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#114802 - 12/14/10 06:06 PM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: Good_Karma]
Jason L Offline

Registered: 02/19/10
Posts: 2091
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I'm sorry to hear about Elsa. Glad to see everyone is giving lots of good advice here.

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#114828 - 12/14/10 07:21 PM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: Jason L]
3K9Mom Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 456
Likes: 29
My little guy has severe HD.

The most important thing for me is to keep the muscle as built up as possible. I give him supplements (I like Cosequin DS chewables, fish oil, and various vitamins). But I try, as much as our budget will allow, to keep him swimming and doing treadmill therapy.

The more his muscle supports the hips, the less wear and tear they'll take in the long run. While running and playing builds up certain muscles, it doesn't build up ALL of them.

I take him to a chiropractor now and then, when I think that his hips may be throwing off his gait enough to affect the rest of his structure. But that doesn't really work into my long term preventative plan. We can't really "adjust" those hips back into place. All we can do is support the spine and other joints.

But like Elsa, my guy is young and his spine is pretty flexible. My goal is to spend my funds (which, after all, are not unlimited) to keep the hips supported, so they're not bearing most of his weight. I want the muscle to bear the weight. The more the hips are supported, the less funky his gait is, so the less the spine, opposing hip, knees, front end, etc need chiropractic support.

I've had an older dog with dysplasia (and one with arthritis) and both of them benefited from chiropractic. But by then, the damage to the joints was done. (But they benefited A LOT from swim therapy too).

I can give you numerous examples of humans who have been able to avoid surgery AND pain by building up muscles to support skeletal anatomy. I was able to do this with with my older dogs to some degree, and am certain that had I known about swim therapy earlier in their lives, I could have done so to a greater degree for them too.

In your shoes, I would consult with a vet certified in rehab and talk to her about all of your options. I think you'll find that you have a lot more options than you realize.

Here's some info on water therapy:

I get my Cosequin DS from Entirely Pets through Amazon, which offers the best price that I've been able to find. The 2 pack is a bit cheaper than the single bottle on a per tablet basis:

If you're worried about "making up" lost time, you can ask the rehab vet about Adequan injections for a short while, until the glucosamine has a chance to get flowing. Yes, it can be used on younger dogs. The general opinion I've gotten from numerous vets is that it won't help if the dog's been on a quality glucosamine product for a while. But it can help if she hasn't and you're trying to jump-start her. Ask your vet.

Personally, I don't think that 6 months is that big of a deal over a 13+ life span. Unless she has been doing a lot of crazy activities that are really hard on her hips (jumping off agility equipment mid-span, jogging on asphalt everyday, that sort of thing), I don't think it makes a difference at all.

Another thing I'll mention, even though I can't imagine that you've let Elsa get overweight at all, but my orthopedic surgeon repeats over and over that one of the best things we can do for our dysplastic kids is keep them lean. Not just a nice healthy weight, but slender. The less weight those hips carry, the less wear and tear, of course. My guy varies between lean and on the skinny side. And my surgeon (who sees my pup every 6 months) is pleased with his weight. He's healthy, eats a good diet, active, not showing any signs of pain or compromise. Apparently, with the dogs who do have a THR surgery, the ones that have the most difficulty and side effects are the ones that are on the heavy side.

I fully anticipate my guy will need a THR. As soon as he shows any signs of pain, he can go in. The nice thing is that he won't need to drop a few pounds first. My surgeon says he's not so sure he'll need surgery because we're doing rehab and doing all the other stuff. Either way, we're good....

So even if Elsa is normal weight, maybe she could resolve at the new year to lose a few pounds... crazy Ask your vet. Best yet, ask the rehab vet.

Feel free to drop me a note anytime. smile

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#114832 - 12/14/10 07:38 PM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: 3K9Mom]
DancingCavy Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 4067
Loc: Syracuse, NY
Likes: 115
I'm so sorry, Justine. But I agree, don't beat yourself up over it. At least you had the X-rays done and you now know you need to be proactive about it.

If you find out Dr. Kelly Foltman does do canine chiropractic work, could you let me know? Risa seriously needs to get her back adjusted. If not, perhaps we could do a carpool or something to get them both looked at. Assuming the weather is decent.

