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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had Gabby's second opinion last night. It took close to two hours- I was pretty fed up with "non-answers" and pushed pretty hard.

I'd like your thoughts on the appointment

Gabby's breeder required that the second opinion be with this vet before he would enforce the hip guarantee. After close to two hours with the vet and a confirmed diagnosis of dysplasia, the vet refused to give me a letter for the breeder. :-X

This is what the vet said:

- She has very obvious HD signs/symptoms. She limps, bunny hops when running, sits crooked with one hip out to the side, is reluctant to jump up and down, etc.

- However, the level of pain she's displaying is much more than the severity of the x-rays. The x-rays show mild dysplasia in one hip; the pain is consistent with much more severe HD.

- What they think is going on is that she has damaged her joint capsule and cartilage in her hips and they cannot get it to show up on an x-ray.

- Neither vet we have seen thinks she's a surgical candidate at this time. They both would like to manage it medically for the time being- which is another problem (keep reading). Don't get me wrong, I'm not inclined to do a surgery that is unnecessary, but both vets have told me that the TPLO surgery is only good for dogs one year and under- and I'd rather do that than the total hip replacement eventually.

- While they would like to manage it medically, they foresee this being a problem because she cannot handle NSAIDs. She's been on Carpofen, Rimadyl, and Maloxicam. All of which cause terrible diarrhea.

- The second opinion vet wanted to put her on Science Diet JD. I asked him to show me a list of ingredients. He did so. The first four or five were "corn meal, wheat, filler, filler, filler." I asked him why feeding a terrible food just because it had Omega 3, Omega 6, and glucosamine in it would help. He refused to answer- I think the answer is that it would help his pocket book since they sell it for 55 dollars for a 25 lb bag.

- My vet and the vet last night want to see her on the thin side. I don't have a problem with her dropping a few more pounds- but I do have a problem with how the vet last night wanted to see her. He said "she should be so thin that people should come up to you and say "why aren't you feeding your dog?"

- He recommended swimming (no water retrieves- just pool swimming at the PT's office), acupuncture, Cosequin, and Adequan. Leash walks only for six weeks- on soft surfaces.

Do you guys have any other ideas? Thoughts about what the vets said? Pain management tips? TIA.
 

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Can you send the x-rays to OFA to be looked at and graded. Maybe that official grading of HD will get the breeder to recognize. Really a responsible breeder should back the guarentee with a letter from any vet not just her vet. I can see her wanting a second opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bacatherine said:
Can you send the x-rays to OFA to be looked at and graded. Maybe that official grading of HD will get the breeder to recognize. Really a responsible breeder should back the guarentee with a letter from any vet not just her vet. I can see her wanting a second opinion.
I can and I am very willing too- but the vets have told me that since the change isn't dramatic yet, they may not certify them dysplastic.

The vets have suggested I re-x-ray in six months and then send them in.

And the breeder has proven himself to not be very reputable or responsible- which really sucks. He should have enforced the guarantee after Saturday's appt.
 
G

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How old is Gabby?

Scout was on Metacam for pain management. She tolerated it very well. Before her second knee surgery, we did conservative management for about 2 1/2 months. Same things were suggested - restricted exercise, leash walks on soft surfaces only, no jumping, keep her lean, supplement with Glucosamine HCL.

I'm so sorry. I hope Gabby gets some relief from the pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Scout said:
How old is Gabby?

Scout was on Metacam for pain management. She tolerated it very well. Before her second knee surgery, we did conservative management for about 2 1/2 months. Same things were suggested - restricted exercise, leash walks on soft surfaces only, no jumping, keep her lean, supplement with Glucosamine HCL.

I'm so sorry. I hope Gabby gets some relief from the pain.
Gabby is almost 9 months. Maloxicam and Metacam are the same thing- one is the trade name. I feel so bad for Gabby right now; we're doing a terrible job managing her pain.
 

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First I want to say that I am very sorry for everything that you and Gabby are going though.

I would send the x-rays to OFA. It only cost $35 to send the films in(plus mailing expenses). Did this vet do a new set of films or is he looking at the films that were not stamp by your vet?

Secondly, I would get opinion from an orthopedic specialist. In fact in my contract it states that the 2nd opinion is from a specialist. I do not want anyone thinking that my vet would favor me.

Did the vet check her for an ACL tear? I have a puppy buyer who's girl started limping after playing in the snow. They took her to their vet and he took x-rays and thought maybe her hip. He recommend they go to a specialist. After he examined her, he said her hips were fine but she had torn her ACL and is schedule for TPLO surgery on April 3rd.

