Author Topic: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?  (Read 10538 times)

Offline KatysTank

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What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« on: June 28, 2008, 12:04:40 pm »
Tank is a newfie mix and he has not showed any signs of his hips hurting him or anything. But since we got him from a kill shelter and do not know his background, We have no way of knowing about his parents or anything. I was just wanting the learn more about it and know the signs in case he every shows these signs. My Aunt has a English Chocolate Lab that has Hip dysplasia and she did not show signs till she was 5 years old. From what I heard the treatment and surgery for it is VERY expensive, so they are just trying to make her life as comfortable as possible. She is still able to go camping and swimming with my Aunt and my Uncle. So that is good. Are they born with hip dysplasia or do they just get it with age? Any information would be great!

Offline maxsmom

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2008, 04:04:11 pm »
Hip dysplasia has stages or degrees of severity.  It can present in dogs under a year of age, as severe or in dogs 6 or 7 as mild.  Most all dogs, like people have some damage to their joints, simply due to the aging process.
The main signs I have been told to watch for include:
swaying of the hips, when walking
cow hocks, or the feet are at an angle to the legs, instead of facing perfectly forward
the feet being planted and pivoted on, when walking
bunny hopping(moving both back feet together, instead of separately)
single tracking, in a breed that normally doesn't do this, with the back feet  (this is essentially pulling the feet in underneath the body, rather than straight down from the hips)
popping in the hips, when the dog moves

Cody has severe arthritis in one hip and has severe cow hocks.  His hips are also uneven, with the good hip being held lower and the foot angled in more underneath his body for support.  Chichi has a severely damaged knee and cow hocks.  She also plants one right foot and rotates it, rather than simply bending her knee and ankle when walking forward. 

These symptoms, may or may not be due to a hip problem.  I had a rescued Kuvasz that single tracked, with his rear feet almost crossing when he walked.  I had his hips xrayed before I knew that this is a breed trait.
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Jake  2 Great Pyrenees
Cody   3 Tibetan Mastiff
ChiChi 1.5 Caucasian Ovcharka
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Offline KatysTank

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2008, 07:16:07 pm »


The only thing that Tank does from that list is that he sways his hips when he walks. We are probably going to get his hips tested when he turns one years old. Is having their hips tested expensive? All they do is do a physical exam of the hips and take x-rays, right??

Tank is also very sensitive when it comes to his lower back by his tail. He yelps and gives me a warning num(which mean he does not bite me, he just gives me a gentle num on my hand) on my hand with his mouth when a brush his lower back and tail. He also yelps and gives me a warning num on my hand when we try to give him hugs or try to hold him. I think that he was not treated very nicely in his home before ours.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 07:28:23 pm by KatysTank »

Offline shangrila

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2008, 08:23:19 pm »
I would not stress out about hip dysplacia right now. If he starts to show major signs (the two biggest and easiest to spot are the bunny hop run and pain/struggling to get up, especially in the morning). However, if you are concerned about HD, there are a lot of preventative steps you can take to help reduce the effects if he gets it in the future. Some goof things to do preventaively:

* Because you said that you want to check his hips when he is one, I am assuming he is still a growing puppy. The number one thing you can do to help his hips is the control his growth. If you feed a low protein / low fat food, he will grow slower, which will give his bones more time to grow and adjust to his size. What are you feeding him right now? If you are feeding him a regular puppy formula I suggest you switch foods because they encourage rapid growth. There are some brands who make large breed puppy foods that are designed for slow growth, and a lot of people go right to adult food for slow growth.

*Try and keep him on the slim side. The less he weighs, the less stress there will be on his joints.

*Have him build muscles to support his joints with low impact excersize (i.e. walking)

* Try to limit stair climbing and jumping while he is growing, especially if he has trouble with it

*You can use joint supplements, the most commonly used ones being glucosamine, condrointin, and msm. What happens with HD is that the ball and socket in the joint don't fit together the way they should, which causes the cartilage to wear away (like arthritis, which is why it gets worse with time). Glucosamine helps reduce cartilage damage, and reduce pain if the joint is damaged.


