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Puppy Hip Dysplasia


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Been a while since my last post

As discussed with you all in my "Bedding Wetting" post my beautiful brittany Alfie was diagnosed from X-rays with hip dysplasia. He is now 9 months old and doesn't seem to be improving at all with the measures we have put in place... if anything I think my boy is getting slightly worse. We are seeing more bunny hopping behaviour, very limit muscle mass at his back end, issues with getting up from his bed, anxiety when going for a walk, he also seems to want to spend more time sleeping now rather then playing.

The measures we put in place for him to try and help keep him comfortable and try to strengthen up his muscles - doing repetitions of sit, stand, drop - Massage, short gentle walks on grass, swimming, sees a chiro, he eats big dog barf, he gets a mixture of supplements - Glucosemine, MSM for the joints and boswellia complex for pain management.

I have no idea what else to do or try?

I have followed directions from the vet and chiro but it just doesn't seem to be doing the trick.

Any ideas out there for me? I just don't want him to go through a life of awful pain when he has such a long life ahead of him

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Agree with seeing a good orthopedic surgeon (specialist). Procedures like DPO and TPO can be performed on dogs of your boys age, often with great results and halting the need for total hip replacements later.

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Thank you.

Last X-ray he had showed this his right hip wasn't looking good but the left was not too bad. Both femurs had flattening on the inside of the ball head (not sure what the flattening will do) I was told by the vet to wait until he is 12 months she said she will re-xray and we would make decisions based on what those X-rays say.... but i just can wait

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If you're prepared to see a specialist surgeon and are in a position to consider specialist surgery then I would seek a second opinion soon so that you have the full range of options available to you. The window of opportunity for procedures like the TPO (triple pelvic osteotomy) varies in the individual dog but is not normally beyond 10-11 months due to the timing of growth plate closures. If the TPO is not an option, then you are left with waiting for a THR (total hip replacement), continuing medical management (perhaps expanding the supportive treatments to include assessment by a qualified physiotherapist or other rehabilitation consultant, consider pain relief and other modalities like acupuncture) or if he continues to deteriorate and specialist surgical options are not an option, considering femoral head ostectomy. The latter is a salvage procedure and cannot be undone, it can have variable results in larger breeds and it not a decision to make lightly - but in saying that can be an option that improves the comfort and quality of life significantly.

Edited by Rappie
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From your post, you describe a dog in considerable pain :(

A puppy who's anxious about a walk and chooses to rest, instead of play, is very abnormal.

I looked up Boswellia complex and it's an anti-inflammatory herbal medicine?

I don't know whether or not it's effective, but I'd suggest whatever you're current using isn't working well enough for your pup.

Can your vet prescribe some stronger, pharmaceutical pain relief?

Possibly a combination of medication to help with the pain?

Meanwhile, look to a longer-term solution: Either surgery or PTS (to be blunt frown.gif).

My understanding is that surgery is very expensive, with long rehab required.

I had a dog with a luxating patella- he had surgery and that was corrected.

I did wonder about his hips, though, X-Rays were ok.

Had his hips been bad, I'd have seriously considered PTS due to the extended rehab and pain involved for him.

We have to try to put our dog's welfare ahead of ours and be realistic as to the time and $ we have.

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As others have stated a specialist vet is needed if you have the finances to afford it. There are procedures that can be done while younger that are much more effective and less invasive than the ones done later.

He needs proper medical pain management, not supplements. Supplements are not bad and can lessen the amount of pain medications needed, but no dog should be in that much pain. You also need to get him put on catrophen or other arthritis treatments as arthritis is going to start much sooner.

You also need to get an animal physiotherapist on board, a chiropractor cannot help with he hips - they might claim to but they are not trained to do so.

If your current vet is not supporting these things, then find another vet. Sorry if that sounds blunt but it really is blunt. It is beyond me how a vet is not prescribing pain relief for this dog.

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Thank you for all the advice.

My vet is wonderful - we opted to take a conservative route to start with and try natural pain relief as we didn't want to drug him up all the time being so young. She did offer pain relief but was open to natural remedies. I think it is time to go back and do some serious talk and re-evaluation of his hips. Maybe re-xray him.

He is really funny on our short walks. He doesn't like when i pull the lead out and tries to hide. When we are walking the tail is high in the air but anytime someone goes past us or another dog comes along he can't manages and jumps around and whines. I have been taking him to different dog parks when they are empty so he can get out without the need for a lead.

