Recently I noticed a clicking noise(like cracking knuckles) that happens occasionally when Coby stands up and even when he is walking. He has shown no signs of pain, lameness, or anything like that. Other than the popping he seems perfectly fine. Yesterday we brought him into the vet to have them take a look at it, and found out he very well may have Hip Dysplasia. We will be bringing him in soon for X-Rays to get confirmation. According to our Vet, dysplasia is relatively common in Labs and other large breeds. Has anybody had to have the surgery done on their lab, or have any estimate of how much it may end up costing?
By the way , here's some recent pics of Coby... other than his apparent hip problem, he's doing great! Up to 65 pounds at about 8months(he was 3.5lbs. at 5 weeks when we found him).
twas the night before Christmas....
nap time with his big(little) brother
Hanging with his "dogs"
All growed up!
Our puppy, Champ, had TPO surgery for hip dysplasia a few months ago (he was 8 months at the time). It was very, very expensive ($4k+), but went very smoothly and Champ is now better than ever. If I had to make the decision again, I'm not sure if I would choose surgery or not. While the surgery went well and Champ is now doing great, I think the decision to have the surgery was made partially out of fear on my part - fear that if I didn't, there was potential for serious problems down the line and, because of the nature of TPO, it would no longer be a viable option. I now wonder if Champ would have been just as healthy with just proper medication and lifestyle modifications - but, hindsight is 20/20, right?
Anyways - I would recommend getting a 2nd and possibly 3rd opinion before you consider surgery. I have read many stories on here from people whose dog was initially diagnosed as having horrible dysplasia and needing surgery, only to get a second opinion that said that they would be fine with some medication and lifestyle changes. Even some dogs whose x-rays show fairly severe dysplasia can be just fine without surgery. In other words, I would see surgery as a last resort, only to be considered if multiple vets (including an orthopedic vet, if you have access to one) all see it as necessary. We spoke extensively with a well-respected orthopedic veterinarian before deciding on surgery for Champ. She made it very clear from the beginning that surgery was a last resort, and conducted a series of tests before we finally decided surgery was our best option.
A few things you can do to protect the hip joints - no jogging with your dog until he is 2 years old, keep his weight down (the excess pounds put pressure on the joints), if you can, take him swimming - it is a helpful exercise that is low-impact, give glucosamine/chondroitan supplements (we use cosequin).
Also, if you have any more detailed questions about the TPO surgery, feel free to PM me. I'm no expert, but I'd be more than happy to share my experience with you.
I think I would see surgery as a treatment of last resort. I would also get a second opinion and consider it carefully. I would have no problem with them having the surgery but if the same thing can be accomplished without it, i.e., a normal healthy life, and with meds and lifestyle modifications, then why go thru the ordeal of surgery?
Good luck with whatever you decide. Either way, I'm sure it is a tough call.
Have you talked to his breeder about it? X-rays (radiographs) are the only way to be sure just how bad his hips are...surgery is usually better and less expensive if done early if you choose to go that route. A TPO (triple pelvic osteotomy) is the surgery mentioned above, but needs to be done on younger dogs. It tends to be less expensive than a THR (total hip replacement) which is usually done as they get too old for a TPO.
Many dogs do fine with hip dysplasia for a long time, depending on the severity and the dog's size. You just usually need to make sure you keep them on the *very* lean side, provide lots of low-impact exercise to keep the muscles built up for better support, and get them on glucosamine/chondroitin supplements +/- other natural antiinflammatories, etc.
My girl at home, Libby, has bilateral elbow dysplasia (FCP's, or fragmented coronoid processes, in both elbows) as well as right hip dysplasia, based on x-rays taken when she was only 6 months old. I haven't rechecked her x-rays to see if her hip dysplasia has worsened, which I should really do. However, she is kept extremely lean and we use the pool a lot for swimming (low-impact exercise). She is on Cosequin DS daily, monthly injections of Adequan (an injectible polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, similar to Cosequin in action) and had surgery on both elbows, but not on her hip. So far, so good (knock on wood).
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
Thanks for everybody's responses...
Unfortunately, we found him... so I know nothing about his genetics. I'd really rather not go the surgery route, unless absolutely needed. I already put him on the glucosamin and condroitan , so hopefully that will help some. I don't often take him on jogs, but have in the past, so I'll refrain from that in the future... Is a long walk still ok, or should i keep his walks short?
Ernie has severe H.D. in both hips.It is about $5,000.00 here. Vets say surgery isn't an option for Erns.
I have heard popping doesn't necessrily mean H.D. and the only way to tell for sure is xrays.
Some of the things vet told me to do.
Weight loss and keeping him lean
lots of swimming. This has helped the most.
Keep him excersed. No more than 30 mins gentle walks every day. Another vet says I could walk longer, if he doesn't start limping, but don't want to push it.
No jumping, playing with a frizbee, or jogging.
I would see what the vets say and go from there. Xrays will tell how bad it is and from there you can make informed choices.