Bad Hips

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby plebayo » November 17th, 2010, 10:59 pm

I saw the hip dysplasia thread, does anyone have experience with bad hips in general?

My friend and I took our dogs to the park on lunch break tuesday. LiLo, Seth, and my friends dog Mojo were full of it running around, chasing each other, and playing really hard. LiLo is in good shape, she's at her ideal weight right now, normally I keep her a bit under because her hips have been giving her trouble but thanks to Sofie, LiLo has gotten some extra food.

Anyway, after the day of running around she was really sore. Her iliopsois muscle is always getting pulled and sore however yesterday and today her hips were straight up bothering her. I had a dr look at her, he felt grinding in her left hip, we took xrays and her hips and worse than before, she has no necks on her femurs, the sockets themselves don't look too terrible.

What have you guys used for hip pain?

I have her on glucosemine and just started her on fish oil. I really don't want to use Rimadyl because I don't want to kill her liver or kidneys. Tramadol isn't really that helpful for bone pain in my experience, dr said we could do aspirin, the main concern is gut issues.

Any suggestions or ideas? Anyone happy with the results of adequan? I can get it at cost but even then it's pretty spendy.
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Postby Marinepits » November 17th, 2010, 11:09 pm

Katy was on adequan for about the last year of her life and had really good results, especially at the beginning -- she was running around like a puppy again. The last two shots she received, she was really sick on the hour-long ride home. Not sure if it was car sickness (which is not the norm for her) or the shot, but she vomited quite a bit both times.

Try a search on the forum for "adequan", too.
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Postby mnp13 » November 18th, 2010, 12:36 am

If you give aspirin with a meal - not just a little food - there isn't usually much reaction from the gut. Buffered aspirin helps as well. What fish oil are you using? We are at over double the recommended dose for glucosomine and salmon oil, and I credit that and the raw diet for the vet's surprise at excellent shape (considering) of Connor's knee.
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Postby plebayo » November 18th, 2010, 1:09 am

mnp13 wrote:If you give aspirin with a meal - not just a little food - there isn't usually much reaction from the gut. Buffered aspirin helps as well. What fish oil are you using? We are at over double the recommended dose for glucosomine and salmon oil, and I credit that and the raw diet for the vet's surprise at excellent shape (considering) of Connor's knee.



Good to know about the aspirin. I'm just using a kirkland brand Fish Oil, it's 1000mg per cap. LiLo is 42lbs. Can you purchase Salmon Oil in a health food store? Is it better than just regular fish oil? I've wanted to put my dogs on a raw diet but Seth gets diarrhea regardless of how much bone he gets/what type of meat.
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Postby Malli » November 18th, 2010, 3:57 am

You can't really give too much fish oil, except I might worry that too much might cause GI upset or pancreatitis issues, but even then I'd think that would be a lot.

Oscar takes T3's because he can't take typical meds. They seem to work well at quite a low dose - the max dose prescribed makes him a little goofy, and in my experience when pain killers induce disphoria or an "altered" state, then more is being given then is needed.

Its my understanding that the most painful aspect of HD is the inflammation caused by the condition, so an anti-imflammtory would probably work best, but I think for dogs those are all NSAIDs (Rimadyl, Metacam, etc).

Adequann/Cartrophen can do some pretty awesome stuff, I've heard; Oscar was on it, but at the time he was being rested so I wasn't really able to see the affects.

Do you understand the process of arthritis and HD? Like what the action is? (if you work at a vet and I've somehow missed that and know all that then ignore this! ;) )
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Postby plebayo » November 18th, 2010, 10:55 am

Do you understand the process of arthritis and HD? Like what the action is? (if you work at a vet and I've somehow missed that and know all that then ignore this! ;) )


I do work at a vet but I'm not that familiar with hip dysplasia. The last severe case that came in had a double FHO done due to the dog being so painful. The dr yesterday explained that she would just continue getting an abundance of bone growth/arthritis around the area. As far as the process of arthritis and that sort of thing he really didn't give me a great explanation. Anything you have to share would be helpful, the dr who looked at her yesterday is pretty busy, he's the practice owner and we're working on moving so his mind is preoccupied.
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Postby amalie79 » November 18th, 2010, 11:25 am

Definitely can't give too much fish oil, but do know that it depletes vitamin E, so you'll want to supplement that. Mine take about 400mg of E/day-- they eat the gel caps like treats. :crazy2: I think Walgreen's is having a 2 for 1 sale on supplements...

