Femoral Head Ostectomy and Hip Dysplasia in Sentry

Ridgetop

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When our last Pyr had cancer, she was 10, and had a massive mammary tumor. Our then vet wanted to do chemo and radiation after surgery. He said she might already have it throughout her body, and the bill would have been into the $10,000 range. When we refused and asked for euthanasia, he tried to make us feel like we were bad pet owners, and refused to put her down. The second vet said he would not put down the dog until "all other options" were exhausted. Finally the third vet agreed to euthanize Poppy and release her from her pain. Sweet Poppy did not deserve to suffer. I also changed vets.

My sister's dog was 11 and had bone cancer in the leg. She borrowed the $5000.00 for the treatment from my mother, had the leg amputated and put the dog on chemo. The dog died 2 months later.

I had cancer, surgery, chemo and radiation. I was able to agree to it, understood what was happening, and suffered through it.

I think some vets want to practice new treatments on the dogs and cats using their owners' $$ for the experiments. Other times I think they just want the money for this stuff, knowing there is no hope.

At least Bay's and BJ's vet was reasonable and their Sentry is young. There is hope for him.
 

Mike CHS

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When our last Pyr had cancer, she was 10, and had a massive mammary tumor. Our then vet wanted to do chemo and radiation after surgery. He said she might already have it throughout her body, and the bill would have been into the $10,000 range. When we refused and asked for euthanasia, he tried to make us feel like we were bad pet owners, and refused to put her down. The second vet said he would not put down the dog until "all other options" were exhausted. Finally the third vet agreed to euthanize Poppy and release her from her pain. Sweet Poppy did not deserve to suffer. I also changed vets.

My sister's dog was 11 and had bone cancer in the leg. She borrowed the $5000.00 for the treatment from my mother, had the leg amputated and put the dog on chemo. The dog died 2 months later.

I had cancer, surgery, chemo and radiation. I was able to agree to it, understood what was happening, and suffered through it.

I think some vets want to practice new treatments on the dogs and cats using their owners' $$ for the experiments. Other times I think they just want the money for this stuff, knowing there is no hope.

At least Bay's and BJ's vet was reasonable and their Sentry is young. There is hope for him.
 

thistlebloom

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We have friends who have an aged dog with cancer. The wife, in very poor health herself insisted that the dog be treated.
They are elderly and definitely not wealthy. So far it has cost them $6000 and they have put it on a credit card. :confused:
I wonder what sort of advice they got from the vet.
I agree with what Ridgetop said, that it is probably more about the $$$ and the research than compassion for the animal and it's owners.
ETA- talking about cancer treatment for pets.
 
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Baymule

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With us, we figured the cost would be a thousand, $800 sounded better, $600 even better than that. What we weighed up was the cost to Sentry. Even with surgery, being a big dog, will he be ok? How much of a normal life will he have? How susceptible to injury will he be? Are we putting him through this pain and misery for nothing? We don’t know. He has a chance for a better life, we will see where it goes from here.

Sentry is so smart, we haven’t used the cone to keep him from licking and chewing his incision. He started to lick, in a normal voice I said aaahhhntt and he stopped. Later he started to lick again and I said no. After that, he turned his head and merely looked at it. What dog does that?
 

thistlebloom

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He's young, he's smart, he has great herd protection instincts, and this surgery has been around for a long time with good success. I think you did the right thing, and in your shoes I would have made the same decision given the financial side of it was not out of reach.
I am really amazed at the price your vet gave you, I would have guessed this sort of thing would have been many times that.
That's a wonderful vet to have, who is obviously not about the dollar profit.
 

LMK17

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Wow, we are blown away by the support here.

@LMK17 Thank you for posting this!! I read all the comments to BJ and we both got excited that your dog is doing so well. WHOOP!!! You have affirmed that we are doing the right thing.
You’ve offered me advice SO many times in the past. I’m very happy to be able to return the favor in some small way. 🥰

Like you, I honestly had no idea how common the FHO procedure is! When the vet first started talking about it, I definitely had to pick my jaw up off the floor— “You want to do WHAT?? But how does that work?!” I mean, it sounds super radical, right? In humans, we rebuild that joint out of machine parts when something goes really badly; I couldn’t get my brain around the idea that we could just eliminate the bony joint all together in a dog and have it all work out. But like I said, Sam‘s hip is doing great. She jumps gates that are well over her head height and runs around like mad when the mood strikes her. Frankly, she’s a big PITB, and I wouldn’t mind one bit if she started slowing down... 🙄😆

