been diagnosed with dysplasia. Here’s a little more about the condition and the surgery to correct it that Sylvia is having on February 25th. Much of the technical information is from the Gold Ribbon Rescue website.

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket type joint. The ball is the uppermost part of the thighbone, or femur, and is called the head of the femur. The head is connected to the rest of the bone by the neck, and the socket is part of the pelvic bone. Normally, the ball, or head of the femur, fits very tightly within its socket. With hip dysplasia, this fit becomes loose and the joint partially dislocates, which can cause discomfort, abnormal development and/or arthritis. Sylvia has developed severe arthritis in her left hip, causing her discomfort and affecting her ability to negotiate stairs and do things such as leap and play.

There are three types of surgery to correct the problem, with the most extensive being total hip replacement. Sylvia is having a surgery called Femoral Head and Neck Ostectomy (FHO), which is designed to eliminate the source of discomfort by removing part of the hip joint. The femur is cut so that the head and neck of the femur are removed (“ostectomy” means the bone is cut and removed). Scar tissue forms between the femur and the socket, where the femoral head and neck used to be. This is called a false joint because motion between the bones is maintained without the true ball-and-socket joint. Eventually, this scar tissue provides enough support to permit use of the limb without causing significant discomfort.

While the surgery is very effective in dogs under 50 pounds, it can be effective in larger dogs as well – provided the dogs are kept slim and have sufficient physical therapy afterwards, which Sylvia will have. A few other Pyrs in AGPR have had FHO surgery with great success. One advantage of the FHO is that exercise restriction is needed only for a few days after the surgery. After 10 - 14 days, exercise is even encouraged to accelerate formation of scar tissue.

Many dogs that have FHO surgery return to almost normal function. The false joint that results from the surgery allows for walking, running and playing; however, the dog’s gait may be different. But with an experienced surgeon, which Sylvia will have in Dr. Aylin Atilla, and a lot of physical therapy afterwards, both at her foster home and the surgical center, Sylvia should be pain free and should enjoy a normal life.


Alice said...

Thank you Trish

T said...

Dr. Atilla was pleased to see herself in a blog! She'll call us as soon as Sylvia's out of surgery, which should be in about an hour.

T said...

Sylvia is home now and resting comfortably. The pain meds keep her pretty quiet, which is good, as she is not supposed to be active. We have her tethered in a central place in the family room so she can be near everybody. Mike and I and sometimes the other Pyrs often hang out there. Kaiser and Charlemagne have left her alone, after sniffing her leg avidly when she got home yesterday. Dr. Atilla said the surgery went well and we will see about beginning some range of motion exercises at home soon. That's it for now.

surgery said...

Very interesting site. Hope it will always be alive!

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