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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’m looking for some opinions/advice on my 2 year old male GSD. His pastern’s don’t look too bad when he is standing but it seems during movement, they weaken\lower too far...... He is also very East-West paw (turned out pasterns).

Does anyone know of exercises/supplements that we could try in order to strengthen his front end (to avoid problems?). I am an honest person so please ask…. I am just looking to help my GSD live a happier and healthier life. :)

Info about him: He is 2 years old (yesterday was his birthday) neutered male GSD from West German lines, 85lbs (he is a very good weight for his size), he is fed Acana Large Breed kibble with 2 days per week of Orijien Red Meat (kibble), he receives an Omega 3 gel cap daily, he is not fed table scraps (he is allowed healthy people food but this is moderated, he does get the occasional milkbone as a reward and chicken based hotdogs), we walk 30-45 min 5-6 days per week & he LOVES to track (little brag - he is amazing at it :blush:).

The vet and breeder have said there is not much I can do besides keeping him lean and avoiding jumping (no agility for him).

Picture 1 - Yesterday - in movement

Picture 2 - Yesterday - in movement
Picture 3 - Yesterday - in movement
Picture 4 - Few months ago - standing
Picture 5 - East-West pastern
Picture 6 - East-WEst (very tired after a big hike)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!!!

Everyone i have spoken to says he is a good weight. Slim and tight! He is rather tall (taller than standard). A few different breeders have told me to keep him 80-85lbs for his size. How much less would u think he should loose? (Im not disagreeing with you, i just thought he was a good weight -slightly under vet recommendation but not starving) ?!? :)


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Discussion Starter #4
ah ha! lol He has a good waist line from above and from the side by feeling. LOL I always forget that to some others he may look bigger becasue of his coat. He has a great coat (I get comments on it all the time) which makes him look bigger than he actually is. He is kind of 'fluffy' without being plush. He has a major undercoat and has recently been for a bath so he looks even fluffier.

Sorry I forgot to add that to my orginal post (I guess i m just used to it, lol :blush:)
 

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It is just that looking down on him, I don't see that hourglass common to GSD. That is probably what caught sunflowers eye. It caught mine. It could be the coat or angle of pic, I suppose. Make sure you follow the vet's recommendation about exercise. Check out the link.


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My females shape looking down, is pretty close to that. The vet has called her ideal many times.
 

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there seems to be some swelling immediately above the "wrist" - bilateral . At any point during the fast growth spurt did the dog sit and have the tension of the front leg cause it to buckle , opposite of collapse.
 

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a two year old is long out of the puppy stage .
muscle supports ligaments . muscle requires good protein.
the leg is not smooth , there is a bump at the carpus and a bowed effect at the radius or front bone of the forelimb , so there may have been some inflammation at a growth period as you would have with H O D . If the animal was out of sorts , had a bit of a temperature, was super picky about eating , and was sensitive to the leg being squeezed in that area , or careful with itself , as in pano but not shifting those would have been indications. Minor . Some are terribly disforming . During this the pup would have roached his back to distribute the weight . The hocks would have compensated with becoming cow hocked . There is only one picture of the dog standing sideways and here he shows the hocks well under , picture 4 and in picture 3 walking away the hocks are close and parallel to each other , looking a bit on the weak side whereas in the walk one should be going to mid and the other pushing outward . It may just be the step sequence caught by the camera, or think of a supported bunny hop type movement.

I would think some anti inflammatory might be good for the dog and something to support ligament and cartilage . MSM , probiotics , whole vitamin C , micro and trace minerals. These are all in the arsenal of Great Dane breeders where this H O D in not uncommon.

Inflammation could have been from a virus or vaccination , a vaccine mediated immune response. The Purdue Vaccination Studies and Auto-antibodies | Dogs Naturally Magazine

If you want to see for yourself , when you have the dog x rayed for hips and elbows do the pastern - carpus ( wrist )area also . If there has been inflammation there will be a cuff .
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Carmspack - there was no buckling when he