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Old 07.03.2020, 20:42
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Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

Good evening all,

Does anyone know of an orthopaedic specialist, particularly regarding Hip Dysplasia (HD) in dogs? I am hoping to get a consultation with a vet that is trusted. I saw a thread on here regarding HD but it was from 2012 so a bit dated now.

As some background: We recently had our 6 month old Swiss Shepherd X-rayed and it is looking like she has some degree of HD. She is not showing any symptoms and we only had her checked because one of her litter mates was having hip issues and the owners got in touch to warn us. Both her parents were rated FCI A, but I guess there is no guarantee. My girlfriend went alone with the dog to get an X-ray back in her home country, and the vet diagnosed her with HD. The vet didn't give any indication of how severe the disease was, or recommend surgery / further action. Given this I am a bit dubious of the vet, as I would expect with news like this that a decent vet would take the time to talk through the prognosis and the options. Both my girlfriend and the dog will be moving to be with me in the next 2 weeks and I am hoping to get a second opinion from a vet in the Zurich area. That being said we are happy to travel anywhere if there is a standout specialist!

Looking at the X ray it seems to me there is some issue, though not being an expert I can't guess at the severity. Will we have to go through the registration process before meeting a specialist? Given that certain treatments are age dependent I am keen to move quickly.

Any help would be appreciated!

Dan
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Old 07.03.2020, 20:56
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

Poor pup!

My pup had a big op for elbow dysplasia when he was 4 months old. We had it done at Vet Suisse, Bern’s University Animal hospital. They were awesome. Believe they are also at Zürich University!

https://www.tierspital.uzh.ch/de.html
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Old 07.03.2020, 21:10
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

Our 1 yr old lab had to have a hip replaced. Sadly the other hip will also need it in the future. We used Dr. Martin Bass. The replacement has gone very well.
The new hip has held. The pain is gone and he can go on long walks, but his muscles and nerves are still quite weak; the (re)building of muscle and nerve has been a slow and ongoing process.

Dr. Bass
+41 (52) 657 4757
Riedäckerstrasse 7
8422 Pfungen
https://www.vetzentrum.ch/

The post-surgery therapy we do with a vet called INDIKA. That is too far for you (between Vevey and Fribourg). But they do hydrotherapy (underwater treadmill); where the water is chest high on the dog. They also do acupuncture. The hydrotherapy does a great job for dogs with HD. They would likely recommend you try therapy to see if that is enough for your dog before opting for surgery. Maybe there is a similar vet in your area. Perhaps call them and see if they know of one near you.

INDIKA
+41 26 918 72 40
https://www.indika.ch/en/
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Old 07.03.2020, 21:15
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

We have a terrific vet in Zurich; my landlord (who also owned a dog) used him and told me he was top notch. Interesting as I only happened to choose him based on proximity and had no idea she used him too. Apparently, he is a gifted surgeon as well.

His name is Dr Norbert Frei. Here is the link:

https://zuri.net/de/zurich/dienstlei...-frei-7222.htm

Best of luck to you OP
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Old 07.03.2020, 23:13
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

While I have not had to consult with them over HD, I'll second the Tierspital recommendation by Island Monkey. Both my Hooligan and Robin Goodfellow are currently sort of 'Stammgäste' in the Neurology department, and I've been referred to the experts there many times over the years with many dogs and many illnesses.

The Tierspital is University of Zürich's large teaching hospital; they have all the bells and whistles - and expertise.

It is, however, a large teaching hospital. It is best to have a referral from your general practice vet in order to get to see the Oberarzt or Professor directly.

If you would feel more comfortable with a smaller private practice, at least for an initial consultation, I would also recommend MyVets in Cham ZG. The surgeon, Dr Yuri Béosier, and physical therapist, Marco Mouwen, work closely together. Dr Béosier examined my Heffalump, determined it was not HD, and Herr Mouwen worked out a physio program to address his gait problems. https://www.myvets.ch

As you have a Swiss Shepherd, perhaps you should also contact the SKG breed club for Berger Blanc Suisse. I would expect members there would be able to advise you as to who is an expert in HD in the breed.
http://berger-blanc-suisse.ch

Wishing you and your pup all the best.


