24 Veterinary Emergency NJ and Veterinary Surgeons


This is an x-ray from a Total Hip Replacement that Dr. Dan Stobie, NorthStar VETS, Chief of Staff, completed on a German Shepherd that was experiencing hip displaysia.

X-ray of total hip replacement by Dr. Stobie

NorthStar VETS is proud to offer this pain relieving procedure to improve hip function, and allow your dog to return to an active life style.

THR is a procedure designed to eliminate discomfort by replacing the arthritic hip joint with an artificial joint. This is a state-of-the-art surgical procedure, very similar to the one performed on humans. The arthritic femoral head and neck are removed and replaced with a metal implant made of stainless steel and titanium. The arthritic socket is also removed and replaced with a silicone cup. Both components are held in place with sterile bone cement. The metal head and silicone cup fit and function like the original ball and socket joint, providing a pain-free, mechanically functional joint.

When Should Surgery Be Performed?

Surgery to replace the hip joint is recommended when chronic pain or limping are present. Radiographs of the hips are performed to confirm the diagnosis of degenerative arthritis. Surgery is indicated if conservative therapy via pain medication is not sufficient in relieving the limping or pain associated with the arthritis.

Are There Alternative Surgeries to THR?

Yes, a femoral head and neck ostectomy can be performed as an alternative procedure. The ball part (femoral head) is removed allowing a “false-joint” to form. Eventually, new tissue fills in between the bones allowing support and function of the limb. This surgery has a variable success rate with 20-25% of owners reporting low-grade gait abnormality or trouble jumping. Results are satisfactory to good, however, typically not as optimal as a total hip replacement. A triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO), a hip rotation procedure, can only be performed on young dogs (less than 12 months of age) with hip dysplasia prior to the development of arthritis. This surgery preserves the dog’s hip joint and prevents the progression of hip dysplasia. Results are good to excellent.

How Do Dogs Feel with Total

Hip Replacement?

Most dogs walk on their new hip immediately after surgery. Most pet owners report their dog’s personality improves and that their dog feels great. Gradual return to normal function occurs between 8-12 weeks after surgery. A long-term study found THR to be a very effective method for treating disabling conditions of the canine hip. The majority of dogs displayed marked improvement in walking, sitting, climbing stairs, standing, running, playing, and exercise following surgery. THRs have been performed in both pet and working dogs with equal success.

Is My Dog a Candidate for THR?

If your dog is over 12 months of age, weighs more than 45 lbs., and has clinical signs associated with hip arthritis or dysplasia, or has had a traumatic hip luxation, your dogis a potential candidate for hip replacement.  A thorough examination to rule out other problems is always an important part of the preoperative evaluation.

NorthStar VETS’ team of board-certified surgeons have the experience and expertise to perform this advanced procedure.

*DISCLAIMER: If you feel you may be experiencing an emergency please contact us immediately at 609.259.8300

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