Beyond the HD, I would be concerned if he is exhibiting fear/pain when you touch him. Has he had a vet check to make sure he doesn't have a skin condition, or other cause? If he doesn't have a medical condition, you are probably mistreated by his last owners, so you should work on slowly building trust by approaching him slowly, petting him in small incriments, giving him treats, using lots of praise, etc

RIP former BPO

Offline KatysTank

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 10:11:44 pm »
He is being fed: Diamond Maintenance Formula for Dogs.
Crude Protein     21.0%     
Crude Fat    12.0%    
He seems to be doing really well on it. He is nice and slim. He looks great in body weight. Not too fat and not to skinny. He loves walks! The only stairs he has to walk down are to the backyard and there are only 3 steps. So, that will not be a problem. Tank does jump up and down on the couch though.
It sounds like we are doing everything we need to do to help prevent it. :D

What about laying on hardwood floors? Because of his thick hair he LOVES to lay on the cool hardwood floors and on the air vents on the floor.

When we he was neutered not to long ago, they said he was very healthy(no skin problems or anything). I think he was abused in his home before ours(we do not know his story, as the kill shelter found him wandering the streets). Treats, praise and love has helped him a lot. He is coming along and is a wonderful dog!

Thank you for the information!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 10:21:52 pm by KatysTank »

Offline shangrila

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2008, 10:21:46 pm »
Laying on hard wood floors is fine if he wants to. You should have a bed there in case he wants it (they even make cooling beds), but if he chooses the wood floor then it's ok (he would choose the bed if the floor was making him sore). One thing you might notice it that he may get sores on his elbows from laying on the hard floor. It's pretty common (happens to most dogs who lay on wood floors) and not too big a deal for most dogs. If it happens, bag balm will help if they get chapped, and eventually they will probably callus over.
RIP former BPO

Offline KatysTank

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2008, 10:25:30 pm »
ok, that is great to know that will not cause any harm. If he gets uncomfortable on the floor, he jumps up on the couch and lays down. :D

 

Offline Rajas Mom

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2008, 03:23:52 pm »
ok, that is great to know that will not cause any harm. If he gets uncomfortable on the floor, he jumps up on the couch and lays down. :D

 

Being someone who currently has an ongoing case of hygroma (it's still killing me!) with my large breed, I would try to encourage soft places, etc. as much as possible.

I have all hardwood floors and tiles with plenty of dog beds to go around, but I have a young Saint and a young Lab and they love to play.  In my case, at least, if not many, I truly believe it was just a case of one too many hard-core playing romps.  Especially as it developed as spring set in and the brick patio became a wrestling mat.

As for Glucosamine, to clarify, are you suggesting it as a preventative measure?  I already use it daily for my ancient dog, but I worry so much about Raja.  Especially as the people who tried to buy her from us after we rescued us (they offered $700 for a 9 month rescue dog!) purchased a Saint puppy who is now 11 months old and has just been diagnosed with HD.
Raja (Our Princess), 3 yr St. Benard
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Bocephus (Wild & Crazy Lab), RIP
Shadow (Secretly a Cat Schipperke Mix), RIP

Offline shangrila

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2008, 04:11:02 pm »
As for Glucosamine, to clarify, are you suggesting it as a preventative measure? I already use it daily for my ancient dog, but I worry so much about Raja.

