I had posted earlier about Newton having CHD. After talking with the vet, it is clear that we are looking at a long road ahead of us. The life that we had originally planned for, is not in his future. This doesn't mean he can't live a full life as a house pet. Yet what it does mean is a lot of his activity will have to change. The vet doesn't want him jumping, running, etc. Try to tell that to a 2 yr old dog who has children he loves, and another lab brother who is his best friend. I am finding it unfair that I have to keep one lab caged up in order to keep the Rough Housing to a minimum. I have talked to Newts breeder, and she has given me the option to find him another home, possibly maybe where he can be an only dog. I am torn on what to do. I want him to have a life, and a quality one. Yet I don't think keeping him caged up away from his family is quality life. He was dealt a bad hand, yet still has many good years ahead of him. If he was an only dog, there would be no question on what we would do.
Where this tears me up, I have an Autistic son. Just because he is different from our family, I would have never just gave him up. Everyday I do what is right and try to make it all work to make him fit in. I know Newt is just a dog to some, but he is family to us. The thought of giving up a part of my family is killing me on the inside. It isn't Newts fault that he is the way he is, and if I could fix him I would. The vet is saying to sink 8k into him, and not be definite it will help is not the way to go. Not like I have 8k laying around either.
What they are suggesting right now is to keep him active, yet to a minimum. Dropping his weight, and when he starts to show pain, we are to do suppliments. I just don't know what to do. I want to do what is right for him.
My other fear, is Newt has always been sensitive around his back side. We just thought it was a "quirk" of his. Vet said when he does this, he probably is expierencing some pain in his back end. With 3 young children, I don't want him turning on them, cause he is in pain. He hasn't shown any signs of aggression, yet who knows if this will happen.
My mind isn't made up on what to do. I am just trying to weigh out my options at this point. Feel free to put your thoughts out there on anything I am missing.
Oh that is so much for you to take in all at once. I have no advice for you, just my good thoughts and prayers. Newt is one of my favorite JL labs, always has been from day one.
Last edited by MidwestGirl; 04-25-2012 at 11:20 AM.
I am so sorry! I don't have any real advice just wanted to add my thoughts and prayers and a big hug. I am so sorry you are going through this.
I will tell you my mom has a german shepherd with Hip Dysplasia ~ she was diagnosed at about 4 months. She is now almost 9 ( I think.) My mom has 2 other dogs and they all do play (but I admit not as much as labs). The GSD is very good at monitoring herself although I doubt all dogs do this. She is also wonderful with my kids but again they are not there full time. Sorry ~ not much help......
Last edited by jen124; 04-25-2012 at 11:22 AM.
Jen and the crew!
I'm sorry Newt is having a sucky time.
Although I know I reacted the same way when I first heard about Owen's HD when he was 11 months old... I now know its not the giant crisis you are making it out to be.
Yes, Newt has HD. ABSOLUTELY NOT should he be separated from his family. From what I have been told over and over is to keep muscles fit when there's a joint issue. Playing and running and jumping is probably keeping his muscles built up.
Yes, definitely drop a lot of weight.
Add supplements, keep him active with a great quality of life. Perhaps consider a daily anti-inflammatory and pain relief. You can see about physio therapy. Water therapy was a great relief to my Owen as was acupuncture.
If surgery is not an option, its not an option. Owen had surgery...and the outcome was not good. So don't beat yourself up about it.
He's still your dog. You and your children still love him, while the going is good, let it be good! Let him run and romp and play and do crazy lab things. If you don't...10 years from now when you have a crippled dog, you'll kick yourself.
Trust me. I know. And I'm sending you a giant hug.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola
What a difficult, difficult position to be in. It sounds like you are mentally covering all the options - best for Newt, best for the family, best for your son. I guess you just have to follow your heart on this. What a road!
By your side...
Seamus and Flynn
I agree with Melissa's post.
Java has ED, OCD & DJD as well as having had bilateral TPLOs.
She was diagnosed with all of this and had her surgeries on her knees when she was 13 months old. She is 3 now. ED surgery may be in option in the future if we feel it's necessary & she is in pain, but right now it's not. She was limping on her front legs when she was younger, but with all the steps we have taken she no longer limps at all.
