Dog Hip issues - any experience?

pamghattenJune 27, 2011

If you remember my tail (:>), I adopted Rocky just a year ago. He's a smooth-coated collie/rottweiler mix, though looks almost like a pure collie. I'm not sure how old he really is, my vet & I guess between 2 & 3.

Over the winter, when my neighbor or I brought Rocky in after being outside and toweled him off, he would swing around if we rubbed his right hip too hard.

This spring when I took the dogs to the vet for their check-up, I told my vet about this. She manipulated his hind legs/hips and said his right hip/leg wouldn't extend as much or as easily as the left one. She asked if he "bunny-hopped". I didn't really know what bunny-hopping was, and told her so.

Fast forward, he does bunny-hop, though not all the time. This dog LOVES to run! He goes on walks in the woods with my neighbor for an hour or hour and a half a couple of days a week. I asked her if she sees him bunny-hop, but she's the most unobservant person I have ever met ... she knows it and we laugh about it.

So I'm going to have Rocky xrayed in August ... to much going on in July. He's on daily glucosimine ....I don't want to stop his walks/runs in the woods ... he absolutley loves those.

And I don't have $4,000 for any surgery in the near future, which is the amount my vet said it could cost to repair his hip.

So any advice for my young active dog with hip issues?

Pam

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mazer415

Your dog is in pretty serious pain right now. So, you should have the surgery ASAP. Ask your vet if she can cut some corners - obtain used hardware (aask your vet about this), using cheaper pain killers and then ask if you can make payments.
I live on a severly limited income and I had to spend $8K on my service dog during a number of years. I worked with the vet and got some credit it took me awhile - but I paid everything off.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 1:26PM
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pamghatten

mazer, how do you/I know he's in serious pain? He runs around like crazy ...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 1:55PM
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mazer415

Two things you wrote. One he wont let us touch his hips when we are drying him and two he is bunny hopping.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 3:23AM
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pamghatten

So I went home and watched Rocky last nite, and really do not believe he is in a lot of pain right now. He's the most active dog I have ever had, and he trots (no bunny hops) around instead of walking and constantly chases the cats, or antagonizes Lily until she'll wrestle with him. I can't believe he would be as active as he is if his in a great deal of pain.

And I said if we rub his hip too hard he lets us know.

But, I did make an appointment to get him xrayed next week instead of waiting. So we'll see what they say.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:48PM
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mazer415

You need to remember in the dog world showing pain is a sign of weakness. Even dogs in recovery from serious surgery act miserable until a person walks into the room.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 1:37AM
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Meghane

Mazer is 100% correct on this. Dogs don't lay around and moan and whine and complain like people do. They simply guard and don't use the sore limb. He's guarding the sore area when you touch it, but he has enough sense not to bite you. He's not using the limb (bunny-hopping) when he runs. Just because he's not limping 100% of the time doesn't mean it isn't painful 100% of the time. I have bum knees and I never hop, but they hurt. Unfortunately it's an old injury and now I just have arthritis, nothing can be done. There are good days and bad days but the older I get the worse my knees get. The same will happen with the dog, only with hip dysplasia it's a lot faster progression (mine was just a ligament injury- I don't have bone grinding on bone like your dog does).

Ask your vet if s/he takes CareCredit, or find an orthopedic surgeon who does if surgery is indicated. You can apply for it online and they offer several months interest-free so you don't have to come up with the money all at once.

Unfortunately now that the dog already has issues pet health insurance won't cover this problem, but you may want to look into it for the future. Dogs never have just one medical issue.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 2:06PM
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pamghatten

Rocky had his x-rays yesterday and I'm very happy to report that the x-rays showed there is nothing wrong with his hips, knees or hocks. The vet said his hip/leg are seated (?) beautifully .. might be the beginning of some arthritis in the right ... but otherwise he looks like a normal young healthy dog.

Her office is having a radiation clinic today, as part of their continuing education, so she's going to have them look at Rocky's films just to make sure she didn't miss anything ... she said she's not that comfortable looking at hock x-rays because they have too many parts (?).

She did say that even when she manipulated his legs while he was sedated, that the right rear leg did not move as freely as the left one did. She says that's a puzzle ...

I asked her if it could be a muscular injury left over from when he was young ... shortly after I got him, I asked the previous owner why Rocky didn't like riding in cars. He told me that Rocky had been in the front seat of his truck when he got hit head-on by a drunk driver. He also said that Rocky was thrown around quite a bit when they got hit.

This guy never took Rocky to a vet ... he'd never had any shots or been neutered ... he didn't take him to a vet after the accident either. My vet agrees it could be something left over from that.

So seems I have another male dog that is a puzzle ... my previous male dog had skin/eating issues that were a challenge for me and my vet. But we're very happy that we're not facing surgery at his young age!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 8:23AM
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pamghatten

Interesting that the "experts" on here that told me my dog was in horrible pain, now have no comment when it turns out they were wrong.

That's why I take internet/forum "expert" advise with a grain of salt ...

The radiation expert agreed with my vet ... nothing wrong with Rocky's bones/joints. He also thinks it's a soft tissue injury .... and Rocky has recovered from his day at the vet, and is back to tormenting Lily and the cats!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:22AM
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