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Has anyone had a puppy with hip dysplasia?

(28 Posts)
Partyfops Sat 22-Apr-17 22:24:15

We have a 10 week old Labrador puppy who is starting to show signs of hip dysplasia. We had her checked over at 8.5 weeks when she went for her jabs as I had an early concern about it. Vet said all fine.

However when she gets up, she sits first then stands and she bunny hops a lot.

She is going back to the vet on Monday for her second set of jabs. I will raise my concerns.

I was naive, I did ask about hip scores and didn't really get an answer, I had my concerns before we picked her up, I was convinced then by DH that it was just a puppy growing fast and unable to keep up with her legs.

We have had a shit few months, our old lab was put to sleep only 3 weeks ago with a brain tumour. I was desperate for a dog to fill the void.

georgedawes Sat 22-Apr-17 23:05:30

Have you contacted the breeder? A decent breeder would refund you. I knew that sounds harsh to say about a puppy you've bonded with but I would consider it if it's an option. I would've thought it could be severe if it's showing so early. Sorry I don't mean to sound unsympathetic, it sounds really rough.

Partyfops Sat 22-Apr-17 23:26:54

I've not contacted the breeder yet, we are going to puppy class tomorrow to see some other puppies and how they move etc. Also, the vets on Monday.

I know what you are saying, I'm worried that if they refund they will have her PTS. sad

Fingers crossed I'm worrying about nothing.

CornflakeHomunculus Sun 23-Apr-17 01:23:11

Bunny hopping in puppies is not that unusual and it's certainly not always a sign of HD or anything else wrong.

It is a good idea to get it checked out just in case but try not to panic too much, easier said than done I know!!

If it does turn out to be HD then you do have options whether it be returning the puppy for a refund (as heartless as that sounds) or various different medical or surgical treatments. Did the breeder give you a period of free insurance for the pup?

SwearySwearyQuiteContrary Sun 23-Apr-17 01:52:31

Our lab girl had hip dysplasia. Her breeder was spectacularly unhelpful. She had TPO surgery on both hips before her first birthday. It's a huge procedure and very expensive, although we were covered by pet insurance. She was on complete crate rest for nearly 8 weeks for the first hip and six for the second. It was very successful and she had sound orthopaedic health for years. She's 7 now and has developed arthritis. This is practically inevitable in dogs that start with a history of dysplasia; surgery when pups allows them to have a greatly extended period of normal movement and health.
We don't regret the treatment. She was 4 months old when diagnosed and was already so much a part of the family by then. There was not the option to return her to the breeder so it was either let her develop osteoarthritis by a year old and drastically reduce her lifespan or have her PTS. This is her protecting us all from the duck pool invasion as a thank you.

littleoldladywho Sun 23-Apr-17 02:10:17

Yeah that's why you should have been given hip scores. V unusual for labs to be sold without? If the vet checked and said it was okay though, it isn't necessarily HD. We have a lab who is now 10 and has always done that. She has no issues with her hips but is just a bizarrely clumsy dog who sits awkwardly. We live in the mountains and she runs and swims.
We had another breed with hip issues who had surgery v early. He came to us as a rescue after his surgery, so we weren't involved. He was fine post-surgery. I marathon trained with him, although I would take him home after my first circuit and go and do another one lol, as he would just sit down after the first one. We actually lost him at 7 due to an unrelated illness, so not sure how he would have fared as an older dog.

CornflakeHomunculus Sun 23-Apr-17 03:29:07

If you have a copy of your pup's pedigree you can look up the health test results of the parents here on the KC site. Whilst not all health test results will show up there, hip scores will if they've been done.

Do bear in mind that hip scoring isn't an exact science in that it is possible for parents with low scores to produce puppies with higher ones (and that a dog with a high score won't necessarily become symptomatic beyond developing arthritis a bit early) but it is more likely that parents with low scores will produce puppies with low scores as well.

Ideally both parents should have total hip scores under the current breed average (which I believe is 12, happy to be corrected though) and the two numbers which make up the total score should be as even as possible.

Booboostwo Sun 23-Apr-17 04:40:18

I am very sorry you are worried about your puppy's health, especially after loosing another dog! I have a GSD puppy three years after loosing another to degenerative myelopathy and I keep panicking at his every step!

It could be many things, some completely normal. I assume your local vet who has seen the puppy is not a specialist? If it were me, I'd get a referral to an orthopedic vet to put my mind at rest. Even if it is something, a specialist vet is the best person to advise you on options.

A breeder who didn't give you all health screening info is unlikely to care that there may be a problem with the puppy. Was there a contract? My breeder signed a contract which included some circumstances under which they would refund me.

Partyfops Sun 23-Apr-17 08:18:09

I'm so torn, my head says if she does have HD there will be a lot of heart ache, inconvenience and cost.

