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Monday, January 28, 2008

Helping the Hips

Sitting Pretty Dakota Pup
Upon our arrival back from a week-long vacation, I happened upon a new comment posted in reference to my blog entry "Popping and Hips" that I could not let go unanswered...

"I have two labs- Maggie, a yellow lab a year and a half, and bruster-our chocolate lab, just 9 months who seems perfectly healthy, but from a early age Maggie has had trouble running, and even sitting. when she walks it sounds like her hips are breaking because of a terrible loud popping noise! Is there anything that I can do for her?" Signed: ~Anonymous

Both of the Lab Brats have popping of their bones when they stay in one position too long. Ironically enough Cheyenne, the one without the hip dysplasia, pops more often and louder than her sister. Cheyenne has been cleared of all bone, joint and hip problems but she still tends to get stiff and has joints that pop. So, we have Dakota and Cheyenne on the same regiment to help alleviate any discomfort their may feel.

1) Both Labs get a daily supplement of Cosequin DS. Three chewable tablets once a day as they are adult dogs and are at high risk for hip dysplasia and joint problems. (Dakota was diagnosed under 2 years old with hip dysplasia)

2) When the Labrador Retrievers get stiff, we give them Metacam to help alleviate any discomfort. This is most for Dakota when she is stiff but can be given to Cheyenne when needed. Check with your veterinarian though as dogs on Metacam will need to have yearly liver enzyme scans.

3) A high quality dog food is crucial! Forget the stuff on your local grocery store shelves as it is full of fillers! You want something that is packed full of nutrients and even made special for large breed dogs. Our family uses Eagle Pack Holistic Select Anchovy, Sardine & Salmon Meal Formula and have done exceptionally well on this food. We highly recommend for any dog but especially for those who have food allergies.

4) Exercise your dog! When Dakota was diagnosed with hip dysplasia our vet told us that the most important thing is to keep muscle on her legs. His recommendation was to exercise her as much as she could handle and nothing more. Exercise is best on even but soft ground to help decrease the shock on the joints. Not only are will you have a healthier pup but a happier one as well!

5) The most important thing is to have regular appointments with your vet to keep tabs on the joints and get an early diagnosis of any joint or hip problems. Labrador Retrievers should has a full hip x-ray and exam at the age of 2 years old. If the pup is experiencing problems before that age, get the pup to the vet to be checked properly. Don't assume the worst nor the best!

I hope this helps this anonymous blog comment poster as well as other dog lovers and owners. We have been through a lot with hips and joints in Labrador Retrievers and I am always more than willing to answer any questions on the topic. So, feel free to post them and the Lab Brats will help me answer them as quickly as possible.

Labrador Smiles!

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Blogger BARC said...

It's clear from your blog that you really care about your pet, so I thought you might be interested in helping us spread the word to other dog-lovers about the National Canine Weight Check (NCWC) that's going on right now through the month of February. More than 4,000 vets across the country are participating. Is yours? www.stopcanineobesity/findavet

We're asking avid dog-lovers, like yourself, to feature a button on your blog that will lead readers directly to the website for more information on the NCWC. There are no commitments or affiliations required. Just the simple stamp of approval from one dog-lover to another to help increase awareness about dog health. Use this link to post the NCWC button on your blog:
In the meantime, here's more info on NCWC:
The National Canine Weight Check is an effort to raise awareness about the health complications that may be faced by overweight dogs and help owners determine if their dogs are at risk.
Throughout the month of February, we’re encouraging owners to get a free weight check for their dogs at a participating vet’s office. To find a local vet, visit www.stopcanineobesity/findavet.

The event is supported by the American Kennel Club Humane Fund and by thousands of veterinarians across the country, through a sponsorship by Pfizer Animal Health.

You can find out more information about the program at .
We've also provided you with the BARC (Body Assessment Rating for Canines) quiz, an easy tool to help identify if your dog is a prime candidate for a weight check,
Please feel free to contact me via email with any questions. Thanks for participating in this canine cause!

February 07, 2008 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 4 month old male who seems to be healthy and happy but when petting him the other day I felt his hip pop out and go back. There is no popping noise and it doesn't seem to do it all of the time. We are getting him neutered in 2 months - should we wait to talk to our vet about this? Is that signs of hip dysplasia? His legs do not seem to bother him at all otherwise.

November 13, 2008 1:35 PM  

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