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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there,

So I have poured over every thread I could find about young pups with hip dysplasia as I had a feeling I was going to get bad news.

My beautiful, sweet rescue puppy of 7 months that I have only had for 2 months was diagnosed with HD today in both hips.

I found out because I could feel a clicking in his right hip when he sat or walked and a very loud pop sound sometimes when he sat :( He once slipped and cried out while playing tug and could not rise for a few seconds. I was about to rush to the emergency vet when he got up and carried on playing like normal. Looking back I believe his hip dislocated :( This is the only time he has EVER expressed any pain vocally.

He does not bunny hop (as far as I can tell) runs, plays, jumps, is energetic, doesn't seem to be in any pain at all. He even loves to roll in the grass and stretch his back legs out super far for tummy tickles in the sunshine. You would swear nothing was wrong, except he won't sit straight and he pops. I am so scared he is in pain and just is not showing it.

I have some decisions to make and wanted to post his xrays from today to see what people think. Last shot was the best I am just posting all 3 from the session. I will go the surgical route if it will give him the best life. I am going to see an ortho vet as soon as I can for a consultation.

Thanks for your time.
 

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HD is not really the tragedy it once was. Between diagnostic, treatment and nutrition advances it is easily managed and treated in all but the most severe cases.
I am no expert but those hips don't look terrible to me, although I'm sure I'm wrong.
He is still young and growing so heavy focus on low impact/low stress exercises and good nutrition will be beneficial. Keep him at a healthy weight and keep those muscles strong. Also start learning about things like acupuncture and acupressure. A good ortho vet is a wise choice and you will have much more info from them and can make an informed decision.
Sabs had pretty severe HD in both hips and it took DM to stop her at nearly 13. It really never bother her at all.
 

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Remember to treat the dog, not the xray. Most of the dogs I've owned have had some level of HD. Some needed more intervention than others, but they all have had good lives. I'm at a point where I just shrug and roll with it -- we can manage it!


I'll take an HD diagnosis over bad elbows, spinal stenosis, auto-immune, heart deformity, and lots of other badness that's out there. I can give them a good life with bad hips, but those other things sometimes aren't fixable. So in the range of bad news one can get, hips really aren't up very high for me. It might be different if I did dog sports or competed in agility -- but for being active family dogs, it doesn't have to take away from the dog's quality of life.



Your dog is in good hands, and it's very likely going to be just fine!
 

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I am far from an expert, but that sure doesn't look bad at all compared to some of them. Have you looked at the other threads on HD? Some post Xrays that show very little socket. Your pups hips don't look too bad.
 

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I would treat the dog, not the xrays. Keep him strong, swim him as much as you can, give him supplements and save your money for future hip replacements or FHO's.

Here's some advice for everyone....if you suspect a hip issue, or something serious, get insurance. And do NOT get diagnostics done until the waiting period is up. For instance, Healthy Paws has a 1 yr clause. If hte dog is not diagnosed until after 1 year from the effective date, they will cover the cost.
 

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Here's some advice for everyone....if you suspect a hip issue, or something serious, get insurance. And do NOT get diagnostics done until the waiting period is up. For instance, Healthy Paws has a 1 yr clause. If hte dog is not diagnosed until after 1 year from the effective date, they will cover the cost.
This is very important...... Same policy with Nationwide.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would treat the dog, not the xrays. Keep him strong, swim him as much as you can, give him supplements and save your money for future hip replacements or FHO's.

Here's some advice for everyone....if you suspect a hip issue, or something serious, get insurance. And do NOT get diagnostics done until the waiting period is up. For instance, Healthy Paws has a 1 yr clause. If hte dog is not diagnosed until after 1 year from the effective date, they will cover the cost.
thanks for the advice sounds solid.

I was an absolute loser with the pet insurance. I planned to get it from the start but was procrastinating. Then I was at the vet just getting a vaccine shot and I randomly asked the vet a question about his clicking hip. That turned into a quick hip exam and all down hill from there. One question cost me thousands. I should have just waited :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am far from an expert, but that sure doesn't look bad at all compared to some of them. Have you looked at the other threads on HD? Some post Xrays that show very little socket. Your pups hips don't look too bad.
This is reassuring! Lets hope the ortho vet thinks the same! I go next week.

I need ot go back and compare Hakus xrays to the threads I have read since I got them done.
 

