This Summer, Ortho Dog had the honor of sitting down with a local customer and her two Chocolate Labs, Gus & Frankie, to hear more about their lives together and how they’ve navigated Gus’s journey with hip dysplasia. We share their story, with the hope that it brings encouragement to other families with senior dogs living with joint issues.
A Sweet Homecoming
Susan adopted Gus on Valentine’s Day 2013, “because everyone needs a little chocolate in their life!” On a snowy day in January, Gus had been found wandering the streets – a stray pup in the middle of a snow storm. He was brought to a local shelter, and Susan saw his photo shortly after and wanted to give him a home. She went to pick him up straight away.
“I already had Frankie. She probably thought she was gonna be an only dog, but we had other plans (didn’t we, Gus!) – we needed 2 chocolates!” They’ve been a trio ever since.
Living his best life despite an early diagnosis
Gus, almost 11 now, had been diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia when he was just a puppy. Over the years, he developed shoulder arthritis and Susan noticed his conditions worsening.
“We were used to a kind of funny gait and limping, that sort of thing, but about 6 weeks ago, I think he was probably here on the front porch and jumped down, and I noticed he was limping really badly.” Susan took him to the vet right away and confirmed that he had dislocated his right hip. “They initially said surgery, which I was very frightened of because of his age and his joint issues. Fortunately, I was able to check on the Ortho Dog website and read about a hip brace. They got Gus set up with a Hip Hound and he took to it right away.
He was really good about letting me put it on him. He wears it pretty much from the time we get up in the morning to shortly before bedtime. He’s adjusted to it really well.”
After using the Hip Hound for a few weeks, Susan met with a surgeon for their consultation. She was relieved to hear the surgeon say, “because of his age and joint issues, it probably would be best not to do surgery,” and instead he recommended that Gus continue taking his medications and supplements, wearing his hip harness, and start going on walks again.
“Now we’re back to our walks and we’ve worked back up to our regular route – we go twice a day, morning and late afternoon. He’s enjoying it and it’s nice to get back out there with the both of them. I think the hip brace has really helped give him a little bit of stability he otherwise would not have. It’s a blessing to have it and it’s part of his new regime.”
Frankie and Susan are happy to have Gus back on his feet! We are glad the Hip Hound has been a big help, and we feel honored to be a part of Gus’s story. Hopefully his “tail” will be inspiring for others with beloved pups, young and old, with arthritis or hip dysplasia.
“I feel lucky that the combination of medicines and supplements, walks, and wearing his Ortho Dog hip harness will help him get through.”– Susan
Ortho Dog’s Hip Hound Brace was designed specifically to help dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis by providing support and stability that minimizes pressure on joints. The Hip Hound brace stabilizes and supports the hip and lower back areas. This stabilization transfers to the hind legs, allowing the dog more mobility and endurance, helping the muscles to tone.