Shiloh Is Headed For A Second Hip Surgery And Hopes To Find A Forever Home

 "Will you be my forever parent? I will be a good girl! I will love and cherish you and greet you with kisses!"

Shiloh is a sweet, affectionate 2.5-year-old female Howavart, and she is looking for her forever home. Even though she's been through heartbreak and pain she has a great disposition and gets along with everybody.

Shiloh came to project HALO (Helping Animals Live On) showing signs of severe hip dysplasia.

She wanted to run and play like other dogs her age, but for now, she can only enjoy short leashed walks and controlled play with other dogs. She was put on medication to help her with inflammation and pain but her condition required surgical correction. But this shall all change for her!

Shiloh is presently at a foster home and thanks to generous donors she already had her first hip surgery and enough funds had been raised to repair her other hip.

Hip dysplasia is the most common cause of rear leg lameness in dogs, particularly large breeds. 

Anybody involved with dogs has probably heard about hip dysplasia at one time or another. But do we understand what it is?

Hip dysplasia is an abnormal growth and development of the hip joint. What does that mean?

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint where the thigh bone (femur) is connected to the pelvis. In a normal joint, the two parts fit together perfectly. The ball sits in the socket securely and can move smoothly.

In a dysplastic joint usually both the ball and socket develop improperly and do not fit together. 

The socket is too shallow to hold the ball securely and the ball itself is often misshapen.

What makes the joint develop improperly?

Hip dysplasia is a congenital disease, which means that a puppy inherited the faulty genes controlling the hip joint development. Depending on the degree of the malformation, this problem often becomes apparent in young dogs, typically 6 to 18 months of age.

The genetic predisposition can be further exaggerated by improper nutrition, excessive exercise in early age and obesity.

Why is this a problem?

The malformation on its own wouldn't be painful—it is the instability of the joint that leads to further damage and pain. The poor fit of the ball and the socket lead to abnormal wear and tear within the joint. This leads to inflammation and arthritis. As the joint attempts to repair itself, degenerative changes further exaggerate the problem.

Mild dysplasia might not be detected until later in life as arthritis caused by the unstable joint becomes apparent.

The more severe the condition the more likely it is to become a problem at a young age. Young dogs typically show problems by the age of 3.

To get a better picture, let's reach to an unrelated scenario.

Imagine going to a dance wearing somebody else's shoes that are two sizes too big. Now imagine wearing the same shoes, but a left shoe on the right foot and the right shoe on the left foot.
Now imagine doing it this way all the time!

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. The severely malformed joint might require surgery. There are different surgical procedures available and their choice depends on individual situation.

Inflammation and pain can respond to supplements, physical therapy, acupuncture or medication. Stem cell regenerative therapy has been showing great results in the treatment of pain and degenerative changes associated with hip dysplasia.

For all dogs with hip dysplasia, weight management is a must!

Further reading:
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention
Hip dysplasia (canine)
Hip dysplasia/Information for veterinarians 

Update on Shiloh
May 24, 2011

Shiloh's hips are all healed up and Shiloh has her mobility back! She is still looking for her forever home.


  1. Talk about stories that make people tear up! What a sweet looking pup.

  2. Hi Edie!

    Yeah, no kidding, can't get on the internet and not end up crying ...

    Hopefully with her second hip done it will be easier for Shiloh to find a forever home.


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