You are right about the food. I would not which to Science Diet. I would make sure that Gabby is a good quality food and supplement with Omega's, glucosamine. Make sure you keep her at a healthy trim weight.

I will keep you and Gabby in my prayers.
 
G

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I'm very sorry you are going through this ... and that your breeder isn't treating you fairly.

I'm confused about something though -- I thought TPLO was for cruciate ligament injuries. What does that have to do w/ Gabby's hips? Or am I mistaken?
 
G

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That's a good point about seeing an ortho vet. The consult appts I had with all the ortho vets I spoke to regarding Scout's knees was no charge.

And if the consensus is that Gabby is in pain, you see it and the vets both see it, I can understand why you're concerned about getting her relief from the pain she's in now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ThatsMyGirl said:
I'm very sorry you are going through this ... and that your breeder isn't treating you fairly.

I'm confused about something though -- I thought TPLO was for cruciate ligament injuries. What does that have to do w/ Gabby's hips? Or am I mistaken?
You know, that's what I thought too. But he kept referring to the femoral head excision as TPLO.
 

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gabbys mom said:
ThatsMyGirl said:
I'm very sorry you are going through this ... and that your breeder isn't treating you fairly.

I'm confused about something though -- I thought TPLO was for cruciate ligament injuries. What does that have to do w/ Gabby's hips? Or am I mistaken?
You know, that's what I thought too. But he kept referring to the femoral head excision as TPLO.
??? Weird.

Beside the point is that an FHO is really not a good option for large dogs, in the grand scheme of things you would be better off waiting as long as you could (arthritis and DJD wise) and then doing a total hip replacement. NC State SVM has a good web site for explaining what different options are for HD.

Adequan made a world of difference for our older lab (10 year) who has severe HD. He's been managed with NSAIDs his whole life, and just recently we switched to Adequan injections and he's like a puppy again - maybe it will help Gabby too?

Was the second vet an orthopedic specialist? Was it a regular office or a teaching hospital?
 

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gabbys mom said:
ThatsMyGirl said:
I'm very sorry you are going through this ... and that your breeder isn't treating you fairly.

I'm confused about something though -- I thought TPLO was for cruciate ligament injuries. What does that have to do w/ Gabby's hips? Or am I mistaken?
You know, that's what I thought too. But he kept referring to the femoral head excision as TPLO.
I think the hip surgery he is referring to is a TPO - triple pelvic osteotomy. Hopefully you heard him wrong or he just misspoke......if he doesn't know the difference between a TPO and a TPLO (tibia plateau leveling osteotomy) I would not trust his diagnosis!!

Now, about the pain. When our first labbie, Georgia, was diagnosed with severe HD at 9 months old our vet told us that #1 it was so sever he did not understand how she could walk (the head of the femur was just barely in the cup of the joint on both hips) and #2 that she did not appear to be in any pain at all! He said that all dogs are different and have different pain thresholds. Some dogs with very slight, almost indistinguishable HD will refuse to move and appear to be in excruiciating pain and then others, like our Georgie girl, have very severe HD and exhibit no signs of pain at all.

Georgia's case was diagnosed almost 18 years ago now, so the only option we had at the time was total hip replacement and she would not have been a candidate til she was two years old. We made sure we kept her weight down and we did swim her regularly to keep her muscles toned and strong. When she was two, she was still going strong and with our Vet and the orthovet's approval decided to wait til she needed the surgery. Georgia did not show any signs of pain til she was over 10 years old...too old to put her through the surgery. We continued with our conservative care and added buffered aspirin and Glucosamine/chondroitin. This kept her comfortable and happy til she was 12.5 years old. (We had to have her PTS due to a ruptured tumor on her spleen :( )

I hope you can get some answers for poor Gabby, it is so hard to see them in pain and not be able to help. I am also sorry that you breeder is being such a schmuck. :mad: With Georgia, all I did was call my breeder and tell her the findings. She did not require any "proof"...we were given the pick of the litter at any time we wanted as compensation. She said she would never take someone's dog away from them...Georgia was no good to her and we already loved her....but that we were entitled to a "healthy" puppy. (I guess we were really lucky to have found her! She has been breeding lab since around 1969 and even donates many puppies and breeding dogs to the local Seeing Eye dog organization.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yellojakesmom said:
gabbys mom said:
ThatsMyGirl said:
I'm very sorry you are going through this ... and that your breeder isn't treating you fairly.

I'm confused about something though -- I thought TPLO was for cruciate ligament injuries. What does that have to do w/ Gabby's hips? Or am I mistaken?
You know, that's what I thought too. But he kept referring to the femoral head excision as TPLO.
??? Weird.

