Genetic Hip Dysplasia - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Genetic Hip Dysplasia

Hello everyone!

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!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 03:54 PM
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Do you have copies of the x-rays, and do you mind posting them?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 03:58 PM
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An FHO does not replace anything. It cuts off the femoral head so that it cannot cause pain by misalignment in the socket. It should NOT cost 5000 dollars.

A THR a total hip replacement may cost that much, but an FHO should run you less than 2000, closer to 1500.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by lizandlestrade View Post

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.
no way should an FHO costs you that much. A full hip replacement is 3-4000. Go to an ortho.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 05:13 PM
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send the plates to OFA for expert opinion .



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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 05:19 PM
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If your vet does not know what an FHO surgery is and wants to charge you over $5000 for the surgery you need to be finding a new vet. FHO is removal of the femoral head on the leg, then putting muscle in between the bone and hip and a false joint forms. No bone on bone pain. No issues. However if your vet can't even explain the proper procedure of an FHO surgery then I have some doubts if this vet can truly diagnose HD by looking at an ex ray. Find a new vet and get second X-ray done then make a decision based on the hips. And a vet that knows what surgery he/she is talking about
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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The vet did describe the FHO as partially removing the bone- and he estimated it at about $5,000. He said he didn't do the actual surgery and I should actually see a surgeon. I mistyped about replacing part of the hip. :/ I've been reading a lot and got mixed up.

I'm seeing the surgeon to get the second opinion on Thursday -- but it's great news it might not cost me $5,000. That would be fantastic.

After the FHO would Lestrade be able to tromp around like a regular puppy? Or would she still not be able to hike, play fetch, etc?

Here is her hip from above. I have the side view - but not on me right now. If needed I can post when I get home.

Thank you!!!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 08:08 PM
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Your dog will have NO problem being active after recovery. My first girl had both hips done at a year old and did active search and rescue in the mountains for 9 years after.... that is still a very high price, ridiculous actually
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