Jump to content
BC Boards

Unilateral hip dysplasia


Recommended Posts

Hi everybody,

 

I just posted an update about my rescue dog, Repo, under General Discusion "How are all the Awesome rescues doing."

 

Repo is 15 months old, and just got diagnosed this week with severe unilateral hip dysplasia, and I thought I would post about that here. Anybody whose dog has had any type of hip surgery...please post with your experiences!

 

Here's the story:

 

Repo was rescued from a BC puppy mill last summer at three months of age. He has turned out to be the most athletic dog I've ever known, with fabulous, ground-covering gaits and super fast turns.

 

At 11 months of age, I sent him to a trainer for five weeks to learn to work sheep. Unknown to me at the time, the trainer also trained him on cattle, as a surprise. I'm sure this involved a lot of getting kicked in those early stages.

 

Repo developed a mild limp a few days after returning home, and I took him to the vet. The vet refused to do x-rays, insisting it was just muscle strain. The limp went away within a day, and he competed at a trial later that week.

 

Repo is now 15 months old, and has continued to train and/or compete on both sheep and cattle a few times a month. He also plays a LOT of long-distance ball fetching in my 3-acre front yard.

 

Though he didn't continue to limp, there was something a bit "off" ever since that limp Earlier this week, I pinned down what had changed about Repo's gait--he was keeping on his left lead, even when circling to the right. In addition, he had recently begun holding up his right rear leg for one or two steps in the middle of a trot.

 

This past Monday, I convinced my vet to do full OFA-style hip and knee x-rays. It turns out that Repo has one Good/Excellent hip, and one (the right hip) has Severe dysplasia. This type of unilateral dysplasia is very likely due to having a kick and dislocation that wasn't caught at the time and eventually popped (mostly) back into place. Because Repo is so high-drive and intense, there was no obvious change to his gait or activity level during the dislocation phase.

 

Repo now has an apt. with an orthopedic surgeon, and I will pay whatever it takes to get him back to 100% function.

 

I've looked online, and there only seem to be three options:

 

THR - total hip replacement - can only be done on dogs about 50 pounds and up. Repo is too small, at only 35 pounds.

 

TPO - triple pelvic osteotomy - can only be done on dogs under 12 months of age. Repo is already 15 months.

 

FHO - femoral head ostectomy (cutting off the "ball" part of the joint) - This seems to be the only option left. It sounds okay for an elderly arthritic housepet, but not for a young dog with a competition career ahead of him. I'm hoping there are more choices available than this.

 

Has anybody had experience with a dog Repo's size having hip surgery? What did you chose, and are you happy with the outcome?

 

Also, does anybody have experience with "acquired" unilateral hip dysplasia? How did your dog get injured? I'm trying to figure out if it was from the cattle work or something as simple as too much rowdy ball playing.

 

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep...Cricket my now 3 year old had FHO surgery at the age of 1 year. We became her new home when she was 6 months old and demonstrating 'bad' behaviour. Cricket's condition is from birth. Her hip was so bad, that the ball was entirely out of the socket! She was in constant pain which of course lead to her having other issues.

 

Cricket now runs like the wind, and has recently started jumping up and down things. We didn't have access to any formal rehabilitation so we did the rehab ourselves. It was a long process which probably would have been speeded up if we had not been moving, etc. at the same time.

Both her hips are bad but we aren't going to do surgery on the other unless absolutely necessary.

Cricket's weight is always kept under 18 kg (about 40 lbs) and it's even better if they are on the 'skinny' side for this kind of surgery.

If we had been able to get Cricket swimming sooner, I think her recovery would have been better.

My vet told me that he didn't see any reason why Cricket couldn't be a 'normal' active dog once she'd recovered.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've met a couple of competition agility dogs that have had FHOs done and are back successfully and soundly competing.

 

My girl Carlie was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 2 years old. She is now 6.5 years and I can see it getting harder and harder for her to run normally. She still works sheep and does agility but I think it is getting close to time for me to start looking at other options. She has been on Cosequin since diagnosed and takes a Deramaxx before an agility competition weekend or sheepy weekends but it is getting to be not enough.

 

I am looking at having FHOs done on both hips for her. She is an atheletic 30 lbs and a little girl. The orthopedic surgeon I've talked to says she is a prime candidate and thinks she will be able to return to an active lifestyle after recovery.

 

Olivia

Link to post
Share on other sites

My aunt had a lab that had FHO surgery at 3 years old. She weighed about 50#.

