7 month Shep Mix with HD
We rescued Lexi from a shelter at 4 months and suspected hip issues from the start. She was also so weak that she couldn't squat to pee without falling over because her front legs would buckle. She didn't even know how to play when we brought her home. It's horrifying to think about how she must have started her life. Thankfully after a couple of months of good food, tons of TLC, and a fun big brother to teach her all about being a dog, Lexi is a lively, loving, active, adorable member of our family. Unfortunately she also has very severe HD.
Our vet referred us to a surgeon who seems terrific. Because Lexi will weigh just 40ish pounds full grown, he doesn't think full hip replacement is needed and wants to do a femoral head and neck excision once she's reached 9 months. For now she's on a low dose of pain meds, an anti-inflammatory and a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement which have made a huge difference. She gets up much more easily and isn't sore after playing. Her Dutchie personality has really come out too which is so cute to see (though not without challenges as many of you know!).
I'd really appreciate advice from this group on a few things, in addition to anything else you think we should be doing, considering or not doing:
- does the suggested procedure seem appropriate? Have you had experience with it?
- we want to get a second opinion (at least). Does anyone have a good experience with a doc in/around SoCal? Do you think Lexi's condition would be best treated by a vet hospital like UC Davis?
- in terms of activity, the surgeon said we could let Lexi regulate herself. We walk her mostly off leash and stop when she wants. She also plays with our other dog for 20-30 minutes several times a day. She hates the pool so we haven't had luck with swimming. She's getting more muscular in her hips and isn't acting like she's in pain, so this approach feels right but very interested in your thoughts
- I've read about fish oil and other supplements on this forum but haven't yet added anything besides G/C. Thoughts?
- she is very lean, thankfully, and on a diet of raw/homemade at dinner and kibble for breakfast. She is doing well on this combo but again, ideas welcome
Thank you very much for reading this very long post! I've learned so much from this forum already and hope to help others by sharing our journey of helping Lexi to get better.
Photo of xray isn't great but hopefully good enough to show the severity of her HD. < 10% coverage on the right and about 25% on the left. Poor baby!