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Hip Dysplasia in 14 month old German Shepherd

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Jon M, Dec 19, 2020.


  1. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    My dog was x-rayed for his hips to be scored (for peace of mind, not for breeding reasons) and the results weren't great. The vet spoke to me when I collected him and informed me that they don't look good.

    I've attached an image of the hips to this post. I am after advice/help on life with HD and also opinions on the x-ray image.

    My dog is not in any pain or discomfort at the moment and had we not taken him in for the x-ray we would not have any idea that his hips were this bad.

    Any advice or takes on the image would be very welcome.

    Thanks
     
  2. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Supplements and no jumping are quite important.
    However, I'd normally suggest exercise to be little and often. The little depends on the age of your dog and symptoms, which you say are not visible at the moment.

    There is a chance that you will not see any signs until your dog gets old. I'm no good at deciphering xrays. What did your vet say?
     
  3. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    He has absolutely no symptoms at the moment and is very active. Shall I continue with this level for now?

    The vet told me the scans were not good and then told me it's a balancing act between giving him the level of exercise that keeps him happy and keeping his joints healthy. To be honest what she said was very unclear and didn't appear to really have any sure sense of direction. I plan on emailing them my questions/concerns for a clearer answer this Monday.

    Thanks for your help with this. It was world shattering news to hear his hips were bad given how he doesn't show any signs at all and has healthy parents. Bit of rotten luck I think!
     
  4. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    With my very untrained eye, I would say that the bad hip isn't that bad, though you obviously have to be aware of it.
    I nursed a dog with very bad Osteoarthritis for 7 years until he died at a very old age and I would imagine the rules are similar.
    Does your dog swim? Swimming is an excellent exercise for most joint issues as it keeps the muscles strong (which is needed to keep the joint stable) without the pressure and wear and tear
     
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  5. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    If you can keep muscle over the hip area and as @rona said, swimming is good for this, will help your dog support the hips and keep any pain at bay. Also keep your dog as slim as you can.
     
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  6. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice! He doesn't swim (yet) but we have sent emails out to several places near us so that ball should start rolling.
     
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  7. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate you all getting back to me. I went in to panic mode when the vet told me it wasn't good.
     
  8. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Let us know how it goes with the vet
     
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  9. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Agree with everybody else.

    Keep him as lean as is still healthy (and it’s surprising how ‘skinny’ a dog can be and still have a great coat and loads of energy) and work to keep as much muscle as possible to hold his hips stable.

    Swimming and maybe exercises from a qualified person.

    Many years ago I was reading the book by the guy who developed the breeding programme for Guide Dogs Inc and he said that, on the rare occasions they had a dog with not perfect hips, the puppy Walker was given a specific way to walk them on lead that improved them to the extent that not one of these puppies failed to become a Guide dog.
    Unfortunately he didn’t give ANY further details.
    I wonder if anybody on PF knows more??
     
    #9 Linda Weasel, Dec 20, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
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  10. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Bear in mind that if he is asymptomatic now, he may continue to be - and I hope he does!
    We had a heinz57 mutt who I had x-rayed just out of curiosity when he went in for his neuter at about 2 years. According to the vet who xrayed him, he had the "worst hips I've ever seen" and the x-ray was pretty bad. Where your boy has at least a semblance of a cup shape for the ball to sit in, this dog had a nearly flat surface. Do you know that dog lived to be 15 years old and never had any lameness? He had a funny gait, but his rear end was sound his entire life - go figure.

    Apparently that's not rare either. As x-rays become more prevalent we're discovering that bad hips is just one of the factors that cause the symptoms of hip dysplasia.

    Do you have access to a good physio vet? That would be where I would start. In the US we have rehab and conditioning vets, not sure what the UK equivalent would be, but something like that. They can give you specific exercises to keep the muscles strong and minimize stress to the joints. Swimming is also great but make sure you have someone show you how to make sure your boy is swimming 'correctly' to maximize benefits - a good hydrotherapy technician can help here.

    And yes, definitely keep him on the thin side. Extra weight puts more wear and tear on joints than anything.
     
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  11. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    I've heard back from a specialist who I sent my dog's x-ray to and he has confirmed he has severe hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis in both joints. However it should be able to be managed as he is showing no signs of pain.

    We have him on some joint supplements now, as well as his food having green lipped mussels in it.

    We'll continue to walk him almost like normal but will take care when it comes to jumping, slipping over and jolting of his joints in any other way. Any advice on this would be great as he is showing no signs of pain at the moment so I am unsure how ruthless to be with holding him back.

    Hope you're all well and many thanks for all your help with this.
     
  12. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your post! All of this feedback is so valuable to us. Really helping us get an idea of where to go and what to do.

    We're looking at hydrotherapy as well as physiotherapy. The boy will get everything needed to help!

    We do intend to get a second x-ray and second opinion in the new year. I'm sure we'll just get bad news again but I've been strongly advised to do so.

    Very interesting what you said about the Guide Dog chap. I'll keep an eye out for any more information about that.
     
  13. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your post! As I've said many times, all these replies are incredibly helpful and interesting to hear.

    I'm so glad your dog did well with bad hips! Really adds some hope to our situation. We took him out for a walk this morning and he was absolutely thrilled to be out walking again. He was zooming about and didn't show any sign of pain of willingness to slow down (no matter how much we tried to make him slow down).

    We're looking at hydrotherapy and physiotherapy so we get it all covered, just in case we're missing any sly signs he's in pain or if he's not walking perfectly right etc. But I'm sure he's not. I was advised by a friend on a who works with GSDs to move his rear legs in a certain way (done via video call, I can't explain the movement well) whilst feeling his hip joint and felt no popping and he wasn't fazed at all.

    We're already watching his weight and being stingey with treats and adjusting meals accordingly (we did this anyway).
     
  14. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Rare occasions? My sister has had several German Shepherds as Guide dogs. Nearly all of them have shown symptoms of bad hips by 5 or 6 and had to retire soon after. Her current one is struggling a bit at the moment.
     
  15. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    I think you've got to let him live a life, even though there will be more and more restrictions.
    Ball throwing etc would not be the best idea but tracking and hide and seek could work as good alternatives.
    It's just being aware and working within certain guidelines.
     
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  16. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    He absolutely loves chasing balls and playing tug. Perhaps I'll just roll them a short distance..
     
  17. Jon M

    Jon M PetForums Newbie

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    I've got a short video of his walk.. We're awaiting an appointment at the physio but in the meantime I'd like to hear if this strut is similar to anyone else's dog with HD?



    Many thanks! And a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
     
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