Hips?? Is it just cause she’s underweightv - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hips?? Is it just cause she’s underweightv

Hi all!

So we noticed our new 4 year old girl was walking very slightly shakily in her back legs the first day we brought her home and most of the next day, but just last night she looked wobbly and shaky and started laying down a bit more and today she went back to just a slight hardly noticeable shake in the back legs. No limp, no issue walking or jogging (she hasn’t run yet cause she was justspayed so we’ve limited her activity).

She shows zero signs of pain or discomfort, but she does stretch them out every time she gets up from laying down for awhile. Also, she’s goes up stairs fine (although slow) but she refuses to go down them. We’ve had to carry her down every time which she hates.

I took her to the vet and he told she has weak hips and thin muscles and he wanted to do an X-ray, but I couldn’t afford it today so I told the nurse when she came back with the information and she asked if she was limping and I said no and that she just had the wobbly walk and she said it was fine. They didn’t make it seem very urgent or serious, but I’m wondering what you guys think. I just adopted her from the shelter and she is sitting at 60 pounds right now which the vet said is about 15-20 pounds underweight for her size. So, could this be partly because of how weak and thin she is? She’s also getting over Kennel Cough.

Until I can get her in for an X-ray I’ll keep a close eye to make sure it doesn’t get worse or she starts feeling any pain, but in the meantime I’ve been looking into hip and bone supplements and wonder what you guys think of Nutramax. I’ll link it below. Just something to go alongside the weight gain regime I have her on to get her joints healthy and strong.


Thanks guys!

Last edited by SocalGSDLover; 06-12-2019 at 10:53 PM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 11:36 PM
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Is it possible she is shaky from the spay? Anytime my GSD has to be under anesthesia, she gets the shaky hind quarters. After a day or two, she’s back to being normal.

That on top of kennel cough would make me jump to her just being weak from the spay and illness. I wouldn’t rush into X-rays if it’s going to leave you in a bad spot. At least until you can plan for the added expense.

Also, I’d make sure to take the slow and steady approach to weight gain. You don’t want to add weight as quickly as possible, especially if she does indeed have hip issues. It could put more strain on her than being underweight affects her. It seems like 15-20lbs is a lot of weight. My girl weighs in at 45-50lbs. She is a little shorter than my male, but even my male weighs in at 55lbs. Did you ask why they recommended that much of a weight gain?

Hopefully other members here can give you better advice. It just seems off to me that the vet went straight to X-rays knowing she has just been spayed and recovering from kennel cough, and the amount of weight they want her to gain. It would raise flags for me to ask more in depth questions of the vet, and get a second opinion before X-rays and that much weight gain.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:07 AM
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I would guess there are a number of factors in play here.

1) the dog has been in the shelter, shut up in a small pen for nearly the whole day. Before that, she may have been crated for long periods by her former owner. Her muscles are weak due to lack of exercise.
2) kennel cough and being spayed have weakened her further.
3) (and this is THE most important factor!) You would not believe how many posts we see on here about German shepherds with weak back ends. It's because of the way breeders are breeding them. They breed for such a long upper thigh, and so much angulation that the dog's hind end can barely support it. As a matter of fact, I've seen GSDs in dog shows that actually NEEDED support from the handler in order to hold a stack!

Exercise will help, of course, but increase it gradually so as not to stress her joints and muscles too much. Walking on the beach is good, if you are near a lake, as beach sand won't stress joints, but the dog has to work harder to walk on the soft surface. Swimming is excellent exercise too, as there is NO impact to harm the joints, which is why it's often used to rehab dogs that have been injured.

If you want to learn more about shepherd structure and the problems caused by overangulation, Leerburg has an excellent article: Leerburg Dog Training | Balance Problems With the American Show German Shepherd Linda Shaw's book, The Illustrated Standard of the GSD is a wonderful resource too, if you can get your hands on a copy! Some of the pages are available online: http://www.vtgsd.com/publicgsdfiles/...epherd-Dog.pdf Unfortunately, the preview doesn't include the pages where she discusses the angulation of the hind legs.

Last edited by Sunsilver; 06-13-2019 at 03:12 AM.
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