HD in 7 month old- Pics and question - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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HD in 7 month old- Pics and question

I had my pup Polar Bear neutered at 7 1/2 months (about a month ago), and asked the vet to take a quick x-ray of his hips while he was under. Per the vet, they aren't the worst hips she's ever seen on a puppy, but they're still pretty bad.

He's on glucosamine + MSM + chondroitin, fish oil, Adequan, and I'm making sure he's kept very lean. I'm aware that surgery may not be avoidable in the future.

He never has shown signs of being in pain, and he's able to run around for hours every day with my lab in the backyard. He does seem very slow to me for a dog his age, and it suddenly makes sense why he's never even attempted to jump up on the furniture. I still have to pick him up to put him into the back of my car; he's never even tried to jump in himself.

Polar also has megaesophagus (I sure picked a winner, huh?), and I worry about the long term consequences of his weight being placed on his rear legs every time he eats or drinks because of his food and water needing to be elevated. He already will always opt to sneak into my other dog's crate and drink her water as opposed to standing up and getting his, and I worry that it's not comfortable for him to have his weight resting on his hips like that. I know that it's a necessity, but should I be worried about how this will affect his long term health?

Just some background info.... Polar Bear was fished out of a dumpster when he was 5 weeks old. He is not from any sort of good or responsible breeder. I thought it would be interesting to show rads from a dog with such an unknown background.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 01:02 AM
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You did a great thing saving this pup. We are only given what we can handle, so it's good you are being proactive.

I would find a rehab vet, get your pup into a structured exercise program that will help build the supporting muscles. That's most important.

There is a possibility he will outgrow his mega E. Slim but there. And based on the cuts wear and tear that causes, I would find a good Orthopedic vet and maybe talk about doing surgery on one hip sooner rather than later.

I wish you all the best.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 01:17 AM
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aw poor baby
thank you for saving him!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments, and sorry this reply is so late!

Good news is I do have a great orthopedic vet who has been following PB since he was 7 weeks old. This vet didn't diagnose the HD, but has been following Po's ME case, and works in the same practice alongside the vet that did the hip radiographs. So if/when surgery becomes a necessity, I do have a doctor I trust.

I'm a full time student, and I make just enough to cover rent and pay for mine and my animals' necessities. If Polar were in pain or having mobility trouble, I'm sure I'd make a new plan, but for now I want to hold off on surgery until I am in a more financially secure place. Trust me, I had no plans to adopt a dog while in college because of this exact issue! My vet doesn't seem to think he needs surgery right now, and I trust her medical opinion... but I am definitely prepared to make some hard decisions if surgery becomes an immediate need!

We are pretty sure Polar has at least mostly grown into his ME, if not outgrown it completely, as he hasn't regurgitated anything in months. I'll be bringing him in for another barium study to get an idea on how/if his condition has changed probably in December, when he's a little over a year old. I worry, though, about about how it will effects his hips long term if it hasn't completely resolved.

Thank you for bringing up some ideas to think about. His vet wants him to keep active and moving as much as possible, so I will have to ask her about specific exercises she might recommend. She thought swimming would be good for him, but I am still too nervous about the ME to let him in the water. I'll have to talk to the ortho vet as well about what he thinks.

Thanks for the nice comments guys. Gotta say that I'm so thankful for all the other people who were involved with saving this poor pup because even with all his screw ups, I love my disaster dog.
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