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About a week ago, I took my 10 month old Lab to the vet for a follow-up x-ray of his hips after in March. When my dog was sedated, he was very drowsy but his eyes were still open and he still needed a few people to hold him down in position for the x ray.
After having looked at a bunch of x-rays on the web, I believe that my dog's x ray is bad because of his positioning. The photo was taken with the x ray in front of my laptop screen and might be a LITTLE off.
As a result of the x ray, the vet diagnosed him with CHD (class 1-2, dont know what that means though). She said that his left hip was dislocated and he would be prone to arthritis on his right. She also said that he could be in a lot of pain.
Could someone please confirm this (and say how you know in as much detail as possible)? I am really worried and don't know how I feel about the fact that a dog could always be in pain...
 

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Well, the positioning is not stellar. Having said that, no positioning in the world is going to make a normal hip look THAT bad. So yes, your dog has hip dysplasia.

In the x-ray, the hip (the left? I don't see any marker on the x-ray) is what is called sub-luxated -- meaning that the femoral head ("ball" of the ball and socket joint of the hip) is partially but not completely out of position from the acetabulum (the "socket" in the pelvis of the ball and socket joint of the hip). This is also sometimes called "dislocated". In a normal hip, the ball and socket fit very tightly together and there is not a lot of "wobble" when the joint goes through its range of motion. In a dysplastic hip, there is a lot of laxity or flexibility, meaning that even normal activities such as walking can cause a lot of "wobble" - by wobble, I mean that rather than staying very tight, the joint repeatedly dislocates and "relocates" as it goes through its range of motion. But - it is highly unlikely that the hip spends ALL of its time dislocated.

Having said all that, the biggest measure of whether your dog is in pain is how he is acting. In my experience, there actually isn't a lot of correlation with how dysplastic a hip looks on an x-ray and how much pain a dog is in -- some dogs with horrible x-rays act like nothing is wrong, and some dogs with pretty good x-rays are very painful. So don't fret over the x-ray, pay attention to your dog. It is likely that he will develop some arthritis as he ages, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it.

It's tempting to limit activity in these dogs out of concern for stressing the joint, but nice, strong thigh muscles are very, very important for dysplastic dogs. Part of those big beefy thigh muscles' job is to stabilize the hip, essentially "squeezing" the ball and socket together. There's only so much they can do, but please don't restrict your dog's activity, he needs those muscles to be strong!

There are also some surgical options for hip dysplasia at this age, but they are quite invasive and expensive and need to be done by a veterinary surgical specialist, so I don't know how available that option is to you. If your dog seems painful now (self-limiting his activity, trouble with stairs or jumping up on things, limping) there are also a LOT of good options for pain management these days.

Good luck. It is scary and sad to think of your dog being sick, but try to pay attention to what he's doing rather than worry too much about what the x-ray looks like. :)
 

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I'm not a vet or anything but keep your dog nice & lean. It's been said that a grain free diet may help with arthritis so it can't hurt. Glucosamine and MSM may be beneficial as well, as would salmon oil
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I honestly cannot tell you both how grateful I am for your replies. My dog's vet painted a very gloomy picture after she had seen his x-ray and I in turn was really put down.

Looking at my dog now I see that he does not appear to be in any sort of pain, he just usually lies down whenever he can and doesn't like to walk for a long time.
I have also heard his hip 'click' a few times as it dis and relocates itself.
Currently he is on glucosamine as fish oil and additionally we give him mutton broth for any extra glucosamine.

Once again, thank you both for your replies, I really appreciate it. And my apologies for the super late reply.
 
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