ETA:

In this thread from 2016, EF member Cherry Tree (who is a dog trainer, by the way) recommends Orthovet in the Basel area. Here is the thread:
https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corn...-where-do.html
And here is the link to the orthopedic practice she recommended:
https://www.orthovet.ch
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Old 07.03.2020, 23:34
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

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The Tierspital is University of Zürich's large teaching hospital; they have all the bells and whistles - and expertise.

It is, however, a large teaching hospital. It is best to have a referral from your general practice vet in order to get to see the Oberarzt or Professor directly.
I was lucky that the radiologist at my local vet also works at Bern Uni and got on the phone to one of the top Profs there, who did a fab job on my pups elbow! Also a Swiss Shepherd.... aren't they gorgeous!?

I'd also like to add that I thought the costs at the Uni were really reasonable, maybe they are not out to make a profit as it is mainly for the purpose of teaching and research, not a private practice.
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Old 08.03.2020, 07:35
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

Sorry to hear that. Our now 15 month old GSD also has hip dysplasia and we are with MyVets in Cham. As Meloncollie said the surgeon, Dr Yuri Béosier, and physical therapist, Marco Mouwen are excellent and work together.



At some point Axel will likely need a double hip replacement but at the moment we are managing it with physio and exercises. It was made a lot worse when he got really sick last September and lost a great deal of weight and muscle and it was thought he might need surgery sooner rather than later. Now we have built up his muscle and the hip is no longer popping in and out.



We do a lot of uphill walking and he also "squats" daily. He puts his front paws on a special adjustable bench and stretches up and back down for treats. Attached a photo


Dr Beosier did tell us that while Zurich is excellent, one of the best surgeons in the world is in Italy.
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File Type: jpg C-206 Axel.jpg (107.8 KB, 21 views)
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Old 08.03.2020, 09:22
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

OP's dog is only 6 months so the rule of thumb ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until fully grown is good to follow. Shepherds don't reach physical maturity until they are at least two years old so for a male you should wait until they are between 2- 3 before castrating. Same applies for females. Studies show that early neutering greatly increases the risk of joint disorders in large dogs. A study of GSD showed seven percent of intact males were diagnosed with one or more joint disorders compared to 21 percent of males neutered prior to a year of age.


With Axel his hip issues are severe so it is a case of monitoring each day his exercise and activities and then adjusting accordingly. On both Thursday and Friday he did a fair amount of running and jumping around the garden. We don't throw things for him to jump up and catch but he will now shake and throw his toys in the air himself and jump up on his hind legs. Yesterday he then didn't want to go far on his walk and plodded along slowly on the hill back to home. This morning he wanted a longer walk and was trotting up the final hill. (Gave me a good workout on the end of his leash)



We don't let him run on really hard ground but at the moment the garden is muddy and soft. We check to see how much his bum sways when he walks before deciding how much he will do that day and always check that he isn't bunny hopping up the stairs. As long as he isn't, walking up stairs is also good for building his muscles.


He doesn't get anywhere near as much exercise as he would if he didn't have his hip problems so it is a case of keeping him mentally stimulated at home.



Best of luck with the pup
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Old 08.03.2020, 09:25
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

Morning everyone,

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone for such an outpouring of support. All of your suggestions are fantastic and I'm going to take as much as possible on board and start reaching out to vets now. I like the idea of using the Tierspital because in my experience teaching hospitals are very well resourced and tend to attract good talent; I've had two surgeries myself at teaching hospitals and both went very well! I also find that they are very open to explaining things in an accessible manner because they are frequently training people. Getting a recommendation is another matter, so I will most likely follow up with one of the other private practices to try and get an "in".

