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Thread: Possible Hip Dysplasia

  1. #1
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    Default Possible Hip Dysplasia

    Hey all, I'm so scared that Dexter has hip problems. He has shown no signs of lameness, but I heard his hip clicking as I was walking him the other night. I have kept an ear out and I hear it every now and again, either when walking or playing.

    I am taking him to the vets but was wondering what I could do in the meantime as I know there is not much treatment out there unless it is for pain management. He has no pain as he doesnt even alude to the fact that his hip is making a noise. Although I've noticed recently when he walks his back makes an s shape, so his rear moves side to side a lot more. I dont know whether I'm just being a hypochondriac. We've kept Dex at the ultimate weight, excercised him very little at a young age and have only moved up to 30min walks now (he's never been enthusiastic after 30min)

    Not quite sure of his family history. We were looking endlessly for a bull mastiff but never heard back from breeders. We finally found one but when we contacted and met the people found they werent registered breeders and found the parents and the pup living in a cage outside. The 'father' was supposedly a stud and the 'mother' fell pregnant accidently. We felt for the little guy so much and took him straight away. I couldnt bare to leave him. He was 4 months old and he grew so quickly. Could you imagine 3 large breeds in a little cage!

    Anyway he really did grow quickly, we maintained his food and his excercise but I'm worried that regardless he might have some issues now! Help. Can I give him anything that will slow it down if, after we see the vet and possibly get x-rays, he does have Hip Dysplasia.

  2. #2
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    I've not heard of clicking associated with hip problems, but certainly the swaying S shape is concerning as it is one indicator of HD. However you will probably not know for sure until he is about 2+ when xrays can be taken when he's fully mature.

    As to the growing fast, this needs to be slowed down, particularly if you are worried about his hips. If you are feeding a biscuit diet watch the protein levels - not too high, if you are combining this with raw muscle meat then certainly lower the protein level of biscuit/kibble provided.

    If you are worried your best bet is to see the vet so that you know exactly what you are dealing with and to have him put on the correct diet if he has any problems. Lots of the biscuits for large breeds contain too much protein, puppy food contains lots of protein too and all of this can attribute to rapid growth.

    This is just my advice from what you've told me and from my own experience only your vet can confirm or deny anything.

  3. #3
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    My knees creak when I move. Especially doing squats or lunges.

    There's two kinds of creaking or cracking...

    when you crack your knuckles - the theory is it has to do with a release of gas and it's percussive (goes crack/bang).

    When your knees (or hip joints) crack or creak - it could be the gas thing. It can also be variations of bone on bone grinding ie the cartilage has gone to hell (my knees).

    To check for hip displasia in a dog - he needs to get xray'd under general anaesthetic - so it's a good thing to schedule when he needs a GA for something else eg desexing, teeth cleaning etc. Might also help to get a specialist joint vet to do the xrays but your vet can advise on that.

    You can do insanely expensive surgery on the dog - hip replacements now etc. Some vets inject stem cells into their dog's joints and report improvements. Ie the sky's the limit as far as spending goes on fixing this so make sure you get the vet to discuss all options s/he knows about and then discuss which ones cost what and the chances of a helpful outcome with each.

    The main non-invasive thing you can do is keep him lean and light. And maybe do joint health supplements - though the jury is still out on what's best as far as that goes. Usually plenty of calcium (bones, millk, yogurt). If you decide to feed fish oil - supplement with vitamin E - cos the fish oil depletes it. And do lots of gentle exercise ie long walks on the beach and in the water vs running after a ball over hills and valleys and doing tight turns and hard stops retrieving.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 09-24-2012 at 01:40 PM. Reason: creek <> creak

  4. #4
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    some giant breed dogs are a bit wiggly in the back end. Lack of muscle tone can be a problem then jumping straight into HD thoughts.

  5. #5
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    Oh thanks guys, made me feel better.

    The Vet didnt think it was so bad to X-Ray but asked that I keep an eye and ear out. Everything else is good so far, and weight is good so he said just keep it at that and slow excercise as you say Hyacinth. Thanks Nekbet, it may just be muscle, as he's still a baby and just started doing more walking I dont think muscle tone has strengthened much in his back. I cant help it, like any mother, I freak when I suspect something and think of the worst. Lucky for me we have pet insurance so I guess I dont have to worry too much about cost as HD is covered. I'd go to the moon and back for my Fur bub. I've had a large dog before buut gees Dexter had grown very fast.

