Canine THR Recovery Story:
Padmé’s Journey to Health

Review a German Shepherd’s 12-week recovery process after undergoing her first total hip replacement (THR).  

By sharing their story, KYON hopes to help other owners who may be considering THR surgery and to let others know what to expect after canine THR surgery. In addition, the german shepherd owners give tips about what they learned based on their experience. Padmé went to receive a second THR surgery to correct her other hip, because they had first-hand experience about the recovery process, the second THR recovery went even smoother. 

For the full canine THR recovery process, and photo documentation, follow the link. Continue reading for snapshots of their 12-week (85 days) canine THR recovery.

Padmé’s THR Recovery

Day 1- First Night Home: German shepherd, Padmé, was still very disoriented from anesthesia and medication. She did not want to go into her crate, which is her safe spot and a place she loves. 

TIP: Crates, or small gated areas, are useful for controlling and minimizing the amount of activity a dog can do when owners are asleep or cannot directly monitor the dog during a short period of time. 

Day 2: Padmé goes pee outside with the assistance of a sling. 

Day 3: Padmé is still heavily drugged and sedated so it was natural for her to be willing to go outside once. 

TIP: Using a sling is needed at this time to keep your canine stable.

Day 6: Padmé woke up happy with increased energy. 

TIP: Monitoring your dog once they start getting their energy back is extremely important. They will want, and think, they can do all the things they were doing before BUT this can lead to complications or prolonged recovery time. Using a crate or using a small gated area is a great solution for times when you can not monitor. 

Day 14 (week 2): Padmé had her 2-week THR surgery follow-up. Sutures were removed and everything looks good

Day 22: Padmé received laser treatment to help reduce pain and promote healing. The therapists reviewed exercises that can be completed at home to help with recovery and also walked for 4 minutes on a water treadmill.

TIP: Water treadmills are used to allow animals to use the same biomechanics when walking, but with less weight and impact. 

Day 23: Padmé borrows a canine mind game. 

TIP: This allows animals to exercise their brain, which helps use up their energy without stressing their bodies with physical activity.

Day 29: Padmé is allowed to go on a 15-minute walk.

Day 35: Third session on the water treadmill and was able to complete 9 minutes of walking. 

Day 42: The 6-week x-ray came back good. Padmé was approved to go swimming by her veterinarian. Though they were given the go-ahead to increase activities, they are still avoiding stairs at week 6.

Day 48: Padmé graduates canine rehab.

Day 57 (week 8): Padmé is introduced to more activities like short-throw fetch and a 15-minute swim with a canine life jacket. Padmé now wears traction socks to avoid slipping on the hardwood floors. 

Day 85 (week 12): Padmé is fully recovered with the ability to run and play with no pain or stiffness in my right hip.

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