My 6 year old Heinz 57 rescue was just diagnosed with hip dysplasia yesterday. She's already on Cosequin DS and I just started her on Previcox. This is my first experience with hip dysplasia and I'm pretty worried about her. She went from looking a little arthritic every few months or so to staggering on standing up/trouble with stairs, etc very quickly.
Anyone out there with a lot of experience maintaining dogs with this issue? I've talked to my vet a lot (obviously..) but while he's an amazing equine vet he can be a bit lax on the small animal front and until his partner (the resident small animal expert) gets home from vaca I want to make sure we're on the right track! I've been googling like mad but info straight from other dog owners always seems to be more reliable. Thanks!
I would be suspicious there's more to it than just hips, if you're seeing a drastic sudden change. Probably some knee or Sacro-illiac or low back disc disease. I would also advise trying a refferal to a CCRP vet in your area for a full eval, they may have some really good ideas and exercises you can do at home to help slow the progression and get some range of motion back.
You can look up a vet in your state here, typically it's a refferal only sort of thing, but your vet shouldn't have any problem reffering you over.
Thanks for the advice. I'm in the midwest and within a reasonable driving distance to the University of Missouri, Purdue and Ohio State. I'd be more then happy to take her for an exam and do whatever she needs to be comfortable as long as possible. Any really top ortho people you guys know of in the midwest?
It really rattled me when she got bad so quickly. I thought she might be trying to slip a disc or something but she doesn't seem to be in that kind of pain...just having a lot of mobility issues and looks very arthritic all of a sudden. Not yelping, crying or anything though and doesn't have a pain response to palpation/probing. Still...definitely something I want to look into and rule out definitively.
I'll bring it up to my vet as well tomorrow. I'm sure he'll have some recs as well. He's not big on small animal but he's tight with a lot of top vets and has great connections.
I did my undergrad in a different area of the country but there was an amazing surgeon there that specialized in orthopedics. Might be worth a call to see if he'd evaluate her xrays and maybe take a trip out. I'd hate to put her through the stress of flying though if I don't have to.
ETA: Oops, just got Horsegal's link to work. Looks like there are several at Mizzou (prob my closest option...I'll have to mapquest). Thanks for the link!
I second a trip to a specialist... just to have a full orthopedic examination done (and believe me, having it done by a boarded surgeon is much more sensitive to picking up things than your standard vet) and to rule out any concurrent problems, such as an ACL tear (which can masquerade as hip pain) or some other issue. Hips seem like something unlikely to suddenly come up as a problem, so in your case I'd get everything checked out, just to make sure. 6 is young enough that you want to know about any problem now.
If it does turn out to be hip dysplasia I recommend keeping doggie on the lean side. I found that with my lab that was diagnosed at 2 with HD that an extra couple pounds made a huge difference. For him he always had an hour glass figure from above and you could always faintly see a ripple of ribs. He was an English style yellow lab.
Glucosamine/condrotin helped. We never had surgery done on him. He died at age 11 from osteosarcoma of the front leg. When he was x-rayed for that it showed elbow dysplasia too
You should get a consult with a specialist. My lab mix went for a ACL tear but the specialist said she needed a hip replacement first. That was when she was 2 yrs old, she is almost 7 now and races around the yard like a pup. It was worth every penny and the long recovery!!! She never did need her knee done.