I'm hoping for help making a decision about an adoption I have pending. First, I've had 2 previous labs. Lost my girl (of 12+years) last year. I'm ready to bring canine love back in my life.
I've signed the papers for "Tina" a 1+yr old black lab mix, 40pounds. We've met, I'm in love. She's super sweet and gentle. Was scheduled to bring her home in 2 days but her foster mom called yesterday with this news:
She noticed a little blood from Tina's vulva area (Tina had a litter of pups on December 24th, and was spayed between that time and now) - so she brought her to the vet.
Vet wasn't too worried, but xrayed Tina to make sure nothing was left in her from operation (like a piece of gauze...). They didn't find anything so she's on antibiotics for a week and will see vet again. Meanwhile -- the xray showed that her left hip joint is not completely together. (Sorry I do not have the medical terms, I haven't spoke with the vet yet... but maybe you'll have some questions for me to ask when I do!). Tina has no limits in her movements, range of motion. She not in pain. I'm being told that she will likely need a hip replacement down the road.
My questions for those of you with related experience:
Is it possible to avoid hip replacement with lifestyle choices? She's around 1.5yr old -- if we begin now with joint-support diet and exercise -- can this save her from having a future surgery?
And, I live on the 2nd floor of the house we own (we rent out the downstairs) so Tina would be walking up&down the stairs a few (2-4) times a day to go outside.
Will this help keep her strong or will this aggravate the joint. (keeping in mind she's young and small... not a senior dog that needs to avoid stairs)
I need to make this decision -- so your feedback, along with more info from vets -- is very appreciative!
Sorry if this is the wrong forum. Sort-of introducing myself and Tina!
This is a tough one, I really don't have an answer for you, I just wish you all the best.
One thought for me would be to get the xray and see your vet and have a discussion with him/her...
This is a hard one.
Our 11 month old was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia (which is what Tina has in one hip). He has it in both hips; one hip is "mild" and is not causing him any issues to date; the other is "moderate" and causes him so much pain that we are most likely going to remove the "ball" (femoral head) of that hip and allow a "false joint" to develop.
Hip replacements are a) expensive at at least $5000 - $6000 per hip and are not promised to last the lifetime of any dog and b) my research and my Vet and Ortho Specialist all confirmed that for an active dog they usually are good for only about 5 years; c) they also are not made for dogs but for humans.
Since Tina has HD, it is also likely that she has early onset arthritis already developing in that hip.
My advice would be to seriously consider how much money you have to spend on her health and well being through the years to come. Pain pills will become necessary over time; she will need supplements like glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin immediately. The stairs in your home will be a factor; you will need to monitor her going up and down to avoid running and or jumping the last few to the bottom and so on. If you jog, she can't jog with you and so on.
I can't tell what is right for you; only you can decide that for yourself. And the reality is that no matter what we do, HD is a possible outcome for all dogs no matter whether they are shelter rescues or purchased from a "reputable" breeder. Many of us can attest to that. But those dogs with HD are as lovable and deserving as those without, so if Tina has stolen your heart and you can afford to treat her for her HD, go for it!
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
Our Chocolate Girl "Kona of the Storm" born August 8 2014
Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
Our Yellow Girl "Calliope" born January 6, 2006
Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004