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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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On a grade of 1-10 how bad are his hips? Can you please look

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On a grade of 1-10 how bad are his hips? Can you please look at his x-ray and let me know. Is there any way to improve his condition if it is worst. My dog is a 100lb rottie -lab mix. He is 2.5 years old. Please let me know.

Dr. Scarlett :

Hi, Nice x-ray! Sadly, those are pretty awful-looking hips. Is he showing any clinical signs of hip problems--pain, stiffness, etc?

Dr. Scarlett :

The femoral necks are both very thickened and the heads of the femurs don't fit into the sockets (acetabulum) very well. So on a scale of 1-10, I'd grade his hips at an 8. There isn't a lot of arthritic changes in the hip joint, but that will likely come. I certainly wouldn't breed him.

Dr. Scarlett :

If he is having hip pain, I would start with some anti-inflammatories, add in chondroprotectants, and also consider Prescription Diet J/D. For anti-inflammatories, I have recently started using Duralactin, a "hyperimmune milk protein" that is good for inflammation. I also like Rimadyl and will add in tramadol if the dog is still very painful. Dasuquin is a good glucosamine for dogs and is effective in those dogs that respond to glucosamine.

Dr. Scarlett :

A total hip replacement might be something to consider if he continues to be painful or later on, when the medications don't help any longer.

Dr. Scarlett :

Another surgery that could be considered is an FHO--femoral head ostectomy. This is considered a "salvage" procedure, because once it is done, nothing else (like a total hip) can be done. But it removes the head from the femur so that there is no more bone rubbing on bone.

Dr. Scarlett :

Here is a good website with more info:

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do you think it is a birth defect? Or something that he has developed? Is there anything that we can do to get the situation better other than surgery? Exercise or get him to lose weight or anything of that sort?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain now. I will try glucosimine and other suggestions you have suggested. But i had one question about the surgery - Is there a best time when the surgery should be done as far as age wise. Is it better to get it done sooner than later ? what do you suggest?

Because he is a large breed dog, I would say the hip dysplasia is genetic. Definitely keeping him at a lean body mass will be helpful for his mobility long-term, regardless of what treatment option you ultimately go with.

If he isn't too painful right now, I would start with the Dasuquin and Prescription Diet J/D. That may be enough to help decrease the inflammation in the joints and improve the remaining cartilage there. And if he is overweight, really work on weight loss. Keep him active--that will be helpful for both his weight and his joints, but don't push him to do more than he is comfortable doing.

As the pain worsens over time, then add in the duralactin, then the Rimadyl as needed.

Once nothing seems to make much difference, then surgery should be considered. Due to the cost of a total hip replacement, I wouldn't do it until there is a strong need for it. You might also consider acupuncture treatments for pain; I practice next door to a veterinary acupuncturist/chiropractor and I see a lot of old, arthritic dogs go in there for treatment.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have taken insurance for him which covers upto 8000 dollars. I have taken it 5-6 months ago. They should be covering this condition incase we were to go for surgery right?


Glad you have insurance, but read the fine print carefully. Some genetic diseases, like hip dysplasia, are NOT covered, depending on your breed of dog. Sometimes pre-existing conditions aren't covered either, so then it depends on when you got the insurance and when the hip problems were diagnosed. But every insurance company does things differently, so I would call and ask specifically about it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is this condition considered cruciates and patellas? Because there is a 6 month waiting period on this. and rest of them are 14 days.


Please let me know.

Sounds like you should be fine. Cruciates are the ligaments in the knees and patellas are the knee caps.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I have a follow up question on what you said - "Once nothing seems to make much difference, then surgery should be considered. Due to the cost of a total hip replacement, I wouldn't do it until there is a strong need for it."


Is there a best time to get this surgery done? I mean is it better to get the surgery done sooner than later? Or is it right to say that the time factor does not affect the outcome of the surgery

I would consult with the orthopedic surgeon you would be using to do the surgery to answer this question. When I was in vet school, they recommended waiting until the dog's pain was no longer well-controlled with medications before doing a total hip. There are certainly potential complications with surgery (including implant failure, infections, etc), so it isn't something to take lightly. Plus some dogs actually do pretty well for quite some time with medical management. Finally, implants may only last 5-7 years. So you don't want to do it too early and risk having to try and re-do it when your dog is old.

But if a total hip replacement is in the future for your dog, getting comfortable with an orthopedic specialist is worthwhile to do now.
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