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Our gorgeous 8mth old IRWS has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia in both hips :(

After noticing a couple of weeks ago that Poppy was holding her right leg and having periods of lameness, we took her to the vets. The first vet we saw - our usual vet was on holiday - said to have her on Metacam for a week as she thought it was muscle strain. At the time, I said that I would prefer to have her x-rayed as her hips weren't symmetrical and I suspected she was suffering from CDH - I explained that my eldest daughter suffers from the same thing and the symptoms were similar. She rotated the hips, not to a great degree and thought I was been over cautious.

A week later and she was still the same so I booked an appointment to have her seen by my usual vet today. As soon as he rotated her left hip, you heard it 'clunking' in and out of joint. The other hip couldn't even be rotated to that extexnt because it was too painful for her. When I saw the x-rays, it was like looking at my daughter's hips!

He memtioned about building up the muscle with hydro but I said I want her to have a triple pelvic osteotomy, as this is the best way of making sure she has as normal a doggy life as the other dogs.

She's booked in for next Friday for the op but I don't know whether to get her referred to Noel Fitzpatrick - the 'bionic vet'. I did mention it to him and he says the orthpaedic specialist they have have a great success rate with this procedure. It's just I know from past experience with my daughter, you need to get it right first time!

Also, he recommended changing her diet to Hill j/d, as this greatly slows down the arthritic process but I really don't like that stuff. We feed her on the BARF diet and give her salmon oil and glucasomine. This diet would be a lifetime thing, not just until she's recovered.

Any advice on the vet referral/food would be greatly received.

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I'm most certainly not a BARF person, for many reasons, may those be right or wrong. Not really the point. The point is I'm not at all switched to the benefits of the BARF diet, and I still don't think your girl will benefit from the switch!

What I want to stress out is that I'm a dry food kind of person, but I'm very careful with what I choose to give my dogs - we have 4 dogs and 3 kinds of dry food at home. I did my research when I was adviced to switch Romã, I did all my comparisons, looked the details on 7 diferent brands and none of those had what it takes to properly feed a setter, specially a young dog! 

Even so, I did try feeding Romã on Royal Canin Mobility for a couple of weeks. She was starving all the time, lost weight and I saw no benefits at all (on the contrary), even though they claim you should see improvement after 72 hrs or so!

She is doing much better on her regular brand + glucosamine + salmon oil. 

Don't just rely on me, do all the research you find is necessary, but my advice, based on my personal experience is salmon oil + glucosamine + whatever food she regularly eats should do the trick better than any mobility or joint food!!

Thanks Tracey, that's really helpful.

when I spoke to the 'raw' vet, he said that because I use pure meat - not the ready meals such as Natural Instinct - the omega 6 content would be so low that it be negligable. Therefore, using 2 spoons of linseed oil twice a day would be sufficient. It's great been able to spek to a vet who can past the products on their shelves!

Yes you do have to be careful on the omega 3/6 ratio.  Krill oil with astaxanthin is omega 3 with no 6's or 9's with this particular product.. It is also free from lead contamination which other fish oils are not,.  The other reason I suggest the Mercola krill oil is that it contains a very powerful anti-oxidant astaxanthin,.  I was told by Ben Harris at Cambrdige Vet School (who is also a Setter person) that for fish oils to be affective there must be an anti-oxidant, otherwise long term there could be trouble regardless of the 3/6/9 factor. The anti-ox they. prescribed Tallulah was powerful BUT when I did my homework, I discovered that astaxanthin is even more powerful. Ben has approved Tallulah going on this, and it has certainly helped her mobility, even before adding digestive enzymes to her diet reversed her neuropathy.

Best wishes.

Fran, after you mentioned Krill oil I went on the internet to do a bit of research, primarily for myself and my problems with arthritis and a bad hip.  One of the advisory notes is that it can act as a blood thinner and not to be taken if an operation is anticipated.  As you have more experience in this field could you please advise.

Just thought I'd update you all on some progress we've made today.

Firstly, regarding the op. We have been recommended an orthopaedic specialist near us. Malcolm Ness is known Europe wide for his expertise in this field and has written many papers on it. The animal hospital looks amazing and so is his reputation! The only downside is that we can't see him until 12/03, delaying Poppy's op but I think it's the right thing to do.

Also, thanks to another ES member messaging me, I have found a BARF specialist vet reasonably close to us - in Leeds, about an hour away. He has assured us that there is no need at all to change Poppy's diet. The only thing he has recommend we change, is the salmon oil to organic linseed oil. As mentioned previously on this thread, the sourcing of the salmon oil can be vague and often the toxic chemicals in the water can soak through to the fish oils. He has also suggested giving her 30c aurta a day and 60c of arnica a day for severe pain; although this is not to be taking for longer than 3 days as it can thin the blood and cause clotting problems. We're going to have an appointment with him post-op to plan a suitable diet for Poppy's recovery and further lifestyle.

Fingers crossed, things seem to be looking up!

Fingers and paws crossed here too for you and Poppy.

Thanks Rhonda. I'm certainly feeling a lot more at ease about the whole thing this evening :)

Thank you for the update. Good to hear you have an specialist nearby and that you have an appointment. All the best to you and Poppy! 

That is sounding very positive Emma.  Good luck to Poppy and to you.

The substitution to cold pressed Linseed/Flaxseed Oil is an interesting one as I give this in organic form to my dogs and also use it for cooking.  Some time ago I mentioned it's use on this site and was told that it was manufactured from GM seed crop. which is, of course, the source of mass produced, highly controversial Canola oil in the US.  The UK does not permit the importation or use of GM seed or crop and I believe the original source is European.  Howevert we do import Canola oil and it is widely used in a surprising variety of foodstuffs.  You can get organic Canola oil so it would be a good idea to check the back of the bottle.  Has your vet recommended a specific brand?  

He recommended theoil from 'high barn oils'. They too are organic and they sell oils suitable for both animals and us mere mortals!

It's so much cheaper than the salmon oil as well! I ordered some last night so we'll see how it goes!

Malcom Ness is a wonderful Vet




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