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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
8 week mastiff/boxer puppy with hip dysplasia, or at least the vet said she was pretty certain she did, but didn't want to say a definite yes without getting an X-ray.

She waddles when she walks, can't really run without "bunny" hopping. It's not a luxating patella. The vet said she doesn't seem to be in pain.

Is there anything that can be done for dysplasia? I've never heard of a dog getting it so young, but obviously it is possible. Do dogs need to be put to sleep because of this?

Is surgery the only option, it's 5 grand a hip here.

Any advice from people who have experience with this?

Thanks!
 

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Cara's HD was diagnosed after an X-ray at about 8 months old. We had been noticing her "walking funny" for some time before that. It's' pretty bad in her left hip. We decided against surgery for various reasons. She's 7 years old now.

Over the years, she's been treated with Adequan shots and supplements and she's still doing relatively well. In good weather, when the pain isn't so bad, she even runs and plays. On those evenings I give her pain reliever so she can sleep well. But she mostly likes to lie around.

The options to surgery are supplements, exercise and acupuncture. Walking, swimming and massage are good. It's a kind of a play-as-you-go-along sort of thing. There are some tough decisions to make and your vet should be able to give you a complete picture so you can decide the best course of action.

Nothing, outside of surgery, is going to heal it, but depending on what you want and how bad it is, there are other ways to deal with it. Good luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What do you mean in good weather, like not cold weather? Since here we have 9 months out of the year of winter, does that mean she would be in extreme amounts of pain for those 9 months?

I think there is one vet up here who does acupuncture.
 

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So much depends on the dog.

With my parent's dogs one was in an obvious amount of pain by 4 months (16 weeks) (she also had always bunny-hopped everywhere, never was able to get onto my parent's bed, etc...). First we tried acupuncture and she had a horrible reaction to that. She used to be good at the vet, now she is extremely aggressive and I'm the only one who can safely handle her. If I wasn't a vet tech and able to hold her and work on her myself she would likely have to be sedated for every vet visit.

We tried her on pain meds but she needed them daily and began to show signs of kidney issues. So pain meds were a no-go.

We decided on an FHO surgery at 6 months, that is the removal of the femoral head (the knob that goes into the hip socket). It was a terrific surgery for her. We did one hip, gave her two months to recover and then did the second hip. She isn't 100% and never will be because she has issues in most of her joints and there really isn't any surgery that will be able to fix everything. Even so, she now runs and plays and while she still needs a boost onto my parent's bed she can jump up on the couch to lay with the other dogs.

My parent's other dog is a year and a half old and as of 2 months ago has begun limping. First we tried just a glucosamine supplement, nope still limping. Then we added a daily pain med (not every dog will have kidney issues), nope still limping. Now we are going for a consult for a full hip replacement. With her we are choosing full hip over FHO because her hips are her only problem joint. Fix the hip and you've fixed the dog. She also had a full range of movement prior to this and even with the hip issues still runs and jumps like a normal dog.

All of this to say that there are a lot of options and not all of them will work for every dog. Even surgically there can be a choice between an FHO and a full replacement (FHO has a benefit of being much more inexpensive btw). If a dog is showing issues though at only 8 weeks I would prepare for your choices to perhaps be more limited. With the FHO dog she already had arthritic changes in her hips at 6 months old, so was in definite pain.

Look into acupuncture (didn't work for the one dog but does wonders for my horse)
supplements
adequan
pain meds
surgeries

I hope some of this helps and if you have any other questions feel free to ask.
 

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There is an option for young puppies only (best results if done before 20 weeks) called Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis. Here's a link: http://medvet-cves.com/pdf/JPS_Review.pdf
I don't know if there are any vets in AK that do it or how much it might cost.

What kind of surgery would your vet be doing?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Our vet would be doing nothing, we would have to travel out of fairbanks, and we don't have 10,000 dollars... I think it was the surgery where its not the hip replacement, but the one were it saws off a part of the bone?

I can't see that link.
 

