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Good news on the hip dysplasia front


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So, Duncan went back to the ortho rehab vet's today.


For those unfamiliar with the story: he was diagnosed (via X-rays) with bilateral hip dysplasia last November, after displaying right hind limb lameness for a month or six weeks, beginning in October when he was about 7 months old. He's been seeing an ortho rehab vet at regular intervals: each week until mid-December, monthly since then. In late November, he evinced ~ 3 cm of atrophy in the muscles of his right rear leg (the more affected side).


The ortho rehab vet was concerned that the lameness didn't seem to be improving (between October, when it first surfaced, and December) according to the regimen she had him on (massage therapy + laser therapy + magnetic therapy). Meds included Rimadyl (half a tab each morning) and Dasuquin (one tab each night), along with Derm caps (fish oil supplements). Perhaps surgery was in his future, though we should try exercise and meds a little longer just in case such therapy could keep him off the "surgery list".


The recommendation was to walk him on a leash - as much as he'd tolerate without limping - to build up the muscles in his hind legs, to support the hips. If he started limping, ease up a bit, but work to build up the muscles as much as we could. Pain meds to get him to the point where he was willing to use the right rear leg more. So - come hell or high water or as nasty a weather as the gods could throw at us, we were out walking each day for as long as we could manage.


In December (when things weren't progressing well), we added Adequan injections (weekly at first, now transitioning to monthly), and acupuncture (weekly at first, since transitioned to biweekly). We also did some bloodwork (early January) to verify that he was tolerating the daily Rimadyl well, and added Marin (a milk thistle extract/vitamin E supplement) for liver support.


We've been thinking he's been looking better the last couple of weeks. Verily, some spring to his step. In fact, the dogwalker we hired (when DH had to have surgery not quite two weeks ago) said if we hadn't told her, she'd have never known he had hip problems.


Today the ortho rehab vet concurred in our opinion, told us he showed a great deal of improvement since his November and December visits. He's gained muscle mass in all limbs. More to the point - the difference in muscle mass between his two hind legs has diminished. This is good evidence that his right hip isn't bothering him as much any more. He's now cleared to use their underwater treadmill, which should be useful in helping him add muscle mass. He's also cleared to start running with us. (Not that I'm much of a runner any more, and it's not in the cards for DH at present). I reckon that running with the dog is a great way for older son to get in training for his upcoming lacrosse season.


I'm grateful to all the BC Board members who suggested Adequan injections, acupuncture, and milk thistle extract. Moreover - his occasional diarrhea has improved since I insisted (to the regular vet) that there was no point in wasting money on stool analyses with a high likelihood of false negatives, just give me some Panacur to give him in case it's Giardia (thanks, Lenajo!!!). My regular vet wasn't thrilled with me, but when I handed her a printout of the article, she didn't have much to say. So, three cheers for the advice from the BC Boards members!!!


On other fronts - DH is doing swimmingly well in recovering from receiving a new heart valve. Although he still spends a large fraction of each day in the recliner, he did insist on attending older son's piano recital last Saturday. DS didn't leave a dry eye in the house when he dedicated his pieces to his father, who was attending his recital ten days - ONLY ten days - after undergoing heart surgery. And DS even managed to inject that elusive note of tenderness (so alien to 18-year-old males) into the Romantic piece he was playing. Now if I could only get DH to adhere to the low-sodium diet they stipulated on his hospital discharge...


And my father seems to have successfully undergone laser therapy today for his 1 cm kidney stone.


I'm telling people they should stay away from us - clearly we have a lot of health issues going on as a family, must be contagious.

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Aw, that is wonderful news! You might have health problems going on but you all are one dedicated family and you are making progress, kudos! It's great to hear Duncan is improving and he can hit the watermill too now! Thanks for the update Lynn, here's hopping you and all your family are on the mend and moving forward!

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That's great news about Duncan! Gives me encouragement and hope for Scooter's hip dsyplasia. Vet just took him off Deramaxx after a month due to elevated creatinine levels. Been a week since his last Deramaxx and no return of the severe limping yet. Will test again in a few weeks, but probably looking at some other form of management.


Glad DH is recovering. Easier on everyone. :rolleyes:



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