Edited by DancingCavy (12/14/10 07:39 PM)
Veteran MF-GrCH Dancing Cavy's Pain in the Butte W-FDM/MF MF-M Vet InS/E R-FE/N PCD BN RAE RL1 (AoE) RNX TKP CA CGC WCX3 Risa
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It Just Keeps Getting Better: Risa's Blog
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#114852 - 12/14/10 08:15 PM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: DnP]
GSDElsa Offline

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 1264
Loc: CNY
Likes: 34
In fact, you now have me seriously thinking about getting Phoenix's done. I bet a lot of vets never make the recommendation to get hip x-rays of rescues unless they are showing symptoms.

And sending you a hug as well. Know you want the best for your Elsiepookins. [/quote]

Thanks Diana (and everyone else)! I would totally get them done. Deep down I never really thought they would come back showing anything...I an just a worry wort in general and felt like I should do it considering we were pushing her well into the working dog category (even if we aren't doing SUPER high impact stuff like protection training on a regular basis) and wanted a baseline in case anything developed down the road.

And you're right--when I called around most vets were wanting to know why we wanted the xrays done if she wasn't showing signs and we didn't need it sent into OFA....yet alone recommending it!

As far as her weight--I'm going to try and manage it a bit better. She's had digestive issues and is on Prozyme (we think she's a bit borderline EPI) and every once in awhile she'll seemingly gain 5 pounds overnight when her poops are amazing. But it always comes off really quick when we notice it and cut back. She's 70 pounds right now which is in the range of her ideal. I can feel her spine fairly easily (can't see) so I'm thinking I shouldn't go much less than that?? What do the rest of you with HD dogs go by?

ANd of course I stopped on the way home tonight and got a giant container of flax seed oil!! And opened it as soon as I got home. Now I'm going to have to research that more. Stupid question--but what is the difference between the C18 and C22 omegas in relation to prevention of arthritis or digestion? I think she does OK on flax in's in her food and I have made dog treats with flax seed in them. But does the oil react a little differently when being processed?

Edited by GSDElsa (12/14/10 08:16 PM)
J, mom to:
- Elsa - BrightStar Rescue - "Da Pookins"
- Medo - "The Beast From The East"

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#114857 - 12/14/10 08:23 PM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: GSDElsa]
LifeAsMe Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 3032
Likes: 32
O3 reduces inflammation. O6 creates inflammation. That's oversimplifying it but that what it boils down to. YOu need O6 for your body to have an inflammatory response when injured. But to much will create over-inflammation.

I have Jax's ratio down to about 3:1 (3 O6 to 1 O3) Studies say to have the ratio somewhere between 10:1 to 5:1 but new studies are coming out showing even lower than that. Keep in mind that high O3 will thin the blood also. Native Alaskans have a very low rate of cancer, arthritis, etc. However, most also clot slowly because their diets are so high in O3. So if she has to have surgery for anything, make sure the vet is aware.

As far as weight, I can feel Jax's backbone and feel all of her ribs quite easily. She has a nice shape to her and to many ppl would probably appear to thin but she doesn't have any fat on her.

And here is Jax's thread - I think I have lots of articles/links in here also about supplements edited while I was typing! I don't have the foggiest on the C18/C22. I don't think it was in any of the articles I found because I was looking specifically at fish oil, not flax seed oil.

Edited by LifeAsMe (12/14/10 08:25 PM)

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#114893 - 12/14/10 10:54 PM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: GSDElsa]
DianaB Offline

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1364
Loc: California
Likes: 6
Originally Posted By: GSDElsa
Thanks for the advice and good words guys! I'm really irritated with myself right now. We were going to get this done a good 6 months ago when she hit her imaginary 2nd birthday and life just kind of piled up and we put it off. I feel like I cheated her out of 6 months of a better approach to maintain it. ARGH with myself right now!

Don't beat yourself up about it. We ended up in the same place as you in the end. With Siena's large number of costly medical issues and knowing the 2 year mark was the only mark that the breeder would guarantee hips, we made the decision not to get the xrays done and just wing it. Well, at 3 she started limping and by 3.5 she had one hip replaced and that was 9 months ago and now she's favoring the remaining bad hip. Whoever says 70% of dogs who have one hip replaced never need the other replaced has never met Siena!

