Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)

This is a procedure that is done most commonly in small breed dogs and in cats. 

It involves removing the femoral head from the rest of the femur. In my experience though, the head is generally already “off” and causing pain due to the bone on bone contact. 

Large breed dogs can do ok with it, but a total hip replacement is generally the best option. That is a lot more expensive and is only done by board certified veterinary surgeons in certain hospitals or veterinary schools. 
There are a variety of reasons this procedure is done. Most often it is recommended due to a traumatic fracture but it can also be due to a condition called Legg-Perthes disease (a congenital disease of some small and toy breed dogs) and even hip dysplasia or chronic arthritis.  

These animals do amazingly well post-op. They essentially form a "false joint" with scar tissue. There is some rehab that is recommended to help maintain range of motion and muscle mass in that leg. 

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