German Shepherd Dog > Surgery or not? (19 replies)
Surgery or not?
by jcmeyer on 18 April 2012 - 22:06
|These are the hip radiographs of my 7.5 month old female GSD. She had a forelimb lameness but was sound in the rear. We xrayed elbows and hips while under sedation. The orthopedic surgeon suggested elbow arthroscopy and a TPO of her right hip to prevent future osteoarthritis as it is obviously subluxated. Of course if I can get away without doing surgery that would be preferable. Any comments appreciated.|
by lsmith on 18 April 2012 - 22:18
|I would highly recommend that surgery. I am a vet tech and dogs live a much longer pain free life. Dogs do awesome from this surgery. I would only have it done by a board certified surgeon or one that has done it alot!!|
by Bhaugh on 19 April 2012 - 00:09
|I would not do anything until the dog gets older. Things can change and she is just a puppy. She probably wont pass OFA but why the rush? You didnt mention what she has been doing prior to the limping. What kind of exercise do you do with her? Does she play hard, run on hard surface, etc? Is she in season? Ive seen far worse hips where no surgery was done and the dogs are doing ok with the right exercise. I find it kinda hard to agree that you have to worry about osteoarthritis in a 7.5 mo old shepherd. Someone else can chime in and advise when the growth plates close.|
What other options did they give you BESIDES surgery?
by Nans gsd on 19 April 2012 - 01:09
|i WOULD WAIT.|
by Elkoorr on 19 April 2012 - 01:32
|Would have been nice to see the elbows as well. With the hip I would wait untill it actual makes problems. Just remember that the x-rays are done in a very unatural position. The socket appears to have enough depth to be able to hold the ball. Sublux means that there is enough "play" or stretch of the ligaments holding the ball in the socket to potentially contribute to early athritic changes. Right now I dont see any at all. Let her grow up, and see whats happening. Meanwhile swim her alot if you are able to do so.|
by SitasMom on 19 April 2012 - 01:50
jcmeyer i took the liberty......hope you don't mind..
of this 8.5 months puppy........
by SitasMom on 19 April 2012 - 01:56
what i see in the hip x-rays is that the muscle of both legs is quite even, she she isn't favoring one leg over another. there isn't any remolding. i would try to swim her every day and see what happens.
the x-ray isn't perfect, the hips are tilted and one leg is rotated more then the other. all of this makes a big difference.
by BlackthornGSD on 19 April 2012 - 02:17
|What is the problem diagnosed in the elbow(s)?|
As far as the hips, I'd wait and re-xray in another year--the socket is shallow, but not poorly formed.
by Sunsilver on 19 April 2012 - 03:38
|Which front leg is she lame on? At this age, the foreleg lameness could be pano, which will resolve on its own.|
I would WAIT and see what happens.
by Abby Normal on 19 April 2012 - 10:28
|My understanding is that with TPO you have to act before any remodelling appears. Once any remodelling takes place TPO is not an option, so there is quite a short window of opportunity for this particular surgery. If successful it does prevent remodelling and arthritis in the future, as it essentially creates a normal fit. |
Difficult to predict whether this will cause problems for her in future, it will certainly cause arthritic changes over time. Oh for a crystal ball!
by jcmeyer on 19 April 2012 - 11:11
|The right elbow has sclerosis of the ulnar trochlear groove and and an indistinct medial coronoid process. These secondary changes are consistent with an "incongruent elbow" joint according to the surgeon who operates on a lot of police dogs that are screened at six months prior to going into work. From what I understand it can be very difficult to see a fractured coronoid process on lateral xrays.|
by jcmeyer on 19 April 2012 - 11:13
|She is lame on the right forelimb intermittently. But radiographically there is no evidence of panosteitis.|
by jcmeyer on 19 April 2012 - 11:24
This is the puppy at 7.5 months she weighs 65 lbs I am wondering if that is a little too heavy at this age, which will adversely affect joint development and function?
by beetree on 19 April 2012 - 11:53
|Did you have the pup tested for any tick diseases?|
by Blitzen on 19 April 2012 - 13:48
If she isn't having rear end lamenss, I would not do the surgery. I tend to be conservative with HD and have owned and seen quite a few dogs with far worse hips that these that have done just fine as adults. In addition this is unilateral, she has one hip that appears to be very good. I would give her a glucosamine supplement, keep her slim, not encourage exercise that required any jumping - no frisbees, IMO that is the worst exercise possible for any large breed dog.
by jcmeyer on 19 April 2012 - 15:38
|Thank you for all the excellent advice. She was negative on the tick borne disease panel. As has been suggested the dilemma is that TPO surgery has a narrow window of opportunity for success. It must be done before any arthritic changes are present and under 12 months of age. My wife has a concern with the agressive nature of the surgery (three cuts through the pelvis and an implant) and the fact that an 8 month old puppy will have to be crated and kept quiet for 6 to 8 weeks. From the sounds of it many have dealt with less than ideal hips successfully without surgery. I had hoped to do agility with this pup but I guess without the surgery that is likely not going to happen. ...|
by SitasMom on 19 April 2012 - 15:50
if you're really worried, wait until she's 11 months and redo the x-rays. make sure she is at least a month after or before her heat cycle. and in the mean time find a place to swim her and no jumps or agility until then.
by BlackthornGSD on 19 April 2012 - 16:34
|As far as activities with her, let your dog tell you what she's not comfortable doing. I know of a GSD who failed to pass OFA at 2 years, but she had too much drive to be a couch potato. She ended up competing in flyball--a physically strenuous sport--until she was 10 years old, with never a problem due to her hips.|
I think OFA doesn't pass some hips that will be functionally useful throughout the dog's life. It's worth removing those dogs from the breeding pool (although, I suspect that the SV passes them for breeding with an a3 rating), but it doesn't mean the dog can't have an active, happy life.
And your dogs hips are really not terrible.... it wouldn't shock me if she didn't tighten up and turn out HD free as a mature dog. Looking at the muscle mass in her thighs, it sure looks like she's been actively using those muscles and they haven't been causing many issues. Check out http://leerburg.com/hipart.htm for more on hip xrays can make a dog's hips look better or worse.
by BlackthornGSD on 19 April 2012 - 16:34
by Blitzen on 19 April 2012 - 16:34
|Don't write her off for agilty just yet. If she's not lame you can still do the table, teeter totter, big walk, tunnel to get her ready for a trial. I'd hold off on the weave poles and any jumps. Rally is another option, no impact at the novice level, little at the advanced and excellent. Novice OB, no impact. I know people who weight pull dogs with less that perfect hips after they have reached maturity.|