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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 7 year old (Dasha) has just been diagnosed with mild hip dysplasia in her right hip. She's had a couple of incidences in the last three months of not wanting to sit when it's feeding time, so today I took her to the vet to find out just what was going on. The vet recommended Glucosamine (which she already takes) and Rimadyl (which I'm already giving her) and modified exercise (which I'm already doing). The vet also said I might want to consider Adequan injections. Adequan is quite expensive, so I'm putting that on hold for now though I'm not sure just how long I should wait. The vet did say that it was effective in preventing further degradation of the joint, so I'm wondering if it is a mistake to put it off until things get worse.

The other need I have, is to get ideas for how I can get her an adequate amount of exercise without further injury. I don't have a treadmill nor any place for one or any way to take her swimming, but I do have a large yard and 10 acres of woods. She LOVES to play fetch. She goes after the ball or Kong bone, full speed ahead and I think the twists and turns, jumps and sudden stops are not good for that hip. The daily games of fetch are her major exercise, though we do walk in the woods (limited in the summer because of ticks) and in the winter when we’re gathering firewood she runs along with the 6x6. She gets lots of good exercise then, but that is not a good daily activity. I also have a 3 year old GSD who needs daily exercise too. Natty, the younger dog, will often do zoomie runs on our walks, but Dasha spends most of her time exploring. She’ll sometimes chase after Natty, but her idea of a chase is to bring down the target, not just run!

So if anyone has ideas for how to get her to just run, I’m open to suggestions, other than jogging along with me. At 68, I do a lot of vigorous walking but I’ve never been a runner and not planning to start now.
 

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I believe strongly in starting Adequan as soon as HD is diagnosed -- you're buying her more years of high quality of life by delaying the onset of arthritic degenerative changes inside the joint. If you delay it, you may regret it mightily in a few years, as you won't ever be able to undo that joint degenration. I've seen MANY dogs with terrible hips --- severe HD -- get to old age running and playing with minimal pain because their people started Adequan early, and they were kept on it for years.

I've used it in three personal dogs, over at least 15 years, and also I've used it's generic equivalent in more rescue/foster dogs than I can remember. In about half of dogs, the anti-inflammatory effect is strong enough that they don't need pain meds once the loading dose kicks in. You'll know in about three weeks if it's going to work, and you can discontinue if it doesn't. When it does work, the results are remarkable -- going from barely able to walk to trotting in one case. With my personal dogs, I maintain the injections monthly until the HD progresses in old age, and then we do them ever two weeks.

You can save money by having the vet sell you the vial (or buying with his RX on Valleyvet.com) and doing the injections at home, if he'll show you how to do them. If the price is still out of reach, there's a generic called Ichon (available from Valleyvett.com) that's used off-label as a substitute for Adequan -- our rescue's vet has used a lot of it, and it works.

Glucosamine is just to make you feel like you're doing something. The high-quality studies of it have been pretty disappointing. If you're going to give it, you might as well give Dasuquin Advanced or Phycox Max, which add in lots of other good stuff (and thus creates a better chance of being useful). Both also use patented forms of glucosamine/chondroitin that may be more bio-available (based on very small studies). Further reading: glucosamine | Search Results |
Personally, I think you'll see more help come from other supplements (we have MANY threads here discussing arthritis supplements, so no need to rehash those here).

I've seen great benefit in monthly vet chiropractic adjustments for my arthritic oldsters, but the results seem to depend on who's doing the adjusting (and may not be the same for all dogs). Dogs with HD are often structurally imbalanced because they favor one side, and the chiro can help them with that. Vet chiro has not been extensively studied, as far as I know though. I've seen some mild benefit from vet electro-acupuncture and laser too, if the dog is painful. I'm not as impressed with it in my personal dogs, as I am with chiro or Adequan, but I can see some benefit for a few days -- it seems to help the most when we do it frequently (but that can get very expensive, and I'm on the fence as to whether the benefit is great enough). We also have a rehab vet who prescribes PT exercises -- those are very good. Swimming is outstanding for these dogs.

I'm pretty successful in getting my oldsters to a point where they don't need carprofen/Rimadyl. That's my goal. We'll use it when we must, but I'd rather keep them feeling good enough to not need it, as NSAIDS accelerate the athritic degeneration inside the joint:
 

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magwart- great post with so much good info.

