Ruby is a lovely one-year-old Golden Retriever who came to see us at VetLove Ballina a few months ago as she was having trouble with her hind legs when walking. Her wonderful pet parents knew something was not right for her to be having trouble with mobility at such a young age.
On examination, she was found to be very stiff through the hip and sore when her legs were extended out, especially in the left leg. Golden retrievers, Labradors, rottweilers and a lot of other large-breed dogs can be very susceptible to getting hip dysplasia. This can be genetic, and the pain is caused by the hips having a poor shape/conformation as they grow. Over time, this then progresses to arthritis and can result in a lot of pain and difficulty walking.
Due to her owners’ concern, we then gave her an anaesthetic to x-ray her hips to check their conformation. Unfortunately, the x-rays revealed that she did have hip dysplasia affecting the left hip a lot more than the right. This can be seen on the x-ray as the ball of the femur is not sitting deeply in the socket of the hip.
Ruby’s parents are both terrifically caring owners and want the best for Ruby, so we referred her to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon on the Gold Coast. For now, Ruby’s treatment plan is pain relief, exercise modification and weight management, as well as natural supplements to help reduce the progression of arthritis. Swimming has also been prescribed as it is a great low impact exercise.
Retrievers become fully grown at about 15 months of age, when things often improve, and they can do well through their middle years.
We have fingers crossed that this will be the case for Ruby, but if she becomes uncomfortable, there are various surgical options right through to hip replacement surgery the same way they perform it on people!
If you notice your older dog or cat having issues with mobility, please don’t hesitate to contact us. There are a range of different treatment options, starting with some very cost-effective natural supplements that help the inflammation and keep your pet more comfortable and reduce the progression of arthritis.