Boogie’s Hip Injury & FHO Surgery

It’s hard to believe we are half way through January! I hope you and your pack are off to an amazing new year. If you follow us on social media, you know that over the holiday Boogie obtained a hip injury which resulted in him needing surgery.

In an effort to help other pet parents who find themselves in this situation for the first time and frantically googling for answers! And to catch anyone up who is just finding out I'm sharing a recap of our experience here.

Hips Don’t Lie:
A couple of days before Christmas - December 22nd to be exact - the dogs and I were outside soaking up the sunny, winter weather of Southern California, when Boogie abruptly stopped “dancing” and plopped down on the grass. His ears went horizontal and he got this crumpled look on his face. He didn’t yelp, but I knew something was wrong. I scooped him up and gently stood him up on his feet to figure out what happened. I was hoping it was just a bug bite or a rock stuck in his paw pad, but when I held him the standing position, he pulled his left leg up and refused to put it down.

When I tried to examine his paw, I was unable to straighten his leg and my first instinct was that perhaps he had sprained his leg, or broken something. Ears still horizontal, I knew he was in pain. I took him inside put him in his playpen with an ice pack on the leg and called the vet. While we waited for our appointment time, I watched his little leg continue to swell up behind the knee so I thought surely this is a sprain or a something minor. Famous last words!

During Boogie’s initial exam, he growled at our vet!  Since he doesn’t yelp in pain I knew this deep little growl meant he was in a lot of pain. The doctor did x-rays and found that Boogie’s left hip had popped out of the socket. Ouch:

We were told to contact the surgeon as soon as possible, but were warned that the holiday may pose a challenge for availability. Boogie was prescribed a pain management plan of crate rest and pain meds, and we headed home to get our little guy as comfy as possible. 

Boogs was one cool dude on the pain meds... 

Once at home and settled, I contacted the surgeon’s office and was told that because of the holiday we wouldn’t be able to see him until December 26th. Although that seemed like a long time, honestly we were relieved. Since we’ve been through a hip injury with Boogie before (link), I knew this was an injury we could manage for a few days and, we did not want to explore the option of using another surgeon if we didn't have too. Dr. Trousdale performed the first FHO surgery on Boogie and we wanted him to do this one.

Christmas Day
Since we had to keep it calm on Christmas day, we turned Boogie's crate into a Christmas Village. We also made sure he had plenty of snacks and holiday treats during the day, because we fasted him that night in the hopes he would have surgery the next day. If you missed his Christmas video, click here to watch! 

Our Déjà vu visit with Dr. Trousdale:
I called this our Déjà vu visit with Dr. Trousdale, because we’d been here before. The first time we met Dr. Trousdale was in in February 2017, when Boogie’s right hip popped out and incidentally chipped the hip socket. Dr. Trousdale walked us through that first experience so well, explained everything thoroughly and answered all our questions with extraordinary patience. He had also cautioned us that this may happen to the other hip, due to Boogie's size and disability. And he was right!

This time around, when Dr. Trousdale said Boogie would need the FHO surgery, we felt like we knew what we were doing. And we got lucky, there was an opening on the surgery schedule that day so they scheduled Boogie! We gave him tons of kisses and handed him over to the capable team at VCA Valley. And then Boogie’s dad and I drove home in complete silence because I think we were both about to cry. And, I don’t know about you, but I don’t cry and drive very well.

Boogie with Dr. Trousdale and Ashley at his first FHO followup appointment in 2017!

Surgery Day is Really Long (for me anyway):
If you are a super attached, nervous dog parent like me, surgery day is really long.  That's because it’s really two days (or more), depending on how many nights your dog needs to stay at the hospital for observation before and/or after. One of the cool things VCA does is that text you along the way. We got a text letting us know when Boogie was being prepped, when surgery began and ended, and then we got a call to tell us he was awake.

Boogie made it through the surgery with no complications, and it was a relief to feel like we are in the loop during the whole process. That evening I called to check on him, and seriously, I expected them to put Boogie on the know, since dogs can talk. Ha ha ha! 

When we picked him up the next day, no kidding, Boogie gave us the stink eye and wouldn’t look at us in the car! We were told he had made several friends back in the surgery suite and got lots of cuddles while he was there, so maybe that’s why.

We forgave the stink eye of course, because we were so happy to have him back! The rest of the day he snoozed away in his VIP area and then chowed down on a warm welcome home dinner.

