Would you pay for FULL hip replacement on you DOG???

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by totoro, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Our Little Brown Log, as N calls her. Little Miss. Clemmey Sue. Curley Buns, Stinkey Sue, Clemsen Doodle Butt etc....

    Well when we got her fixed, they did an x-ray because reteivers have a lot of hip issues, and our "Uncle Bucky" just had to put his Chocolatte Lab down for hip issues. :(
    So they found some serious issues. She started limping pretty bad. Stiffening up after long walks... She will retrieve for about 1/2 hour then stop... she is just 8 months. Swim for 1/2 to 45 minutes.
    For a Chessie that is SHORT...
    After lying down, she stutter steps and walks on her toes, especially in her right leg.
    She fell down the stairs the other night... 2 stairs, I was behind her and caught her.
    So we brought her back got more x-rays, to rule out back, knee issues, by the way our VET we really trust and like.
    They found both hips are displaced, gone, not seated. SO they sent the pictures to a specialist in SunValley. He went to a top school, He said full hip replacement on both.
    The vet says this IS common in Chessies and retrievers. But a lot of owners do not see it until they are older. Or never get the x-rays with a spay or nueter, it is kind of costly.

    So do we just let her gimp along and feed her good food, with hip builder in it, Chondroitin, glucosomine. Give her Steroids anti-inflammatories. Her life will be shortened.
    Swimming will not help due to the way the legs are used in the swim. The move will help, mammals are mammals, the dry heat helps all with arthritis!!! husband and Clemey.
    I can not imagine how much this will cost? The vet said it is expensive, we will not know until we talk to SUn Valley Vet.
    husband think just let her live out her life...
    The surgery where they shave the acetabulum is not really good for her, she is not a good candidate due to her severity.

    I kind of agree with husband, but part of me guilty, like we should do anything... but then...
    I hate this. Poor thing.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Isn't this a dog the breeder told you she was keeping as a SHOW prospect? I would call the breeder -

    I know you love her - I love her too just from looking at her pictures, but dogs do not show pain like humans do and she may be in a lot of pain OVER THE TOP kind of pain before you and husband would even know. HOW about instead of surgery you invest in a dog hind end cart? It's like a wheel chair for pups.

    Like I said my biggest concern would be her level of pain before you knew. I have had to make this decision for myself in the past and said my goodbyes. IT still makes me choke up to this day - but I know I did the right thing for the pup.

    Hugs - Gosh Toto I'm so sorry - poor little Clementine. How awful for you all.
  3. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    if she was older, I would have a definate answer. But at her young age, wow, it's hard to make a decision.
    As Star said, she may be in pain and just not showing it. We didn't notice Buster being in pain until his bone tumor started to effect the way he walked. By then, the entire bone was so brittle it was ready to fracture, and our only choice was full amputation (left front leg) or put him down. He was over 10 years old - I just couldn't do the amputation. We brought him home, loved him over night, and took him back and NL (he works at the vet) did the actual deed.
    I would have a long, hard talk with the vet on what her long term survival chances are - survival as in pain free life. Or will you have continual surgeries, etc.? Remember, you are looking at a potential of 12 or more years - can you AND she take that?

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    It's a tough decision. If money isn't an issue, then sure. If it is, then no, I wouldn't do it. I'm an animal lover, but I wouldn't make that type of sacrifice for one.

    My parents had a liver transplant done on one of our dogs. He died a few days later and my parents were financially broke afterward and broken hearted.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    If I could afford it, then definitely. Even if I would have to find a way to pay for it, I probably would exhaust every effort. I would have to say no right now because I simply don't have the money or a way to get any. But, barring this, I would.

    But, that's just me. Everyone feels differently about it and it's a personal decision. I would probably also get a second opinion before throwing down that kind of money.
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    If the surgery promised a good outcome and if I had the money, I'd be the kind that would probably do it. I have Bostons and they can be very prone to luxating patellas, a heriditary knee problem that can get very severe. It doesn't always show up till they're two or three years old, and by that time sometimes the dog has been bred and passed it along to the puppies. The knee caps on the back legs pop out of place very easily and it can be crippling. My Katy has a very slight case, not bad yet, and not getting any worse, but it might. But I know other people with Bostons who have spent several thousand dollars (each leg!) to have surgery done to repair it.

    My cousin has a fairly young dog that suddenly developed diabetes and he became completely blind with cataracts within two months, even after he started on insulin. She paid over $5,000 for him to have the cataract surgery that restored his sight. Not everybody would or could do this, but she's a "dog person" just like me, and it broke her heart to see him like that. She says that now, everytime she sees him happily chasing squirrels through their back yard, she knows it was worth every penny!
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    You can tell she is in pain. That is why we are doing these consults. We have done 3 already. We are up a lot of cash already. They have said with her hips, most likely she will make it about 8 years, give or take. As far as the breeder. I spoke with the vet and he said this is really common and you just never know, it really isn't the breeders fault. Yes you can over breed and it can just be luck of the draw. She was too young at the time when we got her to really know. Both of her parents are AKC and Champions. Both are fully hip certified and joint certified.
    They are in the top 50 breeders of America... I will let them know she is "lame" that is how they would phrase it, not me!

