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A Titanium Hip Restores Movement, Health, and Quality of life to a Local Pet –The story of Dorado’s Total Hip Replacement at WestVet. 

Today’s blog was written by Christy Hovey and printed in the 2014 winter edition of the Urban Liaison Magazine.

Torn ligaments, damaged or unstable joints, and fractures are a few ailments that can leave your pet limping and in pain. While oral medicine may temporarily relieve symptoms, surgical repair helps minimize long-term problems. WestVet is proud to offer the expertise of three board certified veterinary surgeons, Dr. Jeff Brourman, Dr. John Chandler, and Dr. Sean Murphy. They provide surgical procedures that can repair traumatic injuries, correct congenital abnormalities, and treat bone and/or joint disorders. 

Richard and Charlotte of Boise know firsthand the importance of prompt specialized care. WestVet offers Total Hip Replacement for Dog's with pelvic and spinal pain.They first saw four-month-old Dorado’s picture online when she was listed as one of many mixed-breed puppies born on the Navaho Reservation of southeastern Utah. After transport to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter near Kanab, Utah, they applied to adopt her. Richard says, “Dorado soon began to fill the big hole we had in our hearts from the passing of our previous dog, Dakota.”

Soon they noticed that Dorado had an odd, sideways movement in her hindquarters while running. In addition, she showed little interest or ability in normal puppy play.  X-rays at Intermountain Pet Hospital revealed severe hip dysplasia in both hips with very little bone structure in her left hip. The prognosis was the onset of crippling pain, heavy doses of pain suppressants, and ultimately, an early death. Richard and Charlotte immediately turned to WestVet for help.

They met with Dr. Sean Murphy, a surgeon who had impressed them with his conservative treatment recommendations regarding their previous pet. Dr. Murphy recommended that Dorado’s left hip be surgically rebuilt with titanium after she reached age one and her bones were fully formed. In November 2013, Dorado had the surgery that transformed her life. A team led by Dr. Sean Murphy and Dr. Jeff Brourman performed the total hip replacement; she remained overnight at WestVet for monitoring.

The next morning, Richard and Charlotte were able to see their pup, and images of her brand-new titanium hip. Dog's restored to movement and health after Total Hip Replacment Surgery at WestVetThey brought her home with detailed instructions on the necessity of close confinement; daily, slow increases in exercise; and follow-up physical therapy. The goal was to ensure the new prosthetic structure would bond with her bones appropriately.

For four months, they followed WesVet’s discharge instructions for progressive therapeutic activities at home, during which Dorado received physical therapy at WestVet. They say, “Dorado loved her visits to WestVet for physical therapy, including massage and walking on an underwater treadmill. Dr. Murphy gave Dorado her puppyhood back. Our young dog, now two-years-old, can blast around at high speed. The combination of technology, skill, and knowledge that the staff at WestVet brought to bear in helping our pup to have a good life was remarkable, and we are so grateful.”

WestVet specialists will work with you and your family veterinarian to determine the right course of action for your pet. You don’t have to go through your pet’s illness alone. The WestVet team of veterinary specialists reminds us that, “We hope you don’t need us, but if you do, we’re here to help.”

WestVet board-certified surgeons provide the following orthopedic veterinary surgical services:

  • Patella luxationDog with congenital hip problems receives total hip replacement at WestVet
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)
  • Hyperextension injuries Internal plating for fracture fixation
  • External skeletal fixation for fracture repair
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Arthrodesis Carpal, tarsal bone injuries, and luxations
  • Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO)
  • Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)
  • Lateral fabella suture technique
  • Femoral head and neck excision

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