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Our dog has some mild hip dysplasia in his right rear leg. Our vet told us that we should avoid playing fetch with him to prevent exacerbating it. He is an active 1 3/4 year old lab mix and he loves to play fetch. I was just wondering if anyone else had heard this because I haven't read anything else discouraging a dog with hip dysplasia from playing fetch.

I know I should probably listen to my vet. It just makes me sad! :(
 

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You can always seek another opinion or speak to another vet about other alternative exercise. People with serious health issues often seek a second opinion before deciding on a course of action, especially when it's been advised to give up an activity that is important to quality of life. Also, there's nothing to stop you from having a consultation with a specialist. It shouldn't cost too much more than an ordinary vet visit. (They make their profit off surgeries and usually charge the normal amount for visits.) I saw a specialist for Nemo's knee with his luxating patella. I was advised against surgery (by a surgeon) and given a lot of tips for improving his quality of life. The surgeon admitted I might be back in need of the surgery, but so far so good.

I don't know if this is a viable solution for you geographically speaking (and seasonally), but fetch with a body of water might be a good thing to discuss with the vet. A long lead, or off leash, toss the ball into a pond or the ocean if it's calm enough. Swimming is great exercise without the same wear and tear on the joints. Nemo is not a fan of swimming. Molly loves it. Wrong dog unfortunately, but she did a fair bit of it this summer.
 

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Thank you! Those are good suggestions, and luckily, Lucas loves the water. It would be nice if there were an indoor doggy pool haha. It's getting a little chilly. I'm assuming that the cutting and aggressive stopping when he gets to the ball he's going after is the biggest strain on his joints, and playing fetch in the water would get rid of that.
 

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I've had a few dogs with mild hip dysplasia. I didn't limit their retrieving but did it in a more controlled manner. I'd throw the ball and have the dog wait at my side until the ball came to a stop and then release the dog to retrieve. Water retrieving is a good idea too as was suggested.

Keeping your dog in good physical condition, with daily exercise, will keep the muscles that support the hip strong and better stabilize the hip joint. Also, don't make your dog a weekend warrior who only gets exercise on a few days a week. That's especially hard on dogs with ortho problems.
 

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Oh yes, weight management will help a lot. The less weight the less his hips have to support. Muscle tone is vital. High protein diets help support that. I already fed my dog grain free before that, but I would definitely go that route if you're not there already.
 
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