Hip Dysplasia
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Thread: Hip Dysplasia

  1. #1
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    DefaultHip Dysplasia

    Our 9 month old Fox Red Labrador was diagnosed today with canine hip dysplasia. Fortunately it is not a severe case as it was not detected in her x-rays that were taken last week, but we had her spayed yesterday and the doctor found that she could easily pop her joints. We have made an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon to be introduced to our surgical options shall we choose to go down that road [either now or in the future]. I would greatly appreciate any treatment [surgical and non-surgical] information that many of you more experienced dog owners may have. We are all ears at this point as we are just beginning this unfortunate journey.

    We are also wondering if anyone might know of a pet insurance carrier that DOES cover hip dysplasia? We have contacted numerous agencies and have yet to find one [if one does indeed exist.]

    Thank you so much.

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    No, insurance won't cover it...I don't think they cover any genetic diseases, but last I checked none of them covered HD. Hip dysplasia is only confirmed through x-ray, so if x-rays didn't show it I'm not sure I'd be overly concerned right now although things can change as she's not done growing yet.

    Going to an ortho vet is a great choice, they'll be able to give you plenty of options, both surgical and non-surgical. I opted against surgery with Jes. At his age, it was really down to only FHO (really drastic measure for his situation) or total hip replacement (he was really too young, and again no need, to do this now). I give him Cosequin and avoid jumping and leashed runs. Obviously he's a dog, so he does jump, but I try to minimize that. I also allow him to go swimming whenever possible since it's a low impact activity that's great on their hips (builds muscle with minimal impact). I also keep him slightly underweight...keeping them lean is very important.

    All-in-all, I really forget that he even has HD until a thread pops up. I'm in the habit of throwing in the glucosamine in with his food in the morning and he really has no symptoms so it definitely hasn't been as bad as I imagined that day he was first diagnosed.

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    I spent a lot of time researching insurance right about the time Gabby got diagnosed. Once your dog is diagnosed, you're SOL. It is then a pre-existing condition and excluded.

    I, like Nick, give Cosequin and Omega 3 supplements. Swimming is great. Soft surfaces are good.

    We are meeting with a rehabilitation and pain management specialist tomorrow.

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  6. #4
    widespot's Avatar
    widespot is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    Sorry to hear that about your puppy, ours was about 8 months when we were told Max had severe hip dysplasia. Nick's advice is good. We give Max Glucosimine and Chodrotin (too lazy to look up spelling :-\) While it seems pretty obvious he has some problems running and going up steps he is very happy otherwise and we are trying to give him a good life.

    We got him from the shelter when he was 11 weeks and suspect that his first owner brought him in due to his hips. He has had problems since we first got him, but we didn't realize what they were until he was older. He is a great dog.

    Good luck it is certainly not a death sentence and since it didn't show on xrays hopefully it won't grow into anything too bad.

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    see what the ortho vet says, sometimes our regular vets take poor radiographs. You may get a totally different story from the othro vet. My vet told me at 10 months that he may have mild hip displaysia in his right hip. I sent the film to my ortho vet and he laughed at the image and thought the hips looked fine but b/c he was not straight, he would not bet his life on it. Decided to do prelim OFA and Pennhip. His OFA came back as "Good".

    So again, see what your specialist tell you...they will probably retake the images - ask if they do Pennhip? The dog is young, if it is bad, you may have some options - and most of them work really well....

    As for insurance - as mentioned, its genetic, so they will not cover it and its now a preexisting condition - so they won't cover for that reason as well.

  8. #6
    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    We have the very same story as gerst001 - Jake was at the emergency vet for eating a clothes pin (that's a whole other story all together!) and when they took films to make sure he only ate one, the vet said "his hips really look not right to me, you should get them checked out." Our regular vet looked at the films took some of her own, and said, "Yep HD, at four months old, that's too bad."

    So we went to an orthopedic specialist at NC State Veterinary Hospital, who took films for PennHIP - did an additional 5 or 6 views of Jake's hips, and said there was positively nothing wrong with his hips. Where his hip and spine meet looked different than usual possibly, but he said that could just as easily have been the way the film was shot.

    If he does have HD, there are lots of treatment options, both surgical and conservative - so don't lose hope We have a 10 year old who was diagnosed at 6 months, and just now in his 10th yearhas he needed anything stronger than deramaxx ("aleve for dogs").

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

  9. #7
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    Quote Originally Posted by gabbys mom
    I spent a lot of time researching insurance right about the time Gabby got diagnosed. Once your dog is diagnosed, you're SOL. It is then a pre-existing condition and excluded.
    Yup!!! That even pertains to things like torn cruciates. Like we didn't have insurance for ours, and I thought about it since they said that our boy's second leg could possible go. No insurance would cover him fully, and would exclude a second torn CCL.

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    Thank you for all the advice and suggestions and encouragement! It's very comforting and empowering to have experienced parental advice.

    I've ditched the whole insurance search. CHD is on every "excluded" list. It seems that pet insurance is similar to human insurance as it doesn't actually cover anything worthwhile!

    Nella loves to swim and we will be sure that she gets lots of time in the water from here on out. To start, we are going to try some Sea Jerky treats that contain natural sea chondroitin and glucosamine HCL.

    Wondering how Nick's meeting with the rehab and pain specialist went? We have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow. Jake's mom, thank you for the PennHIP info, we'll be sure to ask tomorrow if they do PennHIP.

    We are keeping our hopes high that the surgeon does not agree with the initial diagnosis since it was not originally detected on the x-ray, but Nella does have many of the early signs of CDH such as limping after a hard play or long sleep, bunny-hopping, sitting without putting weight on her hips [see image] and joint laxity.

    Fingers are crossed!

    [attachment deleted by admin]

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    Nella is such a pretty girl!

    Our first labbie, Georgia, was diagnosed with severe HD at 9 months. She was so bad the vet said she should not have been able to walk. She lived for over 12 years and we never did anything other than to supplement with glucosamine & chondroitin...about the age of 10 she started to show some signs of discomfort and we added aspirin to the regimen. We did keep her slightly underweight and she swam regularly.

    Keeping our fingers crossed that your vet was mistaken...let us know how it goes with the orthovet.

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: Hip Dysplasia

    Sometimes good vet techs will notice these things because they are the ones moving the dogs on and off the surgical table. after you move a feew hundred dogs you get a feel for what a dogs joints feel like as you move the dogs around. I know we always think they carefully cradle our dogs as they move them..but in reality they slide them onto and off the table by grabing their feet and pulling them over. Then they roll them on their back and move the feet out of the way. So a vet or tech pulling on a dogs feet is just routine at least with lab sized dogs.
    on the plus side you got a free diagnosis with your spay! Though it would have been nice if they had called and asked if you wanted an X-ray done while the dog was already under anasthesia. So I say keep this vet!
    One thing you can do if she is diagnosed is keep her really skinny. A recent study showed this can increase the time of real problems by up too two years. And of course the G and C will help.

    Kelly and Amber

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