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I agree with treat the dog not the X-ray. But hopefully it will be with the agreement with your ortho. the only other advice that I can offer is if that is what you decide, perhaps every few yrs have an X-ray done by your specialist so you can keep track of any changes.

Moonshayde I'm in the same boat, no ins for him. I too was really dumb. Also my guy was diagnosed when he was two. At that time the X-rays were nothing like what I just posted and had he not become symptomatic, I would have just let him be. But given his symptoms and what shows on the X-ray, I'm glad the symptoms came now instead of later as he is healthy and I believe at a good age for THR. So please don't let his X-rays scare you. Every dog is different as is every case of HD be it canine or human.


I just wanted to wish you well and offer support as you work through this.
 

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I agree with treat the dog not the X-ray. But hopefully it will be with the agreement with your ortho. the only other advice that I can offer is if that is what you decide, perhaps every few yrs have an X-ray done by your specialist so you can keep track of any changes.

Moonshayde I'm in the same boat, no ins for him. I too was really dumb. Also my guy was diagnosed when he was two. At that time the X-rays were nothing like what I just posted and had he not become symptomatic, I would have just let him be. But given his symptoms and what shows on the X-ray, I'm glad the symptoms came now instead of later as he is healthy and I believe at a good age for THR. So please don't let his X-rays scare you. Every dog is different as is every case of HD be it canine or human.


I just wanted to wish you well and offer support as you work through this.
Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes this has been a really difficult adoption all round. only 3 months in. Struggling with the normal 8 month energy and antics. I am single and live alone. And now some big decisions to make. He is lucky he is so darn adorable and literally like the sweetest dog on the planet.

I just came back from the Ortho specialist and he recommended a full hip replacement. I was surprised. Especially since he is only 8 months old. He says we should wait until he is at least 10 months old. He feels Haku is not a good candidate for the TPO surgery since his hip is SO loose, popping in and out with nothing at all, but did say we could do more tests to check and pursue that avenue if I like.

He said if it was his dog he would do the Hip Replacement hands down. Sounds like they do MANY of these surgeries on all types of dogs and the recovery is easier than a TPO. This I also found surprising.

It is pricey at $6500 about. We would only do the right hip and watch the other but he says the other hip looks like it might be fine and feels fine for now.

I can hear Haku's hip pop louder and louder each day. I get a bit nervous doing our obedience sessions because when we do swaps from down to stand etc it pops! Doctor was amazed Haku is walking/ running around acting normal. So tough when my eyeballs show me a dog totally willing to run/jump/play. But I am also the kind of person who will panic to do anything with him and be scared to make it worse and will heavily regret not doing a surgery when he has the best chance of recovery being so young. But to take such a happy little thing and put him through that? Agh. It is going to be a long next few days :O
 

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I know the doubts that creep in so well, the what ifs. The best we as their guardians can do is gather as much credible info, pros and cons for all options then find the best ortho we can and allow our gut and our brain and our hearts freedom.

I'm not sure how much info you found on this forum concerning personal experience with THR, but I searched this site again last week and found several old but good threads of personal experiences that I can link here if you want.

I had to give up his NW six weeks class sessions so I could get him pool swim sessions for low impact exercise. That was hard as we've been doing NW every week since 2016 But his first pool session was today and what a hoot!

Let me know if you want the links.
 

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I know the doubts that creep in so well, the what ifs. The best we as their guardians can do is gather as much credible info, pros and cons for all options then find the best ortho we can and allow our gut and our brain and our hearts freedom.

I'm not sure how much info you found on this forum concerning personal experience with THR, but I searched this site again last week and found several old but good threads of personal experiences that I can link here if you want.

I had to give up his NW six weeks class sessions so I could get him pool swim sessions for low impact exercise. That was hard as we've been doing NW every week since 2016 But his first pool session was today and what a hoot!

Let me know if you want the links.
Links would be awesome if you have time! Otherwise I will run a search no problem. To be honest I followed more of the TPO threads due to his age so am going to checkout how the THR recovery etc went on other peoples threads.

I start an 8 week obedience class tomorrow :O Hopefully I can fit it in if I do decide to do THR. Sucks you had to stop the NW classes :( I am also on the lookout for swimming places regardless. Glad you had a good time haha. Got to keep laughing! If you keep your thread updated I would love to follow for sure! I feel so unprepared for this...
 