What i've done lately is used Hyaluronic Acid- I buy the 100X Joint Supplement- pure HA- I originally used it on my old creaky horses and it worked so well I tried it on my current dog who gets sore after long hikes
and rough play. It's a clear liquid gel and I give it by mouth in a small syringe. No real taste and my dog
doesn't mind taking it.
I take it myself so I can vouge that it does work for pain and very quickly and lasts all day and sometimes longer. Within 1/2 hour my achey bones no longer hurt and I can go about my farm chores the rest of the day. It's an anti-inflammatory.
It's also much cheaper than adequan and easier to administer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Magwart for the informative post. I did wonder if I could administer the Adequan myself as I found the drug was available for purchase online. I plan to ask my vet about it. I didn't even think that Adequan could possibly replace the Rimadyl (which is also expensive and not without side effects as you well know.) Thanks to your post I'm think that starting the Adequan sooner than later would be better.

About 15 years ago we had a GSD who had been hit by a car at age 2 and suffered at dislocated hip which required surgery. By the time he was older he was showing signs of the pain from arthritis which had been predicted. When Rimadyl no longer eased his pain, we started Adequan but by that time I suspect the arthritis was advanced. The Adequan helped a lot but he continued to take the Rimadyl.

Orphan Heidi, I'll check out the Hyaluronic Acid. It sounds interesting. I'm glad it's working for you and your pups.
 

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Rimadyl is expensive, but generic Carprofen isn't -- you lose the "flavor tab" feature of Rimadyl if you buy the generic med, but if your dog takes meds easily hidden in a treat, it's not worth paying extra for that. I think I last paid $30 for a bottle of 60 last time I needed some for a foster dog. Carprieve Carprofen for Dogs Norbrook Labs - Safe.Pharmacy|Arthritis, Pain Inflammation | Dog Rx | P

The trick with the at-home Adequan injections is they're supposed to be intramuscular (IM). Many owners don't want to do that. There are quite a few folks on this board who've described administering it sub-cutaneously (subQ) instead -- that's off-label, but it seems to work for some folks.
 

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How was this diagnosed? The term tends to encompass a lot of things and they are all slightly different. My Sabi was diagnosed with HD, but in fact her issue was that the sockets were flat. A friends dog had HD and his issue was soft ligaments so the ball kept coming out of the socket. Arthritis is common in older mammals and has nothing to do with HD.
I am a fan of acupuncture and swimming is awesome for any dog but especially for dogs with issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Magwart, years ago when we were giving Rimadyl to Iko, I considered the generic but about that time there were some reports of the carprofen generics not having the full ingredient in it, so we steered away from it. I hope that if that were still the case, that the FDA would have stepped in to remedy the problem, so I should consider that option. Dasha takes other pills in a peanut butter ball with no problems.

Sabis mom, the diagnosis was from an x-ray. Dasha is extremely agile and athletic. She LOVES to play fetch. She's fast and I've seen her do some amazing jumps and twists to snatch the Kong bone out of the air. It's going to be hard trying to slow her down. She hasn't had any limp, but a couple of months ago she was whining/whimpering when she was supposed to sit for her lunch after playing fetch and doing some jumps. The same thing occurred the next day and I finally put two and two together to realize she was hurting and couldn't sit. Rimadyl fixed it for a time, but she's had a couple of other occurrences so I took her in for evaluation. The x-rays showed her knees to be perfect and her left hip was also fine. Her right hip showed a slight misalignment in the angle of the femur in relation to the socket. The vet said it was hip dysplasia, and I asked her if it was considered mild or moderate to which she said, "mild." With all of her athletic prowess I wouldn't have suspected it. My understanding is that dysplasia is the label for the misalignment of the bones in the joint which causes the inflamation and leads to the deterioration of the joint, which is osteoarthritis. So since Dasha just turned 7 and has reach the "senior" age category, it really is no big surprise that it's starting to cause her trouble.
 

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I have had my dog on Adequan for about 3 years now and like Magwart said, she started getting around better on it. I didn’t know why that was, but the anti-inflammatory properties makes sense. So I just wanted to support the idea that Adequan is definitely worth it. I give it to my dog myself subcutaneously (that’s how my vet showed me) and I feel like it’s definitely prolonged my dog’s life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update:
I spoke with my vet today and she was very supportive of letting me do the injections at home. She only had experience with doing them IM and said the dogs didn't seem to mind, so that's what we plan to do. I forgot to ask her for a recommendation for needle size. @Magwart , what size (gauge and length) needle do you use?
 

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My vet supplies the syringes, so I never paid attention to that. I think Valley Vet automatically recommends a size to go with Adequan if you buy from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Another update for anyone else who is following ... I talked with the vet tech today and she agreed that I could use a 22g-25g and 3/4" or 1" needle on the syringe. According to her any of these options will do fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Success! I did my first Adequan injection at home today after the watching the vet tech do it on Wednesday. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and Dasha didn't even flinch!
 
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