On Cassidy’s Hip Dysplasia: Interview with Dr. Jennifer Goetz « Cassidy's Journey

Cassidy's Journey

A dog's journey from a kill shelter to a loving family.

On Cassidy’s Hip Dysplasia: Interview with Dr. Jennifer Goetz

Written By: MimiRosen - Jun• 21•13
Several weeks ago Mike and I learned that Cassidy has Hip Dysplasia.  Our vet said that she would likely display crippling symptoms of this disease within three or four years. Mike and I were devastated. Of course, we looked for options. But  the surgeries available were out of our means. The outlook for our one-year-old Border Collie seemed bleak. Then our vet recommended that we see Dr. Jennifer Goetz of Manlius Veterinary Hospital. After our consult with her, we had short and long term plans and renewed hope.


Dr. Goetz graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada in 2003. She purchased Manlius Veterinary Hospital in 2005.

IMG 0300

Dr. Goetz utilizes both conventional and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine on a daily basis. Dr. Goetz has a profound belief in the integration of healing modalities to affect the lives of her patients in a positive manner. Dr. Goetz believes in an individual, patient-centered approach to veterinary medicine and care. She strives to practice Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) with compassion and in a manner that considers the entire life of the animal and its caretakers, not just the disease.

Healing modalities employed by Dr. Goetz, based on TCVM diagnosis, include:
• Acupuncture
• Tui-na
• Food therapy
• Chinese herbal medications

Q & A

1.  What is Cassidy’s current condition?

Cassidy’s current condition is excellent.  She has a beautiful body condition and ample muscle mass.  She is in the shape of her life!

2.  What is the general prognosis for a dog like her?

Severe Hip Dysplasia

Difficult to say.  Findings on radiographs (x-rays) don’t often correlate with how the dog really feels, so hips and backs that may look terrible may belong to dogs that are only slightly lame, and vice versa. Radiographs are the tool used to identify the underlying anatomical abnormality that will likely cause disease, but aren’t the only indicator of prognosis or disease progression.  In Cassidy’s case, we use the term disease to identify the

buildup of bone that results from instability and inflammation secondary to dysplasia i.e. arthritis.

3.  How can we help her now?

Exercise is absolutely essential to maintain muscle mass, keep joints lubricated and reduce arthritis pain.  Keeping a lean body condition relieves stress on the joints.  Putting Cassidy on a high quality joint supplement  (such as Dasuquin) and essential fatty acids [omega-3]will help to keep her joints lubricated and decrease inflammation. [Vitamin-C was also recommended.] In the case of supplements, quality and cost matter.  [Higher cost means better quality.] All are not created equal.

4.  What is the plan for down the road, when more symptoms may develop?

Luckily we have so many options available for control of pain and inflammation that we didn’t have 15 or 20 years ago.  Acupuncture, chiropractic, laser, and therapeutic ultrasound are key.  Then non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs made especially for dogs.  On top of that we also have other classes of pain killers, injectable joint supplements, Chinese herbals, physical rehabilitation…  The list is very long.

5. If Cassidy’s hip dysplasia wasn’t so severe, it could have gone undiagnosed. What should dog owners look for so that they can detect this condition early?

Sometimes puppies, especially large breeds, will have a survey hip radiograph performed at the time of neutering.  Often times however, hip dysplasia isn’t diagnosed until the dog has begun showing signs of stiffness post exercise, trouble rising, etc.  Some other early signs include dogs that call it quits too early when playing ball, reluctance to run as far, etc.  Anyone concerned should talk to their veterinarian about a hip and lower back radiograph.

6.   Is there anything else you would like to add about the condition?

Just to remind people, that a dog with an OFA  [Orthopedic Foundation for Animals] certification is not a guarantee of the presence of absence of hip dysplasia.  Breeding two dogs with OFA excellent or good hips helps to reduce the chances of hip dysplasia, but is by no means a guarantee.  Also, small breed also are dysplastic at times, so we shouldn’t assume a toy or mini breed will have excellent hips.  Finally, we have so many options available for control of pain and inflammation that no older dog should be living a painful, stiff, immobile life but don’t wait until the dog is so crippled that the owner is contemplating euthanasia.  Early treatment with a variety of modalities will get us a much happier,  mobile, older dog that has a life worth living.


To read another article about Cassidy’s condition please click the following link: A Bump in the Road for Cassidy


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Charlotte says:

    Oh, Mimi, I’m so sorry that Cassidy has had this bump in the road. She’s lucky to have a human like you, though! I wish you both the best.

  2. [email protected] says:

    really well written and very informative

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Easy AdSense by Unreal