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Five links.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/167386-canine-total-hip-replacement.html#post2257657

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/153215-hip-disp-surgery-10-yr-old-dog.html#post2054254


https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/140780-after-total-hip-replacement.html#post1883785

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/583690-hip-replacement-failure.html#post7214914

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/99467-hip-surgery-cost.html#post1350795

These are what I found and saved and I think it gives a really good balance of experiences pros cons etc. I do have personal experience of a failed hip willing to share but Im human. Keep in mind the age of the threads. There has been a lot of advances with all options since then.

Also I will be updating his thread tonight or tomorrow as I did get a couple pool shots. The NW classes aren't given up completely as I can take a class intermittently as funds allow (hopefully). But can still practice on our own so there is that. :)
 

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Five links.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/167386-canine-total-hip-replacement.html#post2257657

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/153215-hip-disp-surgery-10-yr-old-dog.html#post2054254


https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/140780-after-total-hip-replacement.html#post1883785

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/583690-hip-replacement-failure.html#post7214914

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/99467-hip-surgery-cost.html#post1350795

These are what I found and saved and I think it gives a really good balance of experiences pros cons etc. I do have personal experience of a failed hip willing to share but Im human. Keep in mind the age of the threads. There has been a lot of advances with all options since then.

Also I will be updating his thread tonight or tomorrow as I did get a couple pool shots. The NW classes aren't given up completely as I can take a class intermittently as funds allow (hopefully). But can still practice on our own so there is that. :)
Thanks so much! I am not sure if I feel better or worse after reading but it is exactly what I was looking for. Best of luck to you. You will be in my prayers.
 

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Just when I had pretty much committed to going ahead with the THR my ortho surgeon suggested, I emailed a set of questions to him one last time and now I am unsure again.

Am I totally crazy to think of doing a THR on a puppy that is showing no current signs of pain and lameness just because I want the highest success rate?

Has anyone done a similar surgery like the TPO on a young dog that actually showed no lameness or pain yet? Do you regret it?

I know a lot of people will recommend a wait and see approach but I would kick myself if he hurt himself bad or he heals slower because I waited. It is not just the XRays otherwise I would just wait. But his hip is absolutely popping/ sliding audibly when he sits and walks. I asked the surgeon why he recommended a THR for my puppy and this was his response:

"I recommended due to the laxity noted and signs likely to get worse, however if he is doing well and no lameness is noted, we may be able to do conservative therapy (good exercise, glucosamine) and be able to prevent surgery. Surgery is just much easier when they are young but if no pain or lameness is noted it may be a difficult choice to do surgery."

Not the confident answer I was hoping for even though he is absolutely right. Everything for the surgery is in my favor right now. I have up to 2 weeks vacation to take with no current plans. Summer will be ending right around when I would want to have it done. My job is stable, accommodating and pretty consistent (as well as dog friendly, I can actually bring him in some times) I rent a 3 bedroom house all by myself and am close to family who can help out. No other current obligations besides my dog and work.

If I can afford it (I can) I don't want to just "manage" any upcoming difficulties he may have. I feel like just doing what is best and it's done and we can move on no stress. But I wish I knew 100% how bad his hip will get. What if it's perfectly fine? He is a very active dog. Young but I am not sure he will slow down too much. My plans were hiking, paddle-boarding (skijoring...lol maybe. Winter so long here) and I wanted to do agility which I scratched due to HD. He is a pet and I just want to have a fun active buddy.

This is so hard. I wish I could ask him what he wants to do :(
 

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well, there is no easy answer, I don't think. For me, with two small kids, (and thus lots of expenses), financing the sx would give me pause unless the dog was in a lot of pain or was experiencing something life threatening. I would probably treat conservatively until surgery was obviously necessary. If you can afford it, however, and your life is stable, then go ahead and do it. At least, you will know you have tried everything. It might be worth it for your own peace of mind. I'm no expert on the topic, and none of my dogs have had HD (to the best of my knowledge, not all have been x-rayed). I'm sure others wiser than me will chime in.
 

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Train sit/stands, down/stands. You're going to have to do that either way. Walk, not hop, up steep hills and stairs. Your pup will have to be crated for a while after surgery which can be tough on its developing psychology. Personally I'd hold off until the pup shows obvious discomfort, lameness or is at least a year old. Until your pup presents with pain, lameness, it is elective. Your vet gave you a good answer, it's your decision.
 
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