My heart says I can't bare to think of her future should I send her back.

georgedawes Sun 23-Apr-17 08:25:50

Surely though you should talk to the breeder whatever? A decent breeder would want to know of any problems problems with their pups. Or are you saying they were a backyard breeder that wouldn't care? sad

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sun 23-Apr-17 08:33:35

Our first rottweiler had HD and had a series of ops. . She was on meds til she died at 12. She was crabby and miserable her whole life. Prob in pain and I never understood why my dm let it continue. (I was a child). If the vet can medicate without pain ahead then keep her and love her - as I am sure you do already! Until the time comes to let her go.
Let the breeder know regardless though. .

Partyfops Sun 23-Apr-17 08:35:23

She's not a back yard breeder but she's not KC reg. The owner breeds very good horses so I'm sure she will care.

I had a concern since day one but the symptoms seem to have worsened in the last day or 2. We have a 6 year old who is not good at being gentle any maybe she is just injured.

We might get in to see the vet today. Like I said we are also going to take her to puppy classes today to see her against other small puppies.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 23-Apr-17 08:52:15

There's a huge spectrum of HD - some dogs are affected really badly and suffer constant pain, others seem to be virtually symptom-free and lead completely normal lives.

Whether or not she has HD - and it would be very early for it to be diagnosed at this age - keep her lean (especially important with a Labrador), be careful with the amount of exercise she has until she's fully grown, avoid repetitive exercise like constantly chasing after a ball, avoid stairs and get her swimming and walking through chest height water to help build up the muscles in her back legs.

Both my dog and one of his litter brothers have HD on one side (both parents have perfect hip scores). My dog has no obvious symptoms and is incredibly active and athletic. His brother developed arthritis by 2 and last year had a hip replacement at 3 and is now doing well. One of the big differences between them was my dog's always been at the bottom end of the recommended weight range while his brother was always at the top.

My dog's not on any pain medication - we give him joint supplements daily, watch his weight, take him swimming several times a week and make sure he's not overdoing things. If he's had a busy couple of days we'll give him a quieter day. When he was first diagnosed we were devastated and worried he'd never lead a normal life but he's happy and healthy and we hope he'll stay like that for a long, long time

Whitney168 Sun 23-Apr-17 08:54:05

Sorry, I may be feeling a bit grumpy this morning, but this post is genuinely meant to be helpful for other buyers, if not for this one. grin

Yeah that's why you should have been given hip scores. V unusual for labs to be sold without?

Welll no, not at all - there are upwards of 30,000 Labradors registered each year, far more than that again sold unregistered, and there have been approx. 15,000 hip scored in total over the last 15 years - so, far more unusual for them to be sold with both parents hip scored ... but, the tools are there and puppy buyers should follow them for their own peace of mind.

Mind you, hip dysplasia is both inherited and environmental, so even a pup from two parents with good hip scores can very easily be ruined by poor nutrition and incorrect exercise. It's a difficult beast, and anyone buying any puppy from a breed prone to it is should reduce their risk by buying from a litter with parents with good scores, bred by a breeder who consistently produces good scores, and then follow their instructions for rearing to the letter.

(Obviously it goes without saying that any crossbreed of two breeds prone to HD is equally likely to be an issue, but you are far less likely to be able to find the kind of breeder described above.)

Anyway, OP - your puppy is very very young. If the vet echos your fears on Monday, then to be honest I would go back to the breeder and make this their problem I'm afraid. It is only by doing this that we will ever make breeders more responsible.

To keep this puppy IF she is displaying signs of HD (and none of us here can tell from your description) would be signing you up to a bucketload of heartache and expense, and I would hazard a guess that your insurance would not cover you.

Whitney168 Sun 23-Apr-17 08:55:19

Both my dog and one of his litter brothers have HD on one side (both parents have perfect hip scores).

The common school of thought would suggest that these are environmentally influenced scores, not genetic, as most genetic scores are usually fairly even.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 23-Apr-17 09:06:27

I suspect the common school of thought on this needs a bit of adjustment! Both my dog and his litter brother were in different homes and we'd both been given strict advice from the breeder which we followed as did his litter brother's owner. We've since discovered that their sire's litter brother also had HD, also affecting the right hip. He lived with a very experienced owner who reduced the environmental risk as much as possible.

I find it hard to believe that in my dog's case it's not genetic

CornflakeHomunculus Sun 23-Apr-17 14:42:04

Unfortunately the puppies not being registered and them being cagey about health test results point to this breeder being somewhere on a scale between clueless about good breeding practises and thoroughly unscrupulous.

Do you know if both parents were KC registered? If they were then there's no excuse for the puppies not to be. Generally people who don't bother registering puppies are either doing it to cut corners financially (in which case they'll be cutting corners elsewhere too) or they can't register them because 1) one or both parents have endorsements, 2) the bitch has already had the maximum number of litters the KC will register, or 3) this is the bitch's second litter within twelve months. The latter two rules are there to protect the welfare of the bitch.

If the parents are registered and you have their names you can PM me them and I'll do some digging.