Boogie’s Recovery Plan:
Since Boogie is teeny tiny and very wobbly, his recovery has unique challenges. The post-op instructions we were sent home with outlines a plan that included 2-3 sessions per day of PROM (Passive Range Of Motion), ice packs, and using a sling to support him while walking. He was on crate rest and pain meds for the first week, and encouraged to start rehab the next day with potty breaks.

Boogie came home with a sweet mohawk & a bare booty!

Boogie’s biggest challenges are finding his balance and figuring out where to put the recovering leg when walking or standing. This challenge stems from his neurological condition, cerebellar hypoplasia, which causes his “wires to get crossed” so to speak, when it comes to his motor skills. So, his confidence with standing and walking in the beginning, was very low. It took a lot to encourage him, but he eventually got the hang of it. I won’t say he wanted to walk or stand, but he would do it. At about the two week mark, he was trying to stand on his own to eat and even took a few rogue attempts at using going to the bathroom by himself. Go Boogie!

If you’d like to watch Boogie’s recovery exercises from the first two weeks, we shared a compilation video on his You Tube channel. Click here to watch it!

Boogie had his first follow up appointed on January 14, and the doctor said he was on track. He got his stiches taken out, and the fur on his hind leg is growing in. We are hoping he will be walking on his own without encouragement, by the 6-8 mark. Paws crossed!


Here are a few helpful FAQs about FHO surgery, including cost:

What is FHO Surgery?
FHO stands for Femoral Head Ostectomy and it is the “surgical procedure of removing the head and neck of the femur,” according to the VCA website. Basically, removing the ball from the ball and socket joint. And, because science is awesome and dogs bodies are resilient, without the full joint, the muscles will over time, create a “false joint” so that the hip can function properly again.

Is this surgery necessary?
Sometimes a hip injury like Boogie’s can be repaired by a “reduction” surgery. That means, under anesthesia, the surgeon will pop the hip back into place. There are dogs who have success with this method. In Boogie’s case, it was a 50/50 chance that hip would just pop back out. Everything inside Boogie is micro sized and he has shallow hip sockets, so we opted for the FHO surgery to save him from the potential TWO surgeries if the reduction didn’t work out.

The cost of procedures are different everywhere, but I wanted to share this part because I’ve noticed that a lot of the articles I find when researching for my own dogs don’t share pricing. I can only assume it is because the online audience goes worldwide, so it’s hard to be accurate. We live in California where prices are typically higher, but for California pet parents this could be helpful. I suppose it could be a relief as well, if you live in an area where the prices are lower! 


General FHO Recovery:
The recovery time from FHO surgery varies for every dog, but in most cases dogs are advised to begin rehab exercises the day they come home. Full recovery is expected to take about 6-8 weeks, and you should expect a few follow up appointments along the way for the surgeon to monitor progress.

Finally, I cannot express my gratitude enough for the team of doctors, vet techs, and staff members who help us take care of Boogie, and all of our dogs, during these situations. We are lucky to have a team who knows us, knows how to deal with us (lol) and truly cares about our animals. 

Medical information sited in this article were obtained through, my conversations with our doctors, and our take home instructions.


©Alicia Bailey | LIttle Boogie Shoes 

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  • I just love this little dogs spirit! So sweet! XO

    Lois Gray
  • What a sweet, cute little guy! I love chihuahua’s and had had three chihuahua mixes all adopted from a shelter. They were all males, but we now have a little girl 8 years old that we adopted from the same shelter as the boys. We have had her for just over 14 months now. I love seeing little Boogie Shoes!

    Randy Jones
  • Being a huge dog lover myself, I have to say that Boogie could not be in a more loving, caring home than where he is now—you are beautiful people! I fell totally and completely in love with Boogie the second I saw him in a small magazine—I have his calendar on my kitchen wall so I can say Hi to him everyday—silly me!!! Much Love and Kisses

    Linda Dibella
  • Thanks for the update and video. Give cute little Boogie a hug from me. Is his Facebook page open again? If you said in this email, I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to read everything. So very, very glad to hear from you!!

    Laurie Hammeke
  • Thank you so much for sharing Boogie with us. I just love that little fella. You guys are amazing with him. We have a 6 lb. apple head that looks so much like Boogie. We love that Boogie is so Fiesty and loves to play. Gods Bless Y’all. Hugs and kisses to Boogie.

    Pat West

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