Help Mustang Get New Hips


MustangMustang is a 3-4 year old shepherd mix who’s a wonderfully wooly teddy bear of a dog. When we first met Mustang, we couldn’t help but notice what an engaging & charming chap he is; we also couldn’t help but notice that his gait was a bit off.

We took Mustang to our vets for x-rays which revealed severe degenerative osteoarthritis in both hips; this has caused his thigh muscles to atrophy, and Mustang is in a lot of pain when he extends his hips. In an effort to determine the best way to help Mustang and relieve his pain, we consulted Dr. Lori Cabell at Metropolitan Veterinary Associates who presented us with 2 options:

  • Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) – which is less expensive but requires more intense post-surgical physical therapy and may not provide full range of motion
  • Total Hip Replacement (THR) – which is significantly more expensive, but results in almost normal range of motion and the post-surgical rehabilitation is much more easily managed by his foster family or adopter.  Since Mustang has bilateral disease, he would need to have two separate operations.


UPDATE (8/1/15): Dr. Cabell feels that Mustang is a great candidate for FHO.  The surgery itself is much less expensive & both hips can be done at the same time.  Rehab, however, will be much more intense.  

UPDATE (8/12/15): Mustang had his surgery today. Dr. Cabell said the operation went well and that she and her team look forward to making him strong (or would that be “Ford Tough”?) again.

Mustang motors into Metro

Mustang motors in to Metro

Prepped for surgery

Prepped for surgery









Update (8/17/15): Mustang was discharged from the hospital and is now relaxing in his foster home. He will have his stitches removed in about 2 weeks and we will be scheduling a consultation to plan out his rehabilitation.


Update (8/26/15): Mustang visited Veterinary Referral Center, VRC Rebound yesterday for a rehab consult visit with Dr. Elizabeth Perone, and had his 1st therapy exercise session right after meeting with the vet. His rehab will last approximately 6 weeks during which he will go to PT twice a week. Mustang will visit his buddies at Metropolitan Veterinary Associates & Emergency Services to have his staples removed today and that will allow him to start hydrotherapy at tomorrow’s rehab visit.

Overall, he did very well! He has good range of motion in his hips but just can’t quite figure out how to use them again. When he walks, he stands on his tip toes in order to shift his weight forward because he doesn’t yet trust that his new hips will hold his weight. But, in time, and as he builds muscle, he will learn that they can and will hold him. He was mentally and physically tired by the end of the session, and slept well last night.

(he’s wearing a makeshift belly band in this video because he was marking a little at the beginning of the session)



Update (9/6/15): Mustang didn’t let a little thing like physical therapy appointments stop him from starting his new happy tail.  He is very happy to announce that he has adopted a new family of his own, and is very excited to have a human brother & sister to help him with his rehab exercises.




Update (10/16/15): 9 weeks post-op and Mustang is making great progress!  
He gained muscle mass in his back legs; they measured 36 CM each and he can now cut back rehab visits to once/week. He will be seeing Dr Cabell @VRC for a follow up in early November.

Here’s a video of the kids with Mustang at the park where he did well on the stairs. His back legs hop up the stairs at first, but after he gets going he steps normally. 

 UPDATE (11/6/15):  Mustang has been cleared by his surgeon. 3-months post surgery and Mustang has make great progress thanks to his new family working hard performing rehab exercises with him. Dr. Cabell is so happy with his progress that he no longer needs to visit VRC for rehab visits. His brother & sister will continue to exercise with him to keep him in tip top shape!

Mustang had his followup appt with Dr. Cabell on Tuesday.  I sent her the videos attached to show his improvement  She was thoroughly impressed! He is doing very well!  You can tell that he no longer has to hop with both back legs, and now alternates legs when going up hills and stairs.  

He still won’t go up the stairs in our house, for some reason; but that’s OK!

When I asked if he should continue the hydro therapy at VRC, she pointed to the kids and said ‘Here’s your hydro therapy’!  So no more VRC visits for Mustang, which is bittersweet because he really enjoyed going there!
Anyway, thanks again for rescuing such a sweet dog!

We would like to give Mustang the best chance of a good pain free quality of life. Will you help us help him? Help us raise the money needed to get him on the road to recovery.


  You will receive confirmation of your donation via a Paypal receipt. We recommend that you keep as evidence of payment for your records. To Love a Canine Rescue will also send a receipt for donations of $50 or more if a name and email address is provided to us.





If you prefer to send a check instead of making an online payment, please mail the check to us at:

Mustang’s Hip Replacement Fund
c/o To Love a Canine Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box #422
Kimberton, PA 19442

 Any funds raised in excess of the amount needed will go towards TLC’s veterinary care fund

Please contact us at with any questions.  To Love a Canine Rescue, Inc. (TLC) is a nonprofit organization that is recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS. TLC’s IRS identification number (EIN) is 46-2618710. Donations made to TLC are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.

The official registration and financial information of To Love a Canine Rescue, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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