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The nice thing about doing the surgery at such a young age is that it will actually make a difference. Many dogs have a full recovery after these various hip surgeries, which means your dog could have a completely normal life for the next, what? ten years? twelve? I'm not doing surgery on any of Alvin's joint or muscle problems because he's old. Even with a full recovery, I would have spent thousands of dollars on a dog who may only have one or two more years left in him!

And yes, HD can be a cause of euthansia. I had to put my Clifford down because his hips were causing him unmanageable pain and he was not always able to control his bowels.
 

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Our vet would be doing nothing, we would have to travel out of fairbanks, and we don't have 10,000 dollars... I think it was the surgery where its not the hip replacement, but the one were it saws off a part of the bone?

I can't see that link.
I'd check more closely. I live in the NYC area (in NJ) and we have some of the most expensive vet costs around. I've compared prices all over the country and, outside of parts of California, it doesn't get more expensive.

For us the full hip replacement will run about $5000 a hip. The FHO (removal of the top of the femur that you are talking about) was $1500 a hip. I know your choices are probably more limited but I'd still double check. $5000 for an FHO just seems absolutely insane when you can get a full hip replacement for that amount.

Just an FYI but the FHO might not be an option depending on how big your pup will get since most vets feel it works best on dogs with an adult weight of 50lbs or under. On the plus side even if you do an FHO you can still do a total hip replacement at a later point in time if that is what becomes necessary.
 

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Pepper, an FHO is not advisable for a large breeds AT ALL and a boxer Mastiff mix will be a very large dog. The JPS surgery Willowy posted would be a much better option IF you can find a vet that does it, I have a feeling it may cost less as well. Have the vet check to see if there is a veterinary college that can do this procedure for less even if you have to fly down to the lower 48 to get it.

Yes, HD can resut in Euthinasia, if the dog is in bad enough pain and the quality of life suffers enough.
 

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It may be worthwhile to check the veterinary college in Alberta regarding surgeries..it MAY be cheaper and closer for you to skip across to Canada rather than head south.

As for dysplasia at a young age. It does happen, and that usually is pretty severe to be showing that young. A client of mine has a black GSD that had obvious hip issues at 9 weeks (weakness, extreme crossover in the hind legs etc). They opted to go with supplements and Rimadyl for pain and inflammation rather than surgery (which would have been my choice..but it's not mine to make). Rankin does very well on the meds, shows more discomfort in the rainy season (winter is not too bad but slippery walks can be hard) but does very well if he gets a decent amount of exercise (especially swimming) and is a happy, if uncoordinated boy at 5 1/2 years of age. He will likely not have a long life but he is doing well all things considered.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yesterday, I had called a non-profit rescue to visit a big mastiff boy, and I mentioned the puppy(Bella) and she gave me a big plan to do. She has been rescuing for 20 + years and used to breed and show X-large breeds like mastiffs in the past, so she said she has a huge amount of experience with bad hips, wobbly walking, etc...And if a regimen is started young, the bones and muscles can develop to help along whatever the problem is.

She said it doesn't particularly look like dysplasia, but more like she doesn't have any muscle(which she doesn't) She thinks she wasn't fed a good enough food to help with her muscle development or bone development. She showed us the food to feed, the vitamin supplement with glucosamine to give, and what type of raw diet to feed 3x a week. The pups on antibitiocs now, because we rescued her from a nasty rescue shelter, and her spay was wide open, you could see in her tummy! So we got her stapeled up and on antiobiotics. The woman said after she's done with her antiobiotics to feed her cultured yogurt for a little while to help the bacteria build back up in her stomach to digest the raw.

Today at 3 we are going to see a very holistic vet a little ways out of town(the lady we got Bella from is paying for it) She does acupuncture, believes in raw, and is just a good vet. So were going to see what she says about Bella's legs and go from there!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'd like to report that with a top notch diet, glucosamine joint supplement, and exercise, she is walking 95% better then when we got her on July 2nd! She can actually run now and no longer bunny hops! There's a slight hitch in her step with her back legs, but she doesn't waddle with her stomach almost on the ground anymore!
 

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Glad to hear it Pepper! Keep us posted on the little tykes progress and post some pictures soon!
 
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