Total Hip Replacement in an Alpaca Using a Cementless Implant

Authors: 
KARA L. SCHULZ, DVM , JAMES K. ROUSH, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS , DAVID E. ANDERSON, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS , and ERIC HOOTS, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS
Volume: 
38
Number: 
1
Pages: 
92-95
Journal: 
Veterinary surgery
Date: 
January 2009

Objective—To report use of a cementless total hip prosthesis in an alpaca.

Study Design—Case report.

Animals—Alpaca (n=1) with chronic craniodorsal coxofemoral luxation.

Methods—A 2.5-year-old Suri alpaca, 3 months pregnant, was admitted for evaluation of acute onset severe left hind limb lameness (grade 4/5) of 6 weeks duration. After diagnosis of craniodorsal luxation of the left femoral head, total hip replacement (THR) using a cementless implant was performed because of the poor prognosis for reduction of a chronic luxation.

Results—A press-fit prosthesis was used and the alpaca delivered a live cria 8 months later. Persistent mild mechanical lameness remained after surgery, with moderate reduction in mobility of the coxofemoral joint. The prosthesis was stable and correctly positioned at 7 weeks and at 9 months. There was mild exostosis surrounding the proximal aspect of the femur at 9 months, and Steinmann pins used to repair the trochanteric osteotomy were removed because of migration. At 1 year, the alpaca has a slight gait abnormality, remains with the herd on pasture and has been re-bred.

Conclusion—Chronic coxofemoral luxation in an alpaca can be managed by THR.

Clinical Relevance—THR is a viable treatment option in alpacas with severe coxofemoral disease.