Ask the Vet: Sore Sockets: Hip Dysplasia

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treating a common canine dilemma

by babette gladstein

canine hip dysplasia (chd) is a significant health problem among all dogs. it has been estimated by many veterinarian organizations that up to 30 percent of the canine population are afflicted with this painful hip-socket condition. as a result of the widespread nature of this problem, a non-surgical alternative solution is now available.

prolotherapy has been used in human medicine successfully since the 1950s. it is comprised of a series of injections with natural substances that cause natural contraction of tendons and ligaments surrounding the hip joint.

typically, four treatments are utilized and administered by an experienced veterinarian.

the treatment protocols are determined by the physical findings as well as the response to treatments and the cessation of clinical signs. the addition of acell is introduced at the end of the sessions and seems to accelerate the ultimate progress of the case. typically the first session shows some progress. after the second session more progress is visible and by the third the clinical signs are mostly resolved. the fourth session is the one that proves the most significant.

bejinos is a charming tibetan spaniel, with the breed's regal bearing and energy. yet a few weeks ago, the 9-year-old spaniel was lame and clearly not his cheerful self. his case underscores the value of a combined regimen of prolotherapy and acell.

the problem was compounded by wear and tear on his left side. the elbow and shoulder on that side were stiff and sore, problems directly related to overuse.

a week later, bejinos underwent a second treatment. after this treatment his lameness issues resolved to a mild stiffness. the owner reported that bejinos' improvement was promptly apparent.

in bejinos' case, the results were clearly evident, with the compact dog quickly regaining his playfulness and energy.

although hazel, a young saint bernard, did not show signs of hip dysplasia, something was definitely going on with her. she was reluctant to go up or down stairs and would sometimes sit down abruptly in the middle of a walk. at just two-and-a-half years old, both of her hips were already painful.

again, the results of the treatment were profound. within a week, hazel was sitting less often and was more willing to go up or down stairs. there seemed to be less tenderness in the hip joints.

several months ago, buddy-an 11-year-old chow mix at the new york city's humane society-was presented with hip dysplasia and little hope. palpitation showed how much pain he was in, and an inability to get up and down comfortably. he was basically walking on three legs and was using one hind leg only for balance.

buddy's immediate treatment included two prolotherapy sessions, given at two-week intervals and followed by a third treatment of acell injections

in the weeks following treatment, buddy made considerable progress. he is able to get up and down more easily and no longer needs pain medication. he now runs happily on his daily walks and the closeness of his hind legs has gradually lessened. he is bearing weight on all four limbs

but the success of his prolotherapy treatment is not the only good news for buddy. he has recently been adopted and will go to a new home along with his long-time companion, a yellow lab mix.


babette goldstein is a vmd and owner of b glad veterinary.

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