Now we are scrambling to do what we can to preserve the other bad hip so that we don't have to do another hip replacement (not ever would be preferred, but at least a couple years would be ok too!) and since we've had her on the glucosamine for about 2 years (extra high doses) and now we are just starting the fish oil and vit c regimin spelled out above. I certainly hope it works, but I won't hold my breath.

Will also look into doing chiro or accupuncture (she's had that, with little change) even if it is to prevent further degradation.

I do wish you all the luck and I will watch this thread for info I may not already be armed with. It's so hard because we want to make them well for sure!
Diana - owned by Siena Rose (Oct 29, 2006 - Mar 30, 2018)

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#114905 - 12/14/10 11:57 PM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: DianaB]
Woodreb Online   coffee
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 5428
Loc: New Milford, CT
Likes: 147
As I understand it - the C18 omega 3 fatty acids are the primary form of omega 3 fatty acid found in plants/plant seeds that are high in Omega 3 - like flax. The C20 and C22 omega 3 fatty acids are those more commonly found in fish, etc.

At the present state of research/knowledge, it appears that it is the C20 and C22 fatty acids that are the most beneficial to our diet (and our dogs' diets). The C18 is a "building block" that can be used to create the longer chain acids. Unfortunately, the conversion is not very efficient and some people may actually not have the necessary enzymes to facilitate the conversion. So it's actually better to get it from the diet. I think you have to take a lot more of the C18 fatty acid to get enough to convert for full benefit than if you just got them by eating fish or taking the fish oil supplements.

This article is pretty good.
Note in the beginning of the article it mentions that the conversion of the C18 to C20 and C22 fatty acids is pretty low - 5% in men and somewhat more in women, but I believe I read elsewhere (a few years ago) that it is no more than 15%.

Caleb (aka Caleb-Moose)
Ciara(aka Ciara Belle, Black Devil)

RIP Aodhán, Rica, Max, Kelly - gone but never forgotten - forever in my heart

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#114929 - 12/15/10 05:18 AM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: Woodreb]
MaxaLisa Offline

Global Moderator

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19487
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 256
I had very good luck with Cosequin combined with regular Glycoflex (GF 600) for most of Indy's life. Later switched to the Costco 1500/1200 G&C supplement, then when I had to drop the GF 600 (-ndy's weird immune system), I went back to the Cosequin and in the last year or so had added HA. I was told by one surgeon that she would have pretty bad arthritis by the time she was 7, and another surgeon said 13. She died at 13.5 years with very little remodeling in her hip (one hip had surgery at a young age). I did always give vit C, but not large doses, and MSM for some non-joint related reason that I can no longer remember.

Max here is on Cosamin, HA, and vit C.

Neither of my dogs have done well on fish oil. It helps Max's behavior, but aggravates the fistula.

Chris makes an excellent point about dosages - it's the chondroitin that is often lacking in proper amounts - it's the expensive ingredient.
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links

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#114948 - 12/15/10 08:00 AM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: MaxaLisa]
Good_Karma Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2814
Loc: Belfast, NY
Likes: 203
Remember to store the flax seed oil in a dark container in the fridge. My parents both take it for their cholesterol. It quickly loses quality at room temp.

I don't know how it is for dogs, but with humans we cannot get the benefits in whole flax seeds because our bodies won't digest them. They pretty much pass right on through unchanged. I've bought ground flaxseed meal to use in my cooking (to lower Don's cholesterol) instead. I imagine you could use it in any treats you make for Elsa, or sprinkle it on her food.

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#114985 - 12/15/10 10:32 AM Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays [Re: Good_Karma]
Woodreb Online   coffee
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 5428
Loc: New Milford, CT
Likes: 147
Caleb used to happily eat the bird seed we put out for the birds - that would fall into their yard. I can say that you pretty much find the whole seed in their poops, so it's no different for them than it is for us. The whole seed really isn't digestible.

Caleb (aka Caleb-Moose)
Ciara(aka Ciara Belle, Black Devil)

RIP Aodhán, Rica, Max, Kelly - gone but never forgotten - forever in my heart

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