Really concerned with my new pups back hips and legs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Really concerned with my new pups back hips and legs

Hey guys, so I'm new here and I did post in the welcome mat. I wanted some advice as I'm getting more and more concerned with my girls hind legs.

First off she was the runt of her litter and is weighing in at 17lbs at 16 weeks. But my bigger concern is that there is a noticeable Wobble when she walks, her hind legs lean in and pretty much touch at the bend. Her paws seem to turn outward and she has an extra dewclaw. I'm very worried she may have some major issues that I was totally blind to when picking her up. Would love some advice and hoping I'm just being an overly concerned mama. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 08:49 PM
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puppies are sloppy walkers, she looks cow hocked , but again, puppies are sloppy at this age..I wouldn't worry about it..As for the rear dewclaw, they can be a pain if they get hooked on something, but it is what it is..I wouldn't worry about anything at this stage of age..She's gorgeous, I am partial to those black dawgs
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 08:50 PM
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Let me start off by telling you that I am in absolutely no way an expert or really even a very experienced person with this. However, I want to tell you what my experience was like with my shepherd puppy, who is likely going to have to be put down in a week or two. Please do not let my experience scare you with your dog! Just be aware.

When I first brought my boy home at 10 weeks, I right away was unsure about his hind legs, hips, and feet as well. He seemed to wobble and to sway slightly, his back feet noticeably twisted outward when he walked, and he also dragged his back feet. I read back then that it isn't uncommon for a shepherd pup's hips to be "loose", and that this usually tightens up around 1 year. I decided not to worry about it, but I regret that now. I wish I had asked for an opinion from a vet or knowledgeable person.

As my boy got older, his back end got worse. The swaying was worse, it developed to "hopping", and eventually his legs gave out altogether. I went to the neurologist with him for the first time today, and the neurologist thinks that there have been signs of a neurological issue with Forrest since he was very young. These symptoms include what I have stated before: dragging of hind feet, hopping, swaying, feet twisting out when walking, standing with his feet twisted out. Forrest has a serious neurological issue that will change his life.

My whole point with this is:
I was concerned about my boy when he was very young, and having no in-person experience with shepherds, took his symptoms as common puppy things that would get better with time. For me, that was not the case. My experience is in absolutely no way normal or common. I would say that most people who have these concerns are probably just overreacting. I want you to know my story so that you can catch it early to make sure that it really is no big deal for your puppy. If you are highly concerned, I would say see a vet about it specifically. It can't hurt to get it checked out. It can hurt to not, as we see with my story. Best of wishes to you.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 08:56 PM
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Sorry, I just wanted to state again:

Please do not let my story freak you out. This was a very weird experience, and it is in no way normal. You shouldn't be too worried at this point. I would say that you should just watch it, see if anything gets worse, and try not to worry too much. I was debating wether or not to tell you what happened to me because I was worried that it would make you panic about your puppy, but I thought it was important for you to know to watch it, and that if it seems to get worse, get it checked out. Please don't lose sleep over it though.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 08:58 PM
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Puppies are sloppy, all over the place, loose, awful walkers... I have spent many months watching every step my boy took, back and forth with the breeder... now at 6 months of age I look at him and I have no idea what I was so worried about... he walks perfectly with no issues. Puppies grow at different rates, their bodies are awkward... more legs than they know what to do with. I would wait until she is older before worrying too much.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pytheis View Post
Sorry, I just wanted to state again:

Please do not let my story freak you out. This was a very weird experience, and it is in no way normal. You shouldn't be too worried at this point. I would say that you should just watch it, see if anything gets worse, and try not to worry too much. I was debating wether or not to tell you what happened to me because I was worried that it would make you panic about your puppy, but I thought it was important for you to know to watch it, and that if it seems to get worse, get it checked out. Please don't lose sleep over it though.


Thank you for telling your story as well as your affirmations. She seems fairly well over all and definitely does not drag her feet. She will start the bunny hopping when running around the yard with the kids. She went to the vet this morning and he didn't seem too concerned but also not to interested in my concern either. I'm going back Saturday so she can get an ear cleaning, I will definitely be more adamant about my concern.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post
puppies are sloppy walkers, she looks cow hocked , but again, puppies are sloppy at this age..I wouldn't worry about it..As for the rear dewclaw, they can be a pain if they get hooked on something, but it is what it is..I wouldn't worry about anything at this stage of age..She's gorgeous, I am partial to those black dawgs
Thank you for the reassurance and yes definitely cow hocked. I'm truly praying I am overthinking and she grows out of it. The vet said they could remove the extra dewclaws, do you have any experience with this or would be for or against the surgery? He said it would be done at the same time she is spayed.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:38 PM
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Bunny hopping is also not a concern with a puppy - they all do it at some point, its just the way they run.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Bunny hopping is also not a concern with a puppy - they all do it at some point, its just the way they run.
Thank you! You have definitely put me at ease with the situation, but I will for sure be keeping an eye on her. Also, do you think she'll grow to a normal adult size? She's such a wee thing. 17 lbs currently
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 01:23 AM
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Nice looking pup and like others have said, puppys are awkward and clumsy at this age. Parents should give you a rough estimate of size. My pup is 2 weeks older and just got his last shot today, weighed in at 35#. He was from a large litter (10) and was on the small side when i picked him up. Parents were large boned.

What do you feed your dog? Is she food motivated? My Breeder was using Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream puppy kibble, so I stuck with that. Couple times a week I would add an over easy egg or scrambled eggs as a topping and it would finish the meal quickly. Didn't plan on doing that everyday, but took note. At 14 weeks he weighed 22#. 16 weeks 25.5#. I wanted to stick with the kibble, because I not only prefer my dogs on the lean side, but bowel movements were good and the dog looked very healthy. Anyway, the pup showed signs of a parasite, which required medication added to food and I needed to entice. The vet tossed me a can of a high grade food they sold and said try this. I added a 1/3 of the can as a topping and my pup tore into that food. I immediately ordered a couple cases of the TOTW pacific stream cans from chewy and my dogs appetite has awoken. Be very careful though when you make any changes to a dogs diet. Go slow. To rich and you will be getting up in the wee hours to bring your dog outside.

When I started adding a topping, my pup gained 10# in two weeks and went from a nibbler to banging bowls against the wall, licking them clean. The vet said he looked great. I would rattle the kibble in a bowl when I feed him prior and he would get up, stretch and mosey over. Now that I add a topping, I ask him if he's hungry and he runs and waits by the storage bin I keep the food and watches me fill the pan. He knows I add the can by the sink before I add some warm water, so he's over there sitting by the sink waiting for me to arrive. I let him lick the spoon when I'm done, before I toss it in the dishwasher, so that might explain that move . Then he races over to the mat where the pan goes and is literally quivering trying to hold a sit before I put the pan down. I was literally shocked at the transformation. Experiment a little bit and you might be surprised, but watch bowel movements and use common sense. Kids love ice cream and candy , but that doesn't mean that's what they get for dinner. Also check the guidlines for appropriate consumption regarding age and weight.

A lot of this has to do with a growth spurt, but his kibble consumption has doubled from 14 weeks to 16 weeks and current consumption matches guidlines on bag, which are of course rule of thumb.
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