Where to go from here? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Where to go from here?

I'm very confused at the moment.

I have just come back from having my bitche's hips and elbows X rayed by one of the top orthopaedic veterinary surgeon in the country.

I waited until the x rays were taken and he called me to his office with some bad news. He told me that my bitch has severe hip dysplasia and arthritis. He said that she is managing due to the fact that she does not carry a lot of weight but it will get worse as time goes by.

He has suggested a total hip replacement of both hips but said her arthritis will not go away.

She is only 18mths and is leash walked on natural ground. She sleeps in the house at night in her crate with a memory foam mattress as her bed. During the day she is outside in her compound which has rubber horse matting as a floor and she has a raised bed in there to sleep on if need be.

She has never shown any signs of distress with her hips and has been doing extremely well in her personal protection classes and obedience classes.

I've contacted her breeder to make her aware of the situation.

Where do I go from here??

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:10 AM
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Can you post the x-rays?

My first reaction was some vets are much too eager to go for surgery. That's how they make their money, after all!

But you did say this vet was one of the top surgeons in his field...

I dunno, I just have a bad feeling about the vet wanting to do a THR, especially since she's not showing signs of pain. But I HAVE heard of dogs with really horrible hips that weren't showing pain, either.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
Can you post the x-rays?



My first reaction was some vets are much too eager to go for surgery. That's how they make their money, after all!



But you did say this vet was one of the top surgeons in his field...



I dunno, I just have a bad feeling about the vet wanting to do a THR, especially since she's not showing signs of pain. But I HAVE heard of dogs with really horrible hips that weren't showing pain, either.
The vet will email me the X-rays tonight and I'll post here for people to see.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:21 AM
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I agree with "Sunsilver" in modern Vet care far to often it's about the "procedure" and the money made from the procedure....and some how what's actually best for the animal gets lost in the shuffle and I look for that to get worse as the world keeps spinning....to the OP it's hard for me to believe that an 18 month old needs a total hip replacement and..... I've yet to see one that doesn't develop arthritis to some degree as they become seniors...it's apart of the breed IMO.......


In your shoes I'd take those x-rays and do your own research and find a couple of radiologists to look at them and get second opinions just to see if you hear the same story verbatim.....if you're near a vet teaching college I'd contact them and see if they'd be willing to give an opinion on the x-rays....I'd just have to question the fact that your dog is active in obedience and protection and yet you've seen no sign of any problems....I'm guessing you were checking hips with the intention of breeding ??
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:38 AM
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I definitely agree on getting second (and even third) opinions before doing major surgery.



With hips, I've always been told to treat the dog, not the xray.....some dogs with bad xrays don't experience bad pain, and others with just moderate xrays are almost completely lame.



I would ask him whether there's any downside to managing it medically as long as she's active and happy -- Adequan injections, supplements, appropriate exercise to keep her from losing muscle back there, etc. In other words, can you put the THR off until the other stuff stops working?
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane'sDad View Post
I agree with "Sunsilver" in modern Vet care far to often it's about the "procedure" and the money made from the procedure....and some how what's actually best for the animal gets lost in the shuffle and I look for that to get worse as the world keeps spinning....to the OP it's hard for me to believe that an 18 month old needs a total hip replacement and..... I've yet to see one that doesn't develop arthritis to some degree as they become seniors...it's apart of the breed IMO.......


In your shoes I'd take those x-rays and do your own research and find a couple of radiologists to look at them and get second opinions just to see if you hear the same story verbatim.....if you're near a vet teaching college I'd contact them and see if they'd be willing to give an opinion on the x-rays....I'd just have to question the fact that your dog is active in obedience and protection and yet you've seen no sign of any problems....I'm guessing you were checking hips with the intention of breeding ??
I agree with what you write, I find it difficult also.
The vet I used is the top of his field and he is the person that the teaching colleges go to for consultations regarding bone conditions.

Breeding was a possibility as several club members had expressed a desire in a future pup out of her.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
I definitely agree on getting second (and even third) opinions before doing major surgery.



With hips, I've always been told to treat the dog, not the xray.....some dogs with bad xrays don't experience bad pain, and others with just moderate xrays are almost completely lame.



I would ask him whether there's any downside to managing it medically as long as she's active and happy -- Adequan injections, supplements, appropriate exercise to keep her from losing muscle back there, etc. In other words, can you put the THR off until the other stuff stops working?
The point is she is not in any pain, had I not had her xrayed, I would never has suspected she had HD or arthritis.

I won't do a THR unless it is absolutely necessary.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Here are her X rays.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:07 PM
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Sorry you are going through this. One of my dogs was limping (foreleg), so I took him to my local vet, he took x-rays, diagnosed elbow dysplasia and recommended surgery. Long story short, several things happened at that clinic that caused me to doubt the diagnosis, so I requested he send the images to a specialist, and I got a second opinion from a more qualified vet (and a 2nd set of x-rays as the 1st were badly positioned). Turns out, my dog just had a sprain. Even if your vet is a specialist and the diagnosis isn't in doubt, it couldn't hurt to get someone else's perspective on the course of treatment. Wishing you the best. Keep us updated.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:27 PM
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A couple of thoughts here ---- second opinion from another (maybe non surgical?) specialist or another vet ----- my dog with bad hips did not have difficulty with her hips until she was 8. Her pain can be managed successfully (so far). The first dog I had with bad hips, lived to be 14 without her hips bothering her until she was 13.


Your dog is showing no symptoms. You could proceed with the second/third opinions to give you information for the future. You can also discuss the pros and cons of waiting with the vets. Then you weigh what they have to say & decide where to go with this. (for instance, I have crappy issues with the basal joint on my thumbs. Surgery can fix this but surgery will work the same done now or done later. I'm opting for later as alternative treatment seems to be helping. (and surgery would put whichever hand out of commission for several weeks.)
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