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What is Closed Reduction?

Closed reduction in dogs is a procedure that entails replacing a dislocated hip back into the socket through manipulation of the limb without surgically exposing the joint. A closed hip luxation procedure always requires general anesthesia and many times, an epidural block. Closed reductions are used to treat canine hip luxation, usually within the first few days following a traumatic luxation. Veterinary professionals perform closed reduction in dogs, selecting patients that do not have any pre-existing hip fractures or hip dysplasia conditions. A dog with hip luxation may display symptoms such as pain, limping, and inability to bear weight on the affected limb. 

Closed Reduction Procedure in Dogs

Prior to performing the closed reduction procedure, the canine will be anesthetized and placed in lateral recumbency with the affected limb elevated. The veterinarian will place a piece of thick rope underneath the affected limb, positioning this rope in the inguinal area and pulled tight in a dorsal direction. The professional then moves on to put the joint back into place: 

  1. The vet places one hand on the greater trochanter and the other positioned distally on the hock or stifle joint. 
  2. Reduction of the coxofemoral joint can be achieved by rotating the limb when consistent distraction is applied. 
  3. Once the femoral head is in the area of acetabulum, the vet uses the hand on the greater trochanter, pushing caudally and abducted so the limb is internally rotated. 
  4. Once hip reduction is accomplished, the vet then applies firm pressure to the greater trochanter, while at the same time vigorous range of motion on the hip is performed.  
  5. Hip reduction is then assessed by measuring the width of the space between the tuber ischia and the greater trochanter and the restoration of the length of the limb 
  6. The doctor then makes a comparison to the contralateral side as a guide. 
  7. Once the veterinarian is confident he/she has obtained hip reduction, the dog’s limb is shaved, which will promote better efficacy of the Ehmer sling used to support the hip. 
  8. The veterinarian will wrap the leg with soft, flexible bandages and fashion a sling to keep the hip joint in place during the healing process.  
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Efficacy of Closed Reduction in Dogs

Closed reduction in dogs has the best prognosis when performed soon after the luxation occurs. Patients with generally good hip health that tolerate exercise restrictions and confinement following the procedure have the best chances of making a full recovery. Reports have shown that approximately 50% of all closed hip reductions are completed successfully. 

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Closed Reduction Recovery in Dogs

Following a closed reduction procedure, your veterinarian will recommend a reevaluation of the sling every five to seven days while in place. Slings used in the closed reduction procedure are usually removed after two weeks, after which time, the veterinarian will want to take radiographs of the affected limb to evaluate the hip, then again after a month’s time. If the closed reduction procedure was ineffective to reset the hip joint into the socket, the vet will advise some form of surgical intervention or repair. 

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Cost of Closed Reduction in Dogs

The cost to complete a closed reduction in dogs can range from $1,500 to $2,500. However, this cost depends on many factors in the procedures, such as casting, use of anesthesia, and aftercare. 

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Dog Closed Reduction Considerations

Closed reduction should not be used in dogs with hip dysplasia or hip fractures, or those that demonstrate recurrence luxation. Potential complications of a closed reduction procedure include recurrence of the luxation, rub sores from the sling, and long-term arthritis in the hip area due to the original trauma.

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Closed Reduction Prevention in Dogs

A dog can be affected by hip luxation due to a hereditary defect or as a result of injury. The best preventative method is avoiding traumatic incidences and keeping the canine at a healthy body weight. 

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Closed Reduction Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Finn

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Poodle

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10 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Closed Hip Reduction

My 10 year old mini-poodle had a closed reduction and the sling was removed two days ago after wearing it for two weeks. He is on restricted movement and is now only slightly putting weight on his leg when walking. He is still on pain/osteo meds 2x day. His attitude and eating are good. How much and when should I encourage him to use his leg a bit more, and how long should I restrict his movement? Looking for that sweet spot of beneficial healing movement versus rest. Will mild massage help? Thanks very much.