Like I said she seems perfectly happy at the moment and we see no symptoms, so fingers crossed it isn't a serious case. My gut feeling is that if she has HD and she is a good candidate for a triple pelvic osteotomy then that could be a good option. I don't like the idea of her being on meds her entire life because of the side effects, and I can also see the pure joy that running and playing fetch brings her. Surgery is never nice, but it seems that if it is HD then she may have to have surgery at some point for a hip replacement anyway, so if we can get ahead of that by doing a less severe surgery at a young age then we may improve her overall quality of life in the long run. We will see what the vets say and I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Attached is a photo of our Sophie. She is indeed adorable, if a little bit of a terror....particularly by Swiss standards. For the last 3 months we've been taking her to several training sessions a week to try and bring her up to Swiss code . Perhaps once she sees how the dogs behave here she will be embarrassed into conformity.
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Old 08.03.2020, 09:40
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

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Morning everyone,

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone for such an outpouring of support. All of your suggestions are fantastic and I'm going to take as much as possible on board and start reaching out to vets now. I like the idea of using the Tierspital because in my experience teaching hospitals are very well resourced and tend to attract good talent; I've had two surgeries myself at teaching hospitals and both went very well! I also find that they are very open to explaining things in an accessible manner because they are frequently training people. Getting a recommendation is another matter, so I will most likely follow up with one of the other private practices to try and get an "in".

Like I said she seems perfectly happy at the moment and we see no symptoms, so fingers crossed it isn't a serious case. My gut feeling is that if she has HD and she is a good candidate for a triple pelvic osteotomy then that could be a good option. I don't like the idea of her being on meds her entire life because of the side effects, and I can also see the pure joy that running and playing fetch brings her. Surgery is never nice, but it seems that if it is HD then she may have to have surgery at some point for a hip replacement anyway, so if we can get ahead of that by doing a less severe surgery at a young age then we may improve her overall quality of life in the long run. We will see what the vets say and I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Attached is a photo of our Sophie. She is indeed adorable, if a little bit of a terror....particularly by Swiss standards. For the last 3 months we've been taking her to several training sessions a week to try and bring her up to Swiss code . Perhaps once she sees how the dogs behave here she will be embarrassed into conformity.

She is absolutely gorgeous. When we had Axel's X-Rays done at MyVet, Dr Beosier spent the time going through them with us and explaining the options. He isn't on any pain medication beyond occasionally having CBD oil and doesn't appear to be in pain. It is getting that balance between still allowing him to run and have fun but not suffering for it afterwards. If we did have surgery he would need a double hip replacement and that is a major operation and recovery, although I haven't looked into all the details as yet.
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Old 08.03.2020, 11:35
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

Everything crossed that she will get better and stronger. She is indeed gorgeous.

BTW- my sil is from Burnley and he and his bro and dad are massive Burnley FC supporters.

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Old 08.03.2020, 11:50
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

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Attached is a photo of our Sophie. She is indeed adorable, if a little bit of a terror....particularly by Swiss standards. For the last 3 months we've been taking her to several training sessions a week to try and bring her up to Swiss code . Perhaps once she sees how the dogs behave here she will be embarrassed into conformity.
My boy too..... he never seems embarrassed by his own ridiculous behaviour though .... that's just me
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Old 08.03.2020, 13:41
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

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My boy too..... he never seems embarrassed by his own ridiculous behaviour though .... that's just me

Yep and my boy just carries on regardless of our embarrassment and momentary wish that he was small enough to pick up and hide under a jacket while making a hasty retreat.
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Old 11.03.2020, 19:41
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

Evening all,

Small update. I've reached out to a few specialists here and I am in the process of organising meetings. Thanks again for the recommendations.

In the meantime we found another specialist back home and unfortunately they say the situation is quite bad, and will most likely require a full hip replacement once she is fully grown. They did say that moving to Switzerland was very fortunate as they have some of the world's best surgeons. We are still going to meet with the specialists here to put a plan in place, but the general advice is to keep her legs strong until she is fully grown. Not the best news, but at least we are starting to get a better idea of what we are facing.
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Old 11.03.2020, 19:59
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

Ah, poor mite- All fingers crossed. x

Did you get her from an official breeder? Hope you have been in touch to report on her issues.

