Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays

Posted by: GSDElsa

Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 01:27 PM

So sad! My husband just gave me a call. The vet said she's probably rate OFA "fair" in her left hip and "moderate" HD in her right.

Never seen what I've considered symptoms and she's always eager to get out and be a wild woman.

Now to come up with a game plan for maintanance.
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 01:32 PM

She may not be showing any symptoms. smile They said the same thing about Jax. Here is what showed improvement for her

1) Chiropractor. Huge, huge improvement.
2) Dr. Ober said she shouldn't need joint supplements because her body should still be producing what she needs but I saw improvement with

Springtimeinc joint supplement - double dose
Vit C - total 2000 mg (joint supplement has vit c in it)
Fish oil - 2000 mg
vit e

I have reduced the joint supplement to a regular dose and see she's favoring her worst side again. I need to take her back to Dr. Ober and then adjust her supplements from there.
Posted by: BowWowMeow

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 01:41 PM

That's the protocol I use above--you can either use the Longevity or Joint Health. Rafi actually gets both (a single dose of both). I give 2000mg vitamin C in addition to the C in the supplements. It's made a world of difference for him. He is incredibly athletic and bounces everywhere. I've been doing this for my dogs for the past 10 years and it's worked for each of them.
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 01:42 PM

Yes, it's just surprising when you AREN'T seeing anything and then get the whammy frown

I have not found an animal chiro around here. WHere do you go for Jax? Please tell me it's the NY way and not the PA way!

I'm not sure what to do about the Fish Oil. I'd love to have her on it, but always had the runs when she was previously on it. Not sure if people have had better success with certain brands if the dog seems to have a slight fish sensitivity?
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 01:49 PM

It's over in Candor. Dr. Ober, info in the PM. Do a google search. There has to be someone closer to you!

The fish oil is to help slow/prevent arthritis. Some dogs can process the ALA in flax seed to the needed EPA/DHA. Does kelp have EPA/DHA? If she has a problem with fish, I would look for alternatives. I know they are out there.
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 01:50 PM

oh! here you go! Lots of alternatives!

http://www.google.com/search?q=alternative+to+fish+oil+for+epa%2Fdha&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 01:51 PM

So from my calculations a pound of the Longevity will last about 2 weeks? That is rounding up to 80 pounds for a quickie calculation....not gonna be cheap! These dogs!
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 01:52 PM

Haha, thanks..I try to limit my googling at work. Shhhhhhhh.

I see Longevity is designed to be mixed with wet food? For those non-raw feeders do you just sprinkle some water over top?

ETA: Is the Buy 2 Get 1 Free offer something they have going on all the time or no? I see they start free shipping on Thursday so I might wait to buy it until them unless this B2G1 deal is going to end before then.
Posted by: Chris Wild

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:00 PM

Nara was diagnosed with moderate HD in both hips at a little over a year old. There was already some arthritic change even that young. We were told to expect major surgery or she'd be crippled by midlife, and that was from a very experienced ortho vet.

Well, good thing dogs don't read x-rays or diagnostic reports because at 11 yo she's still going strong. Just in the past year we're starting to see some symptoms, but they are very mild..... doesn't run as fast as she used to and bunny hops a bit, doesn't have the stamina she used to, takes her a bit longer to go up the stairs than it used to, a bit more difficult for her to get on the bed and couch. But really, I'd expect those things in any 11 yo dog, HD or not.

We put her on supplements as soon as we found out (glucosamine, chondritin, MSM, Ester C, fish oil/vit E) and of course have always kept her at a good weight and given her appropriate exercise to keep up muscle tone (which helps take some strain off the hips) and in playing avoid things like bouncing kongs that can lead to a drivey dog putting all sorts of incredible strain on the joints. Haven't x-rayed her since then and probably don't want to know what those x-rays would look like now a decade later, but it doesn't matter as she herself is fine.

So while I know it's very concerning news to hear that from a vet, based on my experience I'd say it's safe to assume that as Elsa isn't showing any signs now the long term prognosis is very good regardless of what the x-rays show. Good that you know this and can start a management program to stave off symptoms as long as possible, but overall I'd say the outlook is pretty bright. smile
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: LifeAsMe
It's over in Candor. Dr. Ober, info in the PM. Do a google search. There has to be someone closer to you!