    I just want her pain free no matter what. That is the bottom what. Even if we don't do the surgery, I still want her to get the best treatment.
    We will call this specialist and see...
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    OK we were guessing about 10 grand... but I was hoping I was WAY OFF. I just googled cost of total hip replacement surgeries for dogs...
    Every cost was around 5,000.00 for each hip....
    I will still call.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    We have a young dog and I had a similar surgery done for her last summer. We tried other things first and it didn't help. It was well worth it. She was in a LOT of pain and was paralyzed. Sniff. She has heeled well, knock on wood and thanking all...

    We have an older dog that was hit by a car TWICE. He has a very bad hip. He does not seem to be in pain. We have not done surgery for him. We have even heard talk of amputation.
    Should he have pain, we would probably try anti-inflamatories.

    All these things are very difficult decisions to make.

    I have heard Chondroitin, glucosomine, depending on the situation, can be very helpful. I am thinking of giving it to our old dog.

    As a side note...does any of the dog food have this in it? Do they actually make this supplement for dogs?

    If you have to get this surgery...get one of those credit cards with frequent flier mile deals, etc.

    Wishing you well with your pet and your decision.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks, yes they do make the food now, and treats!!! The vet said the Omegas are great also, to give her fish pills. I do have 2 of those cards! I just found 2 sites with the prices listed at 3 grand... it is getting lower... I also worry about the recovery. With both girls. I would want Clemey to be safe and not so stressed out.
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Nomad, they do make glucosomine for dogs, but I don't know if you can buy it at a pet store as a supplement or if you have to get it from the vet. I know that a lot of the people that have Bostons with knee problems give it to their dogs and say that it really helps a lot - of course, that's only if it hasn't yet progressed to the stage where surgery is the only option.
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If I had the money I would do it. But that's me. I'm starting Mandy on Fish oil now, just because she's so darned dandruffy. Her hips seem fine.
  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    My sweet Chelsea blew out her right hind knee two years ago. I watched it happen. I was dogsitting a young dog who spotted a squirrel and took off and Chelsea was thrilled to keep up.

    But she was 11 at the time and you can't keep up with a youngster when you are an 11 year old dog.

    She was in terrible pain.

    I got several opinions and consults. Ex agreed to split the cost with me. It was a very difficult surgery and she took months and months to recover. But to watch her trot towards a squirrel (she's 13 now) with that smile on her face it was totally worth it.

    I don't know what I would have done if it had been $10K or $6K and feel so fortunate that it was doable at the cost it was.

    Good luck with your decision. Bless her heart...and yours for even considering this for her.

  14. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I suppose that if I were in your position, I would try the special food for a period of time to see how it works, and then make a decision from there.

    In the meantime I would feel out the vet on his opinion of the backside doggie cart.

    I am so sorry to hear that your furbaby is hurting.
  15. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    See if you can find a vet school near you. The costs are less and the treatment is usually excellent -- just like teaching hospitals for humans, but better.

    Going back to the original question, yes, I'd do it if I could afford it without scarificing my kids' college. If it meant not having a new car for a year or two, no problem. Not having top of the line clothes, I'd go for it. Basically, if it meant sacrificing luxuries, my answer would be a definite yes. If it meant sacrificing some necessities, I'd be more hesitant but would try to find a way to do it. If it meant serious sacrificing of necessities, I'd talk to the vet as to how much pain she was in, do what I could to keep her comfortable for as long as possible and then do what had to be done.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. Having to decide what to do for a beloved pet is always difficult.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I happen to live in the town that Ok State University is in. They have an excellent vet school. Call and see what they charge for the hip replacement. We could work out getting Clemmy Sue here if needed. a friend was working at the vet school to get state residency so he could get into vet school and his dog developed a knee condition. He managed to get the surgery done VERY reasonably. We also have a cat my bro found after it had been hit by a car (we think). The vet school quoted one price (high) and bro said to put the cat down because he just couldn't afford it. Then they gave a MUCH lower price (still over $1000) and they fixed my Sammy cat up just fine. I would try all the vet schools you can find, to see what it would cost you.


  17. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Gosh, Toto. I would never have the money to do it, although I would WANT to.

    I don't envy your position at all. Hugs to you and your doggie.

  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Not sure what part of Idaho you're in, but there is a school of veterinary medicine in Pullman WA.

    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Washington State University
    P.O. Box 64702
    Pullman, Washington 99164-7012
    (509) 335-1532

    Check out the story on "Chocolate"!

  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wow...that's a really hard question. For Bud, at his age, I probably would. For a dog that was already old, I would look into pain management.
  20. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Witz~ This is where our Vet went to school and the specialist... any vet around here goes to WSU!
    I am going to call the the specialist discuss what he thinks and the costs. And then call around... See what is available in Tucson, Phoenix area.
    We are just so strapped right now with the move, with our mortgage and rent... the move.
    I still haven't received K's 5 week psychiatric hospital bill yet!
    I know our Vet here said do it soon, her recovery will be easier.
    She would not need a cart for a long time, but the problem with Chessies is most would not tolerate it. She would run herself to death. Labs, retrievers etc... they are swimmers, "retrievers" by nature. So they do not know when to stop even if they are in pain. If her legs did not work at all...
    A chessie will want to swim. Maybe she could do one, I would try it. When and if she was hobbled enough to barely walk. If we could not get the surgery.
    I hate having to make this decision.