Hip Dysplasia----7 months old!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Hunter2013, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member

    Hello all,

    As you can probably see from my profile I am a new member.

    A little about us...

    Hunter is our 7 month old Berner. He comes from a pure bread family. He is absolutely the most amazing dog ever. I had always wanted a Berner, but didn't realize until we went to pick him out how truly amazing this dog breed is. We adore our baby. He is incredibly smart, super gentle, hilarious personality, and about as sweet as they come.

    We noticed when he was pretty small that he sort of walked funny. A lot of sway. But we thought it had to do with his sudden growth spurts. Then as he started to get older we noticed he ran a bit weird, and took him in to our vet. Our regular vet was away on vacation, so we saw the stand in. He told us our dog seemed okay. He couldn't pop his hips out or anything. So it couldn't be Hip Dysplasia. So basically don't worry. He is still growing. Monitor it. But don't stress too much about it. "Thank god!" we thought as we left.

    Time went on and it was still the same, if not getting worse. We figured at 6 months we would have them check it out when we took him in to be fixed. So at 7 months we had an appointment for him to be fixed, and while he was out they would do x-rays. He was in his surgery for just a little while when we got the call to come in that night. That phone call never means anything good...

    We went in that night and could tell by our Vet's grim expression it wasn't good. He started by showing us in a text book what a dog of his age and size's hips should look like. Then he showed us Hunter's hips. Basically, our dog has no hips what so ever. He was diagnosed with Severe bilateral hip dysplasia. Something that our vet couldn't believe he had found in a 7 month old puppy. We couldn't believe it either! How could our precious baby be in such rough shape at a extremely young age.

    We were then told he was going to need TPO surgery. For those that don't know that is a Triple Pelvic Osteotomy. Basically they are going to cut his pelvis in three, flip his little bit of hip socket over, and make it so that gravity will push up into his new hip socket when he walks, instead of it just floating around.

    How much is all this going to cost you ask? Anywhere between $3000-$5000. Not as bad as we were fearing, but not something we just have lying around either.

    I am hoping to find someone(s) on here that have maybe been through the same situation, or are going through it right now. Both my Fiancee and I are quite worried about all of this. From how much pain he will be in, to his quality of life after the surgery has healed.

    We need some support! :)
  2. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member


    We had our meeting with the surgeon last week. We found out that Hunter needs a total hip replacement. So instead of a TPO surgery which is about $3000. We are looking at about $16,000 worth of surgery at the end of the day.

    Thankfully we have pet insurance, which be bought shortly after we bought Hunter. But we can't imagine making that unfortunate decision of putting him down due to not having $16,000 sitting around.

    I urge all pet parents of Berner's to have their hips checked if you noticed anything weird!
  3. 2berners

    2berners Guest

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. Thank goodness for insurance! I have heard many good results with the hip replacement surgery and I hope for a quick recovery for Hunter.

    Hopefully you are getting plenty of support from your breeder.
  4. BernerRescue

    BernerRescue New Member

    Please be sure to get a second opinion from a Board certified orthopedic specialist...... These are the guys to listen to.

    I say this because at 7 months, he should be an excellent candidate for a TPO which I have seen excellent results from in several of our rescues when done at a young age.....particularly less than 10 months of age. Several factors come into play but dogs a year of age or older are never a candidate for a TPO.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for you that a TPO is an option.

  5. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member

    Thank you Rachel. We have had his hips checked by a couple board certified orthopaedic surgeons as well as boards. He has little to no hip at all. They said they could try it on his one hip, but that there is little likelihood it would work. With the total hip replacement he has a a much greater opportunity of being able to run around better then he ever has etc.

    Unfortunately our breeder is not co-operating. Things have become very difficult and we are taking other actions.
  6. rebamarvin

    rebamarvin New Member

    I have a six-month-old Berner who is scheduled for spaying tomorrow. The breeder did not remove her dewclaws, and my vet is strongly recommending that we have the back ones removed during this anesthesia. It is my understanding that removal of the back ones is in accordance with the breed standard, and I admit that I don't like the look of them. However, I hate to put my puppy through additional pain if it is not considered to be a good idea to remove them at this point. Can you please give me your opinions and experience?
  7. BernerMax

    BernerMax New Member

    So sorry about Hunter and so glad you guys had the forsight to buy pet insurance for him.
    I think we would not be able to pay $16k in our financial situation...

    Luckily our Berner is so far healthy (he is 2 years old now). Your boy is so lucky to have you!

