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Hi All

I need some advice, my black lab Molly is 1year and 7months, on Saturday she was running after her ball as usual, when I heard her squeal in pain. When we got her to the vets, her back right leg was just hanging at her side, the vet x-ray her hips and said that she has hardly a ball socket on the right side and not a very good left side hip although it's slightly better. She is currently on anti-inflammatories, but still has no movement/feeling in her leg (the vet suspects that she has damaged her sciatic nerve). We are really worried that a) she might have to get her leg removed if the feeling does not come back, and b) that maybe her other hip is not strong enough to support her on one leg.

She is such an active, lively dog that we would not want to do anything that would affect her quality of life. Does anyone out there have any advice - we are really upset about it?
 

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Hi Jill,

Really sorry to hear about your Molly. I haven't got any experience in this sort of thing but I am sure someone may be able to offer some advice.

I hope she is alright soon & we will be thinking about you. They are such a worry sometimes.....Keep us posted with Molly's progress
 

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Hi Jill,

Welcome to the site Jill, so sorry to hear of this problem with Molly. Understandly you must be deeply upset over this, hopefully we will be able to offer you help and advice on here, you will certainly have our full support.

Has Molly ever had a problem before with her back legs?

the vet x-ray her hips and said that she has hardly a ball socket on the right side and not a very good left side hip although it's slightly better.
Does this mean Molly was born with this, or has it become dislocated? Could it be hip dysplasia? Has the vet mentioned this as a possibility do you know? (I have recently researched this, and written an article, its in the labrador health section)

How long are they going to try her on anti-inflammatories, is she still at the vets? Sorry for so many questions, i'm trying to get a better idea, and i will research it for you. My sister is a veterinary nurse, with years of experience, she runs our sister website, www.vetpro.co.uk , so you could try putting a post on there, and someone in the vet industry will be able to give you a second opinion.

I really do hope though, someone on this site, will be able to offer you more advice.

I will be thinking of you & Molly at this difficult time, i sincerely hope she gets better soon, and the feeling in her leg comes back. Stay positive ok.

I am now going to do some further research, i will get back to you.

Best Wishes
Bradleysmum
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi

Thanks for the support - the vet has her on anti-inflammatories for 1 week, they started on Sunday and finish on Friday. She is back at the vets on Friday - and we are preparing for the worst. There is still no movment or feeling in her leg, although she is getting more confident on one leg - I am worried about the pressure that this is putting on her 'good hip'.

The vet suspects that she was born with this problem and that her hips ahve not formed properly as a result of genetics - this may be a warning to other lab owners/breeders to ensure that their labs are hip scored. My husband is going to contact the breeder, and I am going to write to the kennel club - as this should not happen to a young dog.

We are just trying to keep her as comfortable as possible, she is well in herself apart from the leg and is getting a bit bored with having to lie down all of the time. She is getting lots of hugs and kisses from worried family. I will let you know what happens - but I'm not optimistic.

Thanks

Jill
 

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Hi Jill,

Good to hear from you.

Hope you get on ok at the vets tomorrow, drop us a line and let us know what your vet says ok.

I would write down a few questions for your vet, just so you remember everything (i do this all the time!) and get as much information out of him/her as possible.

Also - is surgery an option?

We're all willing for Molly to get better ASAP... sending you both a hug.

Regards
Bradleysmum
 

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Hi

Just to let you know how we got on - vet was pleased that Molly has more control over her leg, seems that the nerve is coming back from the hip downwards, so although paw still turns inwards she has use of her knee now.

Still on anti-inflammatories for another 2 weeks - so fingers crossed full function will return. She's only to be exercised on the lead for the next 2 weeks too - which will be a nightmare as she's such an active dog.

She will still need hip op as vet says is worst case of hip dysplaisia he's seen in a young dog - so hopefully surgery will be able to help her. She doesn't seem to be in any pain though. One word of advice to owners - ensure that dog is insured - we're up to £400 already and that's without any surgery!

