How Long Will Dog Limp After FHO (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Four Weeks

FHO stands for Femoral Head Ostectomy. FHO is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure that is very helpful in widening obstructed or narrowed veins or arteries of the head. The method is used mainly to treat head and neck areas of the body. The treatment is used widely in all parts of the world, and it is performed on dogs and cats.


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The method’s basic principle is that a small wire is used with a deflated balloon attached. The wire is then inserted in the obstructed or narrowed blood vessel, and then the balloon is inflated. It results in the widening of the obstructed area and helps improve the blood flow through the vessel of the head, and allows the blood to reach the brain.

How Long Will Dog Limp After FHO?

Charles Dotter, an interventional medical expert from the United States, is credited for first describing FHO to widen the vessels. He introduced the method in the year 1964. His contribution in this field led to more new medication techniques, and improved FHO methods were also discovered with his help. The experiment was first carried out on an eight-year-old dog, and the results were found successful in retaining the blood flow in its veins. The artery remained open until the dog’s death which proved the efficacy of the treatment for longer durations.

The process of FHO is straightforward, but it must be carried out with a lot of precision. A small incision is made in the neck area, and then the wire is inserted into the vein. Local anesthesia is also given to the pet not to feel any pain and remain static during the entire procedure. After that, the balloon is inflated with a mixture of water and contrast dye. After the blood vessel is widened, the balloon and the wire are removed from the body, and a small amount of pressure is applied to the vessel to keep it open for a few minutes.

Type Of RecoveryTime After FHO For Recovery
Partial recoveryFour weeks
Complete recoverySix to seven weeks

After FHO, partial recovery takes place in four weeks. Your dog will keep limping for this period, so you need to take care of it. Complete recovery takes six to seven weeks. After four weeks, the limping will gradually decrease.

Why Does Dog Limp For That Long After FHO?

Dogs are one of the animals which hold a special place in human hearts. What’s more, these pets are usually kept for sporting purposes, among other services. No one can dispute the values added by dogs to human lives. According to studies, dogs can be a great source of comfort, especially for those who crave unconditional interaction from other living beings. People sometimes get lonely, stressed, or depressed due to several reasons. For such individuals, they can always find solace in dogs. This, therefore, makes dogs one of the virtual pets for homes.

Dogs also help reduce stress levels. As a pet, they are often nice to play with or even to do some excises. For instance, when stressed, you can find yourself walking or running alongside your dog. These therapeutic services are said to combat stress levels in human beings. Additionally, dogs also provide some sense of security to humans. When trained, dogs can provide a high level of security regardless of their size or breed. Therefore, keeping a dog in your home guarantees you some security from intruders.

The dog limps for that long after FHO because of the after-effects of the procedure. There are also few complications of FHO. Some of them are the launching of the debris into the pet’s bloodstream. The owner must take proper care of the pet and inform any problems to the doctor immediately.


Finally, it can be concluded that FHO is a process carried out to treat blood flow problems in a pet’s blood vessels. The technique helps reopen the vessels completely without the requirement of surgery. This method was first used for blood vessel treatment in the year 1964.

On average, the dog limps for four weeks after the FHO process. An ample amount of time should be given to the dog to heal completely.  If the do feels any discomfort after doing any exercises, the medical practitioner should be contacted immediately.


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