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:( Farm Dog with hip dysplasia

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  • :( Farm Dog with hip dysplasia

    Our 10mo sheppard cross was diagnosed with hip dysplasia today. We were told to limit his exercise and to give him a joint supplement. He was prescribed some pain meds to use as needed. He doesn't seem to hurt, he is weak behind and has started the bunny hop behind when running.

    I'm frusterated as he is the coolest dog ever, smart, loyal... everything a dog should be.

    Anyone have a farm dog that defies logic and modern veterinary medicine? I could use a ray of hope.

    Or words of wisdom on how to keep him comfortable and "involved" so he doesn't feel left out. He had the most pitiful look on his face the other day when he had to stay home from a trip to the dog park.
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

  • #2
    My 6 month old shepherd was diagnosed with the worst dyslpasia the vet had ever seen. She continually popped her hips out while playing. She lived to a ripe old age of 13 and only in the last 3 years did it slow her down. I did not treat her any differently and let her be the judge of how much she felt like doing. I ran with her, swam with her, did obedience, personal protection and lots of other things.

    She was an ornery thing and had a high pain tolerance, which is probably why it worked for her.


    • #3
      dysplastic pup

      I have a couple of friends whose dogs have hip dysplasia, The and they run field trials. They keep them in top shape, only pain will slow them down, and most of the time the muscles will make up for the hips until they are older.
      Keep him on cosquin or dasequin, and in shape! Good luck-


      • #4
        I have one of those

        My boxer/lab mix also has severe hip displasia- as in she has no hip sockets to speak of and the head of the femur rubs directly on the pelvis. She was 9 mos old when she was diagnosed, but I knew when I got her at 6mos the something was wrong with her hind end.

        She got along just fine running around on my 10 acre farm until one morning she woke up unable to put her LH down. X-rays confirmed what I suspected and so we tried managing her condition with deramaxx and tramadol (at the recomendation of the surgeon we saw). That plan would have worked if I wanted to keep her confined to a crate for the rest of her life but neither of us were happy about that. The vet recommended the least invasive procedure which was to nerve the actual hip joint. She had both hips done at once and a two week confinement period. Once her stitches were out, it was all about physical therapy in order to build up her atrophied hind end. I wouldn't say the surgery had a 100% success rate because about a year later she started to go lame behind. A small dose of rimadyl daily has solved that and now two years later I have clocked her in at 25 mph as she races my car from the house to the barn everyday.

        Sorry it is so long, but I just wanted to let you know it's not the end of the world for your wonderful pup.
        Last edited by By George!; Sep. 27, 2010, 08:05 PM. Reason: Spelling


        • #5
          We have a dog with the worst case of HD the Vet had seen as well. She was about 8 months old when she got lame. Her right hip was the worst, having virtually no hip socket. The Vet did a procedure in which the head of the femur was removed and the area then fills in with scar tissue in essence "making" a joint, but the dog no longer has bone rubbing on bone. There is a name for this procedure but I can't recall it. Anyway, this dog is 8 years old now and not in pain. She is very happy and healthy.
          Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


          • #6
            Is your dog a candidate for a triple pelvic osteotomy, did your vet say? This surgery can be done for some young dogs with hip dysplasia.


            • #7
              You might also want to look into Adequan injections...yes, for your dog!
              Initially 2x/week for a month, then every month thereafter and weaning off... we've seen a lot of good results in dogs.

              Also, adding omega fatty acids (fish oil) to the diet will help reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin, joints, eyes, and heart. CVS brand is good; 1 pill/10 lbs of dog/day.

              Other than that, Rimadyl and other NSAIDs, as well as tramadol, gabapentin, and amantadine are other medications use to manage chronic inflammation and pain.


              • #8
                For a dog this young I'd look into surgery (TPO) + Adequan. Young dogs often recover remarkably well after surgery.
                MelanieC * Canis soloensis


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks Guys!

