Displasia

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jackie c, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    I was concerned earlier this fall when my dog went lame, thinking it was arthritis, and I believe it is a form caused by diplasia. There are treatments, including surgury (hip replacement) I'm sure the cost is astronomical (for me anyway) but in most cases, it is 'the cure'. My only other option is to put her down. My question is any of you out there with dogs afflicted with this disease, what have you done for them. I really would like to get her well, but will have to save the money for a while till I get enough together. She is a very large dog, her mother was wolf and father was a pyrneese. She has a very thick coat. I would keep her in the house, but she hates it. She wants to come for walks with me and the other dogs, but has pain and heads back to the house. Then the lonesome, heartbreaking howling begins and does not stop until she sees us returning. How can I help her in the meantime. I really don't want her to suffer. I like the big breeds, and even if they have diplasia, if known young, can be treated. If only I knew then what I know now she would be fine.

    Have to edit this because I just found out they don't do that type of surgury here and it will be out of the question to send her away, I just can't afford a $5,000 vet bill. She's going to get checked by the vet and see if drug treatment will help her. Oh I feel just sick about this.
     
  2. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    My mom had a German Shepard with hip dysplasia. She had the operation done and felt that it prolonged his good days for quite some time.

    She also had good luck with dog acupuncture....yes they do acupuncture on dogs! I don't know if you will be able to find one near you though. :(

    The vet can recommend some pain medications like aspirin, and probably some form of glucosamine.
     

  3. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Shygal, I have her on asparin and 1000mg (twice an day) glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate. How much did your mom pay for the surgury?
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Keep her on the glucosamine, it really does help them long term. My dog's stomach can't tolerate the aspirin, so I get Metacam from the vet for her - it works wonderfully. It's expensive ($80 for a bottle that lasts my 50lb dog 1 1/2 months), but IMO worth it. With the metacam my dog runs and plays and goes for long walks. Without it she just lays around the house and can't hardly get up the stairs by herself.

    Also, really watch your dog's weight. Letting her get fat will just put more strain on an already bad joint.
     
  5. second_noah

    second_noah Local Yokel

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    Hiya,

    I had an english bulldog who had SEVERE displaysia at 5 years of age. He was fine with a little limp and soreness here and there until he turned 5. We did films on him at work and his ball was barely in socket. In fact he didn't have much of a joint socket to begin with. Sadly about a month after that I put him down. The drugs reacted badly to him and asprin wasn't enough. I didn't wanna see him suffer anymore.

    BUT, that is just one case. We also had an 'in house' dog at my clinic(a retriver mix) who was diagnosed with displaysia at 6 weeks of age and he is still going strong at 12 years old. He is on glucosamine/chondroitions and an NSAID for pain and he handles his condition very well. You really wouldn't know he had problems by the way he acts, though it's obvious in his physical stature.

    You have to take things into consideration like how active your dog currently is, weight, and of course the severity of the displaysia. Glucosamine and chondroitions aren't going to do a whole lot for pain but they will assist in keeping the damage and pain from becoming worse. NSAIDS like Rymadil, Etogesic, and Duramax are great, but they can be costly over the long term and there can be gastro-intestinal, kidney, and liver side effects. Your vet would be able to catch you up on all of that. Personally, though I love my dogs, I could never justify spending that amount of money for a hip replacement, it's just not in my pocket book or in my priorities. I do however think your dog could have a good quality of life with proper pain management without having to go through surgery.

    Limit her activity. Take short walks with her. Once she gets her pain meds regualted she will feel much better. Depending on age she probably has some more good years left in her, maybe just not at 'high speed'. Old dogs and old people are a lot alike. They all wanna do what they used to, but not many of them can. I am sure you can find new things and ways to keep her brain occupied and happy at a reduced activity level.

    Euthanasia is not always the answer, but sometimes it is. Even WITH the surgery I have seen dogs that really didn't improve much, especially older dogs. Being under anesthesia for that amount of time is not good for any dog and can really effect older dogs.

    I think you'll know when it's time and what to do. Dogs have a way of telling us. Just hang in there. Give her some extra loves. :)

    ~Christina
     
  6. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    This is 'non-medicine' orientied.. BUT... when you go for a walk w/the other dogs and she?/he can't make it and goes home to howel... how about you rig up an old red wagon or something to take him along?????? :D

    Have you ever considered some of the animal insurance Vet Policies? It might make your costs go down to a more affordable amount. (I know nothing of the details of these, but??? Can't hurt to check!) Especially since you know this will be a regular expense/commitment.
     
  7. SarahPrescott

    SarahPrescott Member

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    The dog probably won't qualify for pet insurance-they're very strict about pre-existing conditions. Anyway, most of the time you'd be much better off putting the $25 (or more) per month into a savings account for the pet(s) and only use it for emergencies or major medical problems.

    Sometimes aspirin doesn't cut it (sometimes it does) or the dog can't handle it (make sure you are using buffered aspirin). If you don't think the dog is doing as well as should, ask your vet to prescribe a different NSAID. By the way, if your vet switches you from the aspirin to one of the prescription NSAIDS make sure you take your dog off of the aspirin for at least 7 days before starting the new NSAID because the dog may develop ulcers or other complications if you mix aspirin and another NSAID.
     
  8. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Jackie, she paid around $600 for the operation, and had to drive him 6 hours round trip to get to somewhere that performed them :(
     
  9. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Jacki, add some good fats to the fiet, too. High lignan flaxseed is excellent, or you might try a dog food for working pups. I use Black Gold and am very pleased.

