Samson, December 2001
Samson, a 10 month old yellow Lab was adopted from a Texas shelter. About a week later, his new mom noticed that he was limping and took him to her vet. X-rays showed that Samson had severe, bilateral hip dysplasia. The surgeon recommended total hip replacement for both the right hip and in the near future, the left.
Since the surgery would be very expensive, Samson's family took him to a vet school for a second opinion. This vet did not want to perform surgery until Samson was completely grown and the growth plates have sealed. He explained to Samson's parents that there is a chance of the hip socket catching up to the growth of the femoral head, resulting in a better fit of the hip joint though he cautioned that this was not very likely. For now, he recommended rest, some exercise such as swimming and walking in high grass to increase muscle mass, anti inflammatory drugs for two weeks and a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement for two months.
If surgery will be needed later on, the decision as to what type - FHO or total hip replacement - will be made at that time. The vet school also offered some payment options, including a fund to help owners pay for their pet's treatment and low interest financing.
LABMED did help Samson's parents a bit with the cost of repeated evaluations. They are confident that by the time Samson needs surgery, they will be able to take care of the bills, using one or all of the options offered by the vet school.
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