Ava underwent a double hip replacement surgery at Texas A&M University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences after wearing out replacement hips from an earlier surgery.
A Labrador retriever named Ava is back to running and playing with her family after her second double hip replacement, courtesy of Texas A&M University veterinarians, computerized tomography (CT)-guided planning, and 3D-printing technology.
When the two replacement hips Ava received as a puppy wore out in 2020, Texas A&M veterinarians were able to remove the old joints and replace them with new ones by using CT-guided planning, 3D-printed bone models and rehearsal surgeries to ensure the procedures would be successful.
From Foster To Family
Not many dogs go through four total hip replacements (THRs) in one lifetime, but Ava has always been special.
“Ava came to us at about 6 months old, back when we were dog foster parents living in Illinois,” said Ava’s owner, Janet Dieter. “After caring for more than 40 dogs, she was our first ‘foster failure’ that we ended up adopting. At the time, we had another black Labrador named Roscoe who was usually standoffish with the foster puppies, but he fell in love with Ava immediately and we knew she had to stay.”
Janet and her husband, Ken, always take the dogs under their care to obedience school, and Ava was no exception. It was there, however, that the couple began to notice something different about her.
“The subject of how to keep your dog from jumping on you came up and we realized that Ava never jumps on us,” Janet said. “We took her to our local veterinarian and they took an X-ray, which showed that Ava’s hips were basically out of their sockets.”
The Dieters were referred to an accomplished total hip replacement surgeon who performed THRs on Ava’s hips in 2013 and 2014.
“She was incredibly resilient,” Janet said. “She walked out of the hospital like nothing happened.”
For many years since then, Ava has been helping show the Dieters’ foster puppies the ropes by giving them someone to play with. When the Dieters moved from Illinois to Texas a few years ago, she took the change in stride.