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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Roxie has had somewhat of a problem with her hips for years and its seems to get about 5% worse each year but it is beginning to get pretty bad. The vet has always said that they didn't think it was hip dysplasia but instead more of a nerve problem. While walking she doesn't lower her legs but instead acts like she doesn't have balance. I also noticed that she can sometimes walk great but it's when she is "paying attention". While just walking around in these videos she wasn't really paying attention. She seems to cross her legs while walking and stopping.

It has been like this for about 5-6 years and I've always been told it is what it is and I can't do anything about it. If there is something I can do to make this better/go away I could care less about the price. I just hate seeing her like this.
I don't really think it's DM because most cases progress long before the 5-6 year mark. That and she doesn't drag her rear nails.

She is on : Blue Buffalo Basics (Grain-Free, Turkey and Potato I think)
Consequin DS
Salmon Oil

**Please note, she is on a little diet right now, she gained a little weight as I haven't been able to walk her as much with work being so busy. **

If you click on the YouTube title it will take you to the YouTube page. Select 1080p.

 

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I am no expert but it looks neurological to me...but she also has no range of motion in her hips so there could be some arthritis going on.

I would think that getting a good bit of weight off of her and doing an uphill walking routine to help her build some muscle mass in the back. It is like the rear leg muscles have atrophied terribly.

There are veterinarians who are physical therapy vets and that may be a good option, maybe acupuncture but I would have had her x-rayed years ago to rule out any specific issues instead of guessing. A PT vet did wonders for us by helping me set up a program for a dysplastic dog and assume (once you get a clear diagnosis which you should) they could help you set up a plan going forward that you could do on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are veterinarians who are physical therapy vets and that may be a good option, maybe acupuncture but I would have had her x-rayed years ago to rule out any specific issues instead of guessing. A PT vet did wonders for us by helping me set up a program for a dysplastic dog and assume (once you get a clear diagnosis which you should) they could help you set up a plan going forward that you could do on your own.
Okay, I will get a hold of some vets that could do a better diagnosis. I have been to a few clinics and I always get varying answers about hips and weight. One told me she needed to gain weight and one said loose. I can tell by looking at her that she needs to loose it. It's a work in progress.

As far as the walks go, I try and go in the woods more often than not. Typically the terrain in Michigan is somewhat hilly so she gets some hills to work with. If we go on long hikes she is pretty sore the next day so I take it easy on her and then we go for another walk the following day.

Thanks for the information.
 

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only way to find out is to do that x ray .

I am thinking along the lines of neurologic problem along the lines of wobblers , which although usually identified with Dobermann and Great Dane , German Shepherds can get. Sometimes wobblers syndrome is result of trauma or damage when a dog gets jammed in bite work. You said you had a progression of 5% worse each year . That gradual progression is what you see in wobblers.

Exercise is contraindicated !

 

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Also not an expert, but I agree it definitely appears neurological. But it also looks alot like the early stages of CDRM to me. Cardio Degenerative Radiculo Myelopathy. It could be SO many things. I would start with xrays. DM is VERY common in GSDs..hopefully it's a herniated disc or arthrtitis-something less serious. In any case, I would definitely continue on with her diet and get some weight off of her-that extra weight will only exacerbate the problem..whatever it may be. Keep us posted and let us know what you find out! Best of luck to you..
 

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You can do a $50 DNA swab and rule out (or strongly suggest the presence of) DM
 

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I agree with Nancy, when my male developed spondylosis, he would sway/walk like this:((

I think getting a more firm diagnosis is theway to go...swimming is a great low impact exercise, consider acupuncture/laser as well..The laser worked great for mine:)
 

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Dakota has been very unstable like this for years. He was diagnosed with HD YEARS ago, but I cant say for sure that is the problem. We give him triple strength glucosamine and chondroitan and it helps. He is still unstable, but he is able to get around.
 

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Step one is to go do some diagnostics. X-ray and DM test is a good start. A routine x-ray (2 view) without sedation averages in my area at $100. A DM swab test at the clinic where I work will run you $65. So right there, with the office visit anywhere between $30-$60, is only a $200 investment. Start there and either confirm or rule out one or both issues.

