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Puppy with suspected hip dysplasia

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by LuciLou, Mar 14, 2017.


  1. LuciLou

    LuciLou PetForums Junior

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    We took our 9 month lab x springer pup to the vet at the weekend as she had a limp earlier in the week, and we had noticed that when she runs she has started to hop her back legs together at the same time a bit.

    The vet has prescribed her with painkillers for now (which i am debating stopping as they have given her an upset tummy), and told us to keep her off walks for a fortnight to see if it's just muscular, but to come back if she is the same as she may have hip dysplasia and will need x rays to diagnose.

    It has only been a few days but things don't seem to have improved. I have also done a lot of googling around hip dysplasia and am worrying about the steps ahead, particularly after digging out her insurance and finding out that she is only insured for £1000 per year, per condition. I naively assumed that being a crossbreed she would be relatively bomb proof as other crosses we have had in the past have been.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what the journey ahead may involve? If it is relatively mild then will she be on meds for the rest of her life, and is my 1k insurance likely to cover this? And if it is severe then is surgery the only way forwards and at what point would we need to investigate this? And also will this impact on the amount of exercise she can have? We deliberately got a high energy doggy that we would enjoy taking out lots, she she certainly loves her adventures with us?

    Any advice would be appreciated please xx
     
  2. shadowmare

    shadowmare The dog doesn't bite, me on the other hand...

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    Yes, hip dysplasia as early as 9 months old will have an impact on what kind of exercise and the amount of it she will be able to have. A lot of the time, as the dog gets older, dysplasia begins having more and more effect on his mobility as I believe (someone may correct me if I'm wrong) a lot of the time (if not all?) it is accompanied by arthritis.
    Crossbreeds are not bulletproof. No organism is bulletproof. The only way to avoid or minimise the likelihood of most of the genetic diseases is getting a puppy from health tested parents - doesn't matter if they are purebred or mongrels.
    Someone may be able to share their experience, but I believe £1000 insurance will be only enough if the dog only needs some painkillers and supplements. Usually, depending on the degree of dysplasia, you are advised to do some physiotherapy too to support the muscle development. It would be especially beneficial for such a young dog as yours. It also depends on how much your vet charges for x-rays. I know I had a quote for a 20kg australian shepherd at around £300. Is your insurance yearly renewal or is it a life-long cover? If it's a life-long cover and the dog never requires a surgery, you should be ok with £1000 per year. From my experience of reading on forums though, it seems like most dogs with early signs of dysplasia, do require a surgery by the age of 5-6yo?
     
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  3. winter

    winter PetForums Senior

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    Sorry to hear about your dog.
    If the pain killers are upsetting your dogs stomach I would speak to the vet again they may be able to give a stomach protectant or something to help with your dogs upset stomach.
    I would wait until you have a firm diagnoses and see whats wrong with your dog and what your dealing with.
    My gsd had hip dysplasia and arthritis and spondylosis of the spine from a puppy he never needed a operation but was on medication his whole life and lived to be 11years old can't say how much it cost as he had other illnesses as well.
    The amount of exercise your dog has and what type will have a affect on your dogs joints.
     
  4. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    I really wouldn't give her any more of the pain killer if its upset her tummy - I assume she is on an NSAID like metacam? if so a serious side effect can be tummy upsets and bleeding so please speak to your vet before giving her another dose. They may be able to change the drug or give a tummy protectant medication at the same time. Are you resting her? by that I mean no running around or jumping on furniture and short on lead walks only? If she has to have x-rays they may or may not show hip dysplasia (there are other conditions that can cause hind limb lameness) and even if she is that doesn't necessarily mean she will need surgery. Hopefully @Nettles will see this thread as her young Springer was diagnosed with HD last year so she might be able to put your mind at rest.
     
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  5. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

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    As @rottiepointerhouse said, our young springer girl was diagnosed at the start of December with hip dysplasia and arthritis in both hips.

    As mentioned above, you should stop giving the painkiller and contact the vet if it's upsetting your puppers tummy. Phoebe was given metacam which agrees with her ok, but the vet warned us that any signs of an upset tummy at all and we must stop it immediately and contact them for advice as NSAIDS's can often cause very serious tummy issues.

    The initial X-rays, 6 sessions of laser therapy for soft tissue repair and painkillers cost around £400. She gets nutraquin capsules and vetinox liquid daily which cost around £40 per month (paid for by her insurance) Obviously different vets will charge different prices, but hopefully that will give you a rough idea of cost.

    Phoebe needed complete rest for a few weeks. No running, no playing, no jumping on the sofa or bed, minimal use of the stairs etc.. to give the soft tissue time to heal properly. I know it's a major pain in the backside trying to keep a young dog calm, but it really is vitally important as the soft tissues are what support and hold the hip joints in the correct place. Then very short lead walks for about a month or so. We then had to build her off lead exercise up again, very slowly, which is where we're at now. We've obviously been letting her do too much, too soon as unfortunately she's back on pain meds again, but she'll be going for hydrotherapy soon to help build up the strength in her hips properly which should help a lot. She's not a great candidate for physio as she's terrified of strangers touching her, but it may be something we have to look into in the future.