 

Molly had gotten hit by a car, and the first vet they took her to didn't find her dislocated hip.

 

She recovered very well, and lived another 12 years as a active, happy farm dog. As she got older (9-10) once and a while she would be a little stiff on a cold morning, but nothing major.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, forgot to add that Cricket is not on any medication at all. I am trying to remember **sigh** to give her glucosomine which should be helpful

Link to post
Share on other sites

Be very careful about the other hip now. One dysplacement makes your dog a prime candidate for a second one, as more stress is put on the unaffected joint. This is exacty what happened to an older dog I had here, who had the exact injury you describe at about 4 years old, and an FHO, then repeated the injury at about six and a half - on the other side. In his case he was simply jumping a gate and got hung briefly, but the result was catastrophic because the joint had been under stress previously.

 

Now, this dog worked pretty hard on a farm, but not full time by the second injury, and more or less retired afterwards. By retired I mean he only set out sheep at trials, and held for young dogs, and sorted during shearing and helped out at lambing. He also went on to be a novice trial dog for two more students of his "dad". He was VERY lame when he came to me at about 11 1/2 years old but he hadn't exactly been coddled, either. I had him for two and half years and of that he required steroids and pretty strong painkillers the last year to manage the inflammatory pain. He was still very lively, though, and kept begging to work, so we actually never had to let him go on that account (he died suddenly of a stroke).

 

Arthritis is a big enemy for these dogs - I think if Greg's inflammation had been managed a bit better he would have been more comfortable in later years. Do I think he would have gone on to become a competitive Open dog and continued as full time farm worker? No, that decision was made long before the arthritic changes had become significant, so apparently his range of motion was affected enough to sideline him. But, he was also older when it happened.

 

I think that if I were in your position I would consult the most highly recommended orthopedic specialist available to me - we may actually BE in your position, this year, in fact, as we look for options for Doug. I would also consult a sports medicine specialist or veterinary pysical therapist before you make a final decision, to discuss post-operative therapies and how those can make a difference in his future prospects.

 

Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everybody,

 

Thanks so much for your replies. I really appreciate the helpful stories of dogs that have already had the surgery. I thought that FHO seemed like the dog would still be severly impaired, but apparently that's not the case. Nice to have this info before going to the ortho vet to make our decision on type of surgery. We have apts. at both the Univ. of MO Vet Teaching Hospital and a specialist in St. Louis at "Associated Veterinary Specialties."

 

Thanks again!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbia,

Just another view here. When Jill, my dysplastic dog, dislocated her hip, the emergency vet mentioned FHO. But my vet said it is technically a salvage operation meant to alleviate pain when no other options are available. I ended up going completely conservative with Jill (no surgery) and she is fine now, though still dysplastic obviously. By the way, Jill is about 38-39 pounds and no one suggested we *couldn't* do a hip replacement, the only contingency being that her pelvic structure had to be suitable for such surgery.

 

I have a friend who has a young dog that had surgery on both hips and made it to open successfully. I'm not sure what the surgery was but will ask and get back to you.

 

Oh, and don't be too quick to assume cattle kicking having caused the injury. I have worked unbroke cattle with my dog and she has been kicked only once or twice and even then not seriously. I would think that someone starting a young dog on cattle would use dog-broke stock that is steadier and less likely to try to damage a dog.

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aw man your story just hurts to hear. I'll give you two perspectives. About a year ago I put down a 12 year old rescue, "Willie" that at about age 5 had the vet telling me that he should stop catching frisbee and take it easy as he basically didn't have a hip socket. I ran with him every day and the muscle that he developed kept the hip pretty much in line where it should be. Ok, I did limit the lateral movement but as the day was done, he was just an awesome dog and had a great and fun life.

 

A year ago we got a pup from a breeder. At about eleven months she had a limp after her morning run with me. The vet said she thought HD and sent me to a local specialist. He confirmed and recommended a double TPO, the xrays showed both hips in really bad shape. Derry, is now 4 1/2 months post op. Her xrays show the breaks all filled in and really good allignment. I've been slowly bringing her back and we are now at about 25-30 mpw of running. She's tweaked her groin muscle a couple of times getting a little too rambunctious but seems ok. Derry was pretty hot in an agility class that she did before surgery but I kind of think that might be a bad idea now, although she just had the time of her life doing it.

 

Imho the bottom line is what can give the dog the best quality of life. For me it was the surgery route with Derry because of being younger. Of course in September when I'm trying to come up with tuition for two kids in college don't ask me that question. ;-0

Best of luck!

