Gunner my Gunner, Needs THR - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-20-2013, 11:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gunner my Gunner, Needs THR

Several weeks ago my 5 year old Gunner developed a limp. Visit to the vet and snapped an X-ray. Dr confirmed my worst fear, HD on his left side. His mom and dad had certified good hips. He had always had a strange gait. . . . but never showed and problems or difficulty jumping. Up until the limp appeared he was fine. Took him to the ortho specialist last week for a second look. Same diagnosis. He's scheduled for pre-op workup next week with the THR to be done in mid January. I'm on pins and needles and nervous. My first GSD, Sheba, died at 6 years of age of cancer. We rescued her when she was 18 months from an abusive home, we were only going to foster her long enough to find her a good home, but we fell in love with her right away. I sat on the floor with Sheba on my lap when she passed, tears streaming down my face. Worried about Gunner's surgery. . . . He's never been away from home without me. . .
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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THR is a GOOD thing. You are curing the HD on that side, freeing your dog of pain. My dog had one when he was 18 m/o. He's almost ten now.
Dropping him off the night before was rough for me....but the surgeon called by 11 am the next day and surgery was over.
Recovery was nowhere near as bad as I imagined. Pretty uneventful.
Best of luck!
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you can and don't need to bring him in until the morning of the surgery, ask to stay with him until the first sedative injection takes affect. Also take along his favorite toy that can be placed in his kennel or even an old t shirt with your scent on.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Careful about bringing items in like towels or blankets. It is MUCH easier to keep a toy/shirt with patient than a blanket or towel. Animals when waking from surgery or recovering can often soil things that they have in their kennel with them, and many an item gets lost, no matter what system we attempt (outside of immediately bagging, tagging and setting aside).

It is always scary to be faced with surgery for your pet. THRs are truly wonderful, but they definitely require careful after care. My first girl had her left hip (she was severe bilateral) when she was 8 years old, and it gave me another wonderful 3 years with her! We were very diligent with her physiotherapy and exercise restrictions. She had acupuncture, hydrotherapy and e-stim during her recovery. She even fell and got stuck between the seats of my car, one week post op and her hip was still good!

Once she recovered, it was like she was a new dog! For the first time in her life she had three good legs to stand on, and it showed!

I know how scary the idea of surgery can be, however if you are going to an orthopedic specialist, they are going to have some of the best anesthesia technicians and OR technicians that you can find out there. We have seen and done more things than your average technician, and we are just as concerned as you are about your pet's safety! I take pride in my job, and I have helped with some extremely scary and delicate patients under anesthesia. Our nursing staff are some of the best around too, so I can imagine wherever you go, your boy will get the same kind of treatment. ^^

You likely can also even just call and express any concerns/questions that you have between now and then. I know where I work we are extremely accommodating for owners, and we want you to feel confident about what we do for your pet.

Good luck to you! I help with this procedure and I rehabed my own girl, so you can always ask me questions if you'd like.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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They do not recommend trying non-surgical options first? I certainly would want to try supplements first.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the replies. Gunner and I appreciate it. Our regular Dr prescribed pain medicine and when we saw the specialist he prescribed pain medicine and muscle relaxers and wanted us to do 15 minute walks on leash 3 time a day. He did say there were non-surgical alternatives, but from what the X rays show, and his symptoms, he said the medicines and physical therapy could help improve his situation, but given his young age and the speed at which the symptoms have developed, it would be a long haul without the THR. Lots of pain pills (yuck) for the rest of his life. We made an apt with a second specialist (2 hours away) just to be sure we are not jumping into something that might not be right for Gunner.

Both my wife and I have noticed a quick decline in his ability to get around. Seems like he's going downhill very fast. Really hurts to watch. His little sister, Ammo (another GSD rescue story) is a ball of energy and can't understand why Gunner doesn't want to play.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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zzzfarmer...advances in vet medicine have certainly reduced risks and now achieve better results than they did even ten years ago. i would do the same as you. imo, alternative treatments just delay surgery. often to the point where the dog has developed other health issues which either take the surgical option off the table or increase some risks due to age. good luck, i am sure all will be well.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank You for all the replies. . . . . Gunner and I (with my daughter for support) are at the orthopedic dr right now. . . . he's getting the pre-op checks and getting measured for his hip implant. Gunner was not happy about having to skip breakfast, (needs to be sedated for the X-Rays). Other puppy parents are here with their children for the same procedure. Talking with other concerned parents and we are comforting each other. Total visit today will be 3 or 4 hours, but since we live over an hour away, it doesn't make sense to go home and come back an hour later. . . . . Brought my laptop to keep busy.

Hip surgery scheduled for Jan 14.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I bet Gunner had a good appetite for his dinner Hope it went well and you are all set for the 14th.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Dropped Gunner off this AM for his surgery. Needless to say it was a VERY LONG ride home without him. His little sister Ammo was lost and is walking around the house looking for him. The Dr has 3 hip replacements scheduled today, not sure when he'll be under the knife, but will be sitting by the phone (with Ammo by my side) all day.
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