Step two, keep her trim. Whomever suggested that you encourage her to gain weight has an unusual opinion. The less strain on her joints, regardless of diagnosis, the better. Joint supplements will not hurt in either case as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Step one is to go do some diagnostics. X-ray and DM test is a good start. A routine x-ray (2 view) without sedation averages in my area at $100. A DM swab test at the clinic where I work will run you $65. So right there, with the office visit anywhere between $30-$60, is only a $200 investment. Start there and either confirm or rule out one or both issues.

Step two, keep her trim. Whomever suggested that you encourage her to gain weight has an unusual opinion. The less strain on her joints, regardless of diagnosis, the better. Joint supplements will not hurt in either case as well.
She has been on a more agressive exercise routine for a couple weeks now. I would like to get her muscles stronger in the rear. I will be going to the vet soon for x-rays and the swab test. I am in the process of moving so I don't want to take her to the vet until we are settled in. (She really doesn't like the vet? Regardless of what I do she always decides it's a great place to do a #2).

I am actually going to talk to the veterinarian about a THR if it is in fact hip dysplasia. She has been on joint supplements for over 2 years now and they don't seem to help much. Hopefully the weight loss will help. She gained the weight after switching to Blue Buffalo, obviously I didn't cut her portions down enough after the switch. I cut about 3/4 to 1 cup a day out of her diet. She doesn't seem to really notice.

I'll keep you guys in the loop. Thanks for the feedback. I just want to see her run again. :(
 

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Best wishes for your girl.
 

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Another "problem" of sorts is that we don't know how old Roxie is. We got her as a rescue and they had no idea how old she was. Every vet I talk to says she 8 or 9. The problem is they have been saying 8 or 9 for the past 4 years. Any opinions on age?
 

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Probably not going to be good to put an 8 or 9 year old dog through a total hip replacement. You figure she has got to be at least 7 if you have had her for 5-6 years and she was grown when you got her.

As far as aggressive exercise, I would really let someone diagnose her FIRST.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Probably not going to be good to put an 8 or 9 year old dog through a total hip replacement. You figure she has got to be at least 7 if you have had her for 5-6 years and she was grown when you got her.

As far as aggressive exercise, I would really let someone diagnose her FIRST.
I have an appointment scheduled for her. They are going to do some x-rays and give diagnosis. It's just a standard vet clinic, In fact I used to work there.

I would imagine they would be able to diagnose something like HD fairly easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
**UPDATE**

Hi All, I have some updates for Roxie. I had the DM Test by the OFFA performed and the results came back.....negative!

As well, she did go to the vet and after a few X-Rays and a good look over on Roxie he determined that she has SOME form of nerve damage going on because she is knuckling over when she walks once every 25 steps or so. Also because of the way she crosses her legs slightly when she walks. The X-Ray's indicated that the ball and cup of her hip socket is now making contact. i.e Bone on Bone. He said it may have been like this for a while, it is hard to tell but he said she does need to be on some type of pain medicine to help with that. Although she has never made a peep, she is still feeling it.

She also has arthritis on portions of her spine and around the ball of the hip. I told him I didn't want to put her on Rimadyl due to the side effects and history of the drug. He decided to put her on Tramadol @ 50mg twice per day and then recommended I give her aspirin at a normal dosage (325mg) once per day. He said it should be "coated". He also told me about some of the side effects of Aspiring being stomach issues and thinning of the blood. When he blood test came back everything looked great and he indicated her platelets were high enough I shouldn't have a problem with the aspirin. He does want me to follow up in three weeks for another blood test.

I put Roxie on the Tramadol at half dosage until I see how she reacts. She seems to be doing great on the medication. She is a bit more active throughout the day and more playful. I am scared to put here on the full 100mg right away. The first night on Tramadol was a little nerve wrecking. She was up and down all night.

I will keep you posted with how things are progressing! :crazy:
 

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Ask your vet about prescription Tylenol (with codeine). It's significantly cheaper in the long run and has great success in arthritis patients. I had no idea it was effective for use in dogs, but I went to an excellent presentation about HD via the clinic in which I work.
 

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Hope the meds are helping.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here is updated photo of Roxie, she is still dieting. We just purchased a home so Roxie was watching us move in!

IMG_20130803_154342.jpg
 
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