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Old 11.03.2020, 20:07
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

McBurnley, as a reference, before we moved to Switzerland my then 5 year old yellow lab suffered the equivalent of an ACL tear in her left knee. She was with my daughter in the US at the time. Our very good vet there gave me two options: 1: Repair the tendon using a mesh or 2: do an innovative technique which removes the tendon altogether (TTPL I think... but my memory regarding the procedure is a bit fuzzy). The issue is/was: the new technique was more than 2x the cost of the existing procedure (US$5000 versus US$2000) and the only vet surgically trained to do the new procedure was 1 1/2 hours away by car.

And so we went with the existing procedure (mesh). My lab now has a bit of a protrusion on her left knee. When we brought her to Zurich, our vet, Dr Frei was surprised that anyone in the US even employed the "old" mesh technique - which almost guarantees the onset of arthritis as the dog ages. He told me that the "innovative" technique was standard practice in Switzerland.

When I asked how much this new/standard procedure costs here, he told me CHF 2000 Perhaps one of the few things that are less expensive here than in the US! On a positive note, should arthritis set in, we can opt for surgery and remove the tendon (which, in retrospect we should have done in the first place!). Our lab is now 9 1/2 years and she still is agile/fit and unencumbered regarding movement.

Just wanted to share my experience here in Zurich. I am very impressed not only with our vet but also, the standards of practice in Switzerland . Think you are in very good hands here!
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Old 11.03.2020, 20:59
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

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Ah, poor mite- All fingers crossed. x

Did you get her from an official breeder? Hope you have been in touch to report on her issues.
Thanks for the support.

Unfortunately we did get her from a registered breeder, and both the mother and father passed their hip exams. The breeder was also well recommended by the vet and local Berger Blanc Suisse community. The owners of the mother have been helpful and supportive, offering to help pay for physical therapy etc, though given that now two of the puppies from the litter have hip issues they say they won't match with the father again. We never met the father, but on paper he looked perfectly healthy. Of course there are all sorts of things that go into HD and there is never a guarantee. I'm trying not to wonder about the cause and more just ploughing on with a plan of action to try and fix it as best as possible.
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Old 11.03.2020, 21:01
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

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McBurnley, as a reference, before we moved to Switzerland my then 5 year old yellow lab suffered the equivalent of an ACL tear in her left knee. She was with my daughter in the US at the time. Our very good vet there gave me two options: 1: Repair the tendon using a mesh or 2: do an innovative technique which removes the tendon altogether (TTPL I think... but my memory regarding the procedure is a bit fuzzy). The issue is/was: the new technique was more than 2x the cost of the existing procedure (US$5000 versus US$2000) and the only vet surgically trained to do the new procedure was 1 1/2 hours away by car.

And so we went with the existing procedure (mesh). My lab now has a bit of a protrusion on her left knee. When we brought her to Zurich, our vet, Dr Frei was surprised that anyone in the US even employed the "old" mesh technique - which almost guarantees the onset of arthritis as the dog ages. He told me that the "innovative" technique was standard practice in Switzerland.

When I asked how much this new/standard procedure costs here, he told me CHF 2000 Perhaps one of the few things that are less expensive here than in the US! On a positive note, should arthritis set in, we can opt for surgery and remove the tendon (which, in retrospect we should have done in the first place!). Our lab is now 9 1/2 years and she still is agile/fit and unencumbered regarding movement.

Just wanted to share my experience here in Zurich. I am very impressed not only with our vet but also, the standards of practice in Switzerland . Think you are in very good hands here!
Thanks! It seems we are luckily in the best place to deal with this particular bout of bad luck
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Old 11.03.2020, 21:45
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

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Thanks! It seems we are luckily in the best place to deal with this particular bout of bad luck
I wish you and your dog all the best! So sad to see one's dog suffer... But I do think you are in good hands here in Switzerland. We feel lucky with our vet and the resources here in Zurich.
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Old 11.03.2020, 22:32
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Re: Dog orthopaedic specialist / Hip Dysplasia

My experience has been that routine veterinary care is still a relative bargain here in Switzerland, and even specialist bells-and-whistles treatments here seem to be on average less expensive than what my friends are paying in the US and UK.

I've said this before: Switzerland punches well above it's weight in veterinary expertise. Here in the ZH/SZ/ZG area the mutts and I have been very fortunate to have easy access to this level of care.
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