Total hip replacements in the dog have become well established over the past 20 years as an effective method for treating disabling hip conditions. A fixed head prosthesis has been the mainstay during most of this period. Return to normal function with this prosthesis has been reported at 95 per cent. Although patient selection, pre- and post surgical care, the surgical technique and the treatment or prevention of complications has been continually improved, it was not until recently that the prosthesis and its instrumentation were improved. Now a modular prosthesis with improved instrumentation gives the veterinary surgeon ‘state of the art’ implants and instruments. The prosthesis is easier to implant, the surgeon has greater flexibility in surgery and improved results are expected. Total hip replacement continues to be an effective way to give dogs a pain-free, mechanically sound hip joint.