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Hip dysplaysia: share your experience

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  • Hip dysplaysia: share your experience

    In 2007, we adopted a gorgeous pitch black dog from the city shelter. She had an irregular gait, so we took her in and the x-rays showed hip dysplaysia. She was a totally normal, active, playful dog otherwise. After a few months of steady walking on leash, the hitch in her getalong disappeared, we thought due to all the muscle development stabilizing her hip. (She had previously been in the pound for two months.)

    About two weeks ago, she really started limping. She has trouble getting up. A new x-ray confirmed bilateral dysplaysia, but she doesn't have any calcification or bone spurs yet. The vet started her on Rimadyl, but honestly, it's not helping her much. We also started her on glucosamine/chondroitin.

    What experiences have you had with this? Any successful maintenance treatments?

    It just kills me to see her this way. This is the most hyperactive, social, fun-loving dog we have ever had. Last night after a walk she could not get up on the bed.
    Last edited by TheHorseProblem; Feb. 22, 2012, 01:29 PM.
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.

  • #2
    sudden onset limping isn't a "usual" symptom of hip dysplasia- are you sure it's not her CCL or some other problem? you'd be surprised (or not) at how many dogs with acute injuries get the problem blamed on the bad hips.

    Hip dysplasia usually progresses slowly, and overt limping rarely occurs- first you see stiffness, and difficulty jumping up on things, and abnormal gait (swaying at the walk, bunny hop canter).
    Exercise to keep the muscles strong, keep the dog skinny, joint supplements, and if necessary, pain killers can in many dogs keep the condition at bay their entire life; if necessary, you can progress to hip replacement surgery, which is curative (but expensive).

    But really, I'd question the blaming the sudden-onset limping on the hips.


    • #3
      I brought home a pound puppy, 7 months old, chow mix who had the bunny hop thing going - diagnosis bilateral hip dysplasia based on xrays. Vet recommended a supplement called glycoflex, moderate exercise. Dog is now 6, and for that last 2 1/2 yrs lucky enough to live in florida (after the cold damp great lakes area) so he swims daily in our pool 6 months a year, relatively short walks (generally under a mile) almost every day and periodic trips to the dog park. He has had NO problems, and in fact is strong enough that I've caught him counter surfing in the kitchen...

      Interestingly he began to limp shortly after we got him but it was in the front, apparently due to carrying more weight there and not being strong. That led to the vet trip to fully confirm what was going on.
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by wendy View Post
        sudden onset limping isn't a "usual" symptom of hip dysplasia- are you sure it's not her CCL or some other problem? you'd be surprised (or not) at how many dogs with acute injuries get the problem blamed on the bad hips.

        What is CCL?

        I didn't really doubt the diagnosis, since we already knew she had it. I makes sense that it would progress and that at some point, she would start to have trouble.

        Long walks take a toll, as does any hill work, so we will keep her on the flat. I am looking into a good supplement, but in the meantime, I downloaded the SmartPak ingredient comparison of all their supps and just bought the human form to throw in her food in the morning, so she's getting everything that's in Glycoflex.

        Anyone else have good results in their dogs with the human form of joint supps?
        2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

        A helmet saved my life.


        • #5
          What is CCL?

          I didn't really doubt the diagnosis, since we already knew she had it. I makes sense that it would progress and that at some point, she would start to have trouble.
          the knee ligament- it is very common for dogs to tear it, and thus they have sudden onset limping.

          I would question the diagnosis. Limping, especially sudden onset, isn't a symptom of hip dysplasia.

          There's probably something else going on that is being ignored in favor of (incorrectly) blaming the hips.


          • #6
            I have a lab mix that i adopted when he was 6 months old . Shortly after that he started coming up sore behind. i had him xayed and he was diagnosed with HD. What i have done for him is keep him on the lean side. No extra pounds to carry around and he gets walked every day in the park and he is on a grain free diet. I read that grains in the diet can cause inflammation. He is is on a joint supplement also (Acti-Flex 4000, a horse supp) . He is now almost 13 years old. up untill the last couple of years he did great. Now he is on Rymidil and Tramadol for pain but still takes 45 minute walks every day but a little slower than he used to.
            He also loves to swim in the summer and he get regular canine massage and some Chiro adjustments on occasion.
            I think the biggest thing is keep them thin and keep them moving even if it is slowly get them out and moving.Sometimes when i do a longer walk i leave him home and he hates it because he looks forward to his walks in the park,
            I also have a step so he can get up in the suv and so he can still get up on the couch and he has memory foam beds all over the house to sleep on.
            Hope this helps


            • #7
              Hip replacement surgery is quite successful these days if you feeling like paying for the cost. Swimming can also be of benefit since it is a non impact activity..Some anti inflamatories work better with certain indviduals than others. If Rimadyl is not helping, you may try Metacam etc. Also some individuals have had decent relief with theraputic massage and/or accupuncture. Rosemary and vitamin c also have some anti inflamatory properties. Rosemanry however should not be given to dogs with seizure activities since it lowers the seizure threshold. Good luck with you dog.


              • Original Poster

                Major complication: my poor dog appeared to be in pain and wasn't eating. The vet thought it was Rimadyl making her ill. After a visit to the emergency vet clinic last night, she was diagnosed with pancreatis!

                I may need a new thread for that.
                Last edited by TheHorseProblem; Feb. 29, 2012, 06:38 AM. Reason: Autocorrect fail
                2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                A helmet saved my life.


                • #9
                  This was many, many years ago (like 30 or so), but I was given a PB GSD puppy by my (then) husband. At the age of about 9mos the poor pup was so sore he would scream in pain just getting in and out of the car.

                  I was working on the racetrack at the time, so he was x-rayed and found to have severe hip dysplasia in both hips.

                  We did two things: one was an "internal blister" done by the vet -- it was a common treatment for bowed tendons & such in horses back then. And the vet advised trying to give the dog massive doses of Vit C....apparently there was a study at the time showing it might be helpful.

                  Figuring it certainly wouldn't hurt, I started him on 3,000 mg of C per day. Kept him on that for 14 mos.

                  I honestly can't remember when he started to improve, but he did. He was 95lbs "fighting weight" as a mature dog and he received loads of exercise most of his life, since he would go riding with me any time he could and I often galloped horses for miles at a time.

                  He lived till he was 12 1/2 and it was only in the last 6 mos of his life that he became unstable in the rear end.

                  As I recall, the study was on puppies (dogs under 1 yr) who were already showing sign of HD. Might be worth a try...it's a cheap enough fix and won't hurt them.

                  But remember, my guy was on the C for over a year...Good Luck!