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22 November 2010

Hip dysplasia, anyone? [More:] So our Winston got neutered today. While he was at the vet, my wife asked them to look at his hips, as they sometimes seem to bother him.

The diagnosis is that he has pronounced hip dysplasia. Have any of you out there dealt with a pet that had this? Any tips of what to do? What to expect?

We will be taking him to a veterinary expert on hip dysplasia, but just wondering what we are in for.
What to expect will depend on whether the condition is mild or worse. A lifetime of pain and inflammation meds is the probable minimum.
posted by Ardiril 22 November | 11:47
Oh, I wouldn't say that's the minimum. Bubbers (a beagle) was pretty much fine as-is until we put him to sleep for an unrelated ailment at age 11ish.
posted by Madamina 22 November | 12:38

I hope that diet, exercise and meds help the poor boy out.

He moves around okay most days, but if he gets a strain or bumps the hip, he limps around a lot already.
posted by Doohickie 22 November | 16:38
In addition to those things listed above, you may ask your specialist about starting a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement. I've seen several cases where that's helped tremendously with joint pain. It was originally formulated for use in horses, then went to dogs, and now there's a human variety available. It essentially helps the body produce fluid in the joint areas to ease friction. The (main) vet that I work with just recommends picking them up at the local pet store, saying that the "prescription" stuff isn't any better and is just quite a bit more expensive.

We've also had some anecdotal success using laser treatments for joint/back pain in some clients, but this is a pretty new process and I (nor the vets I work with) can say for sure if it's actually doing anything valid or not. I mean, it kind of *seems* to, and some of our clients swear it's made a huge difference, but there haven't really been solid scientific studies on it's effectiveness. (again) Anecdotally, a couple of the vets I work with use it on themselves and say it helps with their arthritic-pain. It's a bit on the expensive side, though.

But the specialist will know a lot better than I will. This is just kind of "stuff I've seen and gleaned" in my time working part-time at an animal hospital. Good luck, I know Winston's in good hands.
posted by ufez 22 November | 17:31
Oh, sorry. One more thing to talk to your specialist about: for sure ask about what's appropriate exercise and what's not and what to look for when it's playtime/walk time/etc. I've seen a lot of people who learn that their dogs have structural issues/pain and wind up becoming too afraid to let them play around, the unintended consequence being the dog winds up putting on weight and adding stress to their joints. Weight management is one of those top things that I've seen be very important for the long-term health of pets, but I think it's especially important for animals with joint issues, so that's something that you may want to keep in mind.
posted by ufez 22 November | 18:02
My friends' dog has some hip issues and they give him a glucosamine tablet every day. They have certainly noticed a difference in his movement. Check with your vet first, but they just give him the human kind - bought in bulk at Sam's Club to keep the cost down.
posted by youngergirl44 22 November | 18:09
They gave us the glucosamine supplement when we picked him up. So he already has thos.

If you go to the Wiki on Canine Hip Dysplasia, the x-rays (for whatever reason) show cat hip dysplasia. If you look at the "Bilateral hip dysplasia in a cat" x-ray, that looks about 50% better than Winston's hips. It's a wonder he can walk.

The vet recommended surgery, with a couple different options, the least expensive coming to about $2500 total for both hips. Not sure where we're gonna find that; maybe they do financing.

While we were at the vet, there was a Great Dane there. Amazing dog. A rather skinny 160 lbs. His head, and normal standing height, was almost up to my chest and I'm 6'-2". Huge.
posted by Doohickie 22 November | 18:52
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