Brave Pet Honey’s hips and hypothyroid hitches

Dog with hypothyroidism and hip dislocation

Honey is an 8 year old Tibetan Terrier who has had her fair share of problems.

From a very young age, Honey has struggled with itchy skin which particularly affects the lining of her ear canals leading to repeat ear infections. 

In 2017, whilst the owner was cleaning Honey’s ears, Honey jumped off the sofa dislocating her right hip in the process – not a common thing to happen!

Honey’s hip was replaced under anaesthetic but the following day it popped back out again. Once again, the hip was replaced and Honey was strictly cage rested to prevent further dislocation.  After a few weeks, Honey appeared to make excellent progress and a programme of return to normal exercise was started.

By 2018, all was ticking along nicely.  Honey’s skin and ears were under control with daily medication, but the owners were concerned that she appeared to be slowing up on walks and she was gaining weight, despite not eating any more food than normal.  After trying weight loss diets and cutting out all treats at home, Honey was still gaining weight.

Further investigation was advised, and subsequent blood tests revealed that Honey had an underactive thyroid gland – hypothyroidism.  Having low levels of thyroid slows the body’s metabolic rate making a dog more likely to gain weight, have a slow heart rate, be lethargic on walks and seek heat at home by lying next to the radiator or fire.  Hypothyroidism will also make a dog much more prone to skin infections.

Hypothyroidism is easily managed by giving daily thyroid supplementation, although regular blood tests are needed to check levels of thyroid hormone in the blood stream to make sure we are not giving too much or too little.

And, just when we thought Honey was back on the road to recovery, she presented at the surgery in January of this year with a very painful left leg (the opposite side to the one dislocated 2 years earlier). 

X-rays showed a very arthritic left hip, but what surprised us the most was that the right hip which we thought had stayed in place, was in fact permanently dislocated from the hip socket and had formed a non-painful “pseudo” joint! 

Honey’s hip X-ray

Pain was not present as the ball of the hip was not rubbing against the bone of the pelvis and had happily formed its own joint allowing Honey to walk pain free on this side. 

As Honey’s left hip is so badly affected by arthritis and is very painful for her, the owners have opted for a total hip replacement which will be carried out by a specialist orthopaedic vet in May.

We will report back after her surgery.

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