I joined a while ago but I haven't posted in a while, I hope this is the right place to post this.
I have a 9 month old chocolate lab called Tilly. We noticed she was strugging to get up after running after the ball during walks and she didn't seem right on her back legs so we took her to the vets on Wednesday. He had a feel and guessed hip dysplasia and we went back for an xray yesterday. Which confirmed it was hip dysplasia.
After talking to him about it he said that from the xray she has it on both hips and it does look like quite bad. He suggested a TPO on one leg and then seeing how it goes before doing the other.
But unfortunately I have become ill myself and so had to stop work. I did get her insured but after calling them they have refused to help as they say I am not covered for this particular problem. I have tried charaties but obviously due to the huge cost they can not help. So desipite wanting to try the opperation I have no way of doing so.
My only option is medication. The vet said she may not nessisarily need medication every day but we would start off that way and see how it goes. He said that as shes young and growing she may improve and she may be fine on this route but after time a TPO ill no longer be an option and so if it got worse it would have to be a hip replacement.
I was hoping for some advice from anyone who has had a dog with hip dysplasia because I want to give Tilly the best chance of a happy, pain free, long life. I have done some research and I know that monetering her weight and exercise is very important. I also read that there are some food supliments that can help. I read that swimming is better exercise than walking. I live by the sea so will it be ok to let her swim there or would it be better to take her to a dog swimming pool?
Tilly is quite calm most of the time but when shes excited such as when we get the lead to go out or while we are out on walks she gets extremely excited and bounds around a lot. I am worried this is going to put strain on her hips. I am thinking that now it is extemely important I train her to calm down quickly, or am I paniking too much?
She was given some painkillers but I will need to go back to the vets to sort out a long term plan as I only have a weeks worth and they wanted to give me time to think things over.
I will spend whatever I can to help her. I wish I had the money to get the oppertation but at £2000 Per leg I have no chance. However I definitely do not want to give up! I have read that dogs with hip dysplasia can live a long life and I definitely want to try my hardest to make sure Tilly does too! Sorry I am hoping I have explained everything properly, There has just been so much to take in the past two days.
I am extremely grateful for any advice.
Was the vet a specialist? Did he only give one option for surgery? I understand funds are tight but I would want to get the dog seen by a specialist (unless the vet you mention is indeed a specialist).
Have you shopped around for prices with other vets or specialists?
Is she in pain already? Some dogs with mild displasia can indeed live a long happy life and may not even need medication never mind surgery. But they are generally not in any visible pain for years, especially that young.
But if at 9 months her hips are so bad she is actually in pain (IF - not sure if this is the case) then...you will need to figure out what your options are as the pain killers are going to end up costing A LOT of money and your girl with have NO quality of life. (if this is indeed a severe case - I am not sure of what the case is here).
Things you can do - keep her slender (as skinny as you can while staying on the healthy scale) - the more weight she has the more strain on her hips. Make sure she does easy on the joints exercise like swimming, no jogging or biking with this dog. Keep her on soft surfaces as much as possible. But you do need to let her be a dog to a certain extent.
So basically - get a second opinion from a SPECIALIST, get OPTIONS (not just 1 option) on treatment and see what they say from there.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I am so sorry to hear about Tilly! I know you must be worried sick! We applied to a company called Care Credit. Here in the US, you can use the credit card for medical needs, even veterinary charges and pay over time. We got it in case we have a big bill on Sophie. I know the UK has the company, I am not sure if vet fees are included over there, but you could check. Here is a link that might be helpful with understanding hip dysplasia. I will hold you and Tilly in my thoughts and prayers.
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Last edited by Sophiesmama; 06-22-2012 at 06:52 PM.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
If your dog does have severe HD at less than 1 year it will be only the second time in my whole life I had heard of that. It's pretty rare.
I would get a second opinion fom an ortho specialist. You should also join the orthodog group on Yahoo.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I sure hope a 2nd opinion from a specialist brings you better news. Why won't the insurance cover this surgery?
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
I am so sorry about your Tilly, and that you aren't well yourself, I hope than neither are serious, and you will both feel better real soon.
If Tilly were my dog, I would submit her x rays to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, also know abbreviated as OFA, and see how they evaluate Tilly's hips. It only costs about $35.00 for them to evaluate them when they are under 2 years of age. In my experience *most* general vets don't know how to read x rays properly, and it is *possible* that they may be mistaken. There are other things that might make a nine month old Lab limp, or be sore. If the x rays are taken with good positioning, it would be less expensive to send the x rays to OFA than to consult an orthopedic specialist at this point, and you would have a diagnosis/second opinion/rating of her hip conformation.
This is the form that you need to fill out and send in with the x rays, your vet will have to sign them, and it takes about 2-4 weeks to hear back with a rating.
My best to you and Tilly, please keep us posted.
I don't think they have OFA where the OP lives. If you read the post they are talking about spending 2000 POUNDS, not dollars.
Oh dear didn't notice that... I am sure they have a hip grading system wherever the OP lives though, perhaps they are in Great Britain?
Thank you for all the advice. I will find a specialist in my area to get a second opinion. Especially to see how severe it is and my options. My vets have not said how severe it is he just said that the xray didnt look good (along those lines...sorry I have a bad memory). I did see the xrays myself and from seeing other xrays of HD online I would agree but obviously I cant read it properly so a specialist would definitely be a good idea.
The reason the pet insurance wont cover it is because they say it does not fit into one of the catigorys that I am covered for. (sorry if my spelling is bad)
At the moment my vet is sorting out some medication to see how it goes but said she might not need it all the time they just want to see how she goes.
Tilly seems to be rebelling against it. She seems more hyper than ever, wanting to run and jump. I noticed she even kicks our other dog Oscar away with her back legs when they play. Then there are other times when she crawls (only if what she wants isnt far) she always takes time getting up and she does bunny hop. But generally she seems happy and she doesnt seem to be struggling (most of the time the only sign is that she takes her time getting up from her back legs) should I take this as a good sign?
I am coming to terms with it now and I am a little more hopeful after hearing about a family friends chocolate lab was diagnosed at 6 months with HD and was told he would need a hip replacement by the age of 6 but in the end he (Jack) did not need one and lived to the age of 14! Funilly enough he was the reason I have wanted a chocolate lab since I was about 12. I have been given some advice on what I can do. So now I feel ready to face it and try my best to make sure Tilly is happy.
Getting a second opinion is a good idea. Please note that while she is continuing to grow her hip laxity may improve. I would just provide her with moderate exercise (swimming is excellent for dogs with joint issues) and not let run around on rough/rocky/hilly terrain.
If you have not yet spayed her DON'T! Keeping her intact until she is fully grown will allow her to develop normally. Spaying before maturity will cause her to grow taller than she would normally as the growth plates take longer to close. This affects the angles of the dog's structure and can exacerbate joint problems.
Be sure also that you are not giving her any calcium supplements or milk products. Again - it is about slow growth. If you are using a quality dog food that should have adequate calcium and anything you add can throw that % too high.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.