Dr. Melissa: Hip dysplasia is a common inheritant malformation in dogs. It can be quite debilitating and symptoms will often present themselves when a dog is still young and physically immature. Charles what ages are you seeing dogs present themselves here for hip dysplasia?
Dr. Charles: So hip dysplasia is actually a biphasic disease so we see them really early from six to nine months of age and then if they haven't been treated early they can present at two to three years of age with evidence of arthritis. Early on what we see is just clinical signs of the looseness of the hip where the hip is popping out the joint and with Henri’s case specifically Mary could feel the hip popping or clunking in and out of the joint as he was lying down.
Clinical signs that we see typically with that would be reluctance to exercise, sometimes in the middle of a walk half way through the park they will lay down and wont want to go any further, sometimes owners may even have to pick them up and carry them home. The other thing that we see interestingly is bunny hopping gait, which literally looks like a bunny hopping through the meadow with both legs working in unison.
If you get it early on particularly when they are less than a year of age you can actually do some things to prevent them from developing full on hip dysplasia. Things including as little as weight loss, exercise modification, maybe some cartilage protective medications, all the way up to surgery and surgery is actually very effective if its done early enough to prevent arthritis from ever forming.
Henri was actually a bilateral disease, this X-ray happens to show that one hip is more dislocated than the other. We can see here that there is a much wider joint space on this side than there is on the other and that's because the ball is actually popping out of the socket and that's what is causing the clunking when Henri sits down. What we see later on is you actually start developing a lot of arthritis and you have extra bone inflammation and the joint capsule is really thick and can actually get to the point that you have bone on bone grinding because the cartilage is completely worn away.
Dr. Melissa: Oh that sounds nasty Henri doesn't it? So with Henri is mum was really good at bringing him to you early and you were able to get onto it quite quickly.
Dr. Charles: So he was young enough that he hadn’t developed any arthritis in the joint at all, he was only about nine months of age when he got to us. So we were able to do a procedure called a triple pelvic osteotomy. What we do with the surgery is we make a cut here, here and here and were going to roll the cup over so it covers the socket more effectively.
Dr. Melissa: So on this model can you show us?
Dr. Charles: So this is looking from his belly side here, so we’re making a cut here, here and here and we’re going to rotate it around and then we put a plate in which is pre configured and when we put that in what its going to do is force that cup around and keep it in that position.
Dr. Melissa: And you've got a postoperative shot there, a CT?
Dr. Charles: Yes so its a CT scan that was done and it shows the plate in place with the screws going through the bone and we can see the step that we’ve created there and rotated that socket around.
Dr. Melissa: So that's a zoomed in shot of that particular area?
Dr. Charles: Exactly that spot right here.
Dr. Melissa: We know with Henry here that he did have pet insurance so it would have significantly helped his owner with the cost. So what are we looking at here for this surgery?
Dr. Charles: Our cost for a bilateral triple pelvic osteotomy, so both sides being done and that same time - is about eight thousand dollars. Including pre op X-rays, post op X-rays, pain medication to go home and that kind of thing and that doesn't even count the physiotherapy - that's a really good idea to do later on. Sometimes owners have to take time off work, you might have to do long term medication sometimes they put them on long term cartilage protectant medications that might last for a lifetime, and so certainly having that luxury or the benefit of having the pet insurance from the start is really helpful.
Dr. Melissa: So how’s Henri doing now?
Dr. Charles: He’s great! he has boundless energy he can exercise without any limitations and he seems to be doing really well.
Dr. Melissa: He looks like he is walking fantastically, well done Charles!
Dr. Charles: Thankyou, I’d love to take credit for it but actually Henri’s and his mum did most of the work.
Dr. Melissa: Alright well its a shared process then, and if you want to follow Henri’s recovery check out his instagram page @oldenglishhenri, if you would like to know more about pet insurance for your dog have a look at the hif pet. What do you think Henri?