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femoral head ostectomy in dogs | stray dog needs femoral head ostectomy
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Dirty, Infested, and a Bum Leg

February 6, 2012

Our little quarantined friend is finally “home” and by home I mean our house. Yep, we’re keeping him. And we’ve officially named him Kiffin (we found him outside the USC campus, after all). This Beagle-Corgi mix is really a good dog. I can’t imagine the life he must have had and he’s only thought to be two-years-old.


Introducing Kiffin Sweetie-Pew (formerly known as "Pablo" by the awesome staff at Marina Hills Animal Hospital). We call him Finn. I'll always think of him as Pre.

On Thursday, Animal Control signed off on him (no rabies!) and the vet was finally able to evaluate him and his injuries. Fleas had ravaged the poor guy, his ears were filled with dirt and dust, he is missing two of his front bottom teeth (which was a good thing for my husband or he would have had another puncture wound in his face), he has a seriously bad case of whipworm, and of course his injured leg.

You know it’s never good news when the vet comes in and lets out an audible sigh. It’s Kiffin’s hip that is the problem. The vet believes the injury is old because the muscles in his leg have totally atrophied. Basically, one of his hip bones has completely come out of the socket. Yes, popping it back in is one solution but since the injury is old it’s doubtful the ball will stay put in the socket. Second option is leaving it as is. But, it’s painful to watch this guy hop around on three legs or drag his hind across the floor as he climbs into your lap. The vet believes the hip bone is sitting on top of the socket bone and causing some bone-on-bone friction which may or may not be painful for him. Third option is surgery. It’s specifically called a “femoral head ostectomy” where they saw a portion of the bone off and fit it back into the socket in hopes that scar tissue will form around the bone and within the socket keeping it in place. The risk with the surgery is that he may or may not start even using the leg again because it’s been so long since he has. Rehab would include lots of running, jumping, chasing – anything to build the needed scar tissue and regaining movement of his unused leg.

Femoral head ostectomy X-ray



He’s so damn cute. He’s surprisingly acclimated to his new environment (hey, he pretty much hit the jackpot in my opinion). Our almost ten-year-old Vizsla hasn’t been fazed and, in fact, I’ve seen some glimmer of her old puppy spark since he’s been home.

For now, we’re working on putting some pounds on him and opting for coffee at home instead of Starbucks to pay for his surgery!

Are we nuts?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alma February 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I am so glad he has a home.


erica February 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

You are nuts.


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