Puppy (New Member)
Hip dysplasia in 9 month old GP - How can I help him?
My 9 month old Floof has recently been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and I'm beyond bummed out. I feel so bad. About three weeks ago I started noticing that the movement in his left hind leg was restricted. I thought maybe his foot was asleep since he sleeps in the dumbest positions. It didn't get better so we went to the vet. He was examined and I was told he had hip dysplasia. The extent is so far unknown, but the vet didn't seem too concerned. He didn't show any obvious signs of pain and can get around pretty well all things considered. - they offered to do xrays in about 3 months (his first birthday) - it's the earliest they recommend he get neutered and they will get a better look since he'll be going under anesthesia then anyway and they can get good pictures. I feel very puzzled. I thought I was doing everything right. I made sure he was growing lean, fed a balanced low calcium diet for large breed puppies and gave omega 3s and coconut oil, probiotics,.. I never made him jump or climb more than the 3 steps to get in the house..
So, till the xrays are out, I was given Dasuquin chewables and advised to give omega-3s (something I've already been doing regardless).
I was also told that keeping him moderately active would be a good thing - so we do controlled walks together.
Another thing is keeping him fed (obviously he's still growing) but lean - apparently he's at a very good weight for his size so I'll keep the feeding regimen the same.
Is there anything else I can do for him right now? Anything at all I can do to make his life easier?
I've never had a dog with hip/joint issues and don't really know what to expect. The fact that this happened in his puppyhood makes me worried as to what's to come.. I always thought this was something that affected older dogs.
Will it ever get better, or is this just a case of making sure it doesn't get worse? He is supposed to be a LGD for my chickens, but now I'm not sure I want him outside by himself "working" the night shifts in his condition.
What should I do?
Old Dawg (Senior Member)
I don't know if you have any chiropractors who work on dogs out there, but if you do might I suggest you start taking him to the chiropractor. I have a client whose English Bulldog has hip dysplasia and she takes her to the chiropractor and you can't even tell that dog has hip dysplasia now. I was so impressed with the chiropractor that I take Missy to him now too. He loves Missy and she loves him, he works on both people and dogs so his clients love to watch him adjust Missy. So if you have a chiropractor who works on dogs I strongly suggest talking to them and seeing if they can help your baby out.
Old Dawg (Senior Member)
I'm very sorry to hear that Floof has hip dysplasia. I remember well the diagnosis of my boy hitting me like a ton of bricks... Unfortunately, CHD is considered to be caused by genetics and environmental factors. You can do everything right in raising/feeding him and still end up with a baby that has CHD. Do you know anything about his parents? If you got him from a breeder, did they get the hips/elbows of their breeding dogs checked?
My 3 year old male Kangal was diagnosed with CHD at just under a year. He was purchased as a pup to be a working guardian for our women's monastery. Tyro is a dog that was born to work. It's what he lives for. Rehoming him was not an option in our minds so we made some changes that allow him to work more easily. We brought our perimeter fence in to a much smaller area so he is patroling a smaller space. He is kept quite lean so he is not bearing any excess weight on his joints. This means that during the winter, he wears a coat since he I don't want him being cold at night due to a thinner fat layer. When Tyro turned 2, his pain level dropped drastically. He now moves without evidence of pain although you can tell by watching his gait that he is not normal in the back end. Prior to this, he was in a lot of pain. Often when the growth plates close, it lessens the pain level in pups with CHD. Part of your decision may come down to what your predator load is like. We generally do not have large predators and although we do have coyote packs, he always works with one or both of his sisters. We invested in an orthopedic memory foam bed that he will only use when he is sick. He prefers his coolaroo elevated mesh bed and appears to be most comfortable in that. Now that he's outgrown a lot of his pain, he's allowed to freely play with his sisters (Pyr and 2 year old Kangal) and we go on sedate runs every morning. When he was less active due to pain, even mild muscle wasting made his pain level a lot worse so I've allowed him to be quite active. For us, it comes down to a quality of life decision for our boy. He wants to work. I know working may cause more wear and tear on his ailing joints and with pain of heart, I am allowing him to do it because I think I am making the best choice for him. I know that to keep him "safe" would be to also make him quite miserable. I think there are no easy answers for decisions like this...
Tyro is on maximum dose Cosequin, high doses of fish oil, Neprinol AFD, a systemic enzyme that is supposed to help with inflammation and HyaFlex (hyaluronic acid). All of these items made a noticeable difference when we added them to his regimen.