Luna Has Hip Dysplasia

We had a health guarantee, but we don’t want to give back Luna, so we will find a way to keep her comfortable and hope she gets to live a good life.

Luna just had her second birthday and today we should be on our way to meet up with her litter mates, but we decided to stay home. Around her first birthday when we went, she didn’t really interact with them much, and then add on Covid concerns, a three hour drive, and concern about her hips, and it just didn’t seem wise.

A few months ago, we noticed that when Luna was running, she would start to favour one hindquarter over the other. At first, we just assumed she had a strain or something and that it would heal over time, but it didn’t. It wasn’t an emergency, so we didn’t push to see our vet, especially since Covid craziness meant that they were only doing emergency or required appointments.

When things started to settle down in our area, we made an appointment to see our vet and he did an x-ray and found out that sure enough, she had hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the hip that occurs during growth. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. During growth, both the ball (the head of the femur, or thighbone) and the socket in the pelvis (acetabulum) must grow at equal rates.

From VCAHospitals

We did have a health guarantee with Luna, but the agreement states that we would have to be willing to give back Luna in trade either for a refund or to be on the list for an upcoming puppy from a future litter. While I doubt that our breeder would ask for us to turn over Luna, we feel confident we can give her a good life, despite this new challenge.

It doesn’t seem to be bad enough that she needs medication for it, but we are still waiting to hear back from a specialist to see what the recommendation is for long term treatment. For now, we are just giving Luna a daily dose of glucosamine in hopes that it prolongs the period of her feeling okay. She has never been an over-eater, so we aren’t too concerned yet about her getting too heavy as keeping her on the lighter side of her breed can extend her period of painlessness.

We are working to give her many shorter activity to strengthen the area and trying to reduce her running and stair usage as much as possible, but she’s still very puppy like and that can be hard. It’s also hard knowing that she might experience pain as she gets older. I’ve seen dogs with hip issues not being able to get up easily and my heart feels for them.

Eventually, hopefully many years from now, she will likely need anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain in her hip joints or expensive surgery to replace the joints. I wish she didn’t have to go through this. I wish there was an “easy” fix. She’s such a good dog.

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