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ElizabethM 12-07-2013 11:55 PM

Hip dysplasia in older dog
My dog Max is over 12 year's old and has lost control of his hip's and leg's, he cannot support himself anymore, and has alot of difficulty walking;

When I take him outside to go for a walk he push's himself on his rear or has a leg bent under him and walk's, scraping up his paw's in the process. I know that he is in pain, he won't go to the bathroom in the back yard, so I try taking him outdoor's.

I'll have to take him to a veternary, but frightened of the cost of an examination and any treatment's..

He may have spinal problem's as well and have to be put down.

I have read of back and rear harness's to put on a german shepherd or any dog to help them when walking anywhere, I want to get one, if the veternarian think's it will help Max..

Zeeva 12-08-2013 12:02 AM

Don't worry about the costs of an examination and treatment. Go to a vet that charges for the office visit (standard) and then shows you the upfront costs of treatment that you can chose from. Find a vet that allows installation payments if it helps...

I wish you the best of luck...keep us posted on Max's progress. Our good thoughts and prayers are with the both of you.

Harry and Lola 12-08-2013 02:20 AM


Originally Posted by ElizabethM (Post 4633281)
I know that he is in pain, frightened of the cost of an examination and any treatment's. He may have spinal problem's as well and have to be put down.

I have read of back and rear harness's to put on a german shepherd or any dog to help them when walking anywhere, I want to get one, if the veternarian think's it will help Max..

People may criticize me for saying this, but in my opinion if your beloved pet of 12 years is in this much pain and having this much difficulty walking and going to the toilet it may be kinder to euthanize him. Hip surgery for a GSD at 12yo is probably not the answer. A friend used a rear harness for one of his dogs that lost control of back legs due to HD and age, seemed to work quite well but the dog was still in pain and always looked uncomfortable.

My thoughts are with you and I hope you are able to do what is right by your GSD.

llombardo 12-08-2013 02:33 AM

They have laser procedures now a days that can help. There is also supplements and swimming. I've seen a few older dogs in bad shape make nice enough recoveries to live pain free.

ElizabethM 12-08-2013 10:14 AM

Thank you very much to everyone that reponded to my post about Max, I will be taking him to a veternary hospital for sure and will get some arthritis supplement's if that will help him, from the vet or a drug store; I have heard that the pill's with shark cartilage or glucosomine- may work for a dog;

Also a back harness or anything else, not too expensive to help the canine.

As well, may have him euthanized if treatment's may not help him enough. I just want to do what is the very best for Max..

wolfstraum 12-08-2013 12:06 PM

AT 12 years old - these problems are probably NOT caused by hip dysplasia....was he x-rayed and certified for hips at 1 or 2?

What you are probably dealing with is Degenerative Neural is a very common problem in older GSDs and is basically a breakdown of the nerves controlling the motor functions of the rear is progressive, and many people do use carts and harnesses to help the dog function....there are online groups you can join to get more info on diet and supplements to help the dog be more comfortable...

It is up to you as to when you feel the dog is not happy with life, and when to do the best thing for him, rather than to cling to him when his quality of life is so diminished that he is miserable....I have seen happy dogs in carts and harnesses who are not ready to leave...eventually they become totally incontinent and many people use that issue as a red flag that the dog's quality of life is not good anymore.

Sorry - I went through this with a much loved female many years ago and it is a very very hard decision to make...


huntergreen 12-08-2013 12:39 PM

only a vet can make a deffinative diagnosis. let us know how you make out.

ElizabethM 12-08-2013 05:04 PM

Thank you very much I will be going to the vet appointment tomorrow night-Monday with Max, my neighbour that had him prior to me, will drive us there.

She'll help me with the veternary cost's.. I am feeling very anxious over the cost of the examination and any test's, x- ray's..

Anyway, I will do what need's to be done, with Max..

Thank you again for your support and encouragement!

Magwart 12-08-2013 06:22 PM

You'll likely start with an orthopedic exam and x-rays. In my area, those can cost as little as $50 (on top of the office visit fee), or as much as a few hundred, depending on the number of views needed, and whether sedation is needed. This needs to be managed though--letting the dog suffer in pain is not an option.

Arthritis often sets in with senior dogs who've managed all their lives with imperfect-but-not terrible hips. Even on a limited budget, that's treatable--generic veterinary pain meds are very reasonably priced (e.g., 60 tablets of carprofen costs $30 or so through (with your vet's RX), and that's enough for 1 to 2 months; tramadol and gabapentin are generics available at any human pharmacy for around $10 for a month's supply (again, by RX only)).

Talk to your vet about affordable pain management -- there are effective options that can fit into even very tight budgets.

If you are able to do more for the dog, laser therapy, acupuncture, and Adequan therapy are all beneficial. The Adequan injections have nearly miraculous effects for many seniors with arthritis (cost varies, but it's a month of 2 injections a week, then stepping down to every other week or once a month). There are lots of threads here about supplements that work, too.

The knuckling under, though, is worrisome. I really hope it's not DM.

I have a senior now, too. It's so hard to see them decline. :(

Best wishes!

ETA: do a search for the chicken bone broth recipes here posted by both Gatorbytes and Carmspack. That's something you can make at home, using your leftover carcasses when you pull off the chicken meat for dinner, and it's supposed to be very healing for joint pain.

wolfstraum 12-08-2013 08:16 PM

I definitely agree that only a vet who examines an animal can actually diagnose a disease - but people with experience and knowledge can certainly give you some background and direction as to likelihoods!!! Many many people automatically assume hip dysplasia for any dog of any age who has any kind of rear end/walking issues I A puppy owner, who is an OB-GYN, called me about a 7 year old dog thinking it had HD (never having bothered doing OFAs!) - after a few minutes discussion, I told her I suspected a torn ACL - and told her to have it checked....sure enough, that is what it was! The vet did x-rays just because the owner wanted to be sure and the hips looked great...

So I would suggest that you read up on both HD and DM and ask the vet to do some of the more simple tests before going into the expense of alot of x-rays....some neurological diagnostics are very simple and do not need to have blood work or x-rays to get a good idea of what is going on....


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