Just got back from the emergency vet–Dash is still there. Dash had a serious accident playing frisbee with my mom today while I was at work. I had to rush home from work and drive us all to the 24 hour emergency vet, which is luckily VERY close to our house.
It seems Dash landed in the splits, completely dislocating one hip. 95% of dogs have a dislocation like the one in the x-ray at left, usually from being hit by cars. Dash’s “splits” dislocation is like the one below.
A hip dislocation sounds minor–in movies, they just pop them back in. However, in dogs, the emergency vet says there’s only a 10-20% that the hip will ever manage to stay in, with or without bandaging and long-term sedation. (The AVMA says 50%). It normally pops right back out no matter how many times they try. In addition, hip dislocation often means major tissue damage to ligaments and blood vessels that connect femur to hip socket. Which can mean a “dead” femoral head and/or hip socket.
The vet there is not an ortho vet, and his initial recommendation was to immediately do a femoral head osteotomy (remove the top of the femur)–an FHO–for $1500. I explained that I wanted the best outcome for agility and circus performance, so he got on the phone with their osteo vets at their other branch. The plan now is to have them try to pop it back in (the 10-20% chance of success plan). Dash will then have to wear front and back “hobbles” for a week or two so he doesn’t lift a leg to pee and end up pulling the hip back out. That will cost $700-900 just for the positioning part, in addition to emergency room costs, x-rays, etc.–and there’s a high chance it will pop back out within minutes.
If it doesn’t stay in, I have an apt. for early next week with their board-certified ortho vet to attach the ball to socket using “fishing line.” It’s similar to the “fishing line” surgery I had done on my JRT years ago after an ACL tear. That will be another $3,000 and has an 80% chance of working. If we’re in the failure group, then we will have to cut off part of the femur (FHO) and only muscle will be holding his leg bones in place.
Mom and I are home now and they’re going to re-set the hip sometime later this evening. Dash will come home tonight or tomorrow, whether or not it stays put, and then we may have additional surgery ahead next week. Wish us luck!