I will keep you all posted on her progress - thanks again for the support - these dogs are such a worry sometimes!

Jill
 

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Hi Jill,

Thanks for keeping us updated on Molly, i'm so pleased she has now got some feeling in her leg, thats excellent. Lets hope the anti-inflammatories will do their job and full function will return very soon. I expect it will be very hard yes, just lead walking, i know how much our Bradley loves his runs of the lead, so my thoughts are with you there. Hopefully, it won't be for long, and little Mollly will soon have you playing football and running around all over the place again. :wink:

I wonder if there's anyone on here that also has a dog who suffers from hip dysplasia, it would be good for you to share advice, hopefully someone will see your post and respond.

It's a shame about the insurance yes, i would say it is a DEFINATE must for all dog owners. Vet bills can be very expensive can't they.

Well Jill, i really do hope Molly gets better soon, i wish you both all the best,
Talk to you again soon,
We're always here don't forget :wink:

Bradleysmum :)
 

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molly hips

hi jill have you asked your vet about hydrotherapy for molly my mothers dog has a ruptured ligerment and is to old to operate on so in april i took her swimming she loved it and has lost some weight as well but she is so mobile now she has hardly a limp at all now she goes once aweek for half an hour and she is 13years of age
 

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Jill
I'm really glad that Molly's on the mend.

Its my biggest fear, that Lucy could develop HD as neither of her parents were hip scored.
 

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Hi Jill
So sorry about Molly and glad to hear she is improving. Please don’t despair, there are things that can be done. Firstly, what sort of operation has been suggested and has your vet referred you to an orthopedic specialist? Vets are great, but not all are experts at reading and interpreting xrays, (think GP) so if we’re talking hip operations I would definitely want to talk to a specialist first.
A lab in our road has severe HD – hardly any socket either side, and has managed so far without an operation (she’s now 5).
Had your lab shown any signs or had any problems before this injury?
You should inform your breeder, and although I would only buy dogs from hips scored parents there are no guarantees. It is possible to have a pup with HD whose parents score well. My own 18 month old has recently been diagnosed, and comes from a long line of low scoring dogs. Environmental factors also play a part in its development, and increasingly, some think they play a larger part than genes.
One important thing you can do is ensure she is not overweight, keep her on the light side. I also give mine a glucosamine & chondroitin supplement and omega 3 & 6 EFA’s. Although I have no personal experience I have heard that acupuncture has helped in a number of cases.
Non-surgical help is really based on building up and strenghthening the muscles around the joint (once she has recovered from her injury obviously) Swimming is good as is controlled walking and running. Avoid a sudden increase in exercise, rather build up her fitness gradually.
Feel free to pm me if you want to chat further
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dear All

Firstly, just want to say thanks for all the support - it really helps. Just writing to let you know how we're getting on.

Went to the vets yesterday, and the vet is happy that her leg is improving. Basically we have been really unlucky that when she dislocated her hip she caused so much nerve damage, he says that dogs can dislocate their hips regularly without the owner being aware, when Molly's done her's she has caused real nerve damage.

We need to wait another month to see if more nerve function is going to come back, it's getting better every day - but still nerve not back right down to her paw - vet says this can take months for this to return. Once nerve is back we're looking at a full hip replacement.

Has anyone out there gone through hip replacements with their dogs - if so would love to hear - recovery times, post op care, is dog back to full mobility, etc. Just so that we can prepare ourselves for what's ahead. Any advice greatly appreciated.

So we're still in limbo, but looking more positive for future at the moment.

Thanks

Jill
 

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Has anyone out there gone through hip replacements with their dogs - if so would love to hear - recovery times, post op care, is dog back to full mobility, etc. Just so that we can prepare ourselves for what's ahead. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Hi Jill,

Thanks for updating us. I'm glad to hear Molly's leg is improving, i'm sure you have all been through a very difficult time.

