Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

Is it pretty much standard GSD protocol to have their hips/elbows checked via OFA? I have no reason to question my dogs based on her breeding nor will I be breeding her, but I was just wondering. Afterall, if something did show up, I assume it's easier to manage the earlier it's known. Thoughts?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:08 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

In my opinion it should be- but not necessarily OFA. At the least have a qualified vet do the x-rays and then a qualified radiologist read them, for the reasons you stated along with the breeder knowing how their progeny is turning out. I would have prelim's done before a year, just for the peace of mind, especially if the dog is doing sportwork.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:13 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

Yes, for REALLY bad hips or elbows surgery might be indicated. For marginal hips, you can at least limit jumping and certain kinds of exercise and put the dog on supplements. You can't get her OFA certified until she's two, but you can prelim now.

I had Halo's hips and elbows x-rayed when she was spayed last month. Since hers came back as normal elbows and good hips, I don't know if I'll bother getting her OFA'd when she's two. My vet does it under sedation, so it made sense to do the x-rays while she was under for surgery.

Even if you don't plan to breed her, it's a good idea to at least do the prelims. There are no lines that are completely free of HD, so a good pedigree is not enough to ensure that she'll be free of it either.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:15 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

Jane, for Dena my vet sent the films out to a consulting radiologist, but it was actually more expensive than OFA would have been, so I went ahead and sent Halo's prelims to the OFA instead.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:31 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

A radiologist looks at more than just the joints though. He looks that the spine and everything else that's in the photos. One of my dogs had narrowing at L4-5 that he thought we needed to keep an eye on, for example. OFA didn't mention it, of course.

Hips and elbows are protocol, but if my dog is sedated, I get spine, knees and shoulders too (these also show internal organs like spleen, prostate, and heart). If nothing is wrong, great. We have baseline xrays that we can refer to when the dog is an adult/senior if problems arise. For example, if the spleen looks enlarged, is that what the dog's spleen has always looked like? Or is that something new?

I understand fully the risk of subjecting a dog (esp a young dog) to radiation from xrays. But I have a pup (conscientious breeder, good pedigree, both OFA good parents) that I'm managing VERY differently than I had been because I had his hip xrays done at 7 months old. He had no discernible symptoms of dysplasia. They were essentially routine xrays.

But he has severe dysplasia, and the radiologist was able to give me (and the orthopedic surgeon and rehab vet specialist) additional information regarding joint deterioration and even muscle atrophy-- not just a rating.

All of this info is invaluable to managing a dog with dysplasia.

So I hate to disagree with my good friend Cassidy's Mom on this one, but I think a good radiologist is well with the cost.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:34 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

Now what if you have a perfectly healthy young adult showing no signs of any kind of dysplasia. Is it worth it to sedate a perfectly healthy dog for some x-rays?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:45 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Cassidys MomJane, for Dena my vet sent the films out to a consulting radiologist, but it was actually more expensive than OFA would have been, so I went ahead and sent Halo's prelims to the OFA instead.
I am lucky~there is a top radiologist in my area that did the x-rays and read Karlo's prelims. I trust his judgement. And the price for the prelims was only $130 for H & E.
I did not have spine/organ x-ray's
Quote:
Originally Posted By: Lucy DogNow what if you have a perfectly healthy young adult showing no signs of any kind of dysplasia. Is it worth it to sedate a perfectly healthy dog for some x-rays?
Karlo only had to be aced to relax him, so there was no need to give antesthesia

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:45 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

Often times a dog with dysplasia will indeed show no signs, and can also go onto having quite a career in a number of dog sport venues. Seen it more times than I can count. GSD's are also very stoic and will also carry on and never let you know they might be feeliing pain. So yes, it is always good knowledge to have and the only way to know for absolutely sure is via xray.

By knowing one way or the other you know your dogs abilities and limitations and also what to look for when suddenly they don't seem right.

And again, it gives the breeder knowledge hopefully they will put to use.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 09:28 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

It is good to know. If my dogs were purely pets I am not sure if I would have it done unless they were showing symptoms, but I like to be very active with my dogs and do agility and things so I want to know how their joints are doing. My previous two dogs had x-rays done but one was showing symptoms of hip dysplasia when I rescued him so it was a given. My Golden Retriever Ginger was in agility so I had hers done as well, which showed some mild joint changes beginning (common for her age.) She eventually developed spinal spondylosis though so she had plenty more x-rays taken and her hips never really deteriorated. Her spondylosis became very severe as she aged but I kept her exercise up and her weight down so it was never a big hindrance to her.
Bianca's hips and elbows were OFA'd (good/normal) by her previous owner.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 09:32 PM
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Re: Is Hip/Elow Check Standard GSD Protocol?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Lucy DogNow what if you have a perfectly healthy young adult showing no signs of any kind of dysplasia. Is it worth it to sedate a perfectly healthy dog for some x-rays?
They don't always SHOW signs and not all vet sedate.
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