How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Doctor Jeff Your Own Question
Doctor Jeff
Doctor Jeff, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4589
Experience:  Small Animal Veterinarian and practice owner with 8+ years experience.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Doctor Jeff is online now

hi, I have recently been told my 7 year old golden retriever

This answer was rated:

hi, I have recently been told my 7 year old golden retriever needs two new hips due to severe arthritis. I thought 'no problem I've got pet insurance' then I was horrified to find that my insurance had lapsed and I didn't know. I thought that they automatically renewed it but I must have been wrong. I cant afford £7,000 for my dogs operation but I also don't want to leave her in pain. please advise me on what I can do. I am desperate for help for my beautiful dog.
Hi, I am Dr. Jeff. I will try to help you. Please feel free to follow up if any more information is needed. The total hip replacement is surgery for a "end stage" hip that is not responsive to medical management. There are several ways you can manage hip arthritis medically, but some hips are so diseased, surgery is the only option. First, to manage pain you can use a combination of NSAIDs (non steroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl, previcoxx, etc) and tramadol (pain killer). Keep in mind, this strictly masks the pain and does not address the disease. You can also alleviate pain with less traditional options such as Class IV laser therapy ( ) or aquatic exercise (part of a physical therapy program). There are also options that address the joint disease such as joint supplements, prescription foods designed for arthritis management (hill j/d, purina JM), Adequan, and stem cell therapy.
The medivet site is just one company in the US that does this. I am sure there are some in the UK that do this too. The problem is that it is rather expensive at this stage.
Finally, if surgery is a must there is a lesser surgery called an FHO (femoral head osteotomy) which can relieve pain and can be performed by a general practice vet for much less. However, this is not an ideal surgery for a large breed dog.
So, I would discuss these options I presented with your vet or a vet that you may seek for a second opinion. I hope this helps and gives you direction.
Dr Jeff
Doctor Jeff and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you