heal me: our muttville foster dog sassafras recovers from hip surgery, part 1

sassafras: border collie attitudecool videos of sassafras‘ hip surgery rehab on the beach!

a combination of assisted walking exercises, swimming, and physical therapy will help  sassasfras recover strength and range of motion in her back left leg. ultimately, she will be able to comfortably walk on all four legs. go sassafras!

at healthy pets vet hospital, dr ilana strubel taught us how to rehab the smartass sassafras. she is quickly gaining muscle thanks to dr ilana’s great tips: using the sand and gentle hills at the beach to encourage her to use her sore leg,  supporting her weight and balance with a ruffwear harness, and making her walk backwards one step at a time.

sassafras working her back left leg on the beach:


walking backwards means sassafras must use both back legs:


soon, sass go to her first hydrotherapy session at the rex center, which generously donates time in their rehabilitation pool to the old dogs at muttville! we can’t wait to show you the video of this smart border collie going for a swim…

how did sass end up needing FHO?

she was hit by a car while stray in los angeles.  later, she was picked up by the municipal shelter. too much time had elapsed for her to have hip replacement surgery.  shelter volunteers reached out to rescue groups, and this lucky girl was chosen to join the thousands of dogs saved by muttville senior dog rescue.  a week later, sassafras arrived at  small club as our newest muttville foster girl.  she was not using her back left leg at all, and xrays revealed that her hip was completely dislocated. she was a perfect candidate for Femoral Head Ostectomy – a salvage procedure that both relieves pain and allows the dog to use the leg again. the top of the femur is removed and a space is left between the hip socket and the rest of the femur. this space fills with muscle and scar tissue creating a painless “false joint” for her to walk on. our task? to build that false joint and develop the surrounding muscles so sassafras can walk comfortably again!

sassafras is looking for her forever home, read her profile here

more basic info about FHO for nerds

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