River has the very early beginnings of arthritis-- not showing up on an xray yet, but all signs point to that. We've had her on megadoses of fish oil (several thousand mgs/day..) as well as a capsule of 1000mg MSM sprinkled over her food morning and night; just moved to morning only, so we'll see how she does. She also takes Dasuquin-- it's got the avocado/soybean unsaponifiables that seem to give the supplement that extra little kick. We buy that at PetFoodDirect.com-- it's free shipping and I have a coupon code for 25% off supplements, if anyone's interested. Since getting this regimen going, we haven't noticed all the morning stiffness and limping we'd been so worried about.

Our boy Simon has pretty severe joint problems-- mainly arthritis it seems, in his, well...just about every joint, spine included, as well as nerve damage/deterioration. He's having trouble staying standing these days. However, the day after an adequan shot, he's like a new dog. We were doing the shots monthly, but it's not enough for him anymore. The week before his next shot is a miserable one for him, so he's going to start getting them every 2-3 weeks. I may just find out how to give them myself.

He also takes tramadol, which has been a godsend...Dasuquin with MSM... and he's been on Rimadyl (actually vetprofen; it's cheaper, just not chewable) for well over a year now. He's a lab mix, and labs have supposedly been the most at risk with this drug (though the studies suggesting this are a little skewed). We've had great success with it. I was terrified of giving it to him at first. For the first year to 18months we checked his liver after the first couple of weeks and then every 6 weeks-3 months, depending on each result. He's been good. We decided that his stability over that amount of time, plus the fact that he's going on 16 years old and is very much in a quality over quantity point in his life, means we're not testing nearly as frequently. My father died of liver failure, so I know the signs-- and they are generally reversible if the rimadyl is stopped. The liver is a helluva organ. At any rate, it's been great for him.

The vet told me Tuesday that I need a puppy nursing home for Simon. :neutral: He's having a rough time these days.

We discussed rimadyl for River, but the vet felt strongly that rimadyl is not appropriate for a dog in such early stages of arthritis. It's more for the dog in constant pain. :| At any rate, our supplement regimen has worked well for her. If her limp comes back, progresses, becomes more frequent, etc. we'll try adequan as our next step.
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Postby amalie79 » November 18th, 2010, 11:26 am

Marinepits wrote:Katy was on adequan for about the last year of her life and had really good results, especially at the beginning -- she was running around like a puppy again. The last two shots she received, she was really sick on the hour-long ride home. Not sure if it was car sickness (which is not the norm for her) or the shot, but she vomited quite a bit both times.

Try a search on the forum for "adequan", too.


Forgot to mention that it does make Simon a bit nauseous, too, so I try to take him in a couple of hours after breakfast. If we go at the end of the day right before dinner, he picks at his food and walks away.
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Postby Malli » November 18th, 2010, 4:25 pm

Ok, here is the low down, as I understand it.

Hip Dysplasia starts as a poorly formed hip joint. Think of something that uses ball bearings for it's movement, and the ball bearings are no longer working well, or like a door that doesn't latch tightly. The ball is supposed to move smoothly through the socket, but because one or both may be poorly formed, it doesn't. That motion causes inflammation, the inflammation causes arthritis (bumps in the joint), the body adds more bone to the neck of the femur in order to try to stabilize the joint, and produces an enzyme because of all of this that make actually accellerate the process.

Anti-imflammatories help because a major part of the pain from the process is because of the inflammation.

