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I could really use some support right now :/ After much debate, I decided to go ahead and have all of the testing done; xrays, flexion tests, etc. And the results were as expected....Although terrible.

So Zeus is supposed to be 4 possibly 5 years old... And he is now diagnosed with mild Hip dysplasia and moderate arthritis. His right elbow is also considered dysplastic. This dog honestly can never get a break. Now at the age of 4 (maybe 5), he has severe atopy, allergic to everything, can not eat wheat, corn, chicken, beef, bison, turkey, duck (any fowl), and does not do well on high sources of pea protein, he has hypothyroidism which is *barely* beginning to be under control thanks to a 1mg dosage, and he has suffered numerous infections over the last 2 years (under previous 'owners') which have destroyed his skin leaving him with a severely antibiotic resistant yeast infection. Did I also mention he broke out in hives due to cephalexin? Guess we can mark that option off our list....

Thankfully Acana is now selling Lamb and apple in the states and our store is distributing it, so we will be rotating that and the pacifica. His hair is 'finally' starting too grow back (I think), but it is very slow progress. So on top of his other problems, I have now confirmed my suspicions of his severe joint abnormalities. Its saddening to me considering how much he enjoys activities that are too rough on his joints for me to allow him to do much. He was really really showing a love for agility (very very low jump heights), but I now feel like I should quit in order to preserve what he does have. Am I right in doing so? And holding him back from an activity that could worsen his condition?

Despite all of this, absolutely no one understands how he has so many issues. He gets complements everywhere, is flying through his therapy dog process, and is everyone's 'favorite mini horse' who knows him. I got him only 8 months ago and was told he'd only cost me $30/month for dog food and was 'healthy'. Boy were they wrong, and boy was I being thoughtless in believing this.
 

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Is he overweight at all?

For starters, I'd get him on raw (I use premade raw and have a lot of good things going on here.) That would probably help his skin heal up a lot.

This is an example only, there are others out there or you can learn to make your own.

Nature's Variety: Instinct Raw Frozen Diet for Dogs and Cats: Chicken Formula | Nature's Variety

I'd also give him Dasuquin 2 x a day. That seems to have really made an improvement here in the past weeks.

I've increased his fish oil as well.

I am likely going to Adequan, but Carson is on Metacam at the moment.

I definitely wouldn't be letting him jump on those joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sadly, I did try raw... He does not do well on the poultry products. (yes even raw) I tried him on a raw completely free from chicken/turkey and he did great, but I can not afford that with prices around here. He also has been doing well with the acana, and now that I've ruled out everything from above, his skin is doing better, just slowly. He's on a therapeutic dose of fish oil (I used to work at Vitamin shoppe, so he is given many supplements). And he does not move anywhere near like the HD dogs I've seen, but he is technically 'mild'. I assume his age and supplements are helping? He is not overweight, but oversized. 96lbs, with very visible ribs, and spine easily felt/seen in motion.
 

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No advice here, but lots of hugs and doberkisses your way. Sounds like you're doing such a good job taking care of that boy.

Is there a way to do 'low impact' agility? maybe slow it down and take out the jumps? I'm grasping here, as I've never tried agility. Good luck though.
 

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Poor baby. I do know that excercise is good for people and dogs with arthritis (the old use it or lose it), but jumping might be out. That's definitely something to talk over with your vet. Excercise will help him build up some muscle, which should help with the bad joints, and help keep him lean, which should also help. Maybe there is a place where you can take him swimming, or has an an underwater treadmill? Both are good excercise, but easier on the joints than running or walking.

Lucky, my Rattie, has had a bad hip since he was a puppy. About a year ago, his gait was really off, and he seemed to be struggling to keep up on walks, so I quit walking him for several months. That was a mistake, because he got even worse, and had a lot of muscle atrophy. So, starting last month, it's back to walking him, and he's also on aspirin, in addition to his normal joint supplement and thyroid medicine. I'm hoping to get him off the aspirin eventually, after he gets some more muscle. I keep him very lean, about 26 pounds, at my vet's suggestion.
 

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For sure you pup needs exercise....fun exercise. MoJo has bad hips, and a bad shoulder...plus a a pee problem (he can't pee if he does something athletic...he can't chase balls, or anything). After wracking my brains, plus observing him over 4 years....I came up with a game he can play that offers low impact exercise that he loves. I had to find something that would roll without being real bouncy...a hockey puck (it rolls smoothly on the ground, in a straight line...ya roll it out there like a tiny bowling ball)....to keep the excitment down, I let him carry a soft rubber toy in his mouth. Instead of fetching it, I just roll it around a 5 acre pasture. It didn't take him long to figure out that in this particular game, his job is to point it out to me (touch it with his nose). Then we do it again. He loves it (especially the times it gets lost in the underbrush and he can be my hero). Pucks are hard rubber, heavy enough that wind doesn't affect them, won't break teeth, yet can stand up to those times when it's so tempting to drop his soft rubber toy, and give it a good chewing. It rolls good in the snow, too (and to his delight, gets lost more often) :). There is no hard turns, no jumping, no leaping....but it seems to fill the bill for entertainment. It's good exercise for me, too...

p
 
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I could really use some support right now :/ After much debate, I decided to go ahead and have all of the testing done; xrays, flexion tests, etc. And the results were as expected....Although terrible.

