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10 Month Lab with Moderate Hip Displaysia: Should I get a Total Hip Replacement?

October 1st, 2010, 02:29 PM
My small female lab was diagnosed with moderate hip displaysia when she was 6 months old. I took her into the vet because she had a slight limp and that is how I found out she had it. Since then she has no real signs of pain or even having the problem. I don't think I would even know if it wasn't for the one time. She runs, plays and is a very hyper 11 month puppy! There is the odd time I can tell she is favoring her right leg or she turned it the wrong way...but other then that she is pain free and has great mobility. My issue is the vets are pushing for me to get a THR sooner rather than later. I am confused because she doesn't seem to have any clinical symptoms of HD. I did make the mistake of buying her from a pet store ( I know now what a puppy mill is....learned my lesson the hard way..but still love her lots!) The thing is the pet store has been really great about the whole thing and has paid for everything regarding her hip.(She gets cartrophen shots and HD supplements) They have offered to pay for the hip replacement which is about $6000.00 if I get it done in her 2 year warranty (by Feb 2012). So my issue is I have no idea what to do! Do I get the surgery even though she is showing no pain or issue with her hips? Or do I not get it and take the chance of having to get it later down the road and pay for it? I don't want to get the surgery just because it is free...but that is what my vet and specialist are saying! They are saying it will effect her one day and why not get it done when it is free! What would you do in this situation? Please no comments of the puppy mill issue..I am more then aware now.....just need to deal with this issue :)

Thanks for your help

October 1st, 2010, 03:41 PM
If she's already showing minimal signs of discomfort chances are she'll have worse problems in future. I'd sure consider the surgery--we had a springer done (both hips) at the age of 5 and although we never noticed that she was favoring anything or slow before, we sure did notice an freedom of movement and energy afterward that we didn't know was missing. Sometimes dogs don't let on how much discomfort they're in--especially young, exuberant ones.

Will she need both hips done or just the one? Ask the specialist lots of questions. You might want to ask them how long they think the implants would hold up--if they're going to wear out in, say, 6 years, you should probably wait. You don't want to have them wear out or break down during your dog's lifetime. Ask how early your dog can have the surgery--are the bones well-developed enough?

It's good that you've been offered the option so early--you can do a couple months of research before having to make a final decision.

If you have questions about the surgery and recovery itself, I may be able to help. I doubt the recuperation is much different now than it was when we had Priscilla done. That may also play a part in your decision--strictly limiting activity goes a far way in a good outcome. High-energy dogs are, understandably, more difficult to keep quiet.

October 1st, 2010, 05:02 PM
I think you should consider getting it done especially if it is under warranty, you are very very lucky the store is wiling to help you. I would wait until the later part of the warranty though and let her enjoy her first year or so without surgery. But you need to consider how much aftercare help the store will give you and what total recovery time is required.

October 1st, 2010, 05:26 PM
Jeez louise, if the pet store is going to pay for it (:eek:), I would go for it...the cynic in me says to make sure you get an estimate from the vet and get the pet shop to agree to that estimate IN WRITING before you go ahead with it (unless you're prepared to pay for it yourself if they balk).

My understanding is that they can only do one hip at a time (I think) so you may not want to wait too long...there has to be a healing process between the first and second surgeries.

I agree with Hazel; if it caused mild problems now it will likely cause big problems later. If you're hesitant, get a second opinion from an orthopedic specialist. In the meantime, be sure to always keep your dog lean and fit; strong muscles and low body fat will help prevent joint strain and injury.

October 1st, 2010, 06:05 PM
Jpag, how was the diagnosis confirmed? Have you consulted with a specialist yet or just your vet?