Adequann/Cartrophen is supposed to help because it works kind of like glucosamine, but because it's injectable, it is not degraded by the digestive process; It helps to reduce inflammtion in the area and thicken the fluid in the joint (the inflammtion from the process thins out the fluid in the joint called Synovial joint fluid), which acts a cushion for everything.

Depending on your dog, there may also be further complications ; Oscar developed arthritis in his elbow joints, and then from altering his gait for so long, either from the elbow arthritis or from coping with the hip dysplasia, he developed brusitis aka "biceps tendonitis" - which was really painful.
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Postby plebayo » November 19th, 2010, 12:27 am

Definitely can't give too much fish oil, but do know that it depletes vitamin E, so you'll want to supplement that. Mine take about 400mg of E/day-- they eat the gel caps like treats. :crazy2: I think Walgreen's is having a 2 for 1 sale on supplements...


This is very good to know about Vitamin E. Thanks for sharing.

We discussed rimadyl for River, but the vet felt strongly that rimadyl is not appropriate for a dog in such early stages of arthritis. It's more for the dog in constant pain. :| At any rate, our supplement regimen has worked well for her. If her limp comes back, progresses, becomes more frequent, etc. we'll try adequan as our next step.


The dr I talked to suggested it, I was the one who turned it down. LiLo is 5 years old and although rare the whole liver and kidney issues kind of freak me out. I've given her carprofen/rimadyl every once in a while for her pain, just not consistently.

He also takes tramadol, which has been a godsend...


Do you think it helps with the pain? That's mostly why I want to use it, I know it has no anti-inflammatory properties but I want something to take the edge off pain wise and tramadol seems to have fewer side effects.

Depending on your dog, there may also be further complications ; Oscar developed arthritis in his elbow joints, and then from altering his gait for so long, either from the elbow arthritis or from coping with the hip dysplasia, he developed brusitis aka "biceps tendonitis" - which was really painful.


Thanks for the explanation :)

This is kind of what I'm worried about. We have a lab that has horrible hips that comes in and her hips are tiny and muscle-less but she has a very large, broad front end from carrying most of her weight on the front end. Due to these changes her elbows have kind of bowed out.

I've done a few sessions of acupuncture on LiLo and might see if I can do some more of that as well. If anything I think it helped relieve her muscles a little bit.
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Postby amalie79 » November 19th, 2010, 10:54 am

The dr I talked to suggested it, I was the one who turned it down. LiLo is 5 years old and although rare the whole liver and kidney issues kind of freak me out. I've given her carprofen/rimadyl every once in a while for her pain, just not consistently.


River is also only 5 years old, but her issues aren't severe-- she has some morning stiffness and a limp that tends to go away as she gets moving, both of which have pretty much gone away now that we have her on a solid supplement regimen. She's taken Rimadyl for a week at a time or thereabouts, and tolerated it fine, but because her problems aren't severe and she doesn't seem to be in constant pain, the vet felt like it wasn't worth the risks. I agreed. With Simon, like I said, he's taken it for almost 2 years solid. We got him down to 50mg once a day (he fluctuates between 45 and 50lbs), but he's back to 50mg twice a day. At 15+ years old, the vet pointed out that his liver numbers are going to steadily get worse regardless. I kind of felt sorry for the doc-- he's been our family's vet for 25+ years. I could tell he didn't want to have to tell me that my dog is essentially dying, but I've known that with a dog this size, we've definitely been on borrowed time for a while. Just want him to be comfortable in his old age. Long and short, I guess you just have to make the call about how severe her situation is. You might try adequan shots and a hard core glucosamine supplement like Dasuquin first (the human version is Cosamine ASU), then discuss keeping tramadol on hand for bad days...? :|

Adequan really does seem to help with pain and inflammation, and it's not too expensive, IMO. We did 4 loading shots over 2 weeks and then once a month at $30 each. From what I'm told, most vets will supply the drug and teach you how to give the shot yourself; it's intramuscular. Simon has to be muzzled for a lot of things now, and I don't want him to associate his last months with me with anxiety and discomfort, so that's why I'm continuing to let the vet do it. We usually notice a marked decline in his mobility the week before his next shot, and then a truly noticeable bounce in his step a few hours after a dose, so we're upping the frequency of the doses. I really can't say enough good things about this stuff.

