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Hip Dysplasia Question

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First of all, this question is not BC related, but more directed to

those folks with LGD's or GSD's. I am not a member of other

boards and people here seem very knowledgable, so I'll post

a question here. If it doesn't apply, feel free to remove it.

With that being said, I have friends who have a Newfoundland

female, about 2 1/2 - 3 years old, that started showing signs

recently and was diagnosed with HD. She gets around fine, but

if she romps a bit, she's done. She will find a spot a just camp out.

Healthy dog in all other ways.

Now, these people also have a King Shepherd, female, and she's

only maybe 2 years old, and has been diagnosed with "mild" HD.

I know both dogs have been through x-rays and whatever other

processes go into the diagnosis. I haven't really gotten into any

details with the owners of these dogs to ask which direction the vet

wants to proceed.

I guess my question relates to the ages of these dogs, doesn't this

seem a little early in their short lives for this to be showing up?

Or does HD show up earlier in large breed dogs? I know they don't

generally live as long as smaller breeds, but 2 years old and this

type of problem already?

I realize that bad breeding could be a large part of the equation and I

honestly don't know anything about the breeders of these dogs, other

than they travelled to PA for one and I think WV for the other, but don't

quote me on either of those. I just know they drove a long way from MI

to get these pups, and they did get both as pups, 8 weeks on each of them.

They are pets, they live in the house, both are crate trained, HUGE CRATES,

but don't stay in them much anymore. They are both very well behaved and

the Shephard, who was gotten as a potential watch dog, has turned out to be

the biggest sweetheart to everyone she meets. I think she would point out

the silverware in the house if a burgler gave her a treat. So both dogs

will be nothing more than basically "trip hazards" in the house now, not that

there's a problem with that.

So, again, at such a young age, is there anything that may have prevented this,

or are some breeds or sizes of dogs just more predisposed to HD?

I've never had large dogs and our smaller ones have never had this type

of issue even in their senior years. Just wondering if anyone had any input

on the subject. Thanks, Mike

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My lab mix showed signs of HD early on from about a year old (would not jump into the car, back end was stiff after heavy activity,has a swaggering gait). He's now 10 yrs old and his case is still pretty mild, though he has gotten worse over the years. We're usually able to manage it with just glucosamine/chondroitin and fish oil and by not over doing it, but still keeping up with regular exercise. At his worst he had a knocking sound from his hips when he walked. A few times he's needed pain meds and was shifting his weight forward when he walked, which led to muscle loss on his hind legs. His Kuranda bed has helped A LOT...when its hot and he decides the cool, hard floor is a better place to sleep, he starts hurting. Right now he takes 1500mg glucosamine/1200mg chondroitin, and 1200mg fish oil. That combined with his Kuranda bed has been enough to keep him pain free.. He's even been able to keep up with Meg.

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CHD is defined by arthritis of the hip joint and is often due to a malformation of the hip joint; the clinical diagnosis of this condition is with radiographs of the joint and can be made once the joint has fully formed. OFA specifies 2 years of age for radiographic determination of CHD.


When this condition starts to impact the quality of life of a dog (in other words there are symptoms) is highly dependent upon each individual dog.


Read this

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Hip Dysplasia

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As the new owner of a GSD puppy, other factors also play into it. My breeder insists (per contract) that we give our puppy Vitamin C as he is growing along with MSM and Glucosamine. But most importantly keeping the puppy thin and on a RAW diet. His parents are working dogs with clear OFA ratings, but that alone is not enough. I am also a member of a couple working dog forums and that seems to be the consenses from everyone, including people who have older and still working GSDs. They also say that not over exercising or under exercising the puppy while its growing factors in.


Once you have a dog with bad hips, keeping the dog very thin and swimming them as much as you can helps to build up the muscle to support the joint more, thus the dog having less visible symptoms.


Dante is five months now, and looks to have good hips thus far according to our vet, but still has a lot more growing to do.

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