Oops, sorry I'm out of it!
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:10 PM

I don't use the longevity. I use this chewables.

http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/joint_health_formula_chewables/dogs

I think it costs about $13/mth if giving a double dose when you buy it with the buy 2 get 2.

The joint supplement has the MSM, chondritin, and glucosamine as well as some Vit C.
Posted by: gsdraven

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: GSDElsa
Haha, thanks..I try to limit my googling at work. Shhhhhhhh.

I see Longevity is designed to be mixed with wet food? For those non-raw feeders do you just sprinkle some water over top?

ETA: Is the Buy 2 Get 1 Free offer something they have going on all the time or no? I see they start free shipping on Thursday so I might wait to buy it until them unless this B2G1 deal is going to end before then.


I give Raven the longevity with her dry food. I just add a little water and mix it up. She usually licks the bowl clean.
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:13 PM

List of chiropractors in NY associated with AVCA

http://www.avcadoctors.com/certified_member_doctors/unitedstates2.htm
Posted by: Chris Wild

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:13 PM

One thing to check about a lot of the made for dog supplements is dosages. Many of them really don't have enough of the joint supplements in them to be worthwhile, at least not when dosing by what the package says.

Dosage for a GSD should be 1500mg Glucosamine, 1200mg Chondritin and 1000-1500mg MSM daily. So do the math to make sure she'd be getting enough of those if using the dog supplements. We just use the human variety as it's cheaper, and the dogs are good pill eaters so we don't need it to be in tasty liver chewable or powder form.
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:23 PM

Chris - have you ever tried the HA and collagen? I heard people have had good results with the Jarrow's HA. Boeslager uses something completely different but I can't remember what she said.
Posted by: Chris Wild

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:28 PM

We tried the HA and also collagen with Kali for her spondylosis, and saw absolutely no difference. Put Nara on it at the same time, and saw no difference with her either. So we quit using them as they seemed a complete waste of money, at least for these 2 dogs. Though of course all dogs are different and they might help other dogs. I'd just recommend just starting with the basics, and tweaking from there only if needed.
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:33 PM

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!
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:37 PM

You shouldn't feel like that Justine. Did the vet say if there were any signs of arthritis yet? She's not showing any discomfort so she's obviously not in pain. You keep her in sports, you exercise her, hike with her. All that is keeping her muscles strong and helping her hips.
Posted by: DnP

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:38 PM

Here are some chiros off of the AVCA site who are in NY and closer to you:

Kelly Foltman DVM Manlius NY 315-682-6434 KSFDVM@windstream.net
Lisa Bancroft DVM Canton NY 315-386-2754
Heather Beaudry-St. Germain DC, LVT Rochester NY 585-663-4262 beaudrystgermain@yahoo.com


Here are practicing graduates from the Chi Institute (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine)who practice closer to you (though not all that close). This is where both my holistic vet and regular vet went.

Kirsten Anderson, DVM
Specialty: Small Animal, Equine
Watertown, NY 13601, USA
Tele: (315)785-8000

Heather Culbertson, DVM, CVA
Specialty: Small Animal, Exotic
Mendon, NY 14506, USA
Tele: (585)624-2240

PS, you asked before about Phoenix's picture. My niece thought he needed to get in touch with his feminine side and needed to wear her pink tutu around his neck. He didn't seem to mind.

Posted by: BowWowMeow

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 02:47 PM

The cost of the Longevity is why I use both the Joint Health chewables combined with Longevity. The buy 2, get 1 free deal is always on. Occasionally they also have buy 2, get 2 free or some additional percentage off. If Elsa can't tolerate the fish oil I would use flax. Lisa T uses ground flax seeds, I think.

I feed Rafi ground raw so it's easy to mix in the Longevity. If you want you could start with the Joint Health chewables and then wait to use the Longevity until she gets older. Rafi's joints were such a mess when I adopted him then I decided to start with the super powered stuff. Now you can't even tell he has any issues.

And don't beat yourself up! Most people wouldn't have even gotten x-rays in the first place!
Posted by: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 03:21 PM

www.thera-vet.com and they are to the east of Rochester.

Cannot say enough good about them! Tell 'em Jean and Bella sent ya (I want to get some kind of referral bonus someday - I wish they did them)!

