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2 year old GSD, possibility of him having hip dysplasia in the future?
I am fairly new to this forum. I have a 2 year old GSD mix. He is mostly GSD. He weighs about 95lbs and is in really good health. He goes in for his check ups, eats grain free food, exercises at least an hour a day and has good stool and no vommiting. Since I got him, at around 2 months of age, his form of exercise was playing with other dogs every day for an hour and about 20 minutes of fetch with the soccer ball. The fetch play wasnt intense. When he was about 8 months of age, we stopped going to the dog park because we moved to a town without one. So after that I would take him to the park everyday for about an hour to play fetch and walk with his brother with his favorite bouncy ball. My dog loves his ball and I have to stop throwing it when he gets too tired, or else he won't stop himself. I would say he plays fetch for no more than 20minutes a day because I feel like more than that is pushing it for him. The rest of the time he either plays with his brother or I walk them both. When he plays fetch, he pretty much sprints for the ball. I'd say the ball is thrown a good distance away.
My question is, have I pushed him too hard his first two years of his life to have a great impact on his bones and joints?
I'm a college student and I don't have a lot of money. The grain free food and monthly heartworm medication is already a lot for me, so having him on joint vitamins is fairly expensive. I really do wish i could affors it! Now, I regret not having him on it because I fear he will develop hip or joint problems in the future.
Is there any advice you guys can give me? Should I switch his form of exercise? If yes, what should I do differently?
Thank you for the advice!
Is he limping? Showing any discomfort? Is it hard for him to get up from a laying down position?
If not, then I would not be overly concerned about his hips. If he is showing no symptoms then go about your normal routine!!!!
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HD is genetic. The dog either has it or it doesn’t. If the dog has “mild HD” from birth, then strenuous exercise is detrimental. If the dog doesn’t have HD at all, no amount of exercise will cause it. Some people also argue that keeping a dog in shape, with stronger muscles, helps a dog with mild HD because it allows their muscles to keep the bones in the joint separated.
There’s no use worrying about it unless you’re seeing signs and then the only solution is to go and get the hips x-rayed.
Running on softer surfaces doesn’t affect dogs. They’re meant for it. The amount of running on dirt/grass/sand doesn’t affect joints. Running on pavement isn’t recommended until the joints are formed, so unless you forced him to jog next to you for miles while you were training for a marathon, it probably didn’t cause any issues. Running on those softer surfaces is even recommended for humans, a lot of stress is caused on joints by running on pavement. This is why we wear expensive shoes that are meant to absorb a lot of that stress.
Wow you guys are awesome! Thank you so much for the information! I did not know it was genetic.
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