A good GSP with a problem Health

Discussion in 'German Shorthaired Pointer' started by robertopena, Apr 17, 2023.

  1. robertopena

    robertopena New Member

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    A good GSP with a problem

    Hello, my name is Roberto and I have owned a gps for 7 years now. I love this breed, I feel it is strong and adapts to my active lifestyle, however, unfortunately my dog was diagnosed with hip dysplacia since 2 years ago, which has diminished the kind of life we had. Have you had or know of similar cases of this disease for this breed? As his disease has already advanced, his vet has told me that I have to do an operation with titanium rods, which will relieve the inflammation. What will happen after that? I guess the main question I would ask you would be how can I improve the quality of life of my dog with this condition? It makes me very sad to see him less active in my house, I would like to do something to make him happy, but I don't know what to do. Thanks for your help and comments!
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  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Helidale likes this.
    If he were under 5 years, I would say that the surgery would most likely give him a better quality of life, but at 7 years, I think it's less guaranteed.

    I would consider his pain level first. Will the surgery reduce his pain significantly?

    How limiting is his activity? Can he do average length walks and casual play? Or is he severely limited to just an occasional short walk?

    At his age, with a life expectency of 10-12 years on average, will the surgery give him a significant amount of time without the need for pain meds to be active before old age starts to limit him?

    Sometimes, orthopedic surgery can cause an increase in arthritis in the affected joint. Will that result in his needing stronger pain meds than he'd need without the surgery?

    It's a tough decision.

    I had a rescued shepherd whose hip dysplasia was so bad, her joints were frozen. She was spayed at about 7 or 8 years old and even under anesthesia, her hip joints didn't relax - the vet had to work around her legs sticking up. For her, surgery wouldn't have helped. I did give her chondroitin glucosamine and it seemed to me that she moved a bit easier. She had pain meds that I gave her before and after a long walk or short hike - that helped keep the pain at bay if we overdid it a bit. Otherwise, she was happy just being with me.

    My dad's last akita was diagnosed at about 12-18 months. His hip socket was actually flat, no cupping at all. My dad chose not to do surgery. The dog lived to 10-12 years and had a normal life. He never did have any pain with his condition. He couldn't jump, but he could easily get in the car and he could run and play with his favorite nephew dog when we visited without ill effects.
  4. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Helidale and Toedtoes like this.
    My last dog, Sam, had HD. He was diagnosed at 6 years old when he threw a limp. His vet advised against the op, but it was something I truly regretted as he got worse as he got older by which time it was too late to consider it.

    He was a Border Collie. Farm bred from working stock. He lived to be 16 and we tried to ensure he had the best quality of life possible with the condition, but it was nowhere near the very active life he should have led despite Glucosomine, Chondroitin and Green-lipped Mussel and daily pain relief
  5. Helidale

    Helidale Member

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    Toedtoes likes this.
    I have had heard good results from hydrotherapy. Unfortunately Canine Hydrotherapy Units are thin on the ground, but you may be able to arrange swimming in a lake or the sea. My second dog was a Golden Retriever born in December 1958 - so no special treatments in those days. When she was expecting her litter, aged about three, we could hear a click when she trotted, and sure enough it turned out to be HD! All that was available in those days was supplementing with Calcium and Vit D, C, and E so we did our best with those - there are far better supplements available these days. She lived happily to 13 and was eventually put to sleep with a large mast cell cancer. Her HD caused some stiffness as she aged, but she was always ready for her walks. Nowadays I would opt for surgery, but it is expensive for uninsured dogs. I hope this helps.
  6. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Helidale likes this.
    It's tough making that decision. You really have to consider a lot of factors. I would never tell someone else what the answer is for them and their dog. Just recommend they get as much information as possible to make as informed a decision as possible for THEIR specific situation.

    Things like current pain, potential future pain, life expectency, other health issues currently existing and potentially occurring in the near future, age at time of diagnosis and/or surgery, expectations for the dog after surgery or without surgery (eg, how active do you expect the dog to be, how active does the dog try to be, etc, and how realistic are those expectations).

    I know my dad really considered the surgery, but for his dog, even though he was young and the hip joint was pretty much non-existent, he found that the dog never felt hindered by it and wasn't in any pain. Surgery would have been extreme in his case to recreate the socket. So for him, my dad decided he would have a better life without doing surgery. Over the years, I never saw any issues appear due to the dysplasia. He was a happy active dog all his life.

    With my shepherd, if I had gotten her before the hips were completely frozen, I likely would have done surgery because it did affect her life to a big extent. But by the time I took her in, it was too late. Fortunately, the meds minimized her pain and she was at an age where the longterm affects of the meds wouldn't cause other problems.
  7. Helidale

    Helidale Member

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    As someone waiting to have her second hip replaced, you wouldn't believe how much my pain was reduced, mobility increased, and how quickly I healed. Over four weeks my bad hip became my good hip. I now can't wait to get the other one done, to be pain free and have two legs which are the same length again!
    If this is how dogs are affected - I would let them have the operation!
  8. robertopena

    robertopena New Member

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    Thank you all for your comments, I really appreciate you taking the time to guide me and share your experiences. At first it was very bad news that my dog has HP , now we have accepted it , and are trying to see the best way to have a good quality of life. Fortunately, the disease has not progressed as fast as we had expected, thanks mostly to the controlled feeding and regulated exercise time.
    I have seen 5 veterinarians, each one more prestigious than the other, and the verdict was that surgery should be one of the last resources. That was 2 years ago, and now I think we are entering this stage. Unfortunately in Latin America we still do not have hip replacement surgery available, so we opted for the insertion of titanium rods to control inflammation.
  9. robertopena

    robertopena New Member

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    Helidale likes this.
    I am very happy for you, I hope you are as happy as you can be.
  10. robertopena

    robertopena New Member

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    Hello friend, hydrotherapy was also recommended for me, but it happens that my dog is not such a good swimmer, in fact, he is afraid to get into the water, so we opted for light jogging for about 4 kilometers. May I ask you, when your dog was in the worst moments of the HP, how did you entertain him? What concerns me the most now is that his doctor forbids him to do the exercises that we always did, so now he is only at home and I can almost see him sad.
  11. Helidale

    Helidale Member

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    Toedtoes likes this.
    Thanks Roberto.
    My Golden was just a pet, though we had done some obedience training and tests when she was younger. I didn't do any jogging with her. She pottered around the small-holding where we lived in those days, we went for normal walks, and she rode with us in the car. Her hips didn't cause much of a problem, except that in old age she could have stiffness when first getting up. Her skin cancer was very painful, and that was a much greater problem to deal with.
    I send my best wishes for your GSP. Take each day as it comes - you can't predict how quickly a disease like this will progress. If you can get a supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin, I would try him on that. I don't know what you can get hold of in South America, some supplements will also contain MSM, Green Lipped Mussel, and other vitamins and minerals. There is one called YuMove which is well rated in the UK. Your vet may know of a similar product that you can get.

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