Do you think it helps with the pain? That's mostly why I want to use it, I know it has no anti-inflammatory properties but I want something to take the edge off pain wise and tramadol seems to have fewer side effects.


I also think the tramadol has helped a lot, and cannot imagine where my guy would be without it. This will sound sort of ridiculous, but after the first dose, Simon was able to defecate standing in one spot. Normally, he has to "walk it out," which seems to be a result of back end weakness, arthritic pain, and nerve damage. I almost cried when he was able to stand in one place and poop :rolleyes2: . He also had a clearly much easier time getting up after starting the tramadol. These results haven't maintained at quite that level, but at his age, I don't expect them to. It's still noticeable when he hasn't had the full dose or when it's time for another. I'm going to discuss upping the frequency with my vet. The only side effect we've seen with it was constipation when he started taking it, and I know people who take it (human version is Ultram) and experience nausea. I started him on half the dose recommended by the vet because he can be sort of sensitive to drugs; a full dose made him a bit restless, too. I jacked up the amount of pumpkin and green beans in his dinner by a lot and added a fair amount of salmon oil and that eventually got him going. Once his body had settled into it, we eased him into his full dose and it's working great for him.

And finally, for muscle inflammation, MSM is good stuff. It's not going to work immediately, but it builds, like glucosamine. River was getting 2000mg/day.

I still maintain that dogs are in many ways harder to care for than kids-- eventually, a kid can tell you what hurts, where it hurts, how much it hurts. You'll never get that from your dog.
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Postby Malli » November 19th, 2010, 1:27 pm

I'm trying out Sasha's blend out with Oscar, its supposed to be really good.
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Postby airwalk » November 20th, 2010, 12:35 pm

Doogs is on Rimadyl and Dasaquin for his amazingly bad rear hips.

One thing we found with Tramadol...and we found this with two different staff dogs...they were particularly assertive in their response to anything strange or different. Just something to be aware of.
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Postby Malli » November 20th, 2010, 2:52 pm

I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby Malli » November 22nd, 2010, 2:36 pm

The other thing -I just remembered- to keep in mind is the pain response. Chronic pain will make a dog more and more sensitive, so, they will be experiencing the same level of whatever caused the pain, but because it's constant, their brain amplifies the affect. I find breaking the cycle for a couple of doses of pain med is really affect, since right now for Oscar, some days are worse then others. I also try to anticipate if I think for some reason we've accidentally overdone it and he'll be hurting, I give him meds.
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Postby plebayo » November 23rd, 2010, 1:55 am

I checked out the Sasha's Blend - I'd love to hear what you think of it.

Good suggestion about medicating - I did give LiLo rimadyl/carprofen when I noticed her being really sore and it definitely took the edge off. In the past when I took her camping and we were horseback riding all day I would give her some before the ride and then after. She seems to be feeling better. I've been giving her a fish oil cap AM/PM and a Glucosemine AM/PM.
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Postby Malli » November 23rd, 2010, 5:15 am

we are *just* swithching from Cosequin DS to Sasha's blend *as we type* so I'll let you know in a month or so ;)
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Postby Malli » December 29th, 2010, 3:55 am

Hey, just remembered this thread!

I do think the Sasha's blend is making a difference! Now, due to winter and outside temps, he has been rested, but there are just little things, a bit more "spring" in his step, running like a mad man when asked, and a couple decent length walks where he kept a good pace, things like that; I also know a vet who has her lab on it and thinks it is helping.
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Postby iluvk9 » December 29th, 2010, 7:14 am

Malli wrote:Hey, just remembered this thread!


Because of me and Truman and your mentioning of Sasha's Blend? :neener:
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Postby Malli » December 29th, 2010, 2:06 pm

Yes Joyce, it was all because of you!
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