Though like Chris, I have dogs x-rayed as having mild-moderate HD who have not yet realized it through exercise and supplements. Though Ava is on a diet now. Again. And Ilsa was severe, so we cut her (femoral) head off. wink
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 03:30 PM

Originally Posted By: DnP

Kelly Foltman DVM Manlius NY 315-682-6434 KSFDVM@windstream.net
Lisa Bancroft DVM Canton NY 315-386-2754
Heather Beaudry-St. Germain DC, LVT Rochester NY 585-663-4262 beaudrystgermain@yahoo.com

Kirsten Anderson, DVM
Specialty: Small Animal, Equine
Watertown, NY 13601, USA
Tele: (315)785-8000

Heather Culbertson, DVM, CVA
Specialty: Small Animal, Exotic
Mendon, NY 14506, USA
Tele: (585)624-2240

PS, you asked before about Phoenix's picture. My niece thought he needed to get in touch with his feminine side and needed to wear her pink tutu around his neck. He didn't seem to mind.



Hmmm. Kelly is a horse vet. She was actually my equine vet before the old man went to greener pastures (literally not figurative). I never considered that she might do chiro on dogs, I guess I'll have to touch base with her. AND she used to be on the far south side of Cazenovia, so it looks like she's closer now!

Most are still an hour-ish away plus it looks like. Not too bad of a drive just a crappy time of year to try and get in with a vet that isn't a quick drive...at least with the way our winter is going this year so far.
Posted by: Lexi

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 03:48 PM

As far as advice goes, I got nothin'; I will leave that to all of the other knowledgeable people here. I just wanted to say that I'm sorry Elsa is going through this, but it seems like you will be doing all of the right things to keep her going down the best possible pathway to good health! You're a good doggy mom, don't beat yourself up.
Posted by: aubie

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 03:57 PM

Anna's hips are fair, one side is worse than the other. She's on Ester C, fishoil/vit e and Longevity. She's on the thin/trim side. That's about all we can do. But after seeing the effects of the above supps on our older boy who does have arthritis, it's a good route IMHO.
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 04:27 PM

I have gone from using the Springtime stuff to the human over the counter joint supplements. Not because I dislike Springtime, but Havoc is allergic to an ingredient in both the joint health and longevity.

On the HD, so sorry to hear that! It is distressing but treat the dog not the x-ray. When Kayos was x-rayed at 15 months before we got serious about agility, the vet recommended putting her down as her hips were so bad. We were just gut shot and stunned. Her breeder was really upset and begged us to get a second opinion before we acted (we would NOT have PTS her!) We went toe vet school and repeated the films. The views were better but the diagnosis was not. Kayos was almost 5 before she showed any signs of problems. She had a THR on her right at 5 1/2. Now we use weight control, supplements and hydrotherapy to keep her strong and fit. She gets an occasional Tramadol when she over does the squirrel chasing. I expect her to live 13 years!

Good care, weight management, judicious exercise and therapy and she may never miss a step.
Posted by: DnP

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: GSDElsa
Originally Posted By: DnP

Kelly Foltman DVM Manlius NY 315-682-6434 KSFDVM@windstream.net
Lisa Bancroft DVM Canton NY 315-386-2754
Heather Beaudry-St. Germain DC, LVT Rochester NY 585-663-4262 beaudrystgermain@yahoo.com

Kirsten Anderson, DVM
Specialty: Small Animal, Equine
Watertown, NY 13601, USA
Tele: (315)785-8000

Heather Culbertson, DVM, CVA
Specialty: Small Animal, Exotic
Mendon, NY 14506, USA
Tele: (585)624-2240

PS, you asked before about Phoenix's picture. My niece thought he needed to get in touch with his feminine side and needed to wear her pink tutu around his neck. He didn't seem to mind.



Hmmm. Kelly is a horse vet. She was actually my equine vet before the old man went to greener pastures (literally not figurative). I never considered that she might do chiro on dogs, I guess I'll have to touch base with her. AND she used to be on the far south side of Cazenovia, so it looks like she's closer now!

Most are still an hour-ish away plus it looks like. Not too bad of a drive just a crappy time of year to try and get in with a vet that isn't a quick drive...at least with the way our winter is going this year so far.


When I saw the addresses, I knew you were looking at an hour plus drive to each. And yeah, I know at this time of year, an hour plus can EASILY be two hours.

BTW, please quit beating yourself up about the timing of getting Elsa's hips x-rayed. Be relieved that you did them NOW when she isn't showing symptoms. Think of yourself being ahead of the game!

