Hip dysplasia - any advise?

Discussion in 'Labrador Health' started by Anna Boyd, May 14, 2018.

  1. Anna Boyd

    Anna Boyd Registered Users

    Jun 7, 2017
    Our nearly three year old lab has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia today in both hips. The X-rays show he also has some osteoarthritis in both joints. His condition isn't bad enough to need surgery at this stage but can be managed medically. We have been advised to only walk him on a lead, go for a shortish walk once a day and a quick sniff around the front garden once a day, give him supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil), give him a course of Pentosan injections (a concentrated anti-inflammatory and cartilage synthesis stimulant) and further pain killers on an as needs basis. I also believe he should be kept reasonably lean. Does anyone have any other suggestions or advice. He actually takes Clomipramine for separation anxiety which is sedating to an extent which may be a blessing in disguise. Because I am concerned he will get less socialisation I was wondering about getting a small breed puppy for him to play with, but I'm unsure if playing/running with him in the back yard would be too much.
  2. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

    May 24, 2012
    Hi there, and you have my sympathy. Our one-year old boy has also just been diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia, in both hips. He has no pain or arthritis as yet. All the advice I have received is to gently build up your dog's muscles, and be careful not to let them atrophy, as they will be needed to support the hips - so actually different advice to that which you have been given. I would talk to another vet and possibly join a support group (e.g. on Facebook), as people who are going through this can be very helpful and have lots of good advice. I would also look into physiotherapy and hydrotherapy for your boy. I certainly wouldn't get another puppy, as romping around could be just what he shouldn't do... What he needs is gentle, constant exercise, so slowly increasing lead and free walking. Swimming would probably also be very good for him. I wouldn't cut him off from other dogs, and I think you have to find a balance between his quality of life (by which I mean the fun and stimulation he gets) and trying to protect him from further wear and tear on his hips. I am sure others will be along soon to give you their advice. Good luck!
    Emily_BabbelHund likes this.
  3. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

    May 25, 2011
    Malvern UK
    I agree with Karen, he needs to maintain the muscles around the hip joint. If he has to live that restricted life, I would go for the op if you can afford it. My German Pointer had a hip replacement and he was as good as new afterwards. I also saw a very fit Collie running on the hills and he had had a hip replacement.

    My dog walks with two other dogs and they do not play but enjoy just being with each other and sharing smells. So if you can find dogs who do not play then he can still be socialised with other dogs.
    Karen likes this.
  4. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

    Jun 2, 2012
    Fife, Scotland
    Hi Anna, sorry you have this diagnosis.
    Our Lilly was diagnosed with severe bilateral hip dysplasia just before she was a year old. She has now just turned 8 years old.
    I agree keeping your boy lean is important, and the supplements may help. certainly do no harm (I use Yumove now with Lilly).
    I agree with Karen above, a new puppy may not be in his best interests, particularly if he has issues with anxiety.
    I think graded steady exercise is really important though. Before our diagnosis Lilly had been limited to short on-lead walks only, afterwards, the specialist said we had to gradually increase to 60 minutes twice a day on lead, by adding an extra 5 mins every week. We did that before really letting her off lead. It was hard work, and difficult to fit in around our work, but we got there.
    We also started hydrotherapy swimming, but more emphasis on the fun, with free swimming rather than swimming in the "tank" style physio-based hydro.
    This all helped to build up her muscles, though I admit now she has lost some condition as financially we needed to cut her swimming last year, and we haven't possibly regained all the ground we lost.
    She initially was on anti-inflammatory meds but they stopped a couple of years ago and we just used it now for a few days if she starts limping, or better still, if we know she is going to have an active few days, we start it beforehand in anticipation.
    She is doing really well, and has not had surgery. Loves a good romp after the wildlife and relishes a roll in something stinky.
    Don't get too down about your boy.
    Karen and Emily_BabbelHund like this.
  5. Beanwood

    Beanwood Registered Users

    Jan 28, 2014
    Casper is 9 years old, and we had the diagnosis of HD, mild in one hip and moderate in the other, soon after we adopted him at just over 5 years old. Top of my head (need to dog out some data later..) whilst the inherited gene has an impact on how the joints form, a huge component of progression, meaning to oesteo-arthritis, is down to environmental factors.

    We took a multi-modal approach...appropriate exercise, managing weight to the thin side of normal and high-quality supplements. We don't actually do much lead walking with our dogs, but let them off lead most of the time. When we had the diagnosis, we dialled back the exercise, then slowly built it back up in small increments.

    Now back to Casper, whilst yes he is starting to slow down a little, he is in excellent health, and looks super fit, in fact, he looks a lot better than most of the show-line bred 9-year-old labradors I see out and about. He only has pain meds on an ad hoc basis, when for example, we are taking him out for a more challenging walk.
    Karen and Emily_BabbelHund like this.

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