-jay

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sharon, I'm so sorry to hear about Repo. I'm all too familiar with the heartbreak.

 

I've got a 3 year old female who is severely dysplastic in both hips. We opted to forego surgery and just keep her as comfortable for as long as possible, and not let her suffer. However, when she was 5 moths old or so, she was showing signs of lameness in her hind end. I had her x-rayed when she was six months old and the vet said, "Those are the worst hips I've ever seen."

 

In any event, in my research to follow, I found this on the OFA site under their FAQ's:

 

"Can environment or food cause hip dysplasia?

No, hip dysplasia is a multiple gene, inherited disease. Environmental factors, like high caloric diet during the rapid growth phase, may exacerbate changes in dysplastic hips but will not create hip dysplasia. There also is no evidence in the scientific literature that supplements (i.e Vitamin C) will prevent hip dysplasia. Reduced caloric intake and glucosamine products in immature animals genetically predisposed for hip dysplasia may lessen the pathologic changes associated with hip dysplasia."

So, it sounds to me that HD is first and foremost ... herditary ... and that it has to be there in order for diet, injuries, etc. to exacerbate it.

 

Others, I'm sure, will chime in who probably know far more than I.

 

Were you planning on breeding him?

 

Jodi

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sharon - I have friend whose sound, athletic Border Collie was OFA Good, and then took a bad "slip" landing/turning after an agility jump. The owner watched helplessly as it happened. She disrupted the ligaments that hold the hip joint in place. The dog is now about 8-9 years old, has one "good" hip and one "horrible hip" on xray. This was not a case of heriditary HD, but an accident, pure and simple. Owner has watched the progression via xray over the years, keeps the dog on glucosamine/chondroitin, and she gets regular acupuncture and chiropractic checkups. The dog still works sheep at age 9, although the injury curtailed her agility career. I believe she gets anti-inflammatories on "bad days" but otherwise is pretty much pain free and functional for a dog her age.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just my opinion, but why not just try letting Repo have some time off to heal. Surgery is always an option, but he may not ever need it if you just give him time. I had an Australian Cattle Dog with a torn ACL that the vet recomended surgery for, but I opted for rest and excersise on lead for about 6 weeks. It was a pain in both our bottoms, but she healed and was sound for the rest of her life. Injury happened at about 4 years, she lived to be 14. She still ran and jumped, and worked the cattle herd with no pain and no meds. The body is designed to heal!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just another thought. Have you considered an alternate therapy, such as cold laser or chiropractic? My husband and I got our 3 year old filly back from the trainer about 4 months ago because she was lame in the rear and needed about 60 days off. We had her reshod (one rear hoof was about half an inch longer then the other), had her back adjusted, and had the sore area cold lasered. She was back to working cattle a week later with no problems. Any one of those three things , or all of them together may be responsible, we don't know. We do know that she's happy! Our good boy Bill also has his back adjusted if he has a wreck and he always seems to feel much better! Cows will kick a BC on occasion you know.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres another thought that others have found helpful with a dyplasic dog

 

swimming helped my friends dog to muscle up and as there was no stress put on the hip she could swim for quite a time each day - they went swimming in their local lake and river. It worked and this dog is now 15 yrs old and hasn't limped once or shown signs of pain etc since she went swimming and isn't on any meds.

 

By the way HD is known not to be heredity but the predisposition for it is. In other words a litter can be predisposed to the disease but maybe only one pup may actually have HD as this pup may have been brought up on a too high protein diet or allowed to play on a slippy surface etc. Also if it was 100% hereditary then both hips would be affected and not just one as in most cases ( not all I know) - bilateral and not unilateral

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sharon-

 

I feel for your situation. My husband's dog was finally recovered from his PDA procedure when he followed him into the garage and got his right rear foot caught under the tire of the pick-up. He pulled so hard that he dislocated his hip. The dislocation was not found for two weeks. The original surgery consisted of putting in a toggle pin which held the head of the femur in the socket. Well, this particular dog broke the toggle pin. The orginal dislocation occured in May and he broke the toggle pin that fall and had the FHO done in November.

 

Now, he and my husband have started trialing in novice this summer. He is doing fine. I know of another dog in Iowa who had the FHO done and is not competing in PN.

 

I will say that it is very important to do all of the physical therapy and as my husband found out, do as many short leash walks as you can when the time does come for those. Once my husband buckled down and did those walks his dog recovered much more rapidly so that he could start working with him. Just be sure to do all of the range of motion exercises with him early on and I can't stress how important the short leash walks are as you build up the distance. You want the leash to be short so that he pulls against it and therefore forces him back onto his hind legs so that he uses that leg.