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.
Posted by: GSDTrain

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 04:46 PM

Poor Elsa frown

Ivy's hips are really bad, some of the worst hips I've seen, and some of the worst some of the board members have seen. Even though they are both very severe, the one side is worse than the other. She's on Vitamin C, fish oil/vit e and Cosequin DS, and she is doing really well on these supplements and its been almost 8 months.
Posted by: DnP

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 04:50 PM

I have access to an Omega 3 supplament that you may want to try if Elsa doesn't do well on fish oil. My brother's dog has the same issues and he can take this with no problems. It must be introduced slowly and at low doses to begin with. Recommended by my holistic vet.

Here it is:

Ulta EFA by RX Vitamins for Pets:

Ultra EFA
Posted by: Woodreb

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 05:36 PM

We use the Springtime Longetivity for Aodhán. She gets two scoops twice a day and that gives her ~ 1500 mg of the gluocsamine per day. She weighs ~ 75 pounds. I'm not sure how fast we go through the supplement because I bought the buy 2 get 2 free the last time it was on and DH refills a smaller container from the big jars periodically.

With the flax seed - bear in mind that the omega-3 that is in it is the C18 omega fatty acid not the the C22. The body has to convert it to the C22 for best benefit. If she can tolerate it, I think Diana's suggestion may be a better alternative.
Posted by: Good_Karma

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 05:50 PM

Justine, I'm so sorry about Elsa. But that's great that she's not showing any signs of discomfort, and that you are getting her on supplements. I know you already keep her in great physical shape, so no worries there!

Can we see her x-rays? I'm just curious to see what moderate HD looks like so I can compare to Rosa.
Posted by: Jason L

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 06:06 PM

I'm sorry to hear about Elsa. Glad to see everyone is giving lots of good advice here.
Posted by: 3K9Mom

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 07:21 PM

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.

http://www.caninerehabinstitute.com/Find_A_Therapist.html

Here's some info on water therapy:
http://lapawspa.com/the_association_of_canine_water_therapy_000202.html
http://lapawspa.com/dog_pools_for_swimming_therapy_what_to_look_for_000186.html


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:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O5H...HJHBGA3PJJ5VPGC

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
Posted by: DancingCavy

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 07:38 PM

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.

Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 08:15 PM

[quote=Dn
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 general...it'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?
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 08:23 PM

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.

http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/58383/Omega_6_Omega_3_ratio_in_RAW_d.html

And here is Jax's thread - I think I have lots of articles/links in here also about supplements

http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubbt....html#Post55644


awww...you 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.
Posted by: DianaB

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 10:54 PM

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!
Posted by: Woodreb

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/14/10 11:57 PM

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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid
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%.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 05:18 AM

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.
Posted by: Good_Karma

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 08:00 AM

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.
Posted by: Woodreb

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 10:32 AM

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.
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 10:38 AM

Some of the articles I found said that unless the flax is fresh ground the O3 immediately starts to degrade.
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 12:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Woodreb
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.


I should have specified...I'm not just putting whole flax seed in her treats, but griding it and mixing it in.
Posted by: Woodreb

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 01:09 PM

I was just responding to Leah's comment about not being sure the whole seed is digestible for dogs, just like it is for humans.
Posted by: 3K9Mom

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 05:39 PM

Quote:


It is easy to assume that higher amounts of omega-3 would mean more health benefits, but this is not necessarily so. Remember that omega-3 consists of many different types of fatty acid, and each type has a different effect on the body. Flaxseed oil contains very high amounts of α-Linolenic acid (ALA ), but what is more beneficial especially in the treatment of dog arthritis is Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is found in fish oil. Also flax seed is not nearly as well absorbed as the fish based omega-3.



http://www.dogarthritisblog.info/dog-joi...s-flaxseed-oil/

This has always been my understanding as well. After all, why do we put our dogs on grain-free diets? Why do we put dogs with renal failure (who have always been told to avoid high-protein diets) on high MEAT protein diets. Why do raw feeders try to find meat-based vitamins and minerals instead of just using veggies and fruits (which are often easier to use and *can* be cheaper)? Because the dog absorbs vitamin A faster from liver than from sweet potato and iron faster from red meat than from spinach.

Because they are essentially carnivores.

Do I use ground up flax seed here and there? (Which by the way, you can get it -- organic -- at Costco, for a great price, and it's already ground if that's easier for you). I do. But I don't count on it as anything other than a minor supplement to my "real" O3 supplements of fish oil (with Vit E and selenium) and real fish.

