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Thread: Hip Dysplasia

  1. #1
    Newbie Dad to louie's Avatar
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    Default Hip Dysplasia

    More QUestions. I seem to be finding out more and more about my boy every day. I noticed that he was acting funny in his hindquarters but did not think much of it until my wife pointed it out as well. I have had a lot of large breed dogs and so the first thing I though of was Hip Dysplasia. So I looked it up in reference to Bulldogs and it seems that Louie probably has Hip Dysplasia. He does not move around a lot. If he is moving a short distance he will just drag his hind legs behind him. Also when he runs he does the bunny hop thing. Also in the mornings he struggles to get up. He is also very young, I am not positive how young but the vet thinks he is right at a year old. Pretty much he has every sign of hip dysplasia possible. This was pretty depressing but then I thought that at least he is with me now and I can do everything possible to make his life better. The past owners were barely feeding him so he is still better off. I was wondering if anyone else has seen this problem and had any good advice? I know I need to take him to my vet for sure. Of course I am not feeling very comfortable about my vet either. I am also wondering if I should try to get pet insurance before I get him formally checked out. I have had a dog with HP before but the bulldog is so susceptible to allergic reactions and everything that I was not sure what the best course of action was. SO enough with the rambling. Has anyone ever had a bulldog with HP?

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    Bulldog Vet in Training gatorfan85's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    I rescued a victorian with hip dysplasia and it was horrible. The poor boy was only 10mnths old and came from a petstore. He could not work his hind legs well AT ALL. the poor boy could barely walk, and Beefy does the drag for short distance but only because he is LAZY. I had the vet check him for hip dysplasia and they said no he just needed to strengthen his leg muscles and that larger bullies arent very active but if food is envolved and he doesnt sprint I should be worried that he may be developing arthritis.

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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    I would say yes to the pet insurance, why not? I think it takes like 2 weeks or so to take effect so you would wanna wait that period of time till you take him. If it is hip dysplasia then the insurance will be of great help to you for sure. I would say try and get video of what he is doing that is making you concerned so we can see it exactly and also will give you more info to show the vet when you take him. One thing I have learned from this site is taking video will help you greatly around here. I hope you are just paranoid but at least you are able to catch it and care for it now rather than getting him at an older age where there may be nothing you can do to help.

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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    I think you should probably get pet insurance regardless. I am guilty of not doing this myself- but I want to badly. Especially if you think there may be something wrong. Poor sweet boy, @jillh10 could definitely help and guide you but.... she is gone for a short time until she meets her deadline.

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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    I can tell you that if you get Trupanion, that you have to take your animal to a vet within a couple weeks of applying, and if you make a claim they will call the vet and get the paperwork to make sure it was not diagnosed earlier. Your insurance doesn't take effect until 30 days for any sickness. Accidents are covered I think it is 2 weeks. Hip dysplasia policies can only be added to a puppy under a year old. With a bulldog, I would still recommend getting insurance, cause as many can tell you....nothing with a bully is cheap!

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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    I would definitely get the insurance. In the 3 years we have had Maggie we have only recently got the insurance and in the time we've had her she has cost us $000's. The insurance we eventually went for was Trupanion because it seemed to give the best coverage and I can get it with zero deductible.

    I haven't added Daddy yet, althought we've had him for 2 weeks. I will get him some however, because of the experience with Maggie. It's funny you should post this thread because Trupanion gives you the option of adding on coverage for hip dysplasia for extra each month and I haven't worked out whether to add it or not!!

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    Bulldog Vet in Training gatorfan85's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    Does anyone know an insurance that would take beefy with his anal gland issues?

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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    Quote Originally Posted by kazzy220 View Post
    I would definitely get the insurance. In the 3 years we have had Maggie we have only recently got the insurance and in the time we've had her she has cost us $000's. The insurance we eventually went for was Trupanion because it seemed to give the best coverage and I can get it with zero deductible.

    I haven't added Daddy yet, althought we've had him for 2 weeks. I will get him some however, because of the experience with Maggie. It's funny you should post this thread because Trupanion gives you the option of adding on coverage for hip dysplasia for extra each month and I haven't worked out whether to add it or not!!
    In the past few months, Trupanion changed so that they have no limits now. There used to be a cap on benefits paid per event and per the lifetime of the pet. I am so glad that that has changed. I would make sure and add the hip dysplasia before Daddy turns one year old. If you don't get it, that is when something will happen!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    Hi @Dad to louie - I am sorry to hear about your Louie's hip issues. I have experienced similar hip issues in my bulldog puppy. He had very loose hips as a baby but I didn't recognize the signs. He didn't like standing a lot. He'd sit when possible. He didn't drag his legs but he wasn't comfortable then he slipped on the floor at 10 weeks old and we found out his hip had popped out of socket. X rays revealed almost non-existent hip sockets but, because of his age, they could not give us a definitive diagnosis of hip dysplasia until 1 month later when we had a follow up x ray and the diagnosis was confirmed. You can read all about my experience here, here, and here.

