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Looking for some advice here to supplement what we've been told by our vet.

Maggie is our medium-size 10-month old rottie/staffie cross. She is very active. We used to go for 45-60 minute walks every single day. She's never shown any signs at all of limping or lameness.

On May 10th (15 days ago) she was running over some driftwood and slipped between them, her right hind leg fell between the logs and she hit the far log, impacting her right hind thigh. Immediately we could tell she was hurt, she struggled to get up. When we got her up, she was bearing no weight on the right hind leg. She took a couple tentative steps, and was limping badly. A short time later, her limp was significantly reduced. By the time we got back to the car (very short walk) she had almost no limp at all.

That night, she seemed fine, but we kept her quiet. Getting out of bed, she limped a bit on that right hind leg, but within a few steps, seemed fine.

Monday, there was a little limping after getting out of bed, but fine throughout the day. We took her for a short walk (on leash) and there was no limping. She is a very active dog, and she wanted to run and go bonkers on the leash, but we kept her relatively calm. For all appearances, she was fine. Monday night she had no symptoms until after her evening nap. Getting out of bed, she had a limp and didn't want to bear all her weight on it. Within a few steps walking around, she began walking normally, maybe favouring the leg a little bit when standing still (or squatting to pee), but only slightly.

Tuesday (+2 Days after injury) we took her to the vet. Of course, Maggie's a tank, and loves the people at the vet, so she didn't limp at all. She was her bouncy self (despite our efforts to keep her calm and taking it easy on the leg). The vet prescribed 7 days of anti-inflammatory and strict rest, and told us to see how that does.

Days 3-9 post injury (all on NSAIDs), Maggie was fine, no limping. She had no exercise, just going outside to go to the bathroom (although she would go bonkers at the end of the leash a bit before we could get her to down and calm).

But on Day 10, about 48 hours after her last dose of anti-inflamatory (still on strict rest, no walking), she started limping again after her evening nap. Just a little, then she seemed fine. Same thing on Day 11 (3 days without medicine).

We took her in to the vet again on Day 12. Again not much limping, but the vet did a little more thorough exam. She noticed the following:

1. About 25% loss of muscle-mass on right-hind calf. Little or no loss on right-hind thigh.
2. When walking right hind knee turning out, ankle turning in slightly.

They took Xrays and it revealed what looked like dysplasia/subluxation on the right hip (left hip fine).

Here's an image of the xray I took with my phone: http://i.imgur.com/rX2JZoa.jpg

They were going to forward the images to the radiologist. They gave us more of the anti-inflammatory to give to Maggie every night.

Days 13-15 she's been on the anti-inflamatories, but she's had a little more limping during the day than she has had ever before. The doc said she may be a bit sore from the examination they did under sedation, but I'm a little worried she's getting worse.

Today, Day 15, the radiologist report came back and we were told (via voicemail, still waiting to talk to the vet) that Maggie has hip dysplasia with a little subluxation. They suggest we continue with the anti-inflammatories and 'exhaust all medical options before looking at surgery'.

Questions:

Should we seek a second opinion? It seems to me like it was trauma that caused the partial hip dislocation. Reading up on subluxation, they suggest it should treated as soon as possible by trying to manipulate the joint back into position. It's already been almost two weeks since our first vet visit, and they're suggesting another 10 days or so of strict rest and anti-inflammatories. To me it seems it might already be too late, but waiting longer would be way too long. I get the impression that they are chalking this up to hip dysplasia and treating it as such.

Is there anything different we should be doing now (other than strict rest and anti-inflammatories)?

Thanks for your time.
 

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I'm sorry that Maggie is having such a difficult time, and hope this can be resolved very soon for her!

I have one dog with a luxating patella, and another with bad knees, so I'm a little read-up on these things, but no expert by any means. However, dealing with joint issues without resorting to surgery is becoming somewhat of a specialty of mine. :rolleyes:

But before I get to that, I want to be sure that you understand that subluxation and dislocation are somewhat different. In one of your last paragraphs you speak about manipulating the joint back into position. In subluxation, the joint surfaces have become incongruent, because of the severity of the trauma, meaning that they don't fit into each other properly anymore. In dislocation, the joint that became unhinged retains it's essential shape and surfaces (again, depending on the nature of the injury that created the dislocation), and are hopefully undamaged enough that they can be put back together without slipping apart again.

While Maggie recovers and prepares for what comes next, you can't go wrong with getting her on some joint supplements to help heal the damage that has been done, and get her on the road to recovery quicker if she has to undergo surgery. On the positive side, hip dysplasia surgery has a much better recovery prognosis than does the knees, which is one of the reasons why I have never gone that route with either of my dogs with bad knees. That, and we have had REMARKABLE success with preventative methods such as lowering their weight, excellent supplements, massage and exercise.

I've got all my dogs on Platinum Performance complete joint, which goes in their supper in the evenings. This is a top of the line supplement and is priced accordingly, but for us has been worth every penny. They are extremely quick to ship too, so you can get this quickly. I also have them on a morning supplement called Pet Naturals, also an excellent supplement, price per pill (chewables too). If you don't want to wait, you can pick up some glucosamine/chondroitin vitamins at Walmart and give them to Maggie, as the human formulation is no different than that for dogs. Just pop them in some cream cheese or something, and let her have them. It'll take a week or so for any noticeable improvement, but these truly will help.

My last thought was, if you're not confident in the diagnoses of your vet, et al, do you have a college veterinary school nearby? I took two of my three to the one a few hours from where I live, and they are truly excellent. But I really feel that you've got a good handle on this, as do the people you have trying to help Maggie. Still, peace of mind is something we all need when horrible things like this happen. If you need to seek another opinion, that's what you need to do.

Please let us know what happens! So often we get stories like this and we never know how they all worked out. These forums have been a Godsend for me when thing take a turn for the worse, and I hope we can help you too!

Best of luck to you and hugs and kisses to Maggie.
 
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