 

We do have this dog on Cosequin to help with any future arthritis problems. I have also kept him on Fish Oil as an anti-inflammatory.

 

Kathy

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Thought I'd resurrect this thread rather than starting a new one.

 

Solo went to the orthopedist today, as he has been lame in his right hind for a few months now. (We nearly always use the "wait and see" approach since Solo is so stressed by going to the vet.) Solo has severe arthritis (i.e., dysplasia) of the right hip. Luckily his left hip looks perfect. I have no idea what might have caused this, if there was a precipitating event, which there may not have been.

 

Anyway, the surgeon and I discussed a number of options. One surgical option he brought up, that hasn't been mentioned here, is denervation of the joint. The nerve supply to the hip joint (just the joint itself -- not the muscle or anything else) is removed, which doesn't "fix" anything (the joint is still bad) but removes the pain. I am considering this option for Solo, who is still very mobile despite the fact that his right hip looks awful, because it's much less traumatic and has much less recovery/follow-up than a total hip replacement would. I am not considering FHO.

 

For now, Solo has a script for Metacam and we may try Adequan if the anti-inflammatories do not resolve his lameness. He is also on Synovi-G3 and fish oil. I'd like to avoid surgery altogether if possible. Solo's agility career may be over (I guess he could still run in games classes that don't have jumps) but he can still work sheep just fine since he has never been a trial dog and does not need to be able to do giant sweeping fast outruns. He can also still go for long hikes and stuff like that. We are supposed to avoid sprinting (which means I'll have to get creative about games that involve Ball) and jumping.

 

Solo is a big-boned boy about 23" at the shoulder, and 49 pounds. I think he's a good weight for his size, but am going to try to take off a few pounds if possible. I'm also going to look into swimming therapy, although Solo hates going into water over his elbows.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So sorry to hear about Solo. The FHO probably wouldn't be feasible for him anyway since it appears to work best with smaller (under 40 lbs) dogs.(at least that's what my vet told me) I hope you can get him swimming since I was told that would have been the best therapy for Cricket.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang, Melanie. Solo and Doug the Dog will be starting a less-than-Excellent arthritis adventure this fall, I guess. Doug went from mostly asymptomatic to mostly sore soon after moving here (increased workload). He's been on Rimadyl but I don't like this as a long term option, so after all our dogs have done the annual round of physicals, he's going to see the orthopedist. He also has HD in one hip - genetic in nature - but most likely has it in the other now too judging from his gait.

 

Thankfully we have the option of swimming exercise, but I think lately even that has made him more sore. We'll see.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We'll have to check into that. I printed off a couple things and I'll take them in to our vet next time! Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have any experience with Adequan? I'm doing research on this because I'd like to maintain Solo's good hip. His left hind leg is much more muscled than his right because he's been using it differentially (I'd noticed this before and the vet commented on it immediately) and now I'm worried about wear and tear on that side. Solo's only seven so he's potentially got ten years or more of abnormal stress on that side ahead of him.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have any experience with Adequan?
First off, dang, as Rebecca said. Sorry Solo doesn't feel good, and hope he'll feel better soon.

 

I have several arthritic dogs, and I think our holistic vet has helped them a lot: they all run around like maniacs :rolleyes: It used to hurt just watching Sneak [elbow dysplasia, other health issues] make the effort to climb the back steps, but after his first acupuncture treatment he trotted up the stairs for the first time in years. The Chinese herbs seem to help, as well, along with a good diet (and I know Solo's getting that).

 

Anyhow --- Adequan. Except that you'll pay the big bucks for it, I have nothing but good stuff to say. Piper has been on Adequan since late June for her knees, and it has clearly helped. She began with weekly shots, and now goes 2 - 3 weeks between injections. One of my vets told me that at a seminar a few years back, a vet/presenter said that anyone who wasn't prescribing Adequan was nuts --- said he used it on himself(!) with great results. He wasn't an industry shill, either.

 

My understanding is that it takes a few weeks to see the full effects --- there's kind of a "loading" period to start with. And since I am so not a vet, I'll shut up now, except to say that I'm glad to pay the bill as long as it helps my dog.

 

Melanie, you've probably checked out orthodogs --- from their blurb:

Our goal is to help owners deal with the tough decisions they will face regarding diagnosis, treatment options (alternative and standard) and post op care.
PubMed article.

 

More from PubMed.

 

Sending you a PM.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...