And the price your vet gave you is fantastic! What a blessing! Sam got hurt when we lived smack dab in the middle of San Antonio. It took me several tries in that area to even find a vet willing to give shots without a full exam and the accompanying $300 bill. Anyway, our normal vet wouldn’t do the procedure and instead referred us to the “veterinary specialty“ hospital across town. The surgery alone was $3000, and that didn’t include any of the follow up nor the conservative treatments we tried before finally consenting to the surgery. Financially, it was a really difficult call. Fortunately, we were able to make it work, but the decision certainly wasn’t without a lot of handwringing. Where we are now, we see a wonderful “country vet.” I can only imagine the surgery would be far less expensive here, but big vet bills are hard pills to swallow no matter where you are!
 

Baymule

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If the surgery had been $3000 per hip, we could not have justified it. For $6000 I could go buy quite a few of the best registered puppies out of tested certified parents that money can buy.

I sit here with a throbbing painful knee that I am waiting for Medicare so I can get replacement surgery. Spending $6000 or more on a dog would be a real dumb thing for me to do. For the money we spent, we were willing to take the chance. We still have to get his other hip done and I hope this hip will take the weight while the other one heals. We just have to see how this all plays out.

I appreciate the discussion and input on this. I want this to be a learning experience for everyone. If nothing else, a cautionary tale that may prevent others from going down this road.
 

LMK17

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Yeah, we wouldn't/couldn't have done the surgery x2, either. As it was, my husband and I couldn't see eye to eye on it-- and BTW I don't blame him one bit. We ended up paying part of her surgery out of household funds, and I covered the rest on an installment plan using the "fun money" that my husband and I pay ourselves each month... FWIW, I think euthanasia would also have been a perfectly acceptable option, and I still wonder whether we should've gone that route... But she's my dog, and despite her other bad traits, she's excellent with the kids, and they love her. Plus, I was feeling guilty about her injury. It was partly my fault. I was trying to give her a nail trim, which she hates. I was squatting down behind her trying to trim a front paw, and she darted between my legs. She knocked me off balance, and I landed squarely on her back right above her hips. She pancaked on the floor, and one leg splayed out, causing the hip to dislocate. It was a stupid accident with an unfortunate outcome. It all worked out, but I wouldn't automatically make the same decision now if it were to happen again. 🤷
 

farmerjan

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@Baymule , I have to apologize for not reading this and seeing what you were going through with Sentry. I have only read some of the posts since I went in for the surgery. All the sitting has been getting to me, and I haven't had the patience to do alot of computer work with the constant being in the achey state. I am fortunate that it hasn't been the kind of pain that I was really anticipating or expecting. But I had no ability for concentration for more than a few minutes at a time.
I admire the decision you made for Sentry. I don't know what I would have done, but suspect that I probably would have gone the way you did. I know when my 12 yr old German Shepard was diagnosed with leukemia, I opted for some pills, and treatment although it was still somewhat expensive. But she also went downhill fast and quit eating and was in some pain. At that point I made the choice to put her down, but she passed on the evening the vet was going to meet me and put her down. She loved to ride in the truck, and I told her we were going to go for a ride, and helped her up into the back of the truck then the vet called and said he had an emergency and he would call me on his way home. When he called about 2 hours later, I went out to the truck and looked in the back and Emmy was laying there and I realized she was gone. I cried and called the vet back and told him that I wouldn't have to meet him because she was gone.
I can only feel glad that she passed knowing that she was going to go for a ride that she loved to do......And we had had a wonderful 8 years and she was no longer in pain or suffering.
Since there are others with more knowledge and experience with this that believe that Sentry will do good, I hope that things do go well for him. And as soon as the Medicare kicks in, your knee will be priority. But I do believe that you and your DH are the very best place and person for him. Best of luck to all of you.
 

Baymule

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Awww @farmerjan , it is so hard to lose our old friends. Your girl was in her happy place, you couldn't ask for better than that.

No need to apologize, I know where you are and what you are dealing with. I am just glad that you had the surgery, are mending and will be able to go home soon.
 
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