Hip Dysplasia

ladybugfruitMarch 27, 2012

We just found out that our latest addition to the family has hip dysplasia and are trying to wrap our head around doing what will be best for him. Poor little guy is only 3 years old and been through so much already. He lived the last year and a half of his life in a shelter and has also survived heartworm treatment. We've been to the ortho and he thinks we have a shot a managing it medically, which we are definitely on board for, as long as our Sam has quality of life. We were sent home to keep Sam quiet for 2 weeks, as well as taking joint supps, fish oil and 10 days of rimadyl. We've been mostly successful in keeping him quiet but there have been a few times in the back yard when he has taken off running at top speeds...then we get set back. We were trying to give him a little freedom without the leash in back, but guess we will have to keep him on leash.

Right now the plan is to get some weight off our boy (he's at a perfect weight, but doc wants him to be a little more on the lean side because of the hips), keep him rested and see if we can't get him where he's not having a hard time getting up by the end of the day. But here's the thing...our guy LOVES to run and play. I worry that what we are doing may not be enough and we may have to look at surgery in the future. We have a pool and in addition to getting him back to daily walks (we were going 2x daily) we are going to get him in the pool this summer as well, as the vet said straight line activities are good for Sam.

So, anyone else out there that has dealt with HD and if so, what did you do?? I would love to hear other's experience and input. We only want what's best for our boy!

Thanks so much,


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Our boy is only 6 and we found out a couple of weeks ago that he has hip dysplasia and a bad spine. It seemed to happen all of a sudden, he would freeze, hunch up his back and cry in pain. We are giving him pain pills (tramadol), Risperdal (sp?), fish oil capsules and glucosomine. The vet says they can have hip replacements, but what about his spine? We are so scared about his life, the pain pills wear off and he still cries part of the time. The vet says it will take time for the meds to build up in his system, we are just taking it day by day for now. I understand your fears...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 1:36PM
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how each dog deals with their arthritis is unpredictable... some with severe arthritic changes hardly seem affected at all, while others have severe pain and can hardly get around. I have treated hundreds of dogs with dysplasia and arthritis and most smaller ones do well with medications, and many larger ones do, too, but some do not (you have a big dog?). having had 'dysplasia' myself and a subsequent hip replacement, I can tell you an arthritic hip is very hard to live with sometimes, but medications can certainly help for a while. But there is nothing like having a new hip! Just costly. But young dogs with horrible hips should be calmed down a bit and exercise limited or arthritic changes will proceed all that much faster and he will get more painful quickly.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Caesar is a large (not fat) 20 pound pekingese. I can't believe how fast he got sick. At first he ate part of a tennis ball on a rope toy, that got stuck in his stomach. I thought that was why he had the behavior of hunching over and crying. They were going to open him up but he threw up the piece that was lodged in his stomach. When he still seemed in a lot of pain I took him back and the xrays showed
nothing left in his stomach and bowels, no pain when they squeezed on that area. When she felt his spine and hips he cried. They took more xrays that showed little "catches' on his spine when it should be smooth, and bone on bone showed up for the hip dysplasia..

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Our 2 1/2 yr old Olde English Bulldogge was diagnosed with hip dysplasia last year. We'd taken her to the vet after she'd been sick for several days & we'd thought she may have something lodged in her stomach. Part of her exam included x-rays, which didn't seem to show anything as far as the vet could see. We opted to have them sent to an outside radiologist for a second opinion. The report came back agreeing with the vet, however they did point out moderate hip dysplasia. Since she's still young and doesn't show any symptoms, his suggestion was to start her on glucosamine daily, and to keep her active without overdoing it. We found a liquid that we add to her food every morning and so far she hasn't had any issues. If she hadn't been sick, we may not have known until she started showing symptoms.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:53PM
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pekemom...I am so sorry that you are dealing with hip AND back issues. I hope you can find some resolution for you lil guy. It is very upsetting to see our furbabies in pain.Please keep us posted on him!
lzrddr...thanks for the input. We are definitely willing to do whatever is best for Sam. I am curious since you have treated so many dogs with HD, one of the other surgical options presented to us was the FHO surgery. It is certainly more cost friendly than a THR ( $2500 vs $5000 minimum)and i realize the gait may not ever be totally normal, but it seems like the FHO might be easier on the dog recovery wise. I am thinking about how active my guy is and I have been told with FHO's you want to get them up and moving asap to aid with scar tissue and healing.
I've been doing some more research this week and in addition to his joint supps and fish oil ( we finished the rimadyl a few days ago), I put him on SOD-ES for as well as ester C. I have used SOD on and off for years with my other dogs and it seems to work well as an anti inflammatory. Ironically, we have my husband on ester C as was recommended by his orthopedist as he recovers from a spinal fusion ( to aid with the healing process). When I started doing research on HD, ester C came up as well and several studies showed marked improvement in treating HD. So, I have started Sam on 500mg a day to start and will build up to 1000 - 1500mg of C daily as his bowels can handle it. I read 1) it's very important to use ESTER C, as it's easier on the tummy, and 2) build up the dosage for the same reason. I will keep ya'll posted how this works.
I know that we also have to get Sam back on the leaner side of weight. Of course that's hard to do when he is still on restricted activity. He does LOVE to run. That's the part of this that concerns me that we may not dodge surgery. But I will remain hopeful that once we get some weight off and get him in the pool (as soon as it warms up enough), and supps established in his system, we can avoid surgery.
Cindy lou who..thanks for sharing your experience as well. I am very hopeful that the supps will help. I am glad that ya'll were able to catch it before it became as issue!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:31AM
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In a smaller dog like yours, an FHO would definitely be the better option.. not sure they even do hip replacements in small dogs. Small dogs often do very well with an FHO, but still only needed if medication is no longer helping (always avoid surgery if not necessary). Weight loss is helpful with any sized dog, though. Good luck. Glucosamine products are always a good idea, though they don't always seem to help (never hurt, though).

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Caesar is getting different meds starting tomorrow, instead of Rimadyl he will get Previcox, along with the Tramadol. He has been taking sedatives for 5 days but still is in pain with even a little amount of movement. I'm not liking his reactions but will try this new medicine and see what happens. My brother has an australian shepard that has been on meds for years with hip problems. Since Caesar is only 6 this year I'm hoping he can live comfortably awhile longer. He's also getting fish oil and glucosomine...

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Updating my last post, Caesar had been on sedatives for 5 days and when he started the Previcox he was fine, don't know why, our daughter said maybe he had pulled a muscle and that's why he was in such pain...the xrays showed he does have hip dysplasa and a bad spine but maybe his pain this time was caused by something else, especially since instead of slowly recovering he was back to his old self immediately, running around, stretching his back, rolling on the floor....I don't understand it but I'm glad he's better for now and hope it continues...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 5:01PM
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