    And Mac, yes I am cutting back ont he protien, as he loves chicken- those used to be his treats.

    I'll look into the suppliments too.

  6. #6
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    start him swimming or more free exercise to build up the back end. Honestly, I've been through 2 major HD/ED dogs and no matter how careful you are if its going to happen, it will. My rottie had virtually no hip sockets and his elbows stuck out, then his hind leg bent out at an angle but he lived for 4 years, 4 times longer then the vets said.

    Don't get too obsessed with it. Dogs need exercise to build the joints, bones and muscles. This whole restriction ideal I think is creating more HD/arthritis problems then preventing them. The body grows to cope with the pressures and strains it goes through. Limit mobility in the major growing phase what do you think happens when the bones solidify and suddenly the dog is thrown into more exercise ... sore legs, HD, ED, arthritis etc. Let dogs be dogs, just dont let them sky dive off furniture or force run/walk them for hours on end and they will be fine. If the dog is lean with low body fat you cannot say it's getting too much protein - they need protein to grow and develop. Chubby dogs are getting too much, lean dogs - fine.

  7. #7
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    If you are concerned get him examined and xrayed by a specialist vet. If there is a problem the earlier you know the more options you have available to you. I had my dog scanned at 10 months old which revealed mild HD. I keep him lean, muscled and well exercised. If he had been a candidate for hip surgery which he wasnt because his was so mild I would have done it, but that type of surgery ( TPO) needs to be done before any joint degeneration sets in to be successfull. He is now 3 and no sign of any problems at all and he is a working sheepdog, so pretty active.

    But you need to know early. I had a dog with ED which we discovered before any joint damage occurred at 8 months old. I had surgery on both elbows to remove the chips and 4 years later she is in great shape and very active. I also had insurance and it was so worth it to act early.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 09-27-2012 at 07:14 AM.

  8. #8
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    Be careful with early x-raying too, remember few animals are perfect and scoring is nothing more then a personal opinion. I had a boss that did early x-ray, if he didnt like the look of the hips he packed off young dogs for 'preventative' surgery ... I'm sorry bit orthapedic surgery is a major undertaking and has the ability to severely impact an animal for life. Unless your animal is in pain or showing a downhill slide I say leave them be.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nekhbet View Post
    Be careful with early x-raying too, remember few animals are perfect and scoring is nothing more then a personal opinion. I had a boss that did early x-ray, if he didnt like the look of the hips he packed off young dogs for 'preventative' surgery ... I'm sorry bit orthapedic surgery is a major undertaking and has the ability to severely impact an animal for life. Unless your animal is in pain or showing a downhill slide I say leave them be.
    I think this is where you need a surgeon you can trust. I bypass general pracitice and head straight for my friend who is a surgical specialist.

    I am for ever grateful that I did early surgery on my ED dog, but I did a lot of research and had a long talk with the surgeon who certainly wasnt pushing it. All the evidence and experience suggested that in my dogs situation, surgery was the best chance she had, and I had the opportunity to do it before major damage to her joints ocurred by getting out all the chips that were just starting to do damage. Once that damage was done the opportunity would be missed.

    I had a friend in the same situation and she decided to leave her dog and for her there is no second chance, the opportunity was missed, and my dog has had a much much better outcome. She even got a couple of agility titles before I decided to retire her despite the fact she was perfectly sound. Elbows are not to be trifled with.

    My HD dog it was decided that surgery was not the best option and to leave him be. My surgeon advised me against it. Said he couldnt guarantuee that down the track I wouldnt have problems but his opinion was that by keeping him lean and working he would have the best chance. So far that is what has happened.

    Without the CT scans (for my ED dog) and Xrays for my HD dog and a thorough examination of the hips and elbows with palpitation by a specialist, I would have been in the dark a lot more. The onus is on the owner to also do their research and get a second opinion if required.

    No one has to be packed off for surgery, but some options are only available in a certain window of opportunity which I have no intention of missing without having the chance to consider it and if it is appropriate.

    Surgery is a major undertaking but it has very much extended the quality of life of my ED dog, I believe it has allowed to her to lead a normal life without pain or medical management.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 09-27-2012 at 09:49 PM.

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