My Dilemma - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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My Dilemma

We had PennHip x-rays done on Mikka when she was about 4.5 months old. Got the report back and it is not good. In fact, it is very bad (and yes we are devastated). Yes, I told the breeder. She said to feed Mikka a raw diet and she will be fine…(is this what breeders mean by a health guarantee? OK, I’ll bit my tongue). We are feeding Mikka a raw diet but I’m not sure diet alone is going to fix her hips. The vet wanted to do some horrid operation on her but we opted out (they actually wanted to break her pelvis bone ). By the way, we do have Mikka on daily doses of Ester C and glucosamine, along with a few other vitamins and supplements.

Anyway, that’s really not my dilemma. My dilemma is that Mikka has remarkably good drives…in all categories really….awesome ball drive, awesome tracking ability, she’s quick on her feet, so to speak, and she’s already a great watch dog. Plus, she learns things pretty quickly, I might add. However, with her hips being the way they are I do not want to put her in Schutzhund because I do not want her hips to get further damage due to all of the jumping and whatnot. The sad thing is, I think Mikka would have really enjoyed participating in the sport. In fact, she probably would have excelled at it. Is there anything else we can enroll her in that is not so physical?

As always, thanks for the help!

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Miikka, 2-year old F Black & Red WGSL
Scout, 5 year F calico cat

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 04:46 PM
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Tracking, OB, rally........

Make sure not to baby her! Keep her strong.

I just learned about "perch work" for agility class that I imagine would really help build an HD dog's butt muscles. Esentially they stand on a box/phone books taped together/anything study with their front feet, keep them in place, and pivot around them with their back legs.

Has she shown NO signs of wobbly hips? Penn Hip seems good from what I've heard, but there is always the chance it was a bad xray. I've also heard of lots of dogs who have a bad HD prognosis when they are younger and leave healthy sport-dog lives.

I don't do SchH, but I don't think they start jumping and real bite work until they are much older--1 to 2 years from what I've gathered?? I don't see the harm in going to classes and doing training and then playing it by ear. At 4.5 months they aren't going to be doing super intense exercise.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 04:48 PM
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Sorry to hear of this. I have a dog that I was told that had HD - turns out that after changing vets, this is not the case at all. But probably just as bad - lower lumbar stenosis. Sorry you are having to deal with this.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 05:05 PM
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So sorry about Mikka - it doesn't sound good . . . perhaps a second opinion would help? I have heard often that young pups can a lot of hip laxity, but it tightens up as they get older. So if it was my pup, I would keep do as you are doing, giving supplements, and continuing with training and normal excercise, and just try to control the jumping, and watch my puppy to for signs of pain or for an odd gait.

Agree that the protection part of SchH may be too much for a dog with bad hips, but you can train and trial for the BH, (no jumping required), and go on to earn the SchH Obedience and Tracking titles from the SchH routine. Not a SchH title, but the fun and involvement of being in a club and working with your dog. There is a meter hurdle of course in the Obedience part, and a scaling wall, but I know people who'se dogs have mild HD or ED, and they train on a small wall and a small jump, and only get the dog to do the wall and jump to satisfy themselves that the dog can do it. So basically their dog only gets to jump the meter or scale the full wall once or twice in training, and then at trial, so overall, keeps the wear-and-tear down to a minimum.

And if it were my pup, as long as she wasn't showing any signs of pain and/or stiffness, I would start the bite-work and drive building excercises, and see how much and how far we can progress before her HD forces us to stop.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the input.

No, she is not showing any signs of HD (knocking on wood) but she is currently only 6 months old. In fact, tomorrow is her 6-month birthday!

Do I baby her? I’ll admit that is probably the case. I’ll work on that.

The “perch” thing sounds interesting. I will talk to the obedience instructor about that, as I know her club offers agility training. I wonder if she can just do the easier stuff and not the jumping over bars, etc?

I know that Pennhip can sometimes have false readings. However, in Mikka’s case 90% of GSD’s have better hips than her. That is a lot to overcome. Also, shortly after I had the x-rays done, and before I got the report, I posted a few of her films on the site to get some feedback. Some of the more knowledgeable members told me to be prepared for the worst. So, I pretty sure the report is accurate.

Momma to:
Miikka, 2-year old F Black & Red WGSL
Scout, 5 year F calico cat

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Bella, 15 yr old GSD/Chow chow mix
Annie, 16 yr old Black Cocker Spaniel
Socks, 15 yr old Tuxedo cat
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 07:23 PM
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Here's the link where MRL posted a video of someone doing perch work and gave me the "inspiration":
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...y-classes.html

It was super easy to teach. I just tapped on the phonebooks with my foot and any time she came and touched it, I treated. 3rd time, she put a foot on it. 4th time, both feet. Just kept repeating. Now I can "guide" her butt around the phonebooks by sidestepping.

Only thing I don't love about the phone books is that they still slide a little. I asked my DH to build us a little wooden platform so it's a little more stable.

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- Medo - "The Beast From The East"
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