Getting hip to joint replacement

By Susan Aiello • Published: April 4th, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Airport metal detectors have been buzzing ever since artificial joints have become standard therapy for people with advanced arthritis. Now that joint replacement is also an option in veterinary medicine, Fido may send the Transportation Safety Authority into overdrive.

The first canine total-hip replacement was performed in 1957, and since then thousands have been performed throughout the U.S. An estimated 95 percent of dogs that receive an artificial hip return to acceptable function after surgery. Veterinary surgeons at the University of Florida perform approximately 50 hip replacements each year.

Success in hip replacement has lead to other artificial canine joints, such as elbows and knees. Although not appropriate for all arthritic dogs, joint replacement can provide years of pain-free life for the right canine candidate.