    In some ways, I was "lucky" because we caught it early. Although Truman was in a lot of pain, discovering his hips were bad early gave us options because he was young and arthritis had not yet set in. Since it sounds like Louie is a bit older and his condition might be more advanced, you will likely have less options but there are treatments for hip dysplasia but, of course, no guarantees. It's a difficult problem but bulldogs benefit from being front heavy so their back legs don't do much of the heavy lifting, which means they are good candidates for surgeries to correct hip issues typically recommended for smaller dogs.

    So, of course you need to take him to the vet and you need to ask your vet to recommend an orthopedic specialist to you. These professionals go to school an additional 4 to 6 years and are the best equipped to give you a definitive diagnosis and prognosis. I would save your money and call for a referral and get the x rays and appointment at the orthopedic specialist without seeing a regular vet first, particularly if you are seeing one you really love.

    There are many treatments for hip dysplasia depending on the severity of the condition - some forms are controlled by diet and medication, others by injection, and some by surgery. Some dogs do well losing a few pounds, putting on some muscle, and taking a medication like Rimadyl or injecting Adequan. Those are the lucky ones. Interestingly, I learned bulldogs are NOT candidates for total hip replacements because they do not make prosthetic for the unique bulldog leg because it's near impossible to duplicate so you'd likely be looking at an FHO (Femoral Head Ostectomy) or a TPO (Triple Pelvic Osteotomy), if surgery is indicated. You can learn a lot about these by googling and by reading the other threads I linked to above.

    Truman ended up having one partially dislocated hip and diagnosed severe hip dysplasia - the worst case scenario. Originally I elected to give him a FHO on his hip out of socket (remove the femoral head and create a false joint - basically a salvage project) and do a JPS (Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis) which is a preventative surgery and helps 90%+ of cases if performed under 16 weeks old - so this will not be an option for you. The good news is that Truman is doing good. He is 2.5 months out of surgery and runs and jumps and has put a lot of muscle on his bad hip. He goes for his follow up JPS surgery to see how his hips have grown in about a month from now when he's 7 months and we're hopeful that he will be able to live a long and healthy life and be able to manage any hip issues with medication but he's currently not on a thing for it.

    So there are many variables but it is something you should really get taken care of sooner rather than later because it can cause other orthopedic problems if left untreated - such as torn ligaments in the knee, which I've dealt with in my other bulldog.

    As for the insurance, from what I understand, you pay a great premium for hip dysplasia coverage because it is SO common. I would encourage you to make sure this makes sense for you. I did some shopping around and calculated that with the premiums they charge for pet coverage on bulldogs with hip dysplasia coverage, over a lifetime - assuming the dog lives 9 years - would cost many times over what we paid in total for the three surgeries Truman has gone through. Then again, it does make the bill come in more manageable chunks but insurance companies exist because most people pay much more than they claim so be sure it's right for you before signing up!

    I hope this is helpful and you are able to read the links about Truman's story and his hips. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions!

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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    @Dad to louie - Any updates on this? I've been thinking about you guys!

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    Hey jillh10 I have not been able to get on for a little while. Things got crazy. I went to my vet and she checked him out and said she thought he was fine. The problem is he is so freaked out at the vet he just pushes through the pain. Then when he get home he is limping and doing the bunny hop again. So I am taking him to a orthopedic specialist. Not that I want anything to be wrong I just know something is not right. You can tell at times he is really wanting to get up and he will try then just lay back down. This is not right for a dog that is only about a year old according to the vet. SO hopefully we will get in at the specialist in the next week or so. I am thinking about ordering a product called Recovery SA. Someone told me it did wonders for there dog who had the same problem. I figure it cannot hurt till we figure out what is wrong. Thanks for all the info you gave. It is a little scary even thinking about it after hearing your story. At least you have had good results. My vet also said that even if he does have hip dysplasia that it couldn't be to sever and could probably be treated with meds. Since he is getting around pretty well and he is past a year old, But then she did her exam and said she thought he was fine. Very confusing.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hip Dysplasia

    Thanks for the update!

    My bulldog, Bentley, was the same way with masking symptoms. He tore his ACL but he would walk almost fine in the vet's office and it can be frustrating but any orthopedic surgeon worth their salt will get Louie some x rays to see what's happening back there and help you figure it out. I would not put much stock in what the vet says...it doesn't sound like vet really knows what's happening, particularly with the bulldog's unique build so it's totally right on to trust your instincts and get another (more informed) opinion.

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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