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Hugo's hips
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TOPIC: Hugo's hips

Hugo's hips 28 Jul 2012 09:47 #6019

  • stellalgray
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Hi everyone!

Hugo hasn't had a very good week this week as we had him neutered so he is is bit sore at the moment. Took him to the vet this morning for a check up and all is well. He was the same vet who did the operation and he was really taken with Hugo and said what a lovely temperament he has - he seems so happy. We thought we would have trouble getting him into the surgery but, no, he bounded down the steps and was genuinely pleased to see them all.

We asked the vet to check Hugo's hips for dysplasia because we have notice him going briefly lame on his back right leg if he goes round a corner too quickly - after a few seconds he is fine. They x-rayed him under the anaesthetic and he has moderate dysplasia in his left hip and mild in the right. This morning the lovely vet (very nice looking, young, Portuguese!) told us not to worry at the moment but enjoy him and only if he starts to show any sign of pain when he is older to think about hip replacements. The nurse had earlier recommended keeping his weight down - he is 36.5kg at the moment - but we feel he is still quite skinny (he has grown a couple of inches in the last month so probably had a growth spurt) and I wondered if anyone else has experience of this condition and what the ideal weight should be - you can easily feel his ribs and his back bone.

When we initially had Hugo at 7 months old is was evident he had not been walked as his paws were so soft - it now seems this was to his advantage as bigger breed dogs should not have too much exercise until their bones have strengthened and the vet thought he would certainly have benefited from this.

Incidentally, as part of the adoption of Hugo, we took out insurance on him about a month ago and chose the more expensive option that would renew yearly regardless of how long he has had a condition - the intention was to keep this sort of policy for a couple of years until we were sure he didn't have allergies etc. and then possibly switch to one of the cheaper sorts. The vet congratulated us on the policy we have got as it will mean we will be covered if surgery has to be considered in the future. He also said to stay with the same insurer and type of policy so we would ensure no problems when claiming - cheaper policies may be out there to tempt us but they may not pay out for an existing condition. Thought this was very good advise and wanted to pass it on to everyone else. Although it seemed a lot of money at the time it could prove to be the best investment we have made and will take away any worry about future vets bills.
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Last Edit: 28 Jul 2012 09:48 by stellalgray.

Re: Hugo's hips 28 Jul 2012 13:28 #6021

  • Joomla
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You should'nt be able to feel their back bones, but once he starts to muscle up this could cover it over. You should just be able to feel the last two ribs. Now he has been neutered he could start putting on weight and you need to keep an eye on that he does'nt put to much on. Each dog is a different build and can only give average weights really. I think it is down to the individual dog and what they look best at ??
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Re: Hugo's hips 28 Jul 2012 13:39 #6022

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How old is Hugo? Many akitas don't fill out and can look skinny until about 3-4 years of age. From 12-24 months old many dogs look totally 'rangy' and look thinner than a full adult. What are his scores? and in which areas are the problems (ball formation, socket formation, angles of the bones?). Steady strength work will also help to build the muscle that will help to hold the hips in the correct place and compensate for any structural problems. Trotting uphill is the best for this, particularly if he's in harness and pulling steadily.

A friend's gsd had terrible hips (hip score of 45: 40) but she help her very lean and she lived a full and active life including 2-3 hour off-lead walks until the age of 13 when she suddenly went off her legs. A raw diet helps to keep the weight off, and keeping them on the verge of too slim will help no end.

Re: Hugo's hips 28 Jul 2012 14:42 #6023

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Thanks for the advise - Denise's comments about only being able to feel his last two ribs is very helpful to know.

Hugo is only 9 months old so suspect he will start to fill out soon - we do tend to (wrongly) compare him with our previous Akita, Sid who was 10 months old when we had him. (Sid was long haired and had already undergone puppy walking and some police training so he always seemed more 'meaty and ended up weighing 11 stone' - sounds very heavy but he actually didn't appear to be fat.)

The vet only used the words moderate and mild about his hips and did not say which area was causing the problem - we need to go back next Friday for a check up on his op. anyway so I will try and get further information about the scores etc. I think it would be good to try and build up his muscles as suggested - trotting uphill may have to be passed over to my sons to do though as I don't 'do' running of any sort!!

Any help is much appreciated

Stella & Hugo

Re: Hugo's hips 28 Jul 2012 17:56 #6024

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We got Beau when she was 2 in 2009 and our vet diagnosed hip dysplasia with arthritis in her back legs and advised us to watch her weight. At that time she was 46kg (she is a large bitch).

Took her back a few weeks ago for another issue and the same vet said she was rather skinny but she now weighs 47kg. I thought the a rule of thumb was not seeing ribs which is what Beau is like but she made reference that she has a unusual thick coat for an akita. I personally don't think she is skinny as you cannot feel bones to any degree without pressing harder and I don't want her to carry extra weight that will impact on her joints

She had a course of physio and then goes to hydro therapy once a week, initially it was twice. I think this really helps. She is alot free movement following this and her msucle mass has increased. Her back legs had no space in between initially due to no muscle and she flopped down to the floor and struggled getting up. There is I'm with tesco insurance and that covers Beau but does have a limit so i pay fro hydro therapy so if she need surgery in future it ill be covered.
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Re: Hugo's hips 04 Aug 2012 21:54 #6103

I love the picture of Hugo having a drink from the fountain

I was just wondering ifit would of preventative help for hugo to start on glucosamine/chondroitin now, it might help to prevent arthritis setting in early due to the hip problem, perhaps your vet has some advice on it?
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