I have to be smart and practical about his treatment. I have a family to look after also (a 4 year old with autism and a 2 year old) The company my husband works for isn't winning much work because there is none being offered so we are starting to budget. For all it sounds awful i need to triage things, my 4 year olds therapy comes before Alfie and i feel so awful and disgusting for saying it. I have made a vet appointment and will discuss practical ways of helping him

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Natural remedies are not pain relief, and the dog is clearly in pain.

Its unfair to keep him in this state, and if you cant afford the treatment perhaps you should consider pts, or seeing if a rescue would take him on, although doubtful.

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Initially he was not bad. So we did everything we were told to do to help him. Believe it or not the boswellia complex was helping as pain relief for some time (I wonder if he has landed badly or done something silly that has made him worse)

When I say I need to triage the needs of my kids and Alfie it doesn't mean that he won't get what he needs. I have and always will look after every member of our family including my 2 beautiful fur babies, however if one week i need to choose between my little fellas OT or ST and an appointment of procedure for Alfie I'm sorry but my son comes first.

Now that i have read everyones input it helps me go with questions when it is vet time. I trust my vet and believe she only wants the best for my Alf.

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Good to have an open and honest talk with the vet.

PTS should be put out there.

I had a friend with a very gung-ho vet who wanted to do extensive back surgery on her 13 year old spaniel, with poor chance of success.

Fortunately, she was a nurse and firmly said, "NO!" She adored that dog and gave pain relief until dog's quality of life began to suffer, then PTS.

Of course, you have to prioritise family first.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe surgery on both hips can be $5000+?

Plus time to crate and do rehab with dog as they recover.

There can be complications, of course. It's extensive surgery.

Unfortunately, there's no PBS (Pharmaceutical benefits scheme) for dogs, so pain relief isn't cheap, either.

I don't believe you're doing the dog, yourself or family any good by allowing him to suffer.

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I do not deny the need to prioritise your children over your dog. I also agree that you need to have an open and honest talk to your vet.

But I do believe that you are denial about the level of pain your dog is in. Dogs do not play games to hide from going for a walk. The dog is saying I do not want to go, because it is too painful. The dog is not playing when he sees other dogs, he is in pain and is scared of the dog jumping on him and causing him more pain. So many people see things dogs do as playing, but dogs do not play in that manner, dogs cannot act and be creative and imaginative.

First and foremost you need to stop doing what you are doing with the dog. If the dog does not want to go for a walk, do not take them. It really is as simple as that. LISTEN to the dog. Keeping the dog at home is not cruel, forcing them to walk in pain, is cruel.

The things you were doing to try and strengthen the rear end are great for dogs with mild hip dysplasia, it sounds as though your dog is quite severe. And those things are not going to help, but would rather hinder and simple cause more pain.

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Brookestar I feel like you're attacking me when all I have done is follow direction and try to make sense of all of this.

I love me pup and I am doing my best - I have been super stressed by this and scared that Im not doing enough or the right things (hence why i started this post to ask for help) Obliviously it is your opinion that I have done nothing and just swept under the rug that my boy is in pain and clearly uncomfortable - I must be a terrible owner

Your advice isn't very constructive or helpful to me. You just make it sound like I have ignored his pain and forced him to do everything he doesn't want to. This isn't the case at all. You make it sound like the best hope I have is to give him up and forget it all.

Please try to be a little more positive - I have enough stress without being attacked when Im asking for help

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I don't think anyone is judging you, catbrit, but few people here could raise their hands and say they have the time and money offhand to manage a dog with severe HD. I certainly don't right now.

I have a retriever and I can't imagine if he couldn't play and run and swim like he loves to do, and honestly if it came down to it I wouldn't ask him to live that life if we had no other option to right him and quickly..

No one is saying you're ignoring his pain, but it can be hard to see how bad things are from the inside, especially with a particularly optimistic vet. Its easy to see good days and bad days but harder to realise even the good days are average at best.

Dogs are stoic little buggers, if he's telling you it hurts, it really hurts. How many times have you seen puppies tumble and run through prickles and bash into things without so much as a flinch?

Have you seen a really good specialist as well as your normal vet? Sorry I'm behind on the thread a little, but that would be my next bet. That alone won't be cheap BUT you can put a plan in place and hopefully they can set some realistic milestones and start a treatment plan.

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