Trapper has been diagnosed with HD in his left hip. We went to the ortho doctor today, who gave us 4 options: Do nothing; treat with G/C; TPO surgery; wait and do a total hip replacement "later." He said a TPO now would have an 85% success rate at Trapper's age (almost 17 months,) and would cost $2,600. A total hip replacement would be $5,000.
We really don't want to go the TPO route, primarily because of that 85% factor. I realize that's very high, but what if... what if we end up in that 15% group? We then have to put him through another surgery in a few years? I can't see me doing that to him. I know of one family who went to this clinic, and their $3,000 TPO turned into a $5,000 operation with all the follow-up therapy and medicine. Now money is certainly a factor but not the object here, but I can't see spending a small fortune only to have it perhaps not work, and then maybe spending a larger fortune later... and having to put him through 2 operations after all.
Our old black lab Whiskey had HD (both hips,) arthritis and spondylosis. He was on G/C for years, and had some mobility problems towards the end but other than that he did fine. So we're thinking we'd like to go that route. And if we need to go with the total hip replacement down the road, well then thatís what weíll do.
Iím also making an appointment to see a second ortho doctor. I truly want a second opinion here, and I want to discuss my thoughts and fears (now that I've had a chance to digest them,) which I did not do- nor feel comfortable doing- today.
I, well, I didn't like this place today. I am absolutely positive the vets are top notch and 100% up to date on all the latest knowledge, equipment, etc. But they're cold... clinical. It's a large practice with at least a dozen specialty vets and I'd take Trap or Katie there in a heartbeat if need be. I guess maybe I'm spoiled by our vet, who I've been using since 1980 and who all are very friendly and pet-oriented. Not a soul scratched Trapper under the chin today! and I felt like I was inconveniencing the front desk staff by just being there.
I guess what Iíd like from anyone here is their thoughts on this whole thing. Have you been through HD? What did you do and why? And looking back, what- if anything- would you do differently? Iím so afraid Iím making the wrong decision.
Dot in Northern Illinois
Oh, hon, I haven't been through HD, but I am keeping you and Trapper in my thoughts and prayers right now..I am so sorry.....(((((((hugs))))))))
Mother of Zoe Mae and Zeb AKA The Mess Pot
Oh, Dot, I'm so sorry. I definitely will get a second opinion. I know with Scottatioy it was so important to me for my peace of mind. I don't if it's possible in your situation, but I found it very helpful to submit Scotty's X-rays to the OFA (he was young enough to have a prelim done; not sure if Trapper is still young enough for prelims). With elbow prelims, you can talk to Dr. Keller who does them. I don't know if the same is possible with hip evaluations. Maybe some of the breeders would know.
I was in such a shock and such a wreck when I found out about Scotty's ED. I could not deal with making all of the decisions then and there. You can put him on G/C as soon as possible; that's easy. Take your time with surgery options. A week or two will not change much, but you need to feel somewhat ok about your decision. We're here for you whether you decide to go conservative or to do a surgery. Sending kisses to Trapper.
Dot...I am so sorry :-[ I think you and Tatyana are right about the second opinion.
I have never been through the HD but my heart goes out to you and Trapper.
I will keep you both in my heart and prayers. Give the big boy a smooch from me.
Oh no, I'm so sorry you're going through this.
I don't really have any brilliant advice, I'm afraid. I will tell you what your post made me think of...
There are so many hospital (for humans) here. Practically one on every corner. Almost like churches. But there are two that stand out in the minds of everyone.
One is considered a "people" hospital. Warm, friendly, caring, compassionate. They have a great reputation, and much of it centers around the way they treat their patients.
The other is a teaching hospital. They do research, have loads of specialists, and are considered one of the most advanced in the region...certainly the most advanced in the city. But...cold. :-\ I know several people who have done stays there, after having previously going to the warm fuzzy hospital, and were left just feeling like a number.
So, I don't know if that is particularly helpful. :-\ I just thought I'd mention that I've seen the same thing with people hospitals.
I guess what I'm thinking is, if I had a choice of two surgeons...
The first patted my hand and told me it was going to be alright. The second had a sterling reputation and had done ninety million of these surgeries before me, but didn't even look up from his clipboard. I think I'd go with surgeon #2, and let someone else pat my hand and tell me it was going to be OK. Does that make any sense? (It sounds like the difference between my former GP and my current GP. )
I know you'll figure out the best thing to do. I'm sure you'll get some great advice about HD from someone.
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
After being through 2 TPLO's for ACL I can only say do all the research you can and then make your decision.
You might want to get on the Orthodogs Yahoo forum. Alot of folks there that can give advice as they have been through this.
Sandie, Tank 5/25/1998 - 07/08/2011, Orson & Sully
Ohhhh (((((Dot))))) Im just seeing this now. :'( I know everyone here has great advice, Im here to offer my support. We will certainly keep you and Trapper in our thoughts.
How bad is the condition? How is he clinically? Lame every day, just after some exercise, just after strenuous exercise? Has he been on G/C? Any anti-inflammatories like Rimadyl or Metacam? For me if the dog can be treated and managed with supplements and medication that is the route I would go. I would give him a hefty dose of G/C and Metacam as needed.
I agree with WigWag. Some dogs do very well with conservative management.
Thanks for the support and advice everyone. This is kind of a shock to us...
Sharon, the ortho classified it as "severe." He seemed surprised we had no clue there was a problem, and couldn't seem to understand we only had the x-ray taken because the vet suggested we do it while Trapper was sedated for his neuter surgery two weeks ago
Trapper doesn't limp, doesn't favor his leg, his gait looks perfectly normal (to me, at least, and also in comparing it to all the other dogs I see at the park or the beach,) no lameness...nothing. He's never been on any medication except for Rimadyl for a day after the neuter surgery.
Dot in Northern Illinois