View Full Version : Hip dysplasia or SM related?

7th December 2011, 06:07 AM
I doubt we will ever find a definite answer but I'm wondering if anyone has seen this before? Because of Holly's heart issues we won't be sedating her to do X-rays but my vet is fairly certain she has Hip dysplasia (or possible a deformity in her hip that she was born with). When she is standing she always holds her hips at a funny angle. Kinda turned outwards. I never realized just how bad it was until my vet showed me how she should be standing. I was actually shocked I didn't notice just how much her differently she stands. As soon as my vet released her hips they went out again. She can't keep her hips in the proper position at all. Holly has always been very sensitive on her lower back (near her tail) and if you put light pressure she seems a little uncomfortable. In every day life it doesn't seem to bother her unless I try to groom her or mess with her back legs. She still runs and plays. My vet doesn't seem to think I should worry about it at the moment as there is little we can do to fix it.

Does this sound like something that can be caused from SM? Or does it sound more like Hip dysplasia?

She also can't sit still on any kind of slippery surface. Here is a video of her trying to sit on our kitchen floor. She is constantly sliding. It's more noticeable on slippery floors but she still moves a lot when she tried to sit on carpet. None of my other dogs "slide" around like she does on the slippery floor. Any ideas?


7th December 2011, 06:33 AM
No advice here, but just wanted to say I was thinking of you...

Love my Cavaliers
7th December 2011, 01:05 PM
Riley always slides just like that on hard surfaces although I don't know if her legs always 'splay" as far apart as Hollys do. I'll have to notice that. I've just figured it was part and parcel of her SM. Don't know if that helps any.

7th December 2011, 02:58 PM
Sorry to hear this, poor Holly has so much to deal with :(

I've seen this with SM affected dogs, try to avoid her being on hard slippery surfaces unless they are treated with something to make them non-slip.

Peaches had moderate hip dysplasia but did not sit like this, she was my only one with HD symptoms, and x-rayed, [I have had several others x-rayed with good hips.]

Sometimes they can have a one hip sitting higher than the other which causes them to sit with their legs out sideways like that, also affects their gait. I have had a McTimoney chiropractor treat that successfully, this is a very gentle form of chiropractic work and you would need to be extremely careful with an SM dog. It can be caused by trauma, even just playing rough.

Kayleigh hates being groomed particularly around her back legs, she is moderately symptomatic but only has the Chiari-like malformation.

Kate H
7th December 2011, 07:25 PM
I don't train Oliver regularly now, but when we went to our monthly training last Sunday, after training Aled, I just gave Oliver a few minutes of heelwork and a few other things because he enjoys it so much. His hind legs have got worse lately - no jumping and stiff gait but still very much OK walking on the level and loves his walks - and he sprawled on his sits and eventually refused to sit at all, so was obviously uncomfortable, and I won't ask him to do it again. Vet and I are not sure whether this is his SM or his spondylosis, but are assuming SM and have increased his gabapentin; he's 10.5 so the important thing at the moment is simply to treat symptoms and keep him comfortable. In the 4 years since he was diagnosed with SM, he's always been more comfortable lying down rather than sitting. Sitting is quite a stressful position for dogs, as it puts more pressure on all their legs and their hips than lying down.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

8th December 2011, 06:27 AM
I'm not sure if this is SM or HD -- Mooby stands in the way you mentioned. I always thought it was HD as she was diagnosed with that long before we got the SM diagnosis.

Come to think of it, when she would stop jumping on furniture we always thought it was her hips that were hurting. Now thinking about it, it could be the SM.

They say SM is hard to tell because the symptoms mimic so many other diseases.

Kate H
8th December 2011, 11:37 AM
They say SM is hard to tell because the symptoms mimic so many other diseases.

Very true - and a major problem in diagnosing SM, especially if the vet hasn't come across it before. This is why MRI scanning is the only sure way of diagnosis.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

8th December 2011, 03:08 PM
Thanks everyone for the input. I assumed the slidding around is SM related... that's what we always assumed. The specialist who started her on SM meds noted that she has some issues with her range of movement. I don't remember now just how she worded it (too many vet visits.. they are all bluring together.). That combined with her air scratching we were started on a "trial" of meds for SM. They stopped the air scratching so the assumption of SM was made and meds continued. We didn't really want to do another $2500 MRI when I have learned we are treating the symptoms not necessarily the MRI results. I kinda wish we had now because that was before her heart issues came up. Now an MRI or X-rays are pretty much not an option. At least Holly is the least symptomatic out of my 3.

The specialist never pointed out how "oddly" positioned her hips were. That was my GP vet. Holly does have trouble jumping. She has never been able to jump on the bed and almost always uses our chair (that is really low to the ground) as a stepping stone to get up on t the couch.

Love my Cavaliers
8th December 2011, 08:13 PM
Going along with Riley's sliding (like Holly's) is her difficulty jumping. We actually bought some steps so that she could get onto our bed. It is way too high for her to even think about jumping onto. And her hips are fine. Our sofa is low enough that she can jump onto it. Most times though before she can jump onto it she has to circle and circle before she will jump. She makes it about half the time. Some days she has trouble just getting up the one step into the house from outside. Guess those are the bad SM days. So whether Holly's difficulty with sliding and jumping are her hips or SM are anybody's guess at this point I suppose.

Kate H
8th December 2011, 09:55 PM
My feeling is that Oliver's difficulty in jumping and general discomfort in his rear end is not so much pain as nerves/muscles that don't function properly and therefore he has no push to get him off the ground (exactly what I've got in my wonky legs!!). In the same way, he's scratching and rubbing round his head a bit more, but is this pain or has he got something like tinnitus which is irritating him - it's a symptom of dilated ventricles in humans, but of course dogs can't tell us! All we can do is up the gabapentin and hope this will help. If only they could talk!

Kate, Oliver and Aled