About a week ago my pup, Lestrade, started limping on her right hind leg. I thought she had simply pulled a muscle from playing at the dog park and going to the dog beach, but when it didn't go away... I decided to just get her checked out at the vet.
The vet did some stretches saw how she walked and took some x-rays (he did not anesthetize her) and came back with the diagnosis that she has hip dysplasia. Her right hip isn't properly aligned causing her to limp and (as of right now) be in little pain.
I know hip dysplasia is common in GSDs, but I was wondering what my options are. According to the vet I have two:
1. Not get surgery. Lestrade will eventually develop painful arthritis in that joint - anywhere between one year and ten years, there's no real way to know when it will happen. He could only tell me it will happen. To minimize the damage she can't play rough, only walk short distances on flat surfaces, no fetch, no hiking, no much of anything, really.
2. Get surgery. An FHO where they partially replace the hip, which will run me anywhere from $5,000-$6,000. A huge chunk of change for a grad student.
I really have no problem finding the money either through loans, care credit or magically finding some insurance that will pay for the surgery. That's not the issue. I love her too much to not do whatever I can to make her happy and healthy.
What I'm concerned about is what the best options actually is for Lestrade. See, I've always wanted a dog to run, hike, play fetch, etc with. I just happened to get a dog with a bum hip -- so should I let go of those wants because it's best for Lestrade?
I'm not sure if I should get the surgery done at all. If it should be done sooner than later (she's 7 months)? Should it be put off until she's full grown?
Will she be able to play like a "normal" GSD after? Will be better off having the surgery?
All these fun questions I'm hoping someone here can help me sort through. Has anyone gone through the hip dysplasia process? Done the surgery? Not done the surgery?
She has an appointment on Thursday with one of the few vets in the area certified to do the pin surgery to get a second opinion. I do have a copy of her x-ray if anyone can shed some light on it.
Thank you in advance!