Dog Hip Dysplasia – My Story

No Comments » Written on February 22nd, 2014 by
Categories: Dogs
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ShorTee, my boy was 5 years old when I decided to put him down. I had no idea that his condition had progressed as bad as it did until I had taken him in for a vet appointment due to his limp, or not wanting to put weight on one of his hind legs. The x-ray revealed that it would take a full hip replacement and surgery on both of his knees, due to the arthritis to make him almost better. Not to mention the pain he was in that he never showed me. Nothing is ever 100% that he would make a full recovery and be able to do the things he normally does day in and day out. So here were my options:

A. Vet recommendation: He would go through 4 surgeries (2 hip and both knees) with a recovery of 4 months pretty much for each surgery with no guarantee that he would come out ok. He would also need around the clock care. Also, I currently rent an apartment that is on the 2nd floor.

B. Put him on pain pills until they will not work anymore.

C. Let him go.

The decision was easy for me. Difficult to do but it was the right thing. To me, anything other than letting him go in peace would have been cruel. I did hesitate for a minute, because he was still running around and jumping. I guess what scared me the most is what would happen if we were out playing and he did something that would pop the bone out of his hip or something else and he was unable to walk. Where would I be and how would I get him back to my car or to the vet. I mean ShorTee weighed a little over 100 lbs. and there would be no way for me to get him back from where-ever we were and I just could not take that chance.

He was initially diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 6 months old. After learning that, I researched as much as I could to find out what this was, what would it take to fix, what do I need to look out for, what type of exercise could he do, and things I could do to lessen his pain. He was an Old English Bulldog. Hip dysplasia was uncommon in his breed, but when a pup comes from a large litter some of the pups will have this condition. He came from a litter of 13 I believe.

One thing that was pretty clear was his love for food and lots of it. Funny, that is a trait of mine. Something we had in common is the amount of time it took us to inhale our food. Cutting back his food intake was a no brainer. He was the largest in the litter and even as a pup he could have dropped some pounds. The less weight he would have to carry around the better it would be for him. In terms of exercise, getting him in the water. Now I was not sure if he could swim and would hate to find out the hard way. Hey, something else we have in common! Some other things I would do is massage his hind legs and stretch them out, try to keep him calm so he does not jump, and walking.

If your pet is facing Hip Dysplasia here are my recommendations:

Consult with your Veterinarian
*Exercise Tips
*Diet Recommendations
*Other Therapies

2 – 5 minutes before exercising to help reduce sprains, cramps and muscle injuries

Low Impact – Light Activities
*Walking and Swimming helps strengthen muscles
*Keep ligaments and tendons flexible
*Keep weight down
*Circulate blood to stiff joints
*15 – 30 minutes per day of exercise

Signs of Exertions
*Heavy panting, stop immediately and cool your pet down

Sun Factor
Most individuals do not realize that your pet should not be playing during ‘high sun’. I can not tell you how many times I see pets out in the hot sun panting and it makes me crazy, especially when the pet has a dark coat. Their normal body temperature should range from 98 to 102.  So when you are out and about with your K9 have a thermometer on hand, as well as lots of water.  I have also provided a great video on How To Provide CPR to your dog.

Cool Down
*Calm your pet down to reduce the heart rate
*Massage legs to help reduce stiffness and aid in the removal of lactic acid

Yes, if you work out this is the same regimen. Pets really are not that different than humans. I dedicate this article in loving memory to ShorTeee.  Truper and I miss you very much.

Good luck to you if you are also faced with this diagnosis.

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