With a dog that can't handle fish oil in its "oil" form, I would feed sardines and mackerel and see if she could tolerate it.

Then flax seed.

Anyhow, that's my two cents. smile
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 05:48 PM

When I was researching the O3's for Banshee's cancer and Jax's HD, my understanding was simply increasing O3's was not the answer. IT was the ratio of O6 to O3 that needed to be looked at because both are important.

It's important to remember that the flax seed's O3 comes in the form of ALA that the body has to process into EPA/DHA. I know I read that the ALA in flax seed starts degrading as soon as it's ground so to get hte best benefit it should be freshly ground. I, too, would look for a source of O3 that is already in that form.

Sardines have alot of EPA/DHA in them but they also have alot of added salt. You can find the smaller cans without added salt.

If it's a horse, then I want the ALA because that is the form they naturally eat in grasses.
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 08:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Woodreb
I was just responding to Leah's comment about not being sure the whole seed is digestible for dogs, just like it is for humans.


Oops, sorry! I thought you were kind of warning me against using it in her treats.
Posted by: DancingCavy

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 08:27 PM

Has Elsa ever tried sardines? I know she has issues with fish (so does Ris) but I've found sardines are pretty good. I also rinse some of the salt off of them before feeding them.

Big Lots has them for $0.75 per tin (they sell for over a dollar in most of the grocery stores). Price Chopper carries canned Mackerel as an alternative but it's more expensive. I haven't priced it recently but I think it's over $2 per 15 oz can.
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 08:37 PM

I've been thinking about sardines since we talked about them on the walk the other day! No, we haven't tried them yet. Maybe I'll give that a try. She gets the runs with such a teeny amount of fish oil (like a smidgen of a dribble from a capsule!) so I had been avoiding fish alltogether but maybe this will be a chance to experiment a little more.

Digestive issues with dogs = total paranoia to fix what isn't broken sometimes!
Posted by: DancingCavy

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/15/10 09:24 PM

Originally Posted By: GSDElsa
Digestive issues with dogs = total paranoia to fix what isn't broken sometimes!


Amen to that!

It's tough, for sure. I would probably start with really REALLY small amounts of fish just because you know she's had issues with fish before. You don't want to send her off the deep end. Experience has taught me that what you can mess up in a day often takes weeks to fix. wink
Posted by: DianaB

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/16/10 12:50 PM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
Originally Posted By: GSDElsa
Digestive issues with dogs = total paranoia to fix what isn't broken sometimes!


Amen to that!

It's tough, for sure. I would probably start with really REALLY small amounts of fish just because you know she's had issues with fish before. You don't want to send her off the deep end. Experience has taught me that what you can mess up in a day often takes weeks to fix. wink


I agree with this too. We have the fish oil and the dosing will be about 4 capsules total, but we cut a tip in the capsule and only add 1/4 capsule each day to be sure we don't have any issues. We're up to 1 3/4 and (knock on wood) so far so good. Once we have that done and it's been a couple weeks with no issues at full dose, then we will add in the vitamin c in small doses too. I've learned the hard way that slow and steady wins the race. Too fast (or too many changes) makes us go back to square one if we can't figure out what the item is giving her the tum troubles.

Good luck!
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/16/10 08:17 PM



I think her weight looks ok. Maybe a pound less...but I'm not sure any more than that? What do you guys think?

Sorry for horrible blurriness and image quality. I have my 50mm lens on my camera and was teetering on my tip toes trying to get enough of her body to put on here. Obviously didn't turn out so well lol.
Posted by: DancingCavy

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/16/10 08:23 PM

I'd say she looks pretty good. Not always easy to tell without getting your hands on her (since she has significantly more coat than Risa). She could possibly lose a bit more but I'm not sure I'm the best judge. I like to keep Risa pretty lean.
Posted by: GSDElsa

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/16/10 08:46 PM

I know...she has such a thick coat that sometimes I feel like she looks chubtastic but them I molest her sides and I can feel ribs pretty darn good...and see a lot of definition from the top. I don't think looking at her from the side she looks as lean (I can't get her far enough away with that lens in the house though to take a decent pic).

I can feel all her vertebre when running my hand down her spine.
Posted by: Smithie86

Re: Elsa Has HD--Glad We Got Those X-Rays - 12/16/10 09:34 PM

We use a AVCA as a preventative as well. Mark is ours in TN and he is excellent.