Total Hip Replacement – THR

the most common joint replacement procedure in both dogs and humans

Total hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which your dog’s painful and dysfunctional hip joint is replaced with prosthetic ball and socket joint, providing a functional pain-free joint and improved quality of life.


Difficulty rising, stiffness, lameness and reluctance to exercise are signs often seen with hip pain. The Total Hip Replacement (THR) is typically performed on dogs that experience significantly decreased quality of life due to hip pain. Osteoarthritis secondary to hip dysplasia (abnormal growth of the hip) is the most common disease process treated with THR and can also be used to correct pain and abnormal hip function caused by fractures, dislocation or even failed surgical procedures.

Hip dysplasia is a congenital, heritable growth abnormality, common in dogs that severely affects the quality of life. There are several treatment options for hip dysplasia, and the best option for your dog will be determined by age, severity of your dog’s condition and discomfort, your own expectation and ability to provide post-operative care, and financial concerns.

Surgical options available are:

Total Hip 1

In a normal hip joint, the ball and socket are well seated providing a large congruent joint surface.
This provides smooth, full range of motion allowing your dog to rise, lie down, sit, walk, run and jump comfortably.

Total Hip 2

In a diseased or dysplastic hip, the ball and socket are irregular, resulting in the loss of the articular surface, bone on bone contact and joint capsule thickening.

These changes then result in inflammation, pain and decreased range of motion.

Total Hip 3


In a Total Hip Replacement, both the femur (ball) and the acetabulum (socket) of the hip joint are replaced with implants.

At Azzore Veterinary Specialists we  typically use the Zurich Total Hip Replacement system in dogs, which is a cementless THR system. This surgery results in improved range of motion and pain free limb function during regular exercise and activity. In order for your dog to be a good THR candidate, s/he should be in good general health. Total hip replacement can be completed as early as 8 months of age and in dogs ranging from 10-250 lbs.

The goal of a THR is to return your pet to pain-free, normal hip function, and this result is achieved in greater than 95% of patients. Most dogs are more comfortable almost immediately after surgery and experience improved quality of life, increase in muscle mass, and increased activity levels. If you feel your dog is a good candidate for a Total Hip Replacement, please do not hesitate to get your veterinarian’s opinion, or call our office to schedule an appointment for hip evaluation with our board certified veterinary orthopedic surgery specialist Dr. Dew.