I took 16 lbs off of her (she is 60 lbs now) she is on a grain free food (grains *can* cause inflammation in joints) and she is only daily joint supplements as well as Adequan shots monthly. I also have Rimadyl at home to give as needed.
BUT-she's wonderful-she's active, healthy and happy. I do not keep her separated from Moka at all. They wrestle, run, swim, hike, etc. Does Java have a day/limpy day here and there? Yup...but those are the days she gets a Rimadyl and a break from Moka. On those days Brian will take Moka out for a hike and I will take Java swimming (low impact, great for joint issues).
I want to give Java the best life possible-for her, that is here with us being an active, crazy lab. Will she slow down sooner than most labs? Yeah, probably. And she will have arthritis sooner than most dogs and probably more severe. But that's in the future. I do the best I can for her now and we'll deal with the future when it comes. The best for her is to be with her family and her little sister, doing the things that young labs do.
There are things you can do for Newton to help keep him comfortable while still allowing him to be a young, active lab.
The SINGLE most important thing you can do for him is to take the weight off-alot of weight. To the point where you think he is maybe a tad too lean. It is so much better for his joint health and you will see a marked difference.
Look into supplements now and get him started-Java is on: Hylasport Canine(Gluc/Chond/MSM/HA & Vit C), Grizzly Salmon Oil (Omega 3 & 6 are great for joint health), additional MSM (Java is on a mega-dose of 6000 mg per day-helps inflammation)Vit. C (also for inflammation-Java is on 1000 mg a day) & Vit. E. She also gets an Adequan injection monthly.
Java is doing great now-she is enjoying her life and is happy, healthy and active. We'll deal with the future when it gets here....but I would be damned if I was going to let her miss her puppy/younger years because of this.
My chocolate Darby was diagnosed at 7 months and we faced a decision between surgery on both hips or putting her down. (She couldn't get up by herself.) We did the surgery and are happy we did since she is still going strong at 9 years old, but my point is not to make you feel guilty for not having an expensive surgery. My point is that Darby has learned to self-regulate her play time with my other two. She knows when not to push it and she'll walk away when the other two get wild. There really isn't any reason that Newton can't do the same and there certainly isn't any reason to crate him.
I wouldn't be overly concerned about how he'll act with your children. Even very small kids can be taught that Newton has a sore area and they need to treat it with respect. As he ages and has more problems, they'll be older and more able to understand the need to be careful with him.
Although the diagnosis sucks, it isn't an absolute crisis that requires a decision be made today. Lots of us treat the diagnosis as more of a maintenance issue; keep his weight down, proper supplements and reasonable exercise and he should live a long happy life.
I'm composed of 85% kick-ass and 15% crippling self-doubt.
Toby was diagnosed with HD about 3 months ago. the fill in vet said he shouldn't play ie rough house any more. He is a 2 year old with 3 other labs in the house. When we were at the vet yesterday for his routine annual exam the regular vet said basically let him be a dog. I give him glocosimine daily, we've worked on his weight (he is lab/newfie mix) and is down to 89.2 pounds. He has meloxicam for really bad days but pretty much self regulates (if he's hurting he doesn't play as much or as hard). He may have a shorter lifespan but he will have lived as a dog and not be caged or on the sidelines for the rest of his life. This is what works for us. He is a happy, playful 2 year old and we haven't had to do pain pills too often. Oh yeah his HD is really bad on the left side, almost completely out of the socket.
Boy, I am truly sorry your boy has to face this. But, I can't imagine making him face this alone without the family he loves. I could never consider rehoming one of ours unless there was something awful like biting a child or something. My son's boxer has a severe hip defect. I forget what its called, but it is genetic. She lives her life as best she can. Some days she plays fine, others she is a three legged dog. They have a 2 yr old climbing all over the dog and even with her pain issues, she has never even growled, let alone snapped at the child. I'll bet your boy would never hurt the family he loves. I couldn't give away my dog, it would be like giving away one of my kids.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
Thanks everyone who shared their HD stories with me. Newt is a great dog, a heart of gold. I have a lot to think about, but having you guys by my side is very helpful.