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Old 03-10-2014, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is your first impression upon viewing these hips?

Without any background on the dog, what is your first impression upon viewing these hips? I am asking because I want to know, from people who are experienced in looking at x-rays for GSDs, whether the information my vet gave me was objective or her own opinions.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Those are not good hips. On the right, as I view it, is very bad. Very little coverage. The left is not quite as bad. But they would not pass OFA.

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Old 03-10-2014, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you, for your honest opinion. I just needed to hear it from someone else. This dog is 2. I guess my true question is about what her prognosis is for the future. I do lots of activities with her including agility, which I know would be unsafe to continue. This is what the vet told me,:"Both hips are poor, however the right may grade fair at best. The femoral head of the left hip is not even rounded, it is square and the acetabulum shows signs of degenerative disease. The neck of the left femur connected to the femoral head also seems to be misshapen." She went on to say that she is surprised that she shows no clinical signs based on the x-rays-no limping, no obvious signs of pain, etc. She stated that I should be doing no high impact activity with this dog, so our agility career is over. She said no ball chasing. She recommended water therapy. She stated it was important to keep her in the best physical condition possible and keep her doing low impact activities. Lots of walks, swimming, etc."
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am a firm believer in treating the dog, not the X-ray. If your dog is moving well, showing no discomfort after training, then I would continue. I may limit the quick turns outside if Agility, so no ball chasing. But if she is still enjoying Agility....

I would start on Dasuquin, some Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, keep her skinny, and well muscled. Hill work, swimming, anything like that. And watch her for signs of discomfort.


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Old 03-10-2014, 09:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Hips?

Although the hips may not be great, there are things that can be done to make life better for the dog, I would suggest that you read up on what can be done to help HD. I don't feel comfortable making such suggestions, but your vet can probably help you with some worthwhile info. I DO feel that a dog should be able to enjoy life to the fullest, even with HD, but as responsible pet owners, we should know our pets limitations. Agility MAY aggravate the HD to some extent, simply because the pet is dealing with less than ideal hip connections. But regardless a dog can still live a very good life with HD. IMHO, Bob
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I figured I would rather have a fun happy life that may be cut short early than a long safe one. I retired Cyra from SAR but let her chase balls to her hearts content figuring I would optimize the time she had on this earth. Her hips were worse than that at 3 and she had a fun active life until she died from hemangiosarcoma at 9. By then she was starting to need a little NSAIDs for stiffness but not before.

I really think going to a canine physical therapist to get good ideas for exercising YOUR dog would be great. Water walking, hill walking were recommended. Ball throwing was not but I threw balls in such a way she did not leap to get them or make sharp sudden turns.

Keeping her lean, doing range of motion exercises. There is a lot that can be done. Even agility - no maybe not competition and definitely not jumping but all the things that keep the musculature strong pay off.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think what we see as the right hip, is the right side of the picture, which would be the dog's driver's side or left hip. That being the case, I agree that the dog's right hip is probably OFA Fair. The left hip, though is definitely not passing.

I also agree with treating the dog. If she is limping, then you need to really adjust what you are doing, add the supplements (do that anyway if possible), and consider surgery. The dog is young, and if she is in pain, she can still have a good life even if recovering from surgery is part of that.

However, if your dog is not limping, than keep going with her. Keep her fit, and keep taking her out and doing the exercise. That will do far more good for her than anything else. Not all HD dogs need surgery, even hips that look awful do not always need surgery. I do agree that there seems to be some arthritic changes going on, and, if you do feel that surgery is your best option, your dog may be a candidate for a surgery that cleans up the femoral head, rather than a full hip replacement. I think there are 4 different surgeries, dependent on the individual dog and joint.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My first impression is to ask how old the dog is but you've answered that. For the most part, I agree with what the vet is seeing, except the part about "both hips being poor but one hip being fair", that makes no sense, lol. Poor and fair are different things. But anyway...as far as treating the dog I agree with gsdsar and Nancy, treat the dog and not the x-ray. Vets often recommend a very safe route but don't take into consideration a dog's temperament. I have one dog that is very lazy and could live happily for many years on very restricted exercise, supplements, and pain meds but have other dogs that need to move and work or we will all go nuts.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would also like to see you register these with OFA. It is very important from a breeders stand point to know if a dog or bitch is producing this. When I look for a stud dog, I want to know what kind of prodgeny has been produced.
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