Earlier this week I was reading the New York Times and was surprised to see a friend’s Pug, Lily, featured in an article about canine hip-replacement surgery. I’ve seen Lily run in agility many times and had no idea--clearly a testament to the success of hip-replacement surgery in dogs.
Hip-replacement surgery has been performed on large dogs for decades, but in 2005, micro-hip replacements were licensed, for dogs weighing below 30 pounds. Lily, who weighs 18 pounds, is one of only 200 dogs in the world who have had a micro-hip replacement.
As you can imagine, many of the first dogs to get micro-hip replacements were service animals or competition dogs, like Zydeco the champion Frisbee dog and Jere the Finnish moose hunting champion. But as the average pet lover is spending more money on their animals, hip replacements are growing in popularity.
The surgery costs about $5,000, not including post-operation physical therapy. Some people may think that hip-replacement is excessive for a dog, but for active pets, not being able to run and jump can be devastating to both physical and mental health.