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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy hip questions - surgery???

Hello everyone!
I am new here so I appreciate all the help you can offer me.
I have a 6 month old male who is showing signs of HD. Bunny hopping, side sitting, one leg seems to turn in after exercise, etc. He has a very big frame but our vet says he is not considered overweight as ribs can be felt just under the skin. He took xrays last week but did not use sedation and the positioning is not good so it's hard to make an accurate diagnosis. The radiologist recommended palpation for Ortolani sign and possibly a PenHipp eval.
I am making an appointment with an orthopedic vet/surgeon but would like to hear from all of you about what your experience has been. If TPO/DPO is indicated do I do that or try supplements, exercise and lean weight? I hate the idea of surgery and confining him for weeks but also don't want him to suffer more later in life. He's at the age I could maybe do something to help in him the long run? I just hate surgery!
Please share any story you may have regarding young pups that had surgery vs "waiting it out" I want do make the best decision for him and not just one from a surgeon.
Thank you!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 12:19 PM
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I don't have any experience with bad hips, but recently went through a very tricky diagnosis with my then 7 1/2 month old puppy. He had malformed sesamoid bones in both front feet, and after CT Scan was diagnosed with mild ED. (not FCP, but a blunt head) We went to Univ of Penn and they recommended surgery on both front feet to remove the bones, and possibly surgery on both elbows. The elbows would have been secondary to the feet.

I sought several opinions and many conflicted. I ended up traveling to VOSM and am so glad I did. We didn't do any surgery. We did have to rest him for about 6 weeks while I was getting tests and opinions. VOSM put us on a very specific rehab program and I'm happy to say he is back up and running. He's being field trained, so running is a big part of his life.

We will be doing Penn Hips there when he turns two to see if he actually has ED. Their feeling is that he may have a very mild case, or one that normal X-rays wouldn't even pick up. They don't expect him to need any surgeries at this point. We will be keeping his weight lean, more a 4 on the scale then a 5. We also supplement with Omega 3's and Dausaquin.

I won't be using him for breeding, but will be following through with all testing for our knowledge moving forward.

From my experience take your time and work through it. Don't rush into anything.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for this reply. This is my gut feeling. Wait it out a bit, do supplements and get him a bit leaner. We also have a pool and the other dogs swim everyday. I will be introducing him to it this weekend and know that will be so beneficial for him. Do you recommend a particular brand of Omega # and Dasaquin?
Again, I appreciate your thoughts. I worry surgeons just want to cut and U of Penn is where I was headed since we are close
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by zozopup View Post
Thank you so much for this reply. This is my gut feeling. Wait it out a bit, do supplements and get him a bit leaner. We also have a pool and the other dogs swim everyday. I will be introducing him to it this weekend and know that will be so beneficial for him. Do you recommend a particular brand of Omega # and Dasaquin?
Again, I appreciate your thoughts. I worry surgeons just want to cut and U of Penn is where I was headed since we are close
If you are close to Univ of Penn you aren't that far away from VOSM. Look them up, it will be worth your time. They specialize in performance dogs. I was amazed at their capabilities. I will never go anywhere else for any orthopedic issue. It may take some time to get in for an evaluation, so if you have any thoughts of going I would start the process now. They cost me substantially less then Univ of Penn as well. I am not being critical of U of Penn, but from my experience for an orthopedic problem I would travel to VOSM. I saw Dr. Matt Brunke and Dr. Dykus. I could have saved a bunch of money if I would have found them sooner. They have a gait lab that can analyze how he's distributing his weight while walking, running. It is well worth the time and they do not just want to cut...

Swimming is great.

I use Dasuquin Advanced. I had read that you shouldn't give it to puppies, but all the ortho drs we saw recommended it. I also use Pure Alaska Salmon Oil.

Best of Luck and keep us updated.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Just looked them up and they are even closer. Wow, they look impressive. Calling this afternoon. Thank you!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 03:53 PM
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Also keep in mind, 6 months is when a lot of growth is happening and what you are seeing may change a lot by a year or 18 months. Between 6 -8 months my Duncan was all kind of messed up structurally but by 12 months he had grown and corrected the things that looks so wrong.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DblTrblGolden2 View Post

We will be doing Penn Hips there when he turns two to see if he actually has ED. Their feeling is that he may have a very mild case, or one that normal X-rays wouldn't even pick up. They don't expect him to need any surgeries at this point. We will be keeping his weight lean, more a 4 on the scale then a 5. We also supplement with Omega 3's and Dausaquin.
I typed this quickly during my lunch break and just noticed a major error.... We will be doing Penn Hips, and new X-rays for his elbows at VOSM when he turns 2 to see if he really has ED. My guy isn't suspected of having any hip issues, but we will be doing everything. Sorry ! (and it was to late to edit)
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 05:30 PM
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Total Hip Replacement and FHO are major surgeries. Anyone who tells you it's not, has probably not been through it or has forgotten what the recovery was like. It's easy to focus on the outcome :-)

I would try everything before that (after confirmed diagnosis and with recommendation from orthopedic vet/surgeon) such as physical therapy, laser and water therapy. My 6 year old had FHO surgery a year and a half ago. We exhausted other options before resorting to surgery and he will never walk normally again. But he is not in pain anymore. We intended to do total hip replacement, but the surgeon found infection in his joints and we had to switch to FHO at the last moment. It was a hard recovery for him. His other hip is not the greatest, but I will only resort to surgery as a last resort.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the reply. I've read up on those surgeries and the recovery sounds brutal. This is why I am not sure about doing the TPO if indicated now before he's 7 months to avoid those in the future. I would love to avoid any kind of surgery and if I was told lean weight, water therapy and supplements would help I would go that route. I just don't want to miss his window of opportunity on a less invasive procedure like the DPO/TPO. Need to get those better xrays asap
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by zozopup View Post
Thank you so much for the reply. I've read up on those surgeries and the recovery sounds brutal. This is why I am not sure about doing the TPO if indicated now before he's 7 months to avoid those in the future. I would love to avoid any kind of surgery and if I was told lean weight, water therapy and supplements would help I would go that route. I just don't want to miss his window of opportunity on a less invasive procedure like the DPO/TPO. Need to get those better xrays asap


TPO might be slightly easier recovery and worth a consult in my opinion. Key is still very managed rest and physical therapy for a minimum of 6 weeks after. Itís still a major surgery though. Itís always weighing the pros and cons unfortunately.


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