There are quite a lot of other health tests, aside from hip scoring, which should be done by labrador breeders. The absolute minimum any breeder should be doing is those recommended by the KC which is:

Hip scoring
Elbow scoring
BVA eye test (repeated annually)
DNA test for prcd-PRA
DNA test for Centronuclear Myopathy
DNA test for Exercise Induced Collapse
DNA test for Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis
DNA test for Skeletal Dysplasia 2

That's the absolute minimum any breeder of labs should be doing. A truly conscientious breeder will also keep an eye out for and take up new DNA tests as they become available. As well as the above there are also DNA tests available for:

Achromatopsia
Leukodystrophy
Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome
Cystinuria
Degenerative Myelopathy
Macrothrombocytopenia
Narcolepsy
Adiposity
Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency
X-linked Myotubular Myopathy

If the breeder hasn't given you a period of free insurance then you will be stuck in future for getting insurance that covers her hips (and possibly legs entirely) as once she's been looked at by a vet it will be a pre-existing condition.

I'm with Witney, as hard as it may be if there is a problem with your puppy I would be returning her to the breeder. I know you're worried about what will happen to her if you do send her back but unless breeders like this are held to account they will continue to breed and there could be any number of puppies just like her in the future. There is some very good information on this page about potential routes you could take, it's worth reading even if you are currently undecided about what you'll do if there is an issue.

tabulahrasa Sun 23-Apr-17 16:37:38

I've got a dog with elbow dysplasia (among other things) that's covered by his insurance, I don't see why hip dysplasia wouldn't be.

There are various treatment options for HD, depending on how dogs are affected, but you are looking at an orthopaedic specialist and then a course of treatment - either surgery and recovery or management.

CornflakeHomunculus Sun 23-Apr-17 16:41:19

I've got a dog with elbow dysplasia (among other things) that's covered by his insurance, I don't see why hip dysplasia wouldn't be.

If the OP has insurance already then it shouldn't be an issue but if they don't and a problem is discovered when the puppy sees the vet then it will be a pre-existing condition and a new policy won't cover it.

tabulahrasa Sun 23-Apr-17 16:43:55

Yes, but that's the case with anything, not just HD.

Partyfops Sun 23-Apr-17 18:30:32

Luckily we have insurance.

Saw vet today, she is going in for X-rays tomorrow. She didn't get any pain response when she manipulated hips which was a good sign.

Concluded that she has a bit of a lazy back leg. Not sure what the cause of that would be.

She is going to get Ortho surgeon to look at the X-rays too.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

SparklingRaspberry Sun 23-Apr-17 21:33:56

Not gunna lie, I wouldn't even dream of sending a puppy back regardless of any illness or health problems it has confused it wouldn't even cross my mind!

It's shocked me that some people would ask for a refund. Perhaps this pup was the runt of the litter, perhaps it was just unlucky (if it does have HD). But even if it's confirmed, it doesn't make it any less beautiful or deserving of your loving home. Personally it would make me more determined to give it a good life.

Okay I understand you don't wish to buy a puppy who has health problems already, but most dogs at some stage in their life will have illnesses or some form of health condition.

For me, there's no difference between putting an old dog or sick dog into a shelter than there is returning a puppy to the breeder because it isn't 100% perfect.

SwearySwearyQuiteContrary Sun 23-Apr-17 21:37:09

Good luck, OP and PartyPup for tomorrow.

CornflakeHomunculus Sun 23-Apr-17 23:11:10

Sparkling for me it's not about having a dog with health issues but being passionate about ethical breeding and not wanting to financially reward someone for cutting corners and producing unhealthy puppies.

If it was a case of very bad luck and the pup was from a breeder who had done everything right then, like you, it wouldn't even occur to me to return the puppy unless the breeder was absolutely adamant they wanted to keep the pup themselves (which is exactly what I'd expect).

If a breeder is producing puppies with preventable health problems then they need to be held accountable. Until we get "qualzucht" laws in the UK the only real way to do that is via current legislation which treats puppies as goods, only requiring the breeder to offer a refund and take the puppy back.

Unless the breeder also offers a full refund, keeping a puppy with an inherited health issue which the breeder didn't adequately screen for isn't much different to buying a puppy from an obvious puppy farm because you feel sorry for it. Great for that one puppy but handing money over to these people just encourages them to keep on breeding and producing potentially more affected pups who won't be so lucky.

nellieellie Mon 24-Apr-17 19:39:39

Our pup was diagnosed with bilateral hip Dysplasia at 5 months, elbows at 8 months. Knew something was up pretty soon after we got him. The vet couldn't find anything wrong but referred us to a specialist who knew right away and x rays confirmed. To be honest, you have a lot of options with hd these days. As long as you are well insured, you would be able to go down surgical route later if necessary and outcomes are now really good. Or there are things to do like supplements, hydrotherapy, acupuncture that really make a difference. One of the most important hints is keeping an affected dog lean. Also best not to play run and fetch games where dog comes to abrupt halt and turns. Limit exercise etc, but you'll know that. Hopefully it's NOT hd, fingers crossed for you, but a dog can still lead a good life if it is. I would never have given my pup up, no way.

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