Smaller Dogs Now Candidates for Total Hip Replacement


Cementless hip replacement is now routine at Tufts. “We do one or two a week,” says Michael Kowaleski, DVM, an orthopedic specialist at the Cummings School, “sometimes two a day.” And they replace hips on small dogs, too.
“Traditionally,” Dr. Kowaleski explains, “we had implants that fit dogs from 30 pounds up to 100 or 150 pounds. But recently a system has been developed for small dogs and even cats. It’s called the micro hip and fits dogs who are 10 to 25 pounds. There’s even the nano hip for dogs up to about 10 pounds. And little dogs do get hip dysplasia. Toy breed dogs also get a disease called avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Blood supply is disrupted to the blood vessels that supply the femoral head — and as a result, the femoral head becomes misshapen, leading to painful, even crippling, arthritis that requires a new hip joint. It usually occurs in one hip, not both, as happens with hip dysplasia.”


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