                  This has been the uplifting news I was looking for. I did my research before DH took him to the vet today and had told him to ask about the adequan as I suspected he had CHD. DH forgot to ask about the adequan and the vet didn't want to take an xray (poo poo on the vet and the hubby) so I'm going to schedule a second opinion with another vet and get some radiographs taken so we can see just how bad it is- and I'M taking him this time so I can ask the questions I want asked. We started him on flexamin today and I'll pick up some omega 3capsules tomorrow. Glad to see that this doesn't have to be a count your last days with him kind of prognosis.

                  as to surgery... the vet said that surgery could be done, but didn't go any farther than that, so... off to get a second opinion and decide what surgery would be best, I've seen 4 surgical optionsin my research, but I think we need radiographs before anything else.
                  If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


                  • #10
                    Find a rehab vet or technician and learn how to strengthen your dog's hind end. Just because a dog can run with a weak hind end, doesn't mean it's a good thing.

                    Rehab vets: http://www.veterinaryrehabreferral.com/ and www.rehabvets.org.

                    Dogs, like horses, normally put about 75%+ of their weight on the front end. When the hind end is sore, it gets weaker and the dog puts even more weight on the front end.

                    There are DVDs out there to show you how to strengthen the HE.

                    Get on the Ball, by Debbie Gross Saunders, and
                    Building the Canine Athlete by Drs. Chris Zink and Laurie McCauley.

                    Underwater treadmill is another good idea. Swimming in general is good as long as your dog actually uses his hind end.

                    Some exercises include:

                    Three-leg stand - hold up one hind paw and flip it backwards so that he can't weight that foot. See how long he can stand on the other leg - count the seconds and record the date and length of time. Work up to 1-2 minutes on each leg.

                    Two leg stand - core strengthening - hold up diagonal legs in such a way that the dog cannot weight the legs you're holding up. Work up to two minutes for each diagonal pair.

                    Stair Lovin' - Sit on a step a couple of steps up so that your dog has its front end at least one step higher than the back end. Pet and treat for as long as the dog can do it. Work up to 3-5 minutes.

                    Walk very slowly up stairs so that the dog cannot just bound up the stairs.

                    Hill work making the hind end work harder by walking slowly up hill.

                    Graduate the Stair Lovin' to standing the front end on a stability ball or wobble board or (eek) the kitchen counter.

                    Pain meds include: Deramaxx, Tramadol, Rimadyl, Gabapentin, and others.

                    Acupuncture is also quite helpful. And some dogs benefit from Aquapuncture using B12 and Zeel.

                    You can also give your dog Zeel (a homeopathic found in health food stores).

                    Adequan is also good. The loading dose is 2x/week to start and then 1x every four weeks. But some dogs need it more often than that; some needing it every week.

                    A glucosamine/chondroitin supplement is also good, such as Dasuquin or something else.

                    Omega 3s and vitamin C can also be helpful.

                    Good luck to you and your dog.
                    Laurie Higgins
                    "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."


                    • #11
                      Hmm. Apparently the website for www.rehabvets.org is not currently working.
                      Laurie Higgins
                      "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."


                      • #12
                        You may want to consider getting referred to a boarded surgeon for your 2nd opinion and rads, as I think this will best answer your questions re: options, medical and surgical.

                        As far as pain mgmt goes, dogs feel pain just like we do, they just don't show it the same way. Restlessness, panting, limping, non-weight bearing, reluctance to jump up/down, etc can be signs, much earlier than whimpering, crying out, etc. Often times, dogs will still move around, try to keep up, etc, but still be in pain.

                        HD is known to be VERY painful, please do not hesitate to address this aggressively. Chronic pain affects many part of the body.

                        Many, many jingles!
                        www.brydellefarm.com ....developing riders, NOT passengers!
                        Member of LNHorsemanshipT & Proud of It Clique
                        "What gets me up every morning is realizing how much more there is still to learn." -GHM


                        • #13
                          Try to find a vet that specializes in or is at least interested in orthopedics. They will be more up on treatment and better able to take good diagnostic xrays. We have one small animal vet in town that sort of specializes in this and my small animal vet refers his orthopedic cases to him. From what I've heard the surgery works really well but is expensive. I think in my area its around $1500per hip. I've also heard that accupuncture has worked well for some people. As far as joint supplements go, I've had great luck with Foster & Smith Level 3Joint Care. It kept my old arthritic Catahoula going for several years and helped her more than Cosequin.
                          Last edited by wireweiners; Sep. 28, 2010, 12:27 PM. Reason: left out a word
                          I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.


                          • #14
                            Sorry to hijack a bit but has anyone had success treating elbow dysplasia?

                            My sister's dog is not being given any options other than pain control. She did take her dog to a specialist - but perhaps there is something out there her vet is not aware of?


