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Thread: Hip dysplasia in my dog

  1. #1

    Hip dysplasia in my dog

    My much loved 10 year old GWP has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, I have to say I feel totally gutted to see such a fit, strong, proud, loyal, intelligent dog now struggling to get to her feet,it is heart braking for me. I worry about how much pain she is in.

    Her history is that at 3 years old I had her hip scored and she came back with a very low score for her breed so I thought that this would not affect her in later life. In August this year she started struggling with a stiff back end and couldnít run as fast as she used to. I took her to the vets, they said they could find no major problems. I did cut back her exercise hoping she would get over it. Over the next 4 months she didnít seem to get much worse or better, on Thursday 19th December she was jumping about when I went to take her daughter out for a run so I took her with me and we ran 4 miles which she seemed fine with. She seemed just the same on the Friday and Saturday, no problems just a bit stiff with the back end as before. Sunday morning she was just the same, I went out with the younger dog at 2:00pm when I came home after 6:00pm she couldnít get to her feet.

    Monday morning I took her to the vets; she has had a steroids injection and is on a 14 day course of anti-inflammatory drugs. I have order a orthopaedic bed for her and a some Glucosamine. I am trying to give her two 10/15 minute walks a day, shorter if she is struggling and her legs give way too much. I am trying to get her weight down, not that she is fat but perhaps could loose a few pounds to be whippet thin.

    Apart from not following me absolutely everywhere which she did before, she seems ok in herself, her eating is fine esp tip bits, her tail wags and has no problems with her bowels ect.

    Seeing her hips were fine at 3 years old (although I am told HIP scores are not totally reliable as they only give a static view of the hip) is it possible that stalking in the wind rain and cold of South West Scotland has caused the issues, lying in wet grass under high seats for hours at a time? although I read that exercise is good for the hips and she has had plenty of that.

    Any advice on this welcome.

    Thanks

    Tahr

  2. #2
    srvet is your man for this.

    I'd say you are doing exactly right:
    1. regular exercise is really important, even on wet days. I say do as much as the dog can comfortably cope with
    2. The painkillers are vital. Many owners really underestimate the sheer pain these dogs can be in ("he still eats his food", "doesn't cry out" etc) I can recall many frustrating conversations with owners trying to convince them their dog is in pain and needs treatment as they think I am trying to relieve them of extra money. There are many modern painkillers with few side effects these days. They can be combined with other drugs (older painkillers) or some human drugs if they are not effective alone.
    3. Being lean is good.
    4. Not a single scrap of evidence for glucosamine. Save your money.
    5. Plenty of bedding goes without saying.
    6. Keeping the dog warm after working also important.


    These cases can usually be managed quite well. Is the dog insured? Hip replacements have come a long way and are now quite readily available (although I have it on good authority not all prostheses are equal ). Don't discount the technique.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  3. #3
    Did a pitty buy on an old horse once (in early spring).... Got her back in shape by June and the weather turned ugly... She started to loose weight a little and you could see she wasn't feeling good and was just not walking smooth (?)..... Local vet is pretty much worthless so told the farrier the problem and asked him to look at her feet.... He couldn't find anything with the hooves and gave us some of this stuff to feed her. She improved almost immediately and was playing around on the pasture like a kid. Got her weight back fast and was a new horse. I get a little arthritis in nasty weather and use the stuff myself until things get steady with the weather... Just dose it according to weight doesn't have to be this particular brand as long as it's MSM.
    Good luck.... It sucks when your kids are hurting....


    http://www.amazon.com/Select-The-Bes...ords=msm+horse

  4. #4
    Thar
    can't give you any vetinary advice I'm afraid there's far more educated professionals
    on here for that
    only advice I can give is that you know your dog inside out and when you know in your heart
    and head that the dog is in too much pain that will be the time to let her go
    A decision I know that will kill you but a decision that you owe to the dog for all those
    years of love and loyalty .

    I had to have a three year old black lab peg dog put down three months ago
    that went blind on me
    he was a stunner and in fantastic condition afraid of nothing and very bold
    but to see him like that was just not fair on the dog

    Regards pete

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    srvet is your man for this.

