More Talk About Hip Dysplasia…

Just last week I received the following email from the owner of  a young Newfoundland ( or as we affectionately call them ‘Newfs’), who is in a quandary as to the best course to follow to deal with this debilitating issue in one so young.

Here’s what she wrote:

Hi I was reading your artical on the brace for hip dysplasia, I have a
8 month old newf that has just been diganosed with hip dysplasia. I
have been looking for away to help her be more comforable until we
have are next referral apointment when she is over a year old. The vet
suggested a hip replacement when she is 1-18 months. I didnt really
want this as I think she is to young to get this done incase it would
need redone when older again. Did you see much of a difference when
your newfoundland got the brace? And have there been a great
improvement since you tryed it? Suzie is an active newfoundland even
with the dysplasia and was just wanting more information on the brace.

There are two blogs on this site on the subject of hip dysplasia written by my brother, Peter, who also has a Newf with this problem.

Here is his response to the query above:

The extent of the dysplasia will not be fully known until she is 2 years plus. An xray can be done at 1 year to get a general idea of the outcome but is not totally accurate.
Newf puppies are very active and for some reason do not seem to give in to any pain. The problem is as they get older and become less active as the activity causes discomfort.
Surgery for hip dysplasia, and there are 3 or more types, all have a poor prognosis and the success percentage may be 80-85%.I have a friend who is a Newf  breeder that works at at veterinary university has convinced me to avoid surgery unless it is the last and only option! A successful surgery is wonderful but after an unsuccessful surgery, all else will be salvage!
My best advice from my personal experience.
Start giving your pup a supplement such as GlycoflexIII .It has everything necessary to minimize pain and lubricate the joints.
If you feel that there is a lot of pain you can use buffered aspirin sparingly.(see your vet for dosage.)
A bilateral hip orthosis (brace) will put the hindquarters in the correct configuration for walking and exercise to help build the supporting muscles in the hindquarters. We only use ours for exercise but it can be left on for longer periods as the dog becomes used to it.
Please check the website for . He is local to me in Canada but has customers worldwide. His name is Jeff and feel free to mention my name.
Our Newf, Princess Lollipop, has very bad hips and has managed quite nicely with her hip brace for over 2 years.
I can give you further advice in dealing with the disease if you wish. You need only ask.
My personal plea is that you avoid hip surgery if it is at all possible.
Peter House
Chester, Nova Scotia,Canada   
Knowing my brother as I do, I can vouch for the amount of research he has put in to this specific topic  and he has stated his willingness to share. If you have a dog with hip dysplasia, I suggest you do extensive research before resorting to surgery or contact Peter who has already done the research and found an acceptable alternative.
Lolly's orthoticAnother view

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