Help Needed! Hip dysplasia with luxation - FHO versus THR


New member
Feb 18, 2021
Bulldog(s) Names
Hi everyone. We are longtime readers of this thread, and we thank you for all of your helpful advice.

We have a 10 month old bulldog, who unfortunately after she was spayed had hip luxation (out of socket) on both sides. We absolutely do not blame our vet. On the X-ray there are signs of severe hip dysplasia (our dog was not showing any signs of pain prior) on both sides. What we think happened, was with the relaxation of the muscles with the anesthetic plus the positioning for the spay plus her severe HD, her hips fell out of their socket.

Now we are faced with a very difficult decision. We obviously need to do surgery (medical management not an option for her, given both hips are out of the socket). She is currently happy, excited and playful, eating and drinking well with both hips out.

We have two viable options for surgery.
1) Total hip replacement on one side and then an FHO on the other side. Pros of this THR has 95% return to normal function, i think less pain but there is some controversial evidence and a faster (but more restrictive) recovery time. The cons of this, are an up to 10%-17% risk of complications, of which half of those will need another surgery, it is almost twice as expensive (8-9k/leg), including hospitalization, medications, X-rays). It seems our Em has had pretty much every complication you could have so, we are a bit hesitant about this. Complication risk decreases if we are able to keep her only walking, no running or jumping. She never jumps off furniture anyway and we would just need to control her zooms. We would then do an FHO on the other side, as we cant afford two hip replacements (we have pet insurance, only up to 7500 return, and we do not have 20k sitting around). The surgeon also does not think that he would be able to do a THR on the other side, as the muscles will have likely tightened over time.

2) FHO on both sides - Pros are that there is a much lower complication rate, the recovery is a bit longer, but is less restrictive so more feasible, with appropriate strengthening exercises and anti-inflammatory use, her pain will be limited. It is much more affordable, about 4k/leg and much much lower risk of needing a repeat surgery for complications (this is good from a health and financial perspective). Cons are that she will only return to 75% normal function, there is increased risk of her having pain and I am a bit worried long term pain and function. This is more of a "salvage" procedure for quality of life and pain management, rather than actually fixing the issue.

We are wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation, and what you have done. We don't want to cheap out on her if the THR will have a significant improvement on her quality of life, but there are obviously some financial constraints. We have already reached out to our breeder, as clearly this severity of hip dysplasia at a young age has a genetic component. They were ??sorta helpful but really just stated that "all bulldogs have hip dysplasia and this has nothing to do with breeding" which is not the case, but I am not willing to get in a battle about this.

I would appreciate any insight you guys may have!! Thank you so much.


I'm not who moved my bulldog?
Staff member
Community Veteran
Jul 28, 2011
Gilbertsville, PA
Bulldog(s) Names
Chelios (Frenchie), Cubby (Frenchie) Nitschke (2004-2011) Banks (2005-2014) and Lambeau (2014-2024)
So sorry this is happening to your baby.... I have no experience, but Chip may have some insight, ther may even be some info if you search the boards.

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