Beginnings of hip dysplasia or am I paranoid? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Beginnings of hip dysplasia or am I paranoid?

My girl is 2 years old now, she's 70/30 GSD/Malinois, and to date she's never had any health issues. I've always known hip dysplasia is a thing to worry about in shepherds, but I've never seen her so much as limp. Getting her hips x rayed and cleared are on my to do list, but I'm in grad school and so it's not super high on my budget list at the moment.

Things I feel I did right to minimize the chance of dysplasia: She ate large breed puppy til she was a year, had free reign of a fenced backyard, hiked with her starting at 6 months, NEVER ran with her til she was 18 months, have NOT spayed her yet to allow her bones and joints time and hormone levels to mature, have lifted her in and out of the truck (she's a princess, she doesn't jump). Also just did the Embark DNA test and she's not a carrier for any of the neuromuscular conditions including DM that would cause her to break down.

Things I've done wrong: I got in grad school last fall, and now she sits at home in an apartment during the day, and even though i run with her it's on pavement, and she goes to the dog park and obedience class and schutzhund club, but she doesn't get as much exercise as she use to.

We are visiting my family for Easter weekend, and in the last 2 days she has run wild with 2 other dogs (one who is my older dog who stayed home with my brother, and puts my young girl in her place) in a huge backyard with stairs and a concrete pad to jump on and off of, she chased some jackrabbits yesterday on a run because I'm a delinquent mother and let her off leash, and I thought she was dead. She returned limping slightly, and lagged behind me for the rest of the 5 mile run but I didn't notice any stiffness or hesitation in her rear legs, all I found was a small tear on a front paw pad. I've also asked her to jump in and out of a full size truck, something she never does at home (I've spent her life lifting her in and out of a tacoma like a princess). Anyways. Today, had the dogs out on a walk and noticed she seems to be limping. I can't tell if it's that front paw pad, but it sure seems like it's her hind left leg. Now I'm getting super freaked out, so can someone please give me their opinion til I can call the vet in the morning to schedule X-rays?

Has anyone ever had a dog develop unilateral dysplasia at 2 years old? Attached are pics of her tonight.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:45 PM
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Sounds like she just overdid it this weekend and is sore and probably pulled a muscle.The equivalent of you running a marathon without proper conditioning beforehand.If after a week of very light activity she's not significantly improved a call to your vet is a good idea.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:00 AM
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I agree with dogma. It sounds like an injury or soreness from maybe more activity than is usual. I'm not saying it can't happen, but HD usually doesn't present suddenly like that, it is a more of a gradual thing. I mean, an injury can cause a hip joint to subluxate though. It just sounds like more activity than usual and/or an injury from chasing jackrabbits
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:31 AM
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If this turns out to just be over-exertion, since you're in grad school and budget is an issue, I'd consider getting health insurance from a company like Healthy Paws. Good pet insurance is very useful to have if you're a worrier.


Unlike many other companies, Healthy Paws covers hips, after a 1 year waiting period of no symptoms. If your dog goes back to normal, wait a little over a year before xraying those hips to get through the waiting period. Then they'll likely be covered if anything goes wrong. (This is assuming there's nothing wrong now except tender paws or sore muscles from too much activity -- if a hip problem has already manifested, its too late to get it insured.)
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: You were all right--by Tuesday she was fine and back to her psychoactive self. She's happy healthy and fine Thank you for the reassurance before I sprung for an emergency vet visit!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 01:48 AM
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Hip or elbow displaysia is heritable and and just is, in dogs that have inherited it. It can be brought on, or exaggerated in, dogs who have a genetic propensity. Note that hip dysplasia only occurs in 19% of GSDs! And many many dogs with hip displaysia live long and normal lives! So ask yourself strongly, how is worrying helping either her or you? If you really can't help yourself, gave x-rays taken, then adjust according to these preliminary findings!

Otherwise, realise that 80% of the GSDs out there will limp on occassion, but never have or develop dysplasia!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 07:46 AM
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I had never seen those stats before Tim. Interesting. My gal-dog was racing my big-boy down some stairs last year and I think she strained her back. Later she jumped into my truck and cried. I thought it was odd but she seemed fine the rest of the day. Getting into the car again she cried so off to the vet we went. I wasn't thrilled with the x-rays they took so when or if you do get x-rays, make sure you find a place that knows how to take good ones. My gal was fine after taking a long rest break. She didn't like it but it gave her time to heal.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 08:21 AM
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I think it is quite a sight to experience the athleticism of this breed. If they do slow down because of an injury in their youth it most often something unless ,something is old age which creeps up way to fast and a sin to watch. It takes a lot to slow these dogs down so an X-ray or vet visit should be made. I would also get pet insurance just to be safe.


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