Beside the point is that an FHO is really not a good option for large dogs, in the grand scheme of things you would be better off waiting as long as you could (arthritis and DJD wise) and then doing a total hip replacement. NC State SVM has a good web site for explaining what different options are for HD.

Adequan made a world of difference for our older lab (10 year) who has severe HD. He's been managed with NSAIDs his whole life, and just recently we switched to Adequan injections and he's like a puppy again - maybe it will help Gabby too?

Was the second vet an orthopedic specialist? Was it a regular office or a teaching hospital?
It was a regular office- and I was told that he was an ortho specialist by the breeder (wow, what a theme!). I made an independent appt this morning with an ortho vet in the area who also does doggy PT.
 

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No advice, but I have to say it sounds like your breeder is trying to make things VERY difficult for you. :mad: What's the point?

Good luck with the ortho specialist.
 

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I think the ortho vet is the right way to go. My regular vet (who I like) couldn't even tell us that Hudler tore his cruciate, and our trainer told us to go to her ortho vet.

I would have them take the films in the way the OFA needs them and send that in for pre-lims. That should be sufficient for your breeder. I am sorry he's being a pain. What did his guarantee promise? Refund, free puppy? Guarantees are tough. Even pups born from 2 OFA excellent parents can have problems, and there is always a chance of problems ocurring from accident rather than hereditary, which is why the 2 opinions are required. I haven't followed the whole story, so sorry to ask this, but I imagine you know what the OFA rating was on the parents, right?

Good luck with everything!
 

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I must have missed your first post about Gabby. I am sorry to hear about her diagnosis. :-\

I have a very limited experience of HD, but I would like to comment on this:

- My vet and the vet last night want to see her on the thin side. I don't have a problem with her dropping a few more pounds- but I do have a problem with how the vet last night wanted to see her. He said "she should be so thin that people should come up to you and say "why aren't you feeding your dog?"

Several trainers I have worked with have told me that a good way to tell if your dog is at a good weight is if people tell you they are too thin. The fact is, most people have no idea of what a dog at its correct weight looks like. To those that know no better, lean = underfed. I have people tell me all the time that my dogs are too thin when I know that they are the perfect weight -- thin layer of fat over the ribs, tuck up, waist and excellent muscle tone. The "your dogs are in fantastic shape" comments come from people who are are experienced with dogs.

Anyway, what I am saying is getting her down to a very lean weight will be beneficial for her long term health. It doesn't mean you have to starve her, and it doesn't mean she has to LOOK half starved. With the right diet and exercise regime she will look far from starved and it will take a great amount of pressure off her hips.
 

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NO experience with HD , (although Bosley will probably develop it in the future..... )..... if I were in your shoes, a specialist is the way I would go too...... and there just HAS to be a way to relieve the pain..... how about a holistic vet, they could do accupuncture possibly ? I hate to hear Gabby is in so much pain. I hope the specialist can help.....

Melissa
;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
CYNLABS said:
I think the ortho vet is the right way to go. My regular vet (who I like) couldn't even tell us that Hudler tore his cruciate, and our trainer told us to go to her ortho vet.

I would have them take the films in the way the OFA needs them and send that in for pre-lims. That should be sufficient for your breeder. I am sorry he's being a pain. What did his guarantee promise? Refund, free puppy? Guarantees are tough. Even pups born from 2 OFA excellent parents can have problems, and there is always a chance of problems ocurring from accident rather than hereditary, which is why the 2 opinions are required. I haven't followed the whole story, so sorry to ask this, but I imagine you know what the OFA rating was on the parents, right?

Good luck with everything!
Well, kind of. I was told that the parents were certified good- but I didn't know about the database until joining this board. I checked and they're not registered at all.

The guarantee will give me a free puppy- if I return Gabby. If OFA certifies hips as dysplastic, it's a full refund. If a vet does it, it's a half-refund.
 

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I very much agree with those who said to go see an otho specialist. Scotty's regular vet did not see ED on two sets of X-rays taken a couple of months apart. The ortho vet said that ED was quite obvious in both sets of X-rays. General practitioner vets just don't get that extra training the the specialists get.

the vets have told me that since the change isn't dramatic yet, they may not certify them dysplastic.
My understanding, at least with ED, is that once dysplasia is there, it's there.

I am so sorry about Gabby and how the breeder is not being responsive and responsible. I hope you will get better answers from the ortho specialist. Keep us posted.
 

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I wish I had some words of wisdom but they would mimic what others have said about seeing an ortho vet. My heart breaks for Gabby and I hope that somehow they can both diagnose and help her be pain free.
 

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