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My dog has hip dysplasia... any advice?


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My 10 year old German Shepherd mix recently did something to hurt herself... no idea what but she was not walking on her back right leg. We took her to the vet and they determined she had a soft tissue injury, but they took some x-rays also and it turns out she has hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis (pretty crunchy looking, i might add) in her left hip.

We have her on pain meds and she is not limping any more, but she still cries a lot. :-(

Before she pulled a muscle, we had no idea she had any kind of hip problems or arthritis. She has slowed down a bit, but she is pretty old for a larger dog.

I am just wondering what to expect in the future in terms of her mobility. Will she have a hard time walking the rest of her life?

They want to put her on NSAIDS and glucosamine supplements. She is on tramadol now also but that makes her very loopy so I'm not a fan...

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who had a dog with this condition. I am just worried about her quality of life.

8 Replies (last)

in my experience, a dog who cries is in extreme pain. most are very stoic. i have a friend whose dog (a bouvier) has been on glucosamine supplements for years and has done well, but they caught her dysplasia (severe) early and started treating her before she was two.

nsaids are brutal on the liver.

honestly, 10 is not young for a dog that size--even a healthy one--and if she's still in pain on tramadol, you probably want to consider euthanasia.

I had three German shepherds growing up, so I hate saying this to you, but I don't think your pup is going to get much better. Ours had hip-desp. also and was on meds and he got to the point were he didn't even want to walk anymore. My dad didn't want to put him down, because he thought he was still healthy (still walk to where he was in the yard, a huge yard, too) and mostly, I think he just didn't want to say goodbye. 

I really think you should think about saying goodbye, because like PG said, at age 10, the dog has aged quite a bit.  Our dog was put down at 12, but should have been put down at 10. :(

Sorry to be the barer of bad news, but I just don't have a good news to tell you.

You could try giving her vitamins for joints instead of the horrible nsaids. My dog didn't have hip dysplasia but he had arthritis and it helped a lot. He acted almost 90% back to normal.

This is what my doggie was on.

It's times like this you have to think of your dog's quality of life. Although saying goodbye is horrible (I had to do it, it'll be 1 year in a week that I had to say bye), it really is the greatest selfless gift you can give to them.

I really feel for you.

My mom's dog has had hip dysplasia since he was a puppy.  He's been on glucosamine for most of his life.  There's a significant difference in the days he takes it and the days he doesn't.

Cheyenne, a yellow labrador that I showed, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia when she was about four (her first OFA eval came back "fair", her second came back "poor", but she was in heat, which makes a difference, and her third also came back "poor"). For a few years, it didn't bother her. She was put on Rimadyl and a Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement and mangaged to have about three, relatively pain-free years, before her owner made the choice to have her put down a few months ago. She was thirteen, if I recall correctly.

RamRod, a Giant Schnauzer that I finished and co-owned, was diagnosed with HD when he was two. I opted for the artificial hip-replacement surgery (pricey and not guaranteed). Had he been older than seven or eight, I would not have. He still started limping at around the age of four and became incontinent and lost all control of his rear end, including his legs when he was about seven. We had him put down.

A friend of mine has a Giant Schnauzer who was recently diagnosed with hip and elbow displaysia. So far, she has him on no medications and he's holding steady, but I think he's only two or three.

I could keep going. Displaysia only worsens over time. How much time is up in the air and depends on a few factors.

The grade of HD is important. If she is at a 1-3, she has a chance at a decent quality of life for a while. Anything above that is iffy (it goes to five, meaning that the ball and socket practically have no connection). A specialist in veterinary radiology is the only one who can determine at what grade she is. But at any grade, you've got to know that it's painful for those bones to grate against each other with no protection. Since you said she also has already developed arthritis, I have to assume that the dysplasia is more than moderate.

If she is overweight, this could also worsen the symptoms.

I've witnessed dysplastic dogs at all stages and have studied the disorder formally and privately, and it's one of those things that never ceases to distress me. You and your dog have my every sympathy and well-wish.

I have had a german shepherd with the exact same condition.  We started using a product called  K9 Liquid Health, it has several ingredients.  I dont normally believe anything could work like this did for our dog.  It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  He was so much better while on this. Once it was out of stock where I could find it for 10 days.  He went completely downhill during this time and was crying when getting up or down...he also waddled again while walking.  As soon as we could get him back on it, he was soooo much better I started buying it in quantities so we would never run out of it again.   It is a liquid you put on their food and they love it. 

 

Give this a try, do some research first and find it, I cant say enough about how much it helped with my dog...

I hope your dog is doing better.  I have a 70 lb mixed breed dog that has severe spinal arthritis and hip dysplasia that was diagnosed about a year ago. She will turn 15 next month.  I tried glucosamine supplements but they did not appear to help her. My vet put her on 0.5mg of dexamethasone every day and then cut it back to ever other day.  It definitely seems to help. She is able to walk much better and seems more comfortable overall.  This medicine does make her drink more water, and it also makes her wet her bed when she sleeps (which she never did before).  I tried taking her of of it for a while and she got worse again.  I guess I can deal with washing her off and doing extra laundry every day, if it makes her feel much, much better.  I hope this is helpful and I wish you well with whatever treatment you decide on.  My dog is currently spending the night at the vets office because she experienced an unrelated leg injury and is not able to walk at all.  I'm saying my prayers that she will get better soon.

 

Original Post by gingerbo16:

My 10 year old German Shepherd mix recently did something to hurt herself... no idea what but she was not walking on her back right leg. We took her to the vet and they determined she had a soft tissue injury, but they took some x-rays also and it turns out she has hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis (pretty crunchy looking, i might add) in her left hip.

We have her on pain meds and she is not limping any more, but she still cries a lot. :-(

Before she pulled a muscle, we had no idea she had any kind of hip problems or arthritis. She has slowed down a bit, but she is pretty old for a larger dog.

I am just wondering what to expect in the future in terms of her mobility. Will she have a hard time walking the rest of her life?

They want to put her on NSAIDS and glucosamine supplements. She is on tramadol now also but that makes her very loopy so I'm not a fan...

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who had a dog with this condition. I am just worried about her quality of life.

My dear Loki has joint pain, some stiffness, and a bit of weird deformity in his shoulders. The vet says it's mild arthritis, but I don't know..

I have him on Deramaxx which is a non-narcotic, daily med for joint pain. It seems to make a BIG difference in his mobility and ease of motion. Less stiffness, and I see him wanting to run around and play more when he's on it.

If we run out and I'm lazy about getting a refill, he seems to worsen, so I try not to ever run out.

I get it from the vet of course, it's prescription only, but it's easy to give because it's flavored chewable tablets that he likes.

I would ask about a safe daily med to control the symptoms because with a 10 year old, you're probably not wanting to put her through a major surgery and difficult recovery if you don't absolutely have to.

They also have doggy acupuncture which my BF uses with his dog (he has spinal issues)

And other forms of physical therapy. There may be home remedies/exercises you can ask about, too, including things like warm compresses and massage.

I hope she feels better!

 

 

8 Replies
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