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Hi,I wasn't sure where to post this under.I need advice on my dog.She is not my shepherd but my oldest dog.She is 8 and we took her to the vet today because she was having leg problems.I found out she has severe hip dysplasia and athritis.THey said there is no point in surgery because of her age and health.They put her on pain meds,but said it will only get worse.I got her at 8 mths,and the lady kept her in a cage all day and never let her run.I don't know what to do she has some spirit but can't get up most of the time.I am so confused and upset.I don't know what to do,I don't want her to suffer and get worst and I don't want to lose my dog.Has anyone ever been through something similiar?Please help.I feel helpless
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your dog. Hopefully the pain meds will help a bit.

What are you feeding? What kinds of supplements are you giving? Sometimes these changes can make a huge difference. My first dog was diagnosed with severe HD at about a year old and she lived to be almost 12. I was very careful about her diet and gave her lots of supplements too. I've got a young guy now with HD and ED and he is doing great on supplements and high quality food and lots of walks.
 

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I'm pretty lost right now.Never thought this would happen.I don't have her on any supplements right now,just found out a couple of hours ago.She is overweight,they are testing her for hyperthyrodism because she can't loose any weight.Any advice on supplements?How did your dog do at age 12 with HD? WHat do you feed your dog?sorry for all the questions.
 

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Take a deep breath. There are lots of great things you can do for your dog to make her more comfortable.

I would recommend a grain and potato free food. Those are best for dogs with arthritis. I feed Orijen but there are lots of good ones out there now. I actually feed my 13 yo Orijen senior.

For supplements I use Springtime Inc's Longevity, Ester C and salmon oil. Those are specifically for the arthritis issues.

How much exercise does she get? The weight is really hard on their joints. I try to keep my dogs very, very lean. Does she like to swim? That is great exercise. Walking in the water is also really good.

By 12 my dog had so many health problems that the HD was the least of them. She also had a hip replacement when she was 5.
 

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8 years old is not too old for a surgery. There are a couple of different types. There is one that cuts the tendons and releases the pressure of the hips being jammed into the socket which causes the pain. The surgery is not as difficult in that you are not replacing the hip, I think that the dog's recover well from it and it improves their quality of life.

I would find another vet and get a second opinion.

Know to that some vets will take you to the cleaners.

I am not a vet, and cannot state whether or not this procedure would help your dog or not, but it is worth asking about from a vet that is not going to say, "your dog is old, there is no point."

If you choose not to do a surgery, then you are facing end of life. You cannot let her suffer indefinitely. Supplements probably should have been used long before now. But they can give some relief, as will pain killers.

Hoping for good things for you and your girl.

I would get a second opinion, and then a third. I would ask good questions about the different types of hip surgeries. Good luck.
 

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My problem with exercise is that she won't walk because her leg hurts and she won't loose weight unless she exercises.They said there might be torn ligaments too.I feel like a horrible owner but I had no clue she had it.If she looses the weight how fast will her leg get worse?The doctor didn't really say any advice,said she was uncomfortable.I want to go get some advice from another vet but don't have the money.Sorry if i'm rambling on I'm pretty stressed and would like the honest truth on what's best for her.The vet didn't say much.
 

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I'm not a vet and I haven't seen your dog. But it sounds like she's got quite a few things going on. If you can find an orthopedic specialist then they can get x-rays and do an eval and give you a better idea of what you are dealing with. They will probably prescribe physical therapy.

What about swimming? That would be really great low impact exercise. If you feed a higher quality food and substitute canned food you may be able to get some weight off of her.

In the meantime, I would get some supplements going right away because they will help but they take some time to kick in.
 

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He said that she wouldn't make it through surgery because her age and she is overweight.I feel like I'm letting her down but I don't have money for surgery(he said 4,000)I've already took out loans etc.I just feel drained and shes the perfect dog and the sweetest you'll ever meet.I just wish this wasn't happening.
 

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is there anywhere you can take her swimming for exercise? it can be great for a dog with joint issues and help her drop some weight.
 

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Originally Posted By: THe said that she wouldn't make it through surgery because her age and she is overweight.I feel like I'm letting her down but I don't have money for surgery(he said 4,000)I've already took out loans etc.I just feel drained and shes the perfect dog and the sweetest you'll ever meet.I just wish this wasn't happening.
I understand. But there are lots of things you can do besides surgery and none of them are that expensive. Please read my above suggestions. Start doing some research and work on coming up with a plan of action!
 

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Hello and sorry to hear your dog is having problems. I would ask your vet about Cosequin. It is a supplement and might help her to get moving again. Here is a link on it http://www.nutramaxlabs.com/products/animal/cosequin/cosequin_dog_FAQ.asp Some pain meds can also make a dog feel worse so keep an eye on that and if she seems to feel worse on the current pain meds, switch to something else that your vet recommends. Only walk her on "earth" not cement. Beach sand is wonderful as is swimming. If she is really having difficulty right now, you might sling a towel underneath her to help her up to go out and potty. Very gentle massage therapy can help, as well as VERY gentle stretches. You can carefully massage her neck, spine, hips and legs. Adequan shots are another option you can ask your vet about. My dogs also love Orijen dog food which is grain free and may be of benefit to go grain free? Gradually though. Good luck, you've gotten some good advice.

Joanna
 

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Cut your dog's intake of calories right away. Give her some aspirin to help her get up and then get her out and get her going. Swiming is good, but even a short walk is better than letting her go.

The weight is a big deal. How much overweight is your dog? For an eight year old dog to be not likely to make it through a surgery, I am a little baffled. That I cannot afford a surgery that cost $4000, I can understand completely. I do not disbelieve what you are saying, but I am not convinced that your vet is considering all of the options for this dog. But then I do not have any info on the dog, if she is significantly overweight, maybe it is not only dangerous to do the surgery, but a total waste as the root cause will not be alleviated. Maybe if you could slim down the dog a bit, she will be more healthy and better able to manage a surgery.

Then I think that maybe you should look at a vet who will give you a set of options and why or why not each is or is not appropriate for your dog's condition. And maybe make up a health plan for your dog.
 

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If I could add to Sue's post, when giving aspirin, use Enteric Aspirin as that is coated to help protect the stomach. It comes in arthritis strength as well.

Joanna
 

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i use something called Dancing Paw Joint Recovery for my 11 year old lab/shep mix. it has glucosimine/chondroitin and shark cartiledge in it. also, i'm hearing good things about the ester c and dysplasia.
 

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I didn't see it asked and didn't see you post it but what are you feeding her, how much and how often?

I agree that if she's overweight and inactive she needs to be cut down on the calories. That will help some as will supplements.

A little bit of light massage to keep the blood flowing through the muscles while she's losing the weight and unable to "exercise" might help as well. LIGHTLY.

Ten thousand seconds to the suggestion about swimming at either a vet or a hydro-therapy pool with a licensed canine physical therapist. The bouyancy will allow her to exercise more without stressing joints. Start very, very slow. You might have to carry her in and out at first but between a decrease in calories and the swimming I doubt it would be long before she walks in and out under her own steam.

I don't know what breed or how heavy she is but if it's not an exceptionally heavy weight I'd be looking at a second opinion too.
 

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I agree that losing weight is extremely important if she's so heavy that it would affect her chances of surviving a surgical procedure. Swimming is an excellent, low impact exercise so I second that suggestion too.

The Hooligans take Dasuquin MSM for large breed dogs and Cetyl-M for their joints. My oldest takes Tramadol and Metacam for her arthritis pain.

GOOD LUCK!!
 

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What's the name of the pain meds?
I certainly would not give Aspirin if she's on other pain meds- this can kill her.

The most effecient (and affordable) treatment would be to put her on a Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplement (start with higher doses like 1500mg daily and reduce after 2-3 weeks to 1000mg) and provide daily fish oil (capsules at 1000-15000mg) as anti-inflammatory.

Next would be to cut carbs from her diet (those increase inflammation) and get her on a diet with high quality protein. There are lots of high quality kibbles like Natural Balance, Natures Variety, Canidae, etc.

Provide leash walks- like 2 short walks a day to build up her muscles and increase her metabolism so she'll loose weight faster.
As previously suggested, it would be great, if there's a lake or river where you can take her swimming. Swimming is the best exercise for this type of situation.
Good luck!
 

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I agree, Aspirin plus pain meds is not a good idea. I think it was suggested meant to be as an alternative to pain meds if they weren't giving the dog any relief. I only suggested if going that route, to use an Enteric aspirin but should have added not to do both at the same time. I've heard good things about Metacam.

Joanna
 

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Enteric aspirin breaks down in the GI tract instead of the stomach. It's better for the stomach but can do damage to the intestines. Stick with the pain meds.

What pain medicines, specificially, were prescribed, by the way?

What food do you feed? The reasons the others keep asking this is that food alone could make a big difference.

You are consulting with your regular vet, yes? I think it might be a good idea to ask for a referral to an orthopedic specialist. There might be something that can be done that your regular vet isn't aware of. Or, it's possible that the diagnosis isn't even correct, or that there is HD, but there's more going on that CAN be resolved more easily. Such a severe diagnosis with such serious symptoms always requires a second opinion, in my opinion, and there is no sense in going to another "general" vet for a second opinion.

Here's a webpage to get you started:

http://www.acvs.org/?c=owners

On this page, you can find an orthopedic specialist: http://www.acvs.org/VeterinaryProfessionals/FindaSurgeon/

fill out the information and click, for specialty, small animal ortho. Just because the vet is a "surgeon," doesn't mean that you're looking at surgery necessarily. But you'll need someone who can *reasonably* evaluate surgery and all other options for you and your girl. BTW, surgery might cost $4K, but it might not. There might be different procedures that costs less. The surgeon might be willing to arrange a payment plan. The thing is, we don't know until we speak to the person who's going to do the work. I wouldn't have a general vet do this sort of procedure anyhow. It will be worth it -- and you'll likely feel better -- to speak to someone well versed in exactly this sort of situation.

In the meantime, Maedchen and BowWowMeow make excellent recommendations regarding supplements and food.
 
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