    I have two friends who have used accupuncture for similar problems (one is an unidentifiable lameness which comes and goes, the other dysplasia) and both have seen very real results.

    And I can testify to the benefits of aspirin, used wisely. I have severe bursitis in one of my hips. I was hit by a car when I was a kid, and this is the consequence. There have been times when I literally had to crawl around because the pain was so severe --- til I started using aspirin. Even for something like dysplasia, as[irin can be a miracle drug. But use it judiciously!

    Good luck --- I worry about dysplasia with my guys, too, :( although so far, we've missed the bullet.
     
  10. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    If the dog can't tolerate aspirin, try a buffered aspirin like Bufferin.
     
  11. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    I've had a couple of dysplastic dogs (both large breed (Anatolians), from non-OFA cert. parents); the 1st one was severe by 8 months, & we did reconstructive surgery when he was 11 months (triple pelvic osteotomy, can only do on young dogs). Didn't want to do both at the same time, & as it was, it was pretty rough on him & quite $$$, so we only did the one side. He lived to be 14 though, & had no further problems getting around, was a working flockguard until age 12. The other was OFA moderate dysplastic at 2 years, & as she got older, she didn't pick up her rear feet real well (for long walks, I put hunting dog boots on her, she'd sand her pads down otherwise), but she was a good house dog - lived to be 13 before she couldn't get around any more. I gave them a little aspirin, but both tolerated their condition pretty well. Now I'd have put them on glucosamine, & done acupuncture (my husband's bull & terrier mix has dysplastic elbows, & glucosamine & acupuncture have helped him). Keep her lean, so she don't carry excess weight.
     
  12. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    Glucosimine and other supplements (I like Missing Link brand) can make a huge difference, along with drug therapy. The other thing that can make a BIG difference is keeping the dog very lean, so that she is not carrying any extra weight, and low impact exercise- namely, swimming- to build up the muscles that will have to carry her weight since her bones can't do it.

    It's not a death sentance, and there ARE other ways to deal with it than surgery, but if it's severe, surgery may be the best option. The cost has come down in recent years- my friend paid $1200 per hip at a veterinary college, which is still a lot of money, but not $5000. If you go that route, I advise you NOT to go round telling people she's part wolf, since it raises liability issues for you AND whoever treats her.
     
  13. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Well thank you everyone :D you've given us some hope that she'll be able to cope with this a little better. She is overweight,but not by to much, so I'll put her on a diet, maybe try the raw diet thing. Its going to be a real chore to get her to the vet, she hates being in cars. So I don't think we can do accupuncture. I've heard good and bad about nsaids, but if it eases her pain she'll get them.
    Great idea about the cart, maybe she'll sit in a sleigh behind the snow machine, for this time of year. She is getting depressed and I hate seeing her this way. Living alone, well these animals are my family and its really hard watching them degrade in their old age. If they were people they would get good, free health care. One thing for sure now is I will get the insurance on the other healthy dogs, for when their time comes. Thanks again all, you're a great supportive bunch :)
     
  14. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My dog has been diagnosed with this. She now acts like her backend is paralyzed. She seems fine otherwise. She doesn't yelp in pain, she just can't move her back legs. Her paws are turning under also. I am calling the vet again today. Do any of you know why her backend would be doing this?
     
  15. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about the pup! Think the "little red wagon" idea is a great one! However, if surgery is necessary, a veterinary college is probably your best shot -- they might even do it free or on a sliding scale according to your income or something. In Ontario, you aren't all that far from us here in NY, and of course we have Cornell University and their veterinary college in Ithaca, which isn't all that far from the border. What would it hurt for you to call or email them -- probably find them by Googling on the net -- to see if this is something they do, and if they could help, and how much it would cost. Then all you'd have to do is figure out how to get her across the border. OR, they might be able to recommend something in your area -- I'm sure they know every vet on the planet, where they're located, and what they can and cannot do!! Good luck!

    MaryNY
     
  16. bluefish

    bluefish Wait................what?

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    If you're interested, read my reply to Messianic5 over on the pet forum. I did the raw food diet and vitamin C on my dog and they worked wonders.

    Kathryne
     
  17. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie Well-Known Member

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    We have a 125 lb Bull Mastiff/Rhodesian Ridgeback cross that has problems with his hips, he's only 5 years old. I started him on Springtime Inc's www.springtimeinc.com Joint Health chewables and the result has been amazing.

    Stacy
     
  18. pistolsmom

    pistolsmom Well-Known Member

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    Our German Sheperd had displasia. The vet told us there would come a time when he would go down and not get back up but in the meantime he said to give him a Bayer aspirin everyday. The aspirin really seemed to help and we felt that as long as he didn't seem to be in pain we would keep him with us. We gave him the aspirin for over 2 years and then came the day he went down and couldn't get back up. Would do it all over again.
     
  19. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

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    Besides Gloucosomine. There is now Bioflex. It has a few more additives for the bones and flexability. Try it.

    Something the vet suggested for my dog and it has helped a lot is.
    Feed them 1/2 adult dog food and 1/2 puppy chow.

    The puppy chow has a lot more calseuim than the adult food and will help with bone strength. Note as with any dietary changes you make get some stomach upsets till he gets used to the new mixture but give it a week and he'll be fine.

    Good luck.
     
  20. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've read both of the threads on dysplasia, and am taking serious notes here.

    Questions:

    Is exercise good or bad?

    Has anyone tried narcotics for pain relief? http://www.vetinfo.com/dogmed.html

    TIA,
    Pony!