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Discussion Starter #21
I will make an appointment with my regular vet to discuss the possibilities.

The ortho just recommended the THR as something to consider before it gets worse.

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my first GSD was diagnosed with severe HD at 3yrs old. i rescued her as an athletic and lean, active teenager (10 months). she never showed any lameness or pain, i simply got her hips x rayed at the prompting of other GSD owners.

at the time of diagnosis, arthritis and bone spurs had set in so badly that Gia was no longer a candidate for surgery, my only option was pain management once the pain set in...which it did around 6, despite supplements, low impact exercises and weight management.

she lead a happy and relatively active life until 13.... but she in no way reached the potential that she could have. had i discovered her condition sooner, when surgery was an option - i have no doubt that i would have.
 

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The point is she is not in any pain, had I not had her xrayed, I would never has suspected she had HD or arthritis.

I won't do a THR unless it is absolutely necessary.

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I just want to let you know that when I had Sabs spayed at 3.5 years old I also had x-rays done. My vet was devastated to have to tell me that her hips were terrible. An Ortho vet agreed that surgery was my only option. Both hips. At that time she had been working since age two, every day, up and down stairs, in and out of the truck, on pavement and concrete all night, almost every night. She continued to work full time until age 9 and another year and a half doing a few nights a week. She was never lame and for all the dire predictions, apparently no one ever gave her the memo.
When I thought her hips were bothering her at nearly 11 because she kept falling, I of course had them re x-rayed. Her hips were fine, the diagnosis was DM.
Of course I was careful, I monitored her activity, I obviously stopped the jumping in and out of the truck, I sent her for a few rounds of acupuncture. She swam as often as I could make it happen.

You know your dog. You put hands on her everyday. Listen to what she and your gut tell you and take advice from the vets only second to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I just want to let you know that when I had Sabs spayed at 3.5 years old I also had x-rays done. My vet was devastated to have to tell me that her hips were terrible. An Ortho vet agreed that surgery was my only option. Both hips. At that time she had been working since age two, every day, up and down stairs, in and out of the truck, on pavement and concrete all night, almost every night. She continued to work full time until age 9 and another year and a half doing a few nights a week. She was never lame and for all the dire predictions, apparently no one ever gave her the memo.

When I thought her hips were bothering her at nearly 11 because she kept falling, I of course had them re x-rayed. Her hips were fine, the diagnosis was DM.

Of course I was careful, I monitored her activity, I obviously stopped the jumping in and out of the truck, I sent her for a few rounds of acupuncture. She swam as often as I could make it happen.



You know your dog. You put hands on her everyday. Listen to what she and your gut tell you and take advice from the vets only second to that.
I will take each day as it comes, she will let me know when it becomes too much for her. Now that I know she has HD, I can try and make her as comfortable as possible.



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I have seen much worse hips on dogs doing sport, on dogs living to 14 being managed moderately well for weight and exercise....I agree they are dysplastic but surgery???? I would sit on that for a while and no matter how good the vet is, think about it and research alternative management .....they are bad yes - but surgery?????? ask for some comparasions that are dogs who got surgery....go to another vet and ask about alternative treatment and management....


sorry - pups are always a crapshoot....a nice dog wiht bad hips can live a long happy life....a nervy or nasty dog with good hips is far worse in my mind


Lee
 

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Having had a dog with xrays similar to yours, I'm going to offer a perspective different than the "wait and see" approach. My surgeon whom I knew and trusted before I ever got my puppy (August 2009) suggested we replace the left, the worst of the two hips, as soon as it seemed the his growth plates were closed. He said if we did so, it was likely that the dog could live well with the right, the "less bad" hip the rest of his life.

Waiting until there is pain means waiting until there is substantial deterioration. If you have a stoic dog, you may not see pain until there are a LOT of degenerative changes, not just to the hip, but the spine, and the shoulders and elbows. Dogs with bad hips throw their weight forward and their front ends do a lot of the work.

I did the total hip replacement surgery in November of 2011. We did formal rehab for several months following that. After that, we put in a $500 above ground pool (with another $700 for a landing so he could get in and out easily). He swam almost daily March - October until this year.

The last couple of years, he required a pain management regimen that utilized lower doses of 5-6 drugs that approach pain in different ways. This was due to the right hip, not the hip we replaced. In hindsight, knowing what I know now, I think I would have replaced both, the one in 2011 and one in about 2013.

But with that replacement, he lived an active happy life, reaching almost 10 years before hemangiosarcoma took him.

If you can swing the cost, especially if you have insurance, I strongly suggest consulting another surgeon. Mostly, please know that waiting does have risks. Inevitable degenerative changes can't be undone.

Good luck to you. I know the feeling when you see the xrays. It's a punch in the gut. It's devastating, but we have options we didn't have even 20 years ago, and they're good options.


4K9Mom
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Discussion Starter #27
I have seen much worse hips on dogs doing sport, on dogs living to 14 being managed moderately well for weight and exercise....I agree they are dysplastic but surgery???? I would sit on that for a while and no matter how good the vet is, think about it and research alternative management .....they are bad yes - but surgery?????? ask for some comparasions that are dogs who got surgery....go to another vet and ask about alternative treatment and management....





sorry - pups are always a crapshoot....a nice dog wiht bad hips can live a long happy life....a nervy or nasty dog with good hips is far worse in my mind





Lee
Yes, surgery is out of the question, she still goes about like a spritful puppy.

I'll keep doing what I have been doing and let her body decide, as long as I don't get her to do anything that is going to worsen her condition.

I've spoken to her trainer and he told me his mother's dog had a hip replacement and the dog was forever breaking the bone, turns out the hip replacement weakend the bone that it was bored into.



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I'm very confused at the moment.

I have just come back from having my bitche's hips and elbows X rayed by one of the top orthopaedic veterinary surgeon in the country.

I waited until the x rays were taken and he called me to his office with some bad news. He told me that my bitch has severe hip dysplasia and arthritis. He said that she is managing due to the fact that she does not carry a lot of weight but it will get worse as time goes by.

He has suggested a total hip replacement of both hips but said her arthritis will not go away.

She is only 18mths and is leash walked on natural ground. She sleeps in the house at night in her crate with a memory foam mattress as her bed. During the day she is outside in her compound which has rubber horse matting as a floor and she has a raised bed in there to sleep on if need be.

She has never shown any signs of distress with her hips and has been doing extremely well in her personal protection classes and obedience classes.

I've contacted her breeder to make her aware of the situation.

Where do I go from here??

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That is scary.
My 2.5 yr bitch was adopted 1.5 yrs ago. I do supplements, a daily jog 3-6 miles and lots of fetch exercises plus training.

No signs of distress, but I am afraid to get those X-rays.
A friend experienced a similar problem as you have described and his solution was to purchase another young pup to grow up together in anticipation of not having his primary bitch around.

So sorry to hear of your discovery.
 
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