General information on Dysplasia
Dysplasia is a disease of the hip that can be very debilitating for the dog.
This disease is caused by a looseness or instability of the ball and socket of the hip. The socket can be too small for the head of the femur bone causing the bone to slip out. This eventually leads to an arthritic condition. Although this disease can be hereditary the actual cause is unknown. This orthopedic disease can be very crippling and it is very hard to treat.
Symptoms of Dysplasia
Symptoms of Dysplasia include difficulty getting up, lameness in the back legs especially after exercise, unsteady gait, pain in hip area, limping and poor development in the pelvic and thigh muscles.
Treatments for Dysplasia
Pain medications, controlled exercise and physical therapy with medication are one option if the Dysplasia is not too severe. Surgery may be an option when the disease is severe. This can include a full hip replacement.
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Dysplasia - personal experiences
Dysplasia experience by - Lauri
Aurora WI USA
We purchased Jake from a breeder when he was 12 weeks old. He is a purebred black lab. I knew better then to buy a dog without seeing the sire and dams hip x-rays. Hip dysplasia is common in labs and breeders need to have their dogs hips x-rayed and then evaluated to see if they genetically would/could pass along bad hips.
The mother had not been tested yet, but once we saw Jake, we fell in love and there was no leaving without him.
He was very playful at first, but shortly before he turned five months old his exercise habits changed. He no longer wanted to run and play, he only wanted to sit and watch. He was scheduled to be neutered, so he had an x-ray of his hips taken then. He was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. The x-ray showed he hardly had any hips at all. It was heartbreaking.
We contacted a specialist who advised us Jake could not be evaluated until he reach skeletal maturity at one year of age. Until then he received gloucosamine tablets and liquid gloucosamine injections called Adaquin. He was placed on special dog food with added gloucosamine and was given Remedyl for pain.
At a year old he was taken to the specialist and we were told the only thing that would help Jake was a total hip replacement. If we chose against the surgeries, he would be lame in a year and would most likely need to be put down.
We scheduled the surgery for that summer. He went in on a Monday. He was sedated, x-rayed, bathed and shaved. The surgery was the next day. All went well during the surgery. He had the cemented procedure. That is where they actually cement the ball and socket in place. Uncemented is considered better, but takes longer to heal from because the dogs bones actually grow around the implants.
He was sent home on Friday. He had two types of pain pills plus a pain patch that was just about ready to be removed. He was given strong antibiotics. He was to be kenneled for the first two weeks. He also needed a series of heating packs once a day. After the two weeks he was contained in our living room. He was not allowed to jump, run or play. We moved all the furniture out of the living room and used lawn chairs. We even nailed curtains to the wall to prevent him from getting excited by anything going on outside the house. Company was forbidden. He had to walk on a leash for about the next three months, until he returned for a recheck. After that, he was given permission to gradually increase his exercise and eventually be strong enough to be left off leash.
The following summer we went through the exact same ritual when we had his other hip replaced. You can actually do it soon after the first, but we needed to wait until summer vacation. During those times, he was never left alone. He always had someone watching him.
The surgeries ran about $4500 a piece. I know it is very expensive but our dog is worth it. He runs like the wind now and has a bright future without arthritis!!
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