Biomedtrix universal hip. By Dr Chris Preston, Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre, Malvern East, VIC.
Larger, labrador-style dogs tend to have hip dysplasia as pups and develop arthritis as they get older. Half the dogs we see are one-year-olds that are so severely affected they either get a hip replacement or are euthanised. The other half are seven- to 10-year-olds that have worn their hips out. The ball and socket joint of this hip replacement unit allows these dogs to have pain-free function for the rest of their life.
What’s good about it
The hips come in different sizes to suit all breeds from a chihuahua to a Great Dane. These replacement hips have, by far, the most research behind them. The system is extremely close to a human-style hip replacement. Biomedtrix, which is a US company, is a market leader and the volume of their implants being used is high. They are the world’s largest artificial hip company for dogs.
The implants are ethylene oxide gas sterilised so they’ll last on the shelf for years. At the moment I have a war chest of implants—enough to do 50 dogs.
The success rate is 95 per cent in experienced hands. The dog stays in one night, goes home the next day and they do well quickly. The main issue is keeping them confined so they don’t develop problems after surgery. Most owners are very happy with the result.
What’s not so good
The cost. They are expensive and this creates a lot of resistance in clients. About 90 per cent of clients decline immediately after they hear the price.
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