Meet one-year-old Shepadoodle Raven, whose personality is even bigger than this gentle giant’s frame.

Their Story

A surprise present for Alan from partner Jane, Raven is more than just a pet to the couple who realised early on that there was something badly wrong when Raven started limping and their local vet diagnosed double hip dysplasia when still only a few months old.

The Problem

Now they find themselves at Fitzpatricks to discuss possible total hip replacement (THR) for both back legs. Noel explains that this developmental condition has already inevitably induced the onset of osteoarthritis.


There are both medical management and surgical options for treatment, but medicine isn’t working and whilst it is possible to cut off the femoral heads and leave Raven with fibrous joints, complete replacement of the joints remains the gold standard. Noel had performed more than a thousand THRs and his team generally achieve the operation in less than one hour.

However, there are risks, as with any surgery, including infection, dislocation and implant loosening. But the great benefit of THR is that Raven could be pain-free within a few days.


Raven’s arthritic left hip joint is replaced with a new prosthetic stem, neck, ball and socket – and then the whole procedure is repeated on the other hip six weeks later. But the extended recovery period brings its own challenges for everyone.