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Canine hip dysplasia

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  • Canine hip dysplasia

    I got a starving pit bull bitch from our local shelter who was in imminent danger of euthansia. She's put on some weight but is still skin and bones. She's fairly young--I'd guess two or three.
    Sweet dog, but she and my female Chessie talk loudly to each other at times, and the Chessie went after her ears once.

    She has very bad hip dysplasia. What, other than ascriptin, can I do to make her more comfortable? Are there dog injections for this? I'm opposed to surgery, since it sometimes doesn't work and makes things worse.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  • #2
    Surgery is your best option - if done by a board certified surgeon, you are looking at a very good future for this dog!

    TPO's are generally done on younger animals (less than 2) and are the most ideal for long term health.

    Total Hip Replacments are fairly new, but have helped thousands of dogs. We have done most on Newfies, but a few labs as well. Generally we do these on dogs too old for TPO's. Very expensive and labour intensive surgery and have yet to see one come back with complications.

    There is also FHO's which generally are used on unilateral dogs, however I believe if finances are a concern bilateral FHO's can be done.

    Long term NSAID use is not ideal if she's young, you are asking for early liver failure. I would opt for the surgery if she's that young! Have you had a consult with a surgeon yet, or are you getting your "they dont work" based on the internet? Might be wortha $150 consult fee to discuss your options with a specialist. Long term,surgery will be cheaper than NSAIDs. I have NEVER seen a hip surgery (done by a boarded surgeon) make things worse.

    Also, incase you arent sure what exactly hip dysplasia is - its the laxity in the hips, not associated with arthritis (but will lead to it). Meaning, the femoral heads arent tight into the acetabulum. (sorry if you know this alread!) "Injections" arent going to decrease laxity, nothing will other than surgery - but you can mask pain associated with it with drugs. Adequan,cartrophen etc. generally works best on dogs with arthritis, so if arthritis isnt the problem they likely wont help, however many dogs with dysplasia also develop arthritis. ACP Injections "may" help, its a fairly new concept but has very mixed results...usually we see the best results in the bicep region when injected for shoulder pain. I have never seen it used for hips but have heard it being done.

    The cheapest short term is to use a good quality NSAID, a neutraceutical (ie adequan, glucosamine etc) to start NOW to help delay arthritis) and lots of muscle building! Swimming is great, if this is fiesable for you. You may get many happy years with your new pup with this regime if you decide against surgery. (We often recommend this for older dogs, or for clients with financial concerns).

    Whatever your choice, even if its NSAIDs, good for you for taking her. Even if she is just comfortable for a few years its better than her alternative


    • Original Poster

      Many, many years ago, I had a pit bull or pit cross with hip dysplasia. We did an operation on him to remove and smooth down part of the femoral ball. Back then hip replacement was just beginning and there were not suitable parts for other than very large dogs, and even then it was experimental. The operation we did was not successful in removing his pain, which was incredibly intense at times after he'd overexerted. because of that we didn't do the other side. I'm sure that in the intervening twenty five years, hip surgery in dogs has improved just as hip surgery has in humans. But we're talking BIG bucks, which I don't have at the moment.
      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
      Thread killer Extraordinaire


      • #4
        I dont know how much it would help your dog, but I got a chow mix at 7 months old, complete w/ dysplasia in both hips, worse on one side based on xrays. He was not a strong dog, and got limpy in front from compensation. Put him on Glyco Flex II daily, asprin only when he seemed uncomfortable.
        Fast forward, he is now 6, has moved to Florida so getting many short walks AND has been swimming almost daily during the hot weather. He hasn't taken a bad step in longer than I can remember, and he can now stand on his back legs on the tile floor and counter-surf. Dont know whether to or about that!!
        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........