So Zeus is supposed to be 4 possibly 5 years old... And he is now diagnosed with mild Hip dysplasia and moderate arthritis. His right elbow is also considered dysplastic. This dog honestly can never get a break. Now at the age of 4 (maybe 5), he has severe atopy, allergic to everything, can not eat wheat, corn, chicken, beef, bison, turkey, duck (any fowl), and does not do well on high sources of pea protein, he has hypothyroidism which is *barely* beginning to be under control thanks to a 1mg dosage, and he has suffered numerous infections over the last 2 years (under previous 'owners') which have destroyed his skin leaving him with a severely antibiotic resistant yeast infection. Did I also mention he broke out in hives due to cephalexin? Guess we can mark that option off our list....

Thankfully Acana is now selling Lamb and apple in the states and our store is distributing it, so we will be rotating that and the pacifica. His hair is 'finally' starting too grow back (I think), but it is very slow progress. So on top of his other problems, I have now confirmed my suspicions of his severe joint abnormalities. Its saddening to me considering how much he enjoys activities that are too rough on his joints for me to allow him to do much. He was really really showing a love for agility (very very low jump heights), but I now feel like I should quit in order to preserve what he does have. Am I right in doing so? And holding him back from an activity that could worsen his condition?

Despite all of this, absolutely no one understands how he has so many issues. He gets complements everywhere, is flying through his therapy dog process, and is everyone's 'favorite mini horse' who knows him. I got him only 8 months ago and was told he'd only cost me $30/month for dog food and was 'healthy'. Boy were they wrong, and boy was I being thoughtless in believing this.
Talk to your vet first, but I've seen improvement in Simon after putting him on Dasuquin with MSM in addition to fish oil.

Sorry to hear the bad news.
 

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I second meadowcat as far as the talking to the vet, but on the food side as well. There is no gurantee the proteins that he is sensitive to arent still on the line when they make the next batch of a different variety. The only true way to avoid any possible cross contamination would be the prescription diets where it is a gurantee and their policy to fully clean and steralize the line between each batch. We are a derm specialty clinic so we sell the iams response which is limited ingredient, fish and potato(dry and canned) but there is also kangaroo on the website so it all depends on your vets stock and shipping ability, and has a guarantee so if they dont like it or etc... you at least get credit and can return the bag.
Iams® Veterinary Formula? Skin & Coat Plus Response? FP
Iams® Veterinary Formula? Skin & Coat Plus Response? KO

There is also royal canin hp which is a hydolyzed or broken down protein. So although it may technically be chicken it's broken down on a molecular scale so that his body will never see it as chicken. We have chicken allergic dogs on it with no issue.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hypoallergenic Hydolyzed Protein Adult HP Dry Dog Food | PetFoodDirect

We also on occasion for fish allergic dogs use this
z/d® Canine ULTRA Allergen-Free - Dry

The response is what we really love though! and the dogs love it the most as well! And price wise for use from cheapest to pricest was fp, z/d, hp. And I bet kangaroo would be on the pricey end too.

Good luck to you and zeus! At least someone finally took the time to trully care for him and help him be as healthy as possible! Hugs to zeus
 

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I would definitely look into Dasequin (or something along those lines) as well as good quality salmon oil IF he can tolerate it. I'd keep him exercising but not agility per se myself. Active enough to stay in shape but not get hurt. I also might connect with a holistic vet and look into accupuncture etc for relief and maintenance.
 
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If he loves agility so much maybe lower the jumps to 4" so he doesn't have to really jump but still gets to play the game. Other then that cosequin and msm work wonders. My horse has been on cosequin for years and he has some joint issues and arthritis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
He actually does well on most lamb and fish formulas that are grain free... So we will be sticking to the Acana and Earthborn. The people in the feed store today were amazed with how much better his skin looked. I think I just stare at him too much to see improvement! The vet said due to his current shape etc, that there really isn't too much I should take out of his activity list, besides heaving jumping. My horses are on cosequin and I've debated putting Zeus on the dog formula (Dasequin) so I will probably start him on it. He is currently on very high purity Fish oil liquid, msm, coq10, ACV, probiotics, and has been doing much better on these.

This is where we have our daily walks/jogs weather permitting.

On the left is obviously the river, and on the right is open fields. This stretch runs about 1.5 miles down and back, so he jogs off leash with me about 3 miles. On top of that, the water is down for the winter, so he will usually go down there and run circles in the soft sand/shallow water. I consider this 'fun' exercise. It is always off leash and basically at his own pace (I run slowly and he is free to stop and snip, and run to catch up etc). He does not yet show pain or discomfort like most older HD dogs (I've been watching videos of different degrees of dyplasia and have yet to see a dog with as mild as he is). When trotting/running, u can not tell. It is during his 'pacing' or running upstairs when it is apparent.

About the agility, Jenny that's sort of what I was wondering if he could still do. He doesn't realize the difference between 4" and 18" and can easily 'trot' over a tiny jump and still enjoy it. But like I said, the vet did not seem too concerned with his activity, and just said to avoid excessive high jumps. Considering I only have an agility lesson once every other week for fun indoors and on small equipment I''m hoping he'll be fine going over chihuahua sized jumps. We will never compete and weren't planning on it, it has just been a rewarding venue for him. Thanks everyone for the suggestions
 
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