Yes, I think they are helpful as a preventaive. I believe in joint supplements both before and after a dog is diagnosed with HD. Obviously I think every dog who is known to have HD should be on them, but I also think they are good to give a dog who does not have HD but you worry they might get it in the future. The way that I look at it, as a preventative it might help the joints get stronger before damage occurs, and also help with any damage that might occur before a pup is diagnosed. And even if you give glucosamine to a dog who doesn't end up with HD they just end up with stronger joints :)

Nowadays they make so many glucosamine products that you can support your pups hips even if you aren't ready to give an official supplement. I use "sea mobility" treats and "happy hips" as training treats for Penny, so she can get a little boost even in her regular training treats :)

RIP former BPO

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2008, 12:08:16 am »

When you do not know the background of your giant breed, testing early - NOW - is a great idea.  If there is a problem, knowing now doubles your options as most surgical corrections are not available once a dog turns one and those that are options as adults are not great.

Bottom line - you can get preliminary OFA certifications on him now (www.offa.org) or do Pennhip now which is the most scientific.  Ideally, pennhip would have been done when he was neutered and already under.

You should worry about it now since he is pacing (means that his gait is affected by both front and back legs on the same side are moving together which is incorrect). Pacing is what causes his hips to swing because his proper gait is front left leg should move with right rear leg.  This in and of itself shows a physiological problem, although it can be many things and not necessarily his hips.  The yelping would concern me - it may be emotional but if consistently shown with a specific area, then this needs to be checked by an orthopedic specialist.

Mild dysplasia, where there is no crippling lameness often does not show up until adulthood, so you cant just go by symptoms as most dysplastic dogs are asymptomatic for years before the arthritis becomes severe.

Glucosamine is a must for all giant dogs - it has been proven effective at maintaining cartiledge, but NOT at rebuilding it so the key is to start young and keep them on it for life while they have cartiledge to maintain.


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Offline sc.trojans

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2008, 04:25:05 pm »

If there is a problem, knowing now doubles your options as most surgical corrections are not available once a dog turns one and those that are options as adults are not great.

Sorry but I have to disagree with the above statement. 

That's fine....but the fact still is that every Board certified Orthopedic surgeon I have spoken to in Southern California will talk to you in statistics - and tell you that treating young before growth plates have closed will give you far greater odds of a better outcome, full functionality and more options should things not go perfectly. 

It doesn't mean someone - many-  hasn't had success with their adult dog - not the point.  Success is greater and risks lower if identified and addressed young.


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Icerotti

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2008, 08:33:43 pm »
I had a 6 month old rotti that presented with HD. When we began noticing it , his gate changed. It was not an even flowing gate. He had what appeared to be a very uneven gate. We also noticed that he would yelp after laying down in his kennel when he tried to get up. He was also stiff after resting for some time. We had an extremly hard time potty training this boy --the vet said it could be related to poor muscle control :-\

Our vet xrayed and did a physical exam. The poor guy had extremly bad hips on both sides. We took him to a specialist in Toronto. Where they confirmed he would need surgery on both hips. One was worse than the other. This was a while ago, so I can't recall what surgery they were going to do first. But we took him to a third vet that was going to do the one hip because he was cheaper and there was not a wait list for this DR in London. Once he got there they xrayed again and his hip had actually gotten worse that they could not do that specific surgery.

So with many calls between the breeder, the vets and us, we decided it would be best for the puppy to return to the breeder to be laid to rest on her farm.

It breaks my heart because this was before BPO and after reading many articles/posts.  I wonder if it could have been a growth plate issue and maybe we should have waited a few more months. I still question it. 

I think supplements are a great thing to give.

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: What are the signs of hip dysplasia?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2008, 10:03:41 pm »


If you don't want to post names here would you please drop me a PM with those ortho's you have spoken with.  I would also love to see links regarding the referenced statistics.

Thanks

I think talking to Dr. Eich again would be good enough - although young with less experience, he is current on all of his ortho knowledge and should be able to discuss current stats.

Otherwise,
Dr. Tony Cambridge
Dr. Diana Craig
Dr. Nancy Hampel
Dr. Tommy Walker

And be sure to ask the question that is what I am asserting:

-Is their advantage/benefit to identifying and correcting severe dysplasia before the age of one year?

-Or, is there no harm or disadvantage to waiting until adulthood?  What are the risks?

Let me know what you learn.
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