hip dysplasia and degerative joint disease questions

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Tally TransAm
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hip dysplasia and degerative joint disease questions

Postby Tally TransAm » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:44 pm

my dog kya is almost 5 years old now and recently (beginning in oct) she has had alot of trouble with her hips.

all of a sudden one day she had a lot of trouble walking or even getting off the couch. this lasted for about 2-3 days and i figured she was just sore from running around. Well after the second instance of this i took her to the vet to have her checked out. They did xrays and confirmed that she had hip dysplasia or what the vet called degerative joint disease. The vet put her on dasuquin and rimadyl and within about 3-4 days i noticed a tremendous improvement.

the thing is she still isnt her old self. she used to be insanely energetic but now she seems very hesitant to really run or jump hard. although with being on the meds she is 100% better than when the symptoms first started.

today is a perfect example. this morning i took her to a dried up lake bed by my house to let her run around and get some exercise. we were out there hiking for about 1.5-2 hrs and she was running around great and didnt seem like her hips were bothering her at all. well fast forward to now and her hips hurt her so bad she wont even get off the couch and it killing me to see her like this.

basically im just looking for tips or stories or experiences from people that have lived with this and their dogs. i asked the vet if surgery was an option and he stated not really because she was too old. Kya is my whole world and i really need to make sure she isnt in any pain.

any thoughts, is this something that can be managed for an extended period of time with meds or do i need to seek an alternative option. the symptoms came on VERY quickly, prior to oct i had seen a single sign of a problem.

thanks
ryan

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PitFriend
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Postby PitFriend » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:43 am

Ryan, I can't speak on the prognosis for Kya. She could do just fine for a while with daily Dasuquin and the occasional Rimadyl when needed. Dasuquin has worked wonders for my two arthritic dogs. But if you have the resources, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion just to make sure there aren't other options available to you.

As far as the exercise goes, I think that 2 hours of hiking and running around is probably too much for her at this point. Arthritic and dysplastic dogs really shouldn't do any high-impact activities like jumping or hard running. It's not uncommon to see dogs engage in those activities if their owner lets them, but then as you've seen, it catches up with them quite painfully later.

You want to focus on low-impact, repetitive exercise for Kya. The key is to keep her active but minimize stress on the joints. IMO, brief but frequent controlled (on-leash) walking or slow jogging is ideal. Swimming would also be great for her if you have access to water. It's best to get into a regular exercise routine, like walking every day or every other day, rather than doing nothing during the week and then going crazy with the activities on the weekend. Also make sure she's at a good weight. Assuming she's otherwise healthy, it's ok for her to be a little on the lean side, since extra pounds can really exacerbate problems associated with hip dysplasia.

This link has some other good tips and information for you:
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1569&articleid=444

Hope this helps! Wishing the best for you and Kya. :thumbsup:

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Maryellen
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Postby Maryellen » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:51 am

hydrotherapy works great for dogs with HD and DJD... look into places near you that have hydrotherapy for dogs...they get to swim in a pool on a treadmill..

you can also supplement her joints with Liquid Health 5000 canine joint care, and keep her exercises low impact.

my 13 1/2 year old dog has DJD, and severe arthritis.. the liquid health, low impact exercise, and keepng him LEAN works wonders..

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Maryellen
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Postby Maryellen » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:52 am

get a ramp so she doenst have to jump in your vehicle, make ramps at home so she can walk up to the bed/furniture too so she wont jump and hurt her self..

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Misskiwi67
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Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:08 pm

Did your vet take a good look at her knees too? Its very common for dogs to have BOTH hip displasia and a ruptured cranial cruciate, and with a sudden change in behavior, I really think something else is probably going on. Hip dysplasia tends to be a much slower change, although with the response to therapy, she probably does have bad hips too.

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Leslie H
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Postby Leslie H » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:20 pm

I agree w/misskiwi. I'd also want the vet to check the spine, for a pinched nerve or joint issues.
I am not saying your dog isn't dysplastic, especially if he's talking about DJD. But, as misskiwi said, symptoms are typically slower in onset. As the apbt has a tremendous pain tolerance usually, a vet may look at hip x-rays, and see hips that would stop a german sheperd in its tracks, and look no further, overlooking, or not pursuing, something more acute. One reason our breed has so much hd is that dogs can show no signs of lameness, so people breed them. I've x-rayed some very sound moving dogs that turned out to be horribly dysplastic. I'm sorry you and your dog are going through this.

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Foxwood
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Postby Foxwood » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:22 pm

I am going through the EXACT same thing with my girl Jada who is only 4. Even though I work at my vets, I've still paid over $500 to figure out what is wrong with her.

The beginning of Dec she was lame. Took her in, did xrays and the whole ordeal. Saw that she has somewhat poorly formed hips(ie, hip dysplasia), and some djd(arthritis/arthritic changes) in her hips and knees. But we found that she really had a pulled groin muscle(can't think of the name of it). So I crate rested her for about 3 weeks. She was still a little off, but seemed to be getting better.

By the end of dec. she was lame again. Took her in, right knee was swollen. Decided to spay her since OFA rated her hips mild(even though we think they're a little worse), since she would have to be on crate rest for at least 2 weeks anyways.

So a week ago(about 3.5 weeks after spay) she's lame again. The dr.(who specializes in leg/lameness issues) said she was really trying to avoid putting weight on either back leg. So we rexrayed. She has definite arthritic changes in her knees, as well as some calcification. Thats it, nothing else.

So now she's on Dasuquin(give it up to 6 weeks to see full benefits), and a non-steroidal pain med for when she needs it.

Acupuncture probably gives her the most relief for the longest time. Unfortunately most places don't offer it. But it gives her significant relief for almost 2 weeks. Plus the vet taught me some massage techniques to use on her daily to help keep her muscles loose. She loves the massage, and I swear it makes her feel better.

Someone else said hydrotherapy, and it is great. We have a 10mo newfie client who has severe HD and can barely walk, and his owners even drive 2 hours each way twice a week to keep him comfortable.

Do the 'army crawl' across the floor. It helps to build the helpful muscles in the rear.


Also, get your vet to check the groin muscles. Jada's had her sore and hesitant to move for a while. If it is, heat helps SO much. Someone else said to check knees, I would definitely do that after finding out about Jada =( It's good to know I'm not the only one frustrated by whats going on.

Also, why does your vet think surgery is not an option because of her age. I think you said she was 5? If her HD is that bad you might be able to get a referral somewhere else for a replacement.


Good luck!

Tally TransAm
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Postby Tally TransAm » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:16 pm

thanks for the responses guys

afaik the vet did check her knees and ligaments and what not. he did a pretty thorough physical exam prior to the xrays and also recently when i took her back for a follow up

i will take everything you guys have said into consideration in how kya and i are going to go forward with this and i hope everything goes ok

its weird though, even with how sore she was yesterday after hiking and couldnt get off the couch, at about 1am i was watching tv, and all of a sudden she jumped off the couch and marched around outside for 10-15 minutes before coming back inside and today she seems completely fine


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