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 Post subject: Hip dysplasia in Cockers--Update April 16
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Has anyone had this issue with their cockers? I am trying to evaluate whether I should ask the rescue about taking Bert in to the vet to be checked and treated. He's not in major pain but we have noticed the following:
--In the 6 months Bert has been with us, he needs running starts to jump onto the couch or the bed. He is a reluctant jumper and when he does jump, he doesn't always make it.
--When he lifts his leg to pee, he always lifts the left leg. When I lift his right leg during grooming, he yelps. He also doesn't want me to lift his right paw off the ground.
--I tried Julie's IVDD paw test and he flipped his foot right back into place on both the left and the right.
--When you lift Bert's front two legs off the ground, his hind legs don't support him. He collapses onto his side.
--About two months ago, we noticed that he was limping on walks. We walk our dogs twice a day for at least 20-30 minutes. When Bert limps, he doesn't lift his leg but he starts walking with a hitch, as if he has burrs in all four feet. We reduced his walks to 10-15 minutes twice a day.
--However, Bert runs after a ball without pain and "hops"--little jumps with just his front feet leaving the ground when he is excited with no visible pain or even mild discomfort.

If this sounds like dysplasia and there are things I can do without incurring vet expenses, I would love to know! If it sounds like something else, please share your experience. I am going to try some glucosamine. I was giving him treats with glucosamine-chondroitin (300mgs) and didn't notice any difference but have since learned he should have been getting 500 mgs twice a day. Anything else?
Thanks!

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Last edited by Naomi on Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:31 am 
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Product called mobile bones has had good results,you could give it try.


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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:57 pm 
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I'm guessing, but wondering if it could be his knees/ACL? The only reason that's my guess is that Waylon sometimes would walk with that "hitch" in one of his back legs and it turns out he partially tore his ACL. Glucosamine or any of the joint supplements take about 3 months to really take effect, so keep those up. It could also be his back with his inability to jump, but as I said, I'm just guessing based on things that have happened to my dogs.

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Something this serious should be checked by your vet. He may have several alternatives for you but trying over the counter products does not seem the best care for your dog without having the opinion of a professional first.

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:53 pm 
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I agree with Deborah here. It might be serious and I wouldn't fool around with it without knowing what was going on. Perhaps they can do an orthopedic evaluation. If it doesn't show major stuff then you can experiment with glucosamine and such.

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:05 pm 
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I agree...I wouldn't treat something if I didn't know what the problem was.

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:25 pm 
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If it is HP, (or ACL) then you can do several things at home from supplements to certain exercises/therapies before jumping to the bigger guns like surgery, but I also agree with the other posters. Any treatment can't be properly started before you know what the problem is so I'd go to the vet too. It's hard to swallow now but if you can catch something early it will be way less expensive in the long run.

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback. That's why I check in with you folks! I talked with the SDSR medical coordinator today and she gave me the okay to take Bert in for an evaluation just to make sure it's hip dysplasia and not arthritis or the ACL injury Tina mentioned. Also, thanks for the info on how long glucosamine takes effect--I usually give things a 4-8 week trial.

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:17 am 
It sounds like it could very well be hip dysplasia. How is the muscle tone in his back legs? Usually dogs with HD have very small, flacid muscles in their thighs. A simple x-ray will diagnose.


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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers--Update April 16
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:57 pm 
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I took Bert to the vet yesterday to get him evaluated for hip dysplasia. I shared the symptoms I listed in my original post. After a thorough exam in which he manipulate all four of Bert's legs and watched him walk, he said he doubted it was hip dysplasia. First, according to him, hip dysplasia is unusual in cockers although the same symptoms could appear with luxating (sp?) patellas. He felt Bert's patellas and they are fine. However, his hip and thigh muscles are underdeveloped. Since Bert is not in pain, mainly has a lack of power to his hind legs and does not exhibit signs of discomfort other than the funny hitch to his walk, he felt that it was possible that Bert has suffered an injury as a pup that caused him to get in the habit of walking with his weight thrust forward. The only way to know for sure that it was hip dysplasia was to do a full set of x-rays which he felt wasn't necessary at this time. So, for now Bert is on 500 mgs of Glucosamine/Chondroitin to help keep his joints healthy because he is a candidate for arthritis with his funny gait and under developed muscles putting extra pressure and wear and tear on his front legs.

Thanks for the prompting to go to the vet! Sometimes I feel like an overprotective cocker mom :roll and try to avoid running to the vet, so it was helpful to get validation.

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Fur-ever home to SDSR's "Princess of Quite A Lot":Mia, waiting at the Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers--Update April 16
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:14 pm 
HD is NOT uncommon in cockers. The vet is seriously misinformed. I feel he is doing a great disservice by not taking ONE simple hip x-ray. If it is HD, which underdeveloped muscles are a symptom btw, see my post right above yours) the glucosamine is not going to do any good for Bert. I'm frankly saddened to read this update.


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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers--Update April 16
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:35 am 
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don't reputable breeders do hip testing? If so then why?

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers--Update April 16
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:59 pm 
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The vet didn't say the glucosamine would help hip dysplasia, he said I could give it to him to help the joints in his front legs which could be prone to getting arthritic since Bert seems to shift his weight forward when he walks. He was also willing to do an x-ray but I opted out (not my dime--Bert is a foster) since when we reviewed all the symptoms of hip dysplasia, Bert actually only had a couple consistently--the reluctance to jump and the underdeveloped muscles. He really moved Bert around, lifting both hind legs out and rotating them, feeling along the legs. Bert was remarkable good natured about it.

Responsible breeders do test for hips but Bert is probably from a BYB. He was found wandering the streets with another cocker so we don't really know his background.

Good to know that HD is not uncommon in cockers, though. I'm still going to keep an eye on Bert and watch for further symptoms.

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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers--Update April 16
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:24 pm 
debbiefive wrote:
don't reputable breeders do hip testing? If so then why?


Yes, but since the mode of inheritence of HD is unknown, all you can do is breed clear to clear. Still HD can happen. I bred two OFA excellent dogs together and got a dog with HD. I've had four or five dogs diagnosed with HD over my 25 years in this breed, with the exception of the first one, all of them have had parents with OFA certification.

Naomi, I just wanted to make it clear that I'm saddened only because I get tired of reading about vets who just don't seem to 'get it'. To me saying that HD doesn't happen in cockers is like saying oh and ear infection, that's a cocker for you. It's plain ignorance. I know you will do the best for Bert.

Honestly, HD doesn't usually bring a cocker down. They are small enough that they compensate, much like Bert is doing. Only one of my dogs that had it ever showed any kind of lameness from it.


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 Post subject: Re: Hip dysplasia in Cockers--Update April 16
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Xrays will definitively give a clear diagnosis if the dysplasia is present. Other alternatives to help him with or without dysplasia is to get him on an exercise program to help buil up his hind legs strength. Swimming is great as it unloads weight. My personla experience and opinion is that you need to try to strengthen the hind legs as in dogs most of the weight is carry on the front legs and he is already doing this to compensate, with future issues on these legs due to the present issues. Good luck and keep us posted.

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