All the best with everything, i'll bump this post back up & i hope someone will be able to advise you who has been in a similar position.

Regards,

Bradleysmum
 

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Hi All

Once again thanks for support - just an update.

Went to vets yesterday for check up as 6 weeks since 'incident'. Vet thinks that all nerve function is back now and leg has improved as much as can on its own. So we have been referred to a local specialist (have an appointment with him in 2 weeks - so will let you know how we get on).

As mention on another thread - our vet said that in the past month he has seen 5 dogs all with similar problems and all of them were active/well exercised dogs - i think that by this he was inferring that over exercising dogs is becoming the main cause for HD.

We live right out in the country and there is no need for Molly to be on the lead (in fact she's hating it at the moment as she is confined to the lead), both my husband and I have both said that if we got another lab we would try and keep on the lead until at least 1 year old. I have spoken to a breeder of bull mastiff's who said that he doesn't allow his off the lead until they're 4 years, he has 6 dogs so has to take them out in shifts!

Molly is now on glucosamine supplements from the vets and will probably will be for rest of her life. At the moment she is a healthy dog with a slight limp, so doesn't seem to be in any pain and can still jump up as quick if someone puts their coat on! So hopefully is looking less likely that we'll loose her, but trying not to get hopes up too much until know for definite.

Jill
 

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Went to vets yesterday for check up as 6 weeks since 'incident'. Vet thinks that all nerve function is back now and leg has improved as much as can on its own. So we have been referred to a local specialist (have an appointment with him in 2 weeks - so will let you know how we get on).
Hi Jill,

Good to hear from you, thank you for updating us on Molly's progress, i'm so pleased to hear things have gone well for her, and the nerve function has returned. It would seem that there are many cases of HD around yes, it is something that worries alot of us i'm sure. It will be interesting to hear what the specialist says won't it, i hope all goes well for you and Molly, keep us posted ok. :wink:

I would be interested to hear peoples different views as regard to lead walking, and of the lead walking, i have often thought about it when we let Bradley run around of the lead. Might get a thread going.

Anyway Jill,

Take it easy, and give Molly a cuddle from us.

Bye for now

Julie
 

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Hi All

Just to give you an update on our progress. Saw the specialist today and he said that judging the dog (i.e. bouncy, lively young lab), she's obviously not in any discomfort or pain and has made her own adjustments, the best thing would be to leave her hip for the moment. We have to get back to normal i.e. walking off lead, swimming etc, and let Molly live her life to the full. If in a couple of years time she starts to show signs of being in pain, then they will reassess.

Basically surgery is the last option, and can be quite evasive especially for a young dog. So best option is to leave it for a while and see how she gets on. He's given us anti-inflammatories for days when she's done a lot of exercise to help relieve any stiffness that she may be experiencing.

So we're happy for the moment, she had her first taste of 'freedom' again today. She ran as fast as she could and got really hyper - which was great to see (I had a tear in my eye - as there was a time when we thought we'd never see that again!), I was a bit nervous that she'd hurt herself again, but you can't wrap them in cotton wool!

So thanks for the support - just goes to show that there is life with hip dysplasia. We're going to find a hydrotherapy pool for her as the vet said that this form of exercise was great for dysplasic dogs.

Jill and Mollyxxx
 

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Hi Jill
Pleased hear your positive news about Molly's hips. You're right not to wrap her in cotton wool, but now you know, you are in a position to work towards a full life for her.
I suspect there are far more dogs out there with bad hips than one thinks. Considering that people only tend to hip score when breeding (and even then many are bred without being hip scored) and working dogs it means that a relatively small percentage of dogs are being scored, so the breed average only relates to the minority that are scored, and many dogs with poor hips are sound thoughout their lives.
Good luck with the hydortherapy. Don't know where you are in the UK, but you may find this useful.
http://www.k9hydrotherapy.co.uk/poolfinder.html
Mine loves his daily swim in the river.
All the best :)
 
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