Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
I don't think any form of alternative medicine will deal with this kind of pain issue, whether caused by the leg or back -- these are as you have said, fairly serious issues that do often need surgical repair to give any quality of life. For a dog in a lot of pain it would be a better option to lose the leg entirely than try and struggle on with the pain and using lots of painkillers, if a repair surgery couldn't be done or afforded.
Karen wrote: "but praying she doesn't need a hip replacement, as this seems to be where they think the problem may be, and my insurance doesn't cover prosthesis/implants, and we all know how expensive they are,"
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Yikes - there is a treatment option for a Cavalier (or other small dog) with hip dysplasia that does not involve implants or prosthetics and there is certainly no need to remove a leg!! A femoral head osteotomy can be performed on a small dog, where they simply remove the "ball" end of the femur. The tendons, etc. hold the leg in place. This shouldn't be much more expensive (if at all) than removing a limb and it is far less expensive than a joint replacement surgery.

I've had a couple of rescues that had FHO surgery and they did very well into their teens with no pain or restriction of movement.

http://www.2ndchance.info/hipsurgery.htm

Pat