My little 9 year-old dog dislocated her hip about 2.5 months ago - she has dysplasia and it just "happened" during a walk around the block. The dislocation is not severe, but it IS dislocated and she hasn't been able to have surgery (FHO) because of a very rare finding - aspergillus flavus in her urine culture (and a case of vaginitis, either caused by the aspergillus or it's a result of it). This is a fungus, not a yeast, and no surgeon wants to operate while this is present so we're trying our best to get rid of it but it's really stubborn stuff and I've been told it could be fatal if it climbs to her kidneys.
Because it was found in the urine (not in the nasal cavity, as is often more common) the specialist in internal medicine says it's systemic, but other vets (even Dr Jean Dodds in the USA and our own Dr. Lee) have told me this is not necessarily the case and not to panic. Aspergillus flavus causes lesions, and no lesions were seen on her lung x-rays nor on any abdominal organs during an ultrasound. She also doesn't show any signs of being immunocompromised, and this is what is puzzling all the pros. This is not normally a fungus that sticks around in the systems of healthy dogs...
Jessy looks great, eats great, she's happy, she plays with her toys, and she's even begun getting around so good with the dislocation that visitors to our home have thought she already had the surgery. She walks almost normally, but I often notice the outward turned foot. I've told all this to the surgeon/vet who is to operate and she has suggested that if the dog is "comfortable" (doesn't need pain meds) and she's getting around the house quite well then maybe we should re-think surgery (I suppose because of her age). My first reaction was "but she'll have that out-turned leg for the rest of her life???!!!" - but it's true the rest of her life might only be 3 to 5 years max (sad but I have to be realistic). I thought that as soon as the fungus was gone (IF it goes) we'd do the surgery. Now I'm wondering if anyone else with a small dog has just "managed" a dislocated hip injury successfully? I didn't think it was an option. Even though she is doing really well without the surgery my gut is tellling me she'd be happier without that "handicap" - it's harder for her to control a dislocated leg and it sometimes gives her trouble when she's trying to get up from a lying position, etc. I also worry that the outward-turned foot may cause her knee problems? The surgeon has not answered that question clearly; I'd have a heart attack if I had to deal with a ruptured knee ligament on top of the dislocated hip!
True, there are risks to surgery .....and I realize that non-surgical management may be my only choice if we can't get rid of the fungus, whether I like it or not!!
I would appreciate your input, especially if you've had experience with a dislocation and FHO surgery.
Jessy's Worried Mother