Funds sought for dog’s hip replacement

ENCINITAS — Rancho Coastal Humane Society is still looking for donations toward recent hip surgery on Koa. Koa is a 1-1/2-year-old German shepherd mix that arrived through the RCHS – Friends of County Animal Shelters program.“Dogs are so amazing,” RCHS spokesman John Van Zante said. “Yesterday at this time, Koa was coming out of hip replacement surgery. Tonight he’s awake and aware and has even put some weight on his left leg.”

So far, everything has gone great, he said, with none of the complications that can accompany a hip replacement surgery. He’ll need about six weeks of recovery time. Anyone interested in adopting Koa or helping to pay for his hip replacement surgery is asked to call RCHS at (760) 753-6413, visit the shelter at 389 Requeza St. in Encinitas, or log on to sdpets.org.

The surgery will cost $5,600 to $5,800, but Rancho Coastal Humane Society scheduled the hip replacement surgery and hopes for the best.

“Every dollar counts for most non-profit animal shelters,” Van Zante said. “Spending $5,600 to $5,800 that we don’t have in our medical fund was a real leap of faith. But if we don’t take this leap, this dog will never leap again. We need help.”

Koa suffered from severe hip dysplasia … a condition where the ball of the femur bone does not fit properly into the hip socket. This allows the ball to slip in and out of joint.

Van Zante says, “Koa showed typical symptoms. He was very stiff after taking naps. Even a short, slow walk could leave him with a limp in his hind legs. RCHS Medical Director Kathy Zerkle ordered tests and X-rays that confirmed her suspicions.”

While there’s no “cure” for hip dysplasia, in many cases it can be managed with a combination of proper diet or weight loss and medication. Unfortunately, that’s not an option with Koa. Hip replacement surgery is his only hope.

“Koa loves adults and children. He loves other dogs and they love him,” Van Zante said. “Once he recovers from his surgery, his new family is going to be so blessed. They’ll still need to monitor him and make sure he doesn’t get too heavy. But his prognosis is good.”

 

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