    As to the dewclaw question, our backyard bred, unpapered boy has his, and we chose not to intervene, he did lose one in a fence accident (pretty grim there for a day or so).... but is back to normal and I cant say that it would have been any less painful to surgically remove them. As it was, he was back to normal the day after the accident, and I went out of town and when I came back, palpated the area and realized the dewclaw was completely Gone....
    That said, our other dog is a LGD- pyr-anatolian cross, and he is sporting a ginormous set of double dew claws and that just happens to be per his breed standards and, fine by me....
  8. BernerMax

    BernerMax New Member

    Also Hunter's people,
    if it helps give you emotional support, back in the day, before we had a child or a house, we had a Boxer that ended up getting two TLPOs (bad knees) and then both dogs overdosed on his arthritis meds, so that was $8k for the surgery and another $2K for the overdose intervention... and that was about 12 years ago....so can def feel your pain around that....
    Our boxer came thru his surgeries fine, they adjust alot easier than you imagine it, just get a supply of raw meaty marrow bones handy for him, and a good orthopedic foam bed...

    What sorta tickled me as well, was how the Vet sewed a Fentanyl patch right onto a shaved spot between his shoulder blades for his post-op pain relief!
  9. davis

    davis New Member

    Hi there, we had our girl spayed at 6 months and her rear dew claws removed at that time. Our vet strongly advised it because he said she could tear one on a branch or something and it could be really serious. We have lots of woods around so we wanted to do what we felt was right for her for future.

    I have to tell you the spay portion of the operation was a "breeze". The dew claw removal was not (in our circumstance). We are glad now that we had them removed - now that she's all healed. But it was heart wrenching to see her in pain. If you do decide to do it ensure you take really good care of them while they heal to keep the wounds clean and free from debris. At the first sign of infection get her back to the vet to be checked. You can't be too careful.

    She is our first Berner and we didn't know that the dew claws should have been removed by the breeder. I found that out by visiting this forum. Going forward when we get another pup I would ensure its done before he/she comes home with us. But this is what we had to deal with and this was our decision (to remove them). Good luck!
  10. Danielle

    Danielle New Member

    What breeder was Hunter from? I have recently herd a few similar stories of my girl's breeder... Very concerning.
  11. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member

    Hi Danielle,

    I don't know where your located. But we bought our dog from Langley, BC, Canada.

    Where did your friend buy her dog?

    PM me if you think she bought from the same breeder. If she did we would love to get in touch with her.

  12. Danielle

    Danielle New Member

    My dog is from Barrie, Ontario.... Not the same breeder after all.

    I hope Hunter is doing better now and that his condition is manageable!
  13. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member

    I am sorry that you are dealing with the same thing.

    Hunter is okay. You can really see it now when he walks that there is something wrong. He is having more and more trouble with the stairs and tries to avoid them now best he can.

    On Feb 12th he is going in for final x-rays of his hips. They are going to double check that his growth plates are closed, and measure his hips for the hip replacement.

    We are also set up for a mediation with the courts and our breeder for the 12th as well. Going to be interesting. We are just hoping to finally get our money back from the breeder. And for it to be public knowledge that this breeder is not one to buy from.

    The thing that bothers us the most is this is a genetic problem. It has to do with what dogs the breeder is using. But she doesn't seem to care, and continues to produce puppies. Disgusting really.

    Has your dog been officially diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia?
  14. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member

    Well I am really glad to hear you haven't noticed anything in your dog. Our Hunter has A LOT of sway when he walks. And then if you look really closely when he pee's or poops he actually balances on his front legs solely because he can't on his back. Also there is a lot of clicking when he walks because his hips are popping in and out.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the dog returned to the breeder in BC came from our breeder. I know from speaking with our doctors that they would be surprised if all the puppies from Hunter's litter didn't have some sort of Hip Dysplasia.

    If we didn't have the insurance or the family behind us willing to help we would have had to seriously think about returning Hunter. Not many people just have $16K sitting around waiting to be spent. Haha.

    Well I sincerely hope that your pup got of scoff free. :)
  15. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member


    Hello all,

    Just a little update on Hunter. He will be going in March 4th to have his first surgery done. They will be doing his left hip first as that one is worse off then the other one.

    Some things we learned about the recovery is that for the first 2 months all he is allowed to do basically is stand up and turn around. When he has to go to the bathroom its on a leash, and very quick. He isn't allowed to do any stairs. And no visiting with other dogs, which would be much easier if we didn't have three other dogs in the house. Then after the first two months its short walks building up the muscle again to hold his hip. Total recovery is 4-5 months.

    And then of course there are the side effects as there would be in any surgery. Possibility of infections, or even dislocating the hip. So we have to be very careful with him.

    The ultra sad part about him having his surgery on the 4th is it is his birthday. :(

    In other news we won our case against the dog breeder and will be getting a full refund for Hunter. So that is fantastic. :)
  16. Hunter2013

    Hunter2013 New Member

    Another update

    Hunter is coming home from his first surgery tonight! Can hardly wait for him to be home. :D

    He went in on Tuesday to have it done. Took 5 hours for his surgery to complete! The Dr had a hard time getting his muscles in the right place because his muscles were so tight and used to sitting in the wrong location. But he got it! Surgery went super smooth and even less then 24 hours later he was putting weight on his leg. What a champ!

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