    When I saw her X-rays, I was horrified at the state of her hips. They looked dreadful (to my untrained eye!) She was only 18 months old at the time, and apart from pulled ligaments in her hips when she was 4 months old, the only other symptoms were occasional bunny hopping and clicking when she stood up. I was expecting her to need immediate surgery, but the vet reassured us that surgery is a very last resort and most dogs can and do manage just fine with supplements to help prevent it from getting worse and occasional pain relief if/when needed.

    The outlook at the minute for Phoebe is good. The vet doesn't think she'll need surgery if we can maintain her hips at the stage they're at now. Of course, it's impossible to tell if that will change in the future, but it's certainly made me feel more reassured.

    They type of exercise she's allowed will always have to be controlled. She's a young springer who likes to leap about at 100mph, which obviously isn't good, but once her fitness levels and muscles are up to scratch and any soft tissue damage has been repaired, lots of SENSIBLE walking will be good for keeping her hips strong and healthy. Phoebe hasn't got a sensible bone in her body so we just have to manage that and try and stop her from being a loony and doing silly things like leaping up and down from sofas, walls, grass verges etc when she gets over excited.

    I have a family thing going on at the minute and my head is all over the place so apologies as I know my post is rambling on and probably doesn't make much sense.. Just wanted to give you as much info as I could think of.
     
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  6. Sarahnya

    Sarahnya PetForums Senior

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    Do shop around at different vets if they do have to have an operation. They vary wildly in prices and I'd it turns out she needs an expensive op it could be well worth a trip to a cheaper surgery.
     
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  7. WillowT

    WillowT PetForums VIP

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    @Nettles
    I have just a read through your information you kindly posted for lucilou
    I find it a great comfort and full of positivity. I have just in the last hour come home from the vets after getting willow her yearly booster and he checked her hips out because she lost the use of her tail a week ago..... it was cold tail apparently but on examining her he suspects that she has hip dysplasia in her back right leg:(

    She will have hip X-rays in both hips shortly.
    I think I will drive my husband mad as I am already stressing out about things I don't want her doing ( jumping up on the sofa) as I am so worried she is in pain even though she hasn't shown any signs or symptoms...... well... 6 months ago she was intermittantly lame on that leg for a very brief period whilst we were out walking and we thought she had just stood on something sharp..... but that was it....

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed as she is only 2 and I'm feeling pretty bad for her at the moment. I just burst into tears as soon as we all got home... feel rediculous really.
     
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  8. leashedForLife

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    .
    any dog with rear structure issues also needs to be LEAN - every excess pound puts extra load on those lousy joints, so don't let her or him get even a little flabby.
    .
    Swimming or
    wading at least hock deep are excellent for building muscle without repetitive impacts onto a hard surface. :)
    .
    .
    .
     
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  9. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

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    *hugs* Please don't feel ridiculous. I was sick with worry waiting on the X-rays and absolutely devastated when the vet confirmed Phoebe had HD. It's not always as scary as it first sounds though, so please try not to worry.

    If it is HD, getting a diagnosis now while Willow is still young means you can put measures in place to try and prevent it from getting any worse and hopefully avoid any need for surgery at all.

    It's next to impossible to try and stop a young, active dog from jumping on the sofas/bed 50 times a day or behaving like an eejit when off lead, but I just try my best. If I can prevent 10 jumps a day, that's 10 better than nothing.

    I was getting myself really stressed out trying to stop Phoebe from doing anything, just in case it made her hips worse.. but then my OH pointed out that Phoebe still needs to live her life and wrapping her up in cotton wool isn't feasible.. or fair! She still gets to play fetch, but it's limited to two 15 min games on a walk instead of an hour, and she still gets to run around and play with her doggy friends, but I just try to keep it sensible and stop it from getting silly.

    I've no idea why, but yesterday Phoebe decided to run on ahead of me into our bedroom and then hurdle over the 4ft high footboard of our bed instead of just jumping up at the side like she always does. She was so quick, I didn't have time to stop her and then I felt awful because she hurt herself. But now that I know she's stupid enough to do something like that, I can put measures in place to try and prevent it from happening again.

    Hopefully Willows X-rays are clear and all your worry is for nothing, but I know how scary it all is right now, so feel free to PM me if you have any questions or concerns or just want a chat about it. It's all still very new to me and I'm still learning, but happy to help if I can :)
     
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  10. WillowT

    WillowT PetForums VIP

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    Thank you so much nettles. That is very kind of you. Xx
     
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