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Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8925
Experience:  12 years of experience with domestic and exotic dogs, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.
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I have a 6 month old German Shepherd puppy. The vet has

Customer Question

I have a 6 month old German Shepherd puppy. The vet has tentatively diagnosed her with hip dysplasia. She bunny hops when she runs. She helps often with rough play when she's playing with my older dog. I have bought supplements for the glucosamine. I've
also switched her to adult food instead of puppy. She weighs 57 pounds but is not overweight just a big girl. I have read a lot and so that she can't be truly diagnosed hip dysplasia until 2 years of age. I am hoping since she is so young I can help prevent
worsening of this early on. A friend recommended synovia g4. True my research I have not found much on this. Would this be recommended?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My vet who is an amazing vet is not very concerned about this. I am. And would just like information to bring back to her to ask for options
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for your quesiton, I'm Dr. Dan and I'll try to help you.

It is true that in subtle cases and for breeding screening that hip dysplasia cannot be diagnosed until 2yr of age. However when the hip is almost completely out of the socket like Freya's xray then it will just get worse not better so in moderate to severe cases, the decision can be made early. I like your friend am a fan of synovi G4 however a simple joint supplement will only lubricate the joint and bring mild relief it does not change the hip or heal hip dysplasia. Because she is this young I would strongly recommend getting a second opinion with a hip surgeon (private specialty hospital or veterinary university). At this age a surgical reshaping of the hip may be an option for her to fix this permanently instead of waiting until she matures and then just managing the disease. I would ask about referral to a surgeon at this point and would not recommend putting a lot of faith in supplements or medicine unless we are just going to manage the symptoms instead of fixing the problem. I hope this helps, if not please feel free to ask more questions. Dr. Dan

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I hurt to say surgery is not something I can afford. I have been online and heard some people feel that she should be put down. Others try preventive measures to give her a long life. I love my girl I want her to live as long as she can without unbearable pain. I wish I could give her surgery but I can't so I'm looking for outside measures for a good long life. She's still a puppy
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know it sounds silly. She is my child. I have no kids of my own. I have an older shepherd whom I love very much and wanted her to be a companion. I am truly devastated by her prognosis. I just don't know what to do
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tried to load a picture but it is too big. I don't know how to reduce the size to upload. I could email it if it would help
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 1 year ago.

If the picture is the xray I was able to see it fine, there is one hip that is almost completely out of the socket. I disagree with putting her to sleep. If we start a joint supplement now and we monitor her VERY carefully for pain and understand what pain is in a dog, she can live a pretty normal life. I broke my back when I was 8 and have occasional back pain to this day, but I have a good life...

The signs of pain are slow to get up, stiff after long playing or after laying a long time, and avoiding physical activity. If we are watching for those and are willing to use long term cheap pain medication then there is no reason to stop with her. I have a hunting dog in the practice with worse hip dysplasia who at 4 is still hunting. I'd be very proactive with your vet on how to control her pain to keep her muscles built up, that is the best course at this time.

Dr. Dan