Jan. 21, 2018

Finn's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Your Veterinarian should have given you instructions on your last visit regarding activity levels and bringing Finn back to an active lifestyle; the severity of the fracture, the bone affected, Finn’s weight among other factors would need to be considered before recommending an activity plan. Call your Veterinarian to discuss Finn’s case with them. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Jan. 22, 2018

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Rocky

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Pit bull

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1 Year

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Pain

Our 1 1/2 year old pitbull got hit and dislocated his hip, the vet try to place it back in but it pop out again, we been trying to find a surgeon to do surgery, what's the aveg.cost for the surgery? What can we give our dog for pain? And should I continue medication(tramadol) if he does have to have in a week or so?

Jan. 4, 2018

Rocky's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. I am sorry that that has happened to Rocky. Disolcations can be very hard to keep reduced, especially if there was any time between the accident and being seen, and especially in large, muscular dogs. When closed reduction isn't possible, open reduction, or surgical reduction, of the joint, is necessary. Costs can vary depending on location, but most veterinary clinics accept care Credit and other sources of credit. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to keep him comfortable, and he will need to be on pain medication until the surgery, and afterwards until he is recovered. Your veteirnarian shoudl be able to refer you to a surgeon able to perform the surgery, as it is a specialty surgery. I am sorry, again, that he is going through this, and hope that he recovers soon!

Jan. 4, 2018

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Joe

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Australian Cattle Dog

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling

My dog got hit by a car 3 weeks ago and dislocated his hip. The vet was able to perform a closed reduction. We were set up to have a check up 2 weeks ago but the vet canceld on us and hasn't had time to reschedule us. My dogs hip is still swollen and looks like the swelling is nothing but liquid becasue it waves every time we touch it or he lays down. Is this normal? If so should we be doing anything to help the swelling go down since he has already finished his medicine 2 weeks for swelling.

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Pimpkin

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Collie

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12 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Hip
Limping Shaking Leg And Hip

My 12 year old collie mix fell down a flight of steps and injured her right rear hip. took her to my vet immediately. told it was a dislocated hip. after closer examination vet opted for non surgical closed reduction and wrapped dog's hip/leg. looked like a regular bandage, not a specific sort of sling. I kept her in a dog kennel/cage, as instructed. carefully carried and/or supported her with towel underneath for use of outdoor potty. after 3 days the bandage ended up coming off in the middle of the night due to getting wet. took my dog to the vet in the morning. vet said dog was doing good and that after 3 days sling was not necessary anymore. Questioned vet (not same person from original visit) about this as I thought 1 -2 weeks was needed. was reassured that its normally only needed for 3 to 5 days. there was no shaving of any kind done at any time. she is walking perfectly normal without favoring 1 leg or the other, no wincing or pain either. figured I may as well check since no more sling. I am restricting her to a small room with only flat non slick surface. today is the 4th day since injury. will update in a couple weeks whether positive or negative. BTW, the vet from the original visit did say that it's 50/50 if the hip stays in place. recommended hip replacement if fails...

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Filip

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Pit bull

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Handsome

My year old pit bull filip was hit by a car and needed closed reduction surgery. Surgery went well, recovery was going well for a little over a month and fil was back to normal until all of a sudden it popped out again . Now it’s been impossible to get an answer from a vet whether to set up an appointment via orthopedic w a long wait/schedule out l or bring him in as emergency so it’s a very frustrating scenario and I’ve just been popping fils hip back in place 5-10 times daily. I’m wandering if anyone else runs into this if it’s advised to continue popping the hip back in place or leave it out and rush to the ER

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Jersey

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Lab mix

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16 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Non Weight Bearing

My 16 month old pup had a closed reduction a little over 2 weeks ago after being hit by a car. The ehmer sling was taken off yesterday. We were given all of the advice on exercise and limited movement for the next few months but I didn't realize she would still not be using her leg. How long does it take for them to start using the affected leg and when should I worry?