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alice View Post
                              My sister's dog is not being given any options other than pain control. She did take her dog to a specialist - but perhaps there is something out there her vet is not aware of?
                              How old is the dog? Breed? Is the dog symptomatic?

                              Elbow dysplasia is a broad term, that can refer to a few different developemenatl changes in the elbow, Medial coronoid process disease/fragmented medial coronoid process (FMCP), Ununited anconeal process (UAP) and Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) of the medial humeral condyle.

                              Depending on the case, it is possible arthroscopic sx may be beneficial.
                              www.brydellefarm.com ....developing riders, NOT passengers!
                              Member of LNHorsemanshipT & Proud of It Clique
                              "What gets me up every morning is realizing how much more there is still to learn." -GHM


                              • #16
                                Hip dysplasia- the idea to "limit exercise" is dead wrong. Basically the pain that occurs with hip dysplasia is simply arthritis (due to badly shaped hips, obviously, but the pain is just the result of arthritis). There are surgical options that will totally cure the dog, but many dogs can do very well on conservative measures: keep the dog thin and very fit- good strong muscles to hold the joint in place; joint supplements, adequan injections; put the dog on a high-protein low-carb grain free diet; fish oils. Pain meds if necessary, but if my dog was so far gone he required daily pain meds for hip dysplasia I'd have surgery done instead. A ten-year-old dog you may not want to go total hip replacement with its long recovery, but after FHO surgery most dogs are running around pain-free in matter of weeks.

                                Elbow dysplasia has a nasty prognosis and far fewer options, sorry to hear about that.


                                • #17
                                  Thanks Brydelle and wendy for the info.

                                  Catersun, it sounds at least like there are some more options you can explore!
                                  Good luck with the second opinion.

                                  My sister's dog is some sort of Collie mix, almost giant breed sized. Four years old and had bone chips removed from that elbow as a puppy. I think the dysplasia type is the fragmented one...


                                  • #18
                                    It makes me mad that breeders will breed dogs with hip dysplasia because if breeders would stop breeding dogs with this problem, you would not have a dog with it.

                                    There is a surgical procedure which helps and there is bute which helps. Keeping weight off of the dog also helps, altho dogs with hip dysplasia are less active than are dogs with normal hips.

                                    And please report to the AKC any breeders who continue to breed dogs with hip dysplasia. They won't do anything about it, but at least it will be on the record. Reputable breeders have dogs with certified hips.

                                    And I know mixed breeds don't come with guarantees, nor do rescue dogs. So consult a good vet, there's an orthopedic surgery center in Charleston.


                                    • #19
                                      Ok first, I totally second Wendy's advice to NOT limit activity. The more you limit activity the faster they lose muscle mass and strength and the faster they will go downhill.

                                      Second, look into an orthopedic surgeon for your second opinion and ask your vet to give you a refferal to CCRP rehab vet in your area(like http://www.vss.org/ ) and see what they can do to help keep your pup pain free and comfortable.

                                      And A HIGH QUALITY joint supplement like Dasaquin or GlycoFlex III is essential, as well as a essential fatty acid supplement(Fish oil) at 1000-1200mg/day will help as well. Other than the cost there really isn't a downside to starting adequan this young, esp if the dog is already showing signs. Stick with the veterinary brand NSAIDS as needed, they will work better than asprin etc. There is a generic rimadyl called Novox that works as well and is cheaper that you can order.

                                      Hope that helps!
                                      Vet Tech
                                      You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


                                      • #20
                                        My dearly departed Brittany had the worst hips that my vet had ever xrayed, no ball left on the hips at all. She lived to be 14 years old, on Metcam daily, Adequan injections as needed and Conquer Canine joint supplements. What finally did her in was the ruptured discs in her neck of all things. Yes, she slowed down on her own, and when she would run, it was with the back legs going simultaneously together. Also near the end, we would have to lift her onto the furniture or into the car.

                                        My neighbor had a german shepard with bad hips, she swore by Cetyl-M for her dog.

                                        I think each dog will respond to treatment differently, for example, my beagle did well on Rimadyl, which didn't help the brittany at all. We also have a dog with elbow dysplasia, and the Metcam didn't help her, we are now trying Dermaxx.

                                        Here is a site with a lot of information:

                                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams