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Hi,

I have a german shepard, 7 months old. He has bad hip dysplasia and he finds it very hard to get up and run. He is an indoor dog, but I do make sure he gets walked everyday until he has had enough.

Every time he is in pain (he yelps when it’s hurting too much) I massage his back legs and rub his back. I do this even without him asking as it puts him to sleep within 5 seconds. He sleeps in the house and I get up every 2 – 3 hours to check on him and rub his legs. The vet said his hips are really bad. I also work from home so I get to look after him and keep an eye on him the whole time which is great.

He is on Camprieve, Sasha’s Blend, Glucosamine + Chondroitin, multi vitamin and small amounts of Tumeric (helps with inflammation) and homeopathic remedies. He has only been on the meds for 1 month. He has a raw diet, raw meat, with cooked rice and soaked pellets with my other dogs.

The medication is helping a bit and the supplements apparently take 3 months to kick it.

Does anyone have any experience with this level of HD and when to start expecting results? How long is enough suffering for a dog?

I never thought that this condition could be so heart wrenching and emotional as I want my dog to be happy and pain free.

Any feedback, experiences shared and advice would be greatly appreciated. I have 4 german shepards (from one litter ) and he is the only one with this problem.
 

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I would seriously consider putting him down. He is not living a quality life going through all of this. I would talk to my vet to determine the degree of the severity, but if it is severe or worse and he is in this much pain now...its not fair to the dog. Ask your vet if it is reasonable to expect him to live a pain free life. If he was 7 years, that's one thing, but to go through an entire life with this pain, is not being done for the dog.
 

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Thank you for your reply, I have to agree with you, I think I will book a vets app on Monday and get a second opinion. My vet did say to give him a chance. She refused to put him down when I asked her if that is the best option for Gabe. She said to wait and see. We only have one vet on the Island so I can't get a second opinion. But you are right, its not fair to the dog and will discuss again with the vet - Thank you.
 

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Have you looked into FHO that may be something to consider instead of his suffering on.... If your vet can do the procedure?
 

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Is surgery an option? If so, what is the prognosis post surgery?

If he is in constant pain, and surgery for the HD is not an option for him, I would let him go like Cliff said.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I live on a small Island and the vet can not do the operation. Flying him to Australia for the op will be very hard. Customs will make it impossible for Gabe, I have considered this. Gabe seems to be in pain when he has been laying down for too long. But yesterday he bolted out of the house, ran around the house and covered our 2 acre property as if nothing was wrong. He has his moments, but I can't tell if he is always in pain.

I Once tried to get a tick of off his paw and he yelped, it made me wonder whether his pain thresh hold is quite low and that is why he might be so vocal. When the vet normally takes blood from him he yelps as if though he is being abused. So it does make me wonder in how much pain he really is? Its hard to tell.

What is a FHO btw?
 

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Supplements should take 3 WEEKS, not 3 months to kick in. The trick is getting the right combo going with the right exercise combo.

Can you get acupuncture where you live or laser therapy?

My dog Massie had severe bilateral HD at under a year. She lived to be just under 12 years old. I did replace one hip (only) when she was 5 years old.

Here's what I would do:

Walk him 3 times a day. Gradually increase the distance. Swim him every day (if possible).

Triple dose of a really good joint supplement (I use Springtime Inc. stuff, others use others with good results)

Work up to 2500mg/day of powdered C. I use Ester C but I think that's a problem for puppies.

Add something like hyaluronic acid or another joint supplement with different ingredients. I found that combining two really helped.

Fish oil capsules.

At night I give the supplement called "Get Up and Go" by Only Natural Pet. It makes a huge difference.

ARe you using the homeopathic remedy Zeel or Traumeel? Or Arnica or what? Those work instantly, no building up in the body.

What are you feeding?
 

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I'm with others that say putting him to sleep may be a reasonable option if the vet doesn't think he can live a pain free life. It's going to get worse - not better.

However, you should ask about other drugs that may help. Our 11 year old Golden Retriever developed arthritis that became somewhat incapacitating until we put her on a COX-2 inhibitor called Rimadyl (Carprofen) that's also indicated for HD according to the literature. This a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that made all the difference in the world. It made the difference between her being able to get up and down the stairs or being too sore to move. It definitely made the last 2 years of her life manageable. We ordered it online (though I think we needed a prescription).

FHO = Femoral Hip Ostectomy. It's a last resort surgical procedure. Though it's mostly used in smaller dogs.

Best of luck.
 

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FHO is sucessful for many dogs, GSD's included when hip replacement is too expensive. I wouldn't hesitate to give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi, I feed him raw meat, with cooked rice and soaked pellets, I also give him Omega's, and small amount of Olive oil. I give him 3000mg of Vit C a day. Ok, I will increase his joint supplement and mix like you said that is a good idea,

Haven't heard of
hyaluronic acid, but will google it and get it.

No acupuncture. Gabe would also not tolerate it, he screams like child when the vet injects him or take blood.

I like your advice about Zeel, Traumeel, Arnica and Get up and Go, will google that too and order it. It helps knowing that you have seen results with it, because I felt like I was aiming hopelessly at supplements.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! Much appreciated.
 

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google is a great tool... read up before you consult your vet so you know as much as possible to absorb it all. I hope that option is doable for you and Gabe.
 

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Hi, I feed him raw meat, with cooked rice and soaked pellets, I also give him Omega's, and small amount of Olive oil. I give him 3000mg of Vit C a day. Ok, I will increase his joint supplement and mix like you said that is a good idea,

Haven't heard of
hyaluronic acid, but will google it and get it.

No acupuncture. Gabe would also not tolerate it, he screams like child when the vet injects him or take blood.

I like your advice about Zeel, Traumeel, Arnica and Get up and Go, will google that too and order it. It helps knowing that you have seen results with it, because I felt like I was aiming hopelessly at supplements.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! Much appreciated.
You want Zeel OR Traumeel OR Arnica. :)

Acupuncture is nothing like getting a shot. The needles are small and light and (usually) painless. There is also laser therapy.

But definitely look into the FHO.

I have another supplement to recommend but I can't think of it right now...I will post it when it pops into my head!
 

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I would not recommend putting this dog to sleep! This dog is only 7 months old and this is a FIXABLE problem. If you cannot afford to get him the treatment he needs then find a rescue that will take him!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thank you I would appreciate it if you could let me know what the other supplement is. I tried to order the products that you mentioned, but its almost impossible to get the stuff shipped here. I will have to deliver it in Australia to a friend and then she can ship it to me, I am slowly but surely working my way around this. I also contacted a vet to see if he is willing to fly over to Vanuatu to do the FHO. The vet here does not have that experience. Will find out about the Acupuncture. Thank you :)
 

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Thank you Vicky, at the moment I am doing everything I can with the little resources I have here on the Island. My gut is telling me to keep trying with Gabe, I feel that I will get him through this. I will change my supplements as I think the ones that I am using is not working. At the moment, money is not the problem, its the limited resources but I am working my way around it.
 

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I would not recommend putting this dog to sleep! This dog is only 7 months old and this is a FIXABLE problem. If you cannot afford to get him the treatment he needs then find a rescue that will take him!
It sounds like the OP lives on a remote island where these surgeries are not done. Who knows if they have a GSD rescue let alone one that would take over the cost of the surgery (flying the dog to another country) and post-op care? I'm not saying the dog should be put down right away or isn't worth it, but it sounds to me like the OP is doing the best she can with the resources available.
 

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For the turmeric, does he get the pills. I have learned that turmeric contains a number of NATURAL cox-2 inhibitors (same stuff as in NSAIDS) but the spice is very low and the capsules have much more. A teammate of mine gives her dog 1000mg a day of the capsules. Also A good omega-3 fish oil is very helpful for inflammation. Do you have copies of the x-rays?

Does he get ENOUGH calcium in the diet? I know we normally worry about them getting too much but is he getting bones with the raw meat?

I do agree with the others--if he is suffering it is not a life worth living. It is a shame you cannot work out the FHO surgery where you are as it may be what would do the job for him. South Pacific Islands? Sounds like an excellent vacation opportunity for a vet from the states.........come over, do a surgery, spend a few weeks in paradise.
 

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Cheaper to fly in one vet, than fly out & back with a dog in a crate! Good idea Nancy!!! And maybe that vet can teach the island vet the procedure for the next hip.....
 
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