    I'd say you are doing exactly right:
    1. regular exercise is really important, even on wet days. I say do as much as the dog can comfortably cope with
    2. The painkillers are vital. Many owners really underestimate the sheer pain these dogs can be in ("he still eats his food", "doesn't cry out" etc) I can recall many frustrating conversations with owners trying to convince them their dog is in pain and needs treatment as they think I am trying to relieve them of extra money. There are many modern painkillers with few side effects these days. They can be combined with other drugs (older painkillers) or some human drugs if they are not effective alone.
    3. Being lean is good.
    4. Not a single scrap of evidence for glucosamine. Save your money.
    5. Plenty of bedding goes without saying.
    6. Keeping the dog warm after working also important.


    These cases can usually be managed quite well. Is the dog insured? Hip replacements have come a long way and are now quite readily available (although I have it on good authority not all prostheses are equal ). Don't discount the technique.
    That's similar advise that my old vet gave me with regard to a Labrador pup that I bought some years ago. He was a gruff direct speaking old Yorkshire man who didn't get on with everyone and had a Labrador himself with the same condition. I followed his advise and gave the dog enough but not too much exercise. Kept his weight down and kept him warm and comfortable. I also gave him painkillers only when necessary, he wasn't on regular medication.

    I didn't work the dog. Ben was purely a pet, but the nicest and best dog I have ever owned who lived happily until 12 years of age. I very much doubt if I will ever encounter such a nice natured well behaved dog ever again. Numerous people asked about having one of his pups if I ever put him to a bitch but I never would and his breeder never bred from his mother ever again.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  6. #6
    Agree with all Apache says and will await the guru's comments. However, has she had an Xray to confirm this?

    As to the cold or rain of SW Scotland - it won't have caused the issues, so you can rest easy there.

  7. #7
    Have any X-rays been taken recently to support a diagnosis of hip osteoarthritis secondary to hip dysplasia? I see many dogs where HD is diagnosed but another problem such as lumbo sacral disease or cruciate disease are to blame. Sometimes the symptoms can be almost identical. Even advanced hip OA can be treated very successfully if you are prepared to go the distance.
    seems like I posted at the same time as Buchan. Having reread what has happened this does not sound like HD which normally has a more insidious onset.
    i have sent a PM
    Last edited by srvet; 02-01-2014 at 09:31.

  8. #8
    Many years ago I used to breed and work GSDs. As a breed they were thought to be prone to hip dysplasia. One of my dogs as he got older was very similar to yours in that he got stiff etc. Many trips to the Glasgow Vet College with him and through this I learned that hip dysplasia was thought to have several possible causes. Inherited, too much excercise as a pup, being a larger breed dog therefore carrying more body mass, being over weight, insufficient/too much excercise, diet, old age etc. This was 30+ years ago and no doubt more is known of the causes now. Reducing weight, regulating excercise, anti inflamatories and other pain killing drugs will keep him going for a while. Would I go down the line of replacement hips on a 10 year old dog. Possibly depending on the general health of the dog but hip replacements will not take him back to his prime years.

  9. #9
    Alright kev

    Really sorry to here about that

    I know the dog and there is very litle fat on it, infact be 1 of the fittest dogs i know, cracking temperment too

    Could excess exercise ever cause any of the symptoms? I see Gazza has mentioned that above.

  10. #10
    I have ordered an orthopaedic bed, for her.

    Srvet thanks for the PM.

    Watching her walk I am not convinced the problem is withboth legs, it is definitely the left leg which is causing her issues.

    Hi CB. I know what you mean about exercise, the strangething is, once March last year came I cut down on taking her out as much as Iused to. This was due to me training for the Bob Graham Round and with theamount of lambs on the hills I wanted to be right with the Shepherds, not thatshe would have been a problem as she knows the score with sheep. The trouble iswhen running fast down hill it is difficult to run with a dog on the leadsafely. So in short in the 5 months up until her problem she had as littleexercise as she has every had. I posted on the fell runner webs site as a lotof them run with dogs but nobody came back with having had problems with theredogs, I can’t help think about it though. She deffo’ did not have too muchbefore the age of 2 years.

    I know that 10 may be old for some dogs but she looked halfthat age before the problem, I don’t have insurance for her but am willing tospend a few quid on her, she has been a good loyal dog, perhaps the best I haveever had and I always think part of the bargain is to do your best from themwhen they are old. If the time comes she wouldn’t be the first one to have theone way trip to the vets, but HD is not fatal it is just the pain she is inthat worries me.

    Thanks for all the advice so far.

    Tahr

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