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renkma October 30th, 2013 11:34 AM

Stage 4 Hip Dysplasia in puppy
I have posted Gumdrop's diagnosis in: Puppy unwell? No Symptoms - at a loss

post #12


Her condition is advanced - her situation is very sad. We have no choice right now but to do our best to manage her pain. She is on Tramadol with very good response.

I just spoke to our regular vet - he called to answer some additional questions I had. I misunderstood last night when we went in to see her xrays, discuss diagnosis and treatment options, and pick up our baby. The specialist WILL do both her hips - FHO - just not at the same time (obviously). I thought she meant she would only do one EVER.
Clearing that up changed everything for me. I now know that no matter what, my baby has options. When her pain is becoming unmanageable on the right, we will have the surgery done. And then manage pain on the left, until surgery is needed there. No matter what - Gumdrop will be with us for a long life. There will be a bit of pain that we will do our best to keep at bay, and two uncomfortable surgeries with a bit of recovery and physiotherapy, but for a life that can last up to 18 years, that is a drop in the bucket.

So i'm breathing a sigh or at least a bit of relief.


Anyone out there living with extreme hip dysplacia and dealing with pain management - I would be grateful to read your stories and little tricks you have to help keep your babies comfortable through this.

Thank you

hazelrunpack October 30th, 2013 01:46 PM

We had a springer with severe hip dysplasia who eventually got a full hip replacement on both sides. So we have no experience with the FHO surgery, but plenty with the dysplasia part of it.

Priscilla responded well to glucosamine/chondroitin supplements and omega-3 oil (we used a fish oil capsule, punctured it with a pin and squirted it over her food). Both seemed to make her joints move more smoothly.

We also got her a waffle-foam bed--often, they're listed as orthopedic pet beds. She used it quite a lot, so it must have been comfortable for her joints. Keep in mind, though, that she was lots bigger than your little darling--Priscilla was big for a springer, weighing in at about 55-58 pounds. Not sure if small dogs would also benefit from a waffle-foam bed...

She'll need moderate, low-impact exercise. Motion actually does help to keep them flexible, just like in human arthritis patients. If she'll swim, and you have a place to take her nearby, that would be the ideal exercise for a dysplasia patient! If not, short walks, but lots of them are better than one or two longer walks. And if you can walk her on grass, that's much better than on pavement. Also, if there's a place she can run free on a grassy surface, that would be beneficial as long as she doesn't overdo.

How does your baby react to the other NSAIDs like carprophen or deramaxx? Are all of the anti-inflammatory meds out of the question?

renkma October 30th, 2013 03:15 PM

Thank you. Yes, she is now on the Glucosamine/Condroitin. I will get her onto Omega 3s as well.

she is allergic to Metacam - an NSAID. They have her on Tramadol 10mg 2x a day - and so far she is responding well. She has had two small walks today but she is on one week with a lot of rest to get a handle on what the initial injury is. Something happened to cause this rapid onset of pain to the extent it was. Maybe a bad slip - maybe a tumble. She likes to play really hard so who knows what happened. We have to control her now though - keep her calmer. It won't be easy, but it is what is best for her. Sad though - she LOVES to play.

This is just so sad. I look at her and just start crying. I wish I could take this from her - I would in a second.

hazelrunpack October 31st, 2013 08:10 AM


We had a dog with such severe elbow dysplasia that he showed symptoms at the age of 9 wks--he would actually scream in pain. :( You do just want to take that all away from them and it's such a helpless feeling when you can't.

But your little one has an excellent home and all the loving support she needs--and that's the most important thing. Where would she be if she were with people less caring? You'll keep her as comfy as possible and do whatever is needed to get the most positive outcome possible for her--and even though you can't maybe fix everything, you'll do your best for her. She'll love you for it! (To be honest, [I]I[/I] love you for it! :o)

You're her angel. :angel: And she's yours!

renkma October 31st, 2013 01:59 PM

Thank you for your kind replies. It's true that this little girl has a very unbreakable hold of my heart already. I will do everything I can to keep her pain free for the rest of her life and having fun everyday. She is loved very much by both myself and my husband (who is normally very stoic and serious ... until little gummy licks his nose and curls up on his lap - he melts)She will always be warm, have a full belly with good quality food, cuddled, given the best medical attention, and loved.

MaxaLisa October 31st, 2013 11:31 PM

Just posted in your other thread - so glad that the FHO is an option. You may be looking at it sooner than later, but so glad that you are there to take care of her.

Hopefully the joint supplements will start to bring some relief - you really don't want to use the pain killers on a dog so young, they can be very toxic to the liver and kidneys.

You are in Canada, wonder if the vet would consider cartrophen ( [url][/url] ), or if it's not applicable in this situation. (This is not available in the US.)

renkma November 1st, 2013 07:29 AM

In stage 4 - a case SO severe (she is actually the rarest case any of the five doctors and two specialists have seen) - we have to choose the lesser of two evils. Gumdrop was experiencing pain and lameness due to it - pain killers (Tramadol) is the only option for us right now. Yes, there are risks with all medications, there are risks for people and medications as well, but the benefits far outweight the risks at this point. Gummy doesn't have many options and they will only operate as "salvage". In other words - as a absolute last resort because of her age and size.

The only thing we can do for Grumdrop is manage her pain. This is heartbreaking, but we can't force her to live with pain. She is just a baby.

I will look into Cartrophen and ask our vet. But when it all comes down to it - Gumdrop's comfort and happiness is THE most important thing in her life. If her life has to be shortened because of her disease or because of the only way to treat it ... at least it was a comfortable and happy life.

Thank you though. I do worry about her liver and kidneys - but I worry far more about her pain level and her ability to enjoy a bit of play and happiness in her life.

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