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-   -   Puppy with serious feet/rear end issues! (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/377577-puppy-serious-feet-rear-end-issues.html)

eatpraytravel 12-07-2013 01:02 PM

Puppy with serious feet/rear end issues!
 
Hi everyone!

I have a 9 month old German Shepherd that I got shipped in from Norway at 12 weeks old. I had the intention of showing him and doing schutzhund/obedience competitions with him, but he was primarily to be a family pet.

From when he was young I noticed that he ran in a bunny hop and it's been very rare that I can actually get a clear picture of what his gait is like. Around 6 months he started dragging his back feet considerably. It is LOUD, his nails scrape against the floor and I am unable to clip his back nails because most of them are worn down so much from the dragging. He is quite angulated, but to be honest I used to professional handle a lot of super angulated American dogs and have never seen this before. I have seen twisty awkward hawks but not dragging to this degree.

Now at almost 9 months old, there is no way he can run in the house because he slips and falls all over the place. He often stands still with his back feet tight together, sometimes bordering on crossing over. Sometimes he even slips backwards and has no traction whatsoever. When he is excited and tries to jump he slips and falls and sometimes he just stays down when he has fallen. The dragging is consistent and with every step that he takes. I would NEVER be able to show him at this point.

Since he is only 9 months old, I am hesitant about saying he might have DM but he certainly meets every single symptom to the very last degree. I was advised to wait at least a year to get his hips checked, which makes sense as I know ligaments are so loose and growing at a rapid pace when they are young. He is extremely large (over 80 lbs and almost 27" at the withers) so I know that this may have something to do with it.

I have ordered a DM test to see if he does indeed have this, but I am unsure that knowing the parents carry the gene will help me or not. How do you find out if the dog himself has DM?

I guess I am reaching out to ask... is this normal? Has anyone else experienced this in a pup and NOT ended up having any issues? Could this simply be an extreme case of an overangulated oversized puppy growing and not knowing how to handle himself?

Any feedback would be so greatly appreciated. I am extremely concerned about these issues and on top of it have been dealing with an ear that has been in the same position since he came to me and he has had his ear taped and glued for over 4 months now to no avail. :-( He also has consistent diarrhea and even though everything has been ruled out, it happens almost every day as if he has no control over his back end. It is especially bad if he is running or being exercised.

wolfy dog 12-07-2013 01:08 PM

I would take him to the vet for a physical and then contact the breeder and see what he/she has to say. It doesn't sound normal at all.
Can you maybe post a video of his movements?

eatpraytravel 12-07-2013 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfy dog (Post 4630257)
I would contact the breeder and see what he/she has to say. It doesn't sound normal at all.
Can you maybe post a video of his movements?

Yes, I have been in touch with the breeder regularly and he has been great! However he does seem to think this is normal and hopes he will grow out of it.

Cassidy's Mom 12-07-2013 01:09 PM

I would do the x-rays now, preliminary x-rays can be submitted to the OFA as early as 4 months of age. You can't get an official rating until 24 months old, but the reliability of the results for a dog in the 7-12 month old range is 93.8%. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Hip Dysplasia

eatpraytravel 12-07-2013 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfy dog (Post 4630257)
I would contact the breeder and see what he/she has to say. It doesn't sound normal at all.
Can you maybe post a video of his movements?

I can sure try!

eatpraytravel 12-07-2013 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom (Post 4630273)
I would do the x-rays now, preliminary x-rays can be submitted to the OFA as early as 4 months of age. You can't get an official rating until 24 months old, but the reliability of the results for a dog in the 7-12 month old range is 93.8%. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Hip Dysplasia

Would the x-rays show if he had DM as well? His symptoms certainly lean more towards DM than Dysplasia. . .

Cassidy's Mom 12-07-2013 01:13 PM

No, I don't think so. But since DM is a progressive disease, onset starts much later, usually in dogs that are 6 or 7 years old or older.

ETA: There is a genetic marker test for DM, but even if he tests positive for the gene, he would not be showing symptoms this early. http://www.magsr.org/GSDDM%20copy.pdf

BowWowMeow 12-07-2013 01:16 PM

It's impossible to diagnose over the Internet. From your description I would suspect a structural problem with his spine and also possibly HD. I would be very surprised to see DM in a puppy. My first gsd was diagnosed with severe bilateral HD as a 10 month old puppy. At that point it was very clear that her hip sockets were malformed. She slipped, had trouble on stairs, etc., got tired after a lot of running and heavy exercise but structurally she doesn't sound like your dog.

I would definitely want an x-ray from an orthopedic vet to see what's going on in his spine and hips. I would get that immediately because there is almost certainly rehab you can start and supplements that could help.

Do you leave near a teaching veterinary hospital?

Cassidy's Mom 12-07-2013 01:18 PM

Here is a good article about HD, with symptoms and treatments, as well as a video of a boxer puppy with HD: Canine Hip Dysplasia: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

shepherdmom 12-07-2013 02:49 PM

I've had one dog with HD and one dog with DM. With my two dogs they were quite different. With HD my dog had pain while my dog with DM didn't seem to feel anything. With DM he didn't know where his back feet were placed. He would tip over because I don't think he felt it. With HD my dog she would fall but I think it was because it hurt she would try to find a way to stand so it didn't hurt.

I don't know if this helps at all, but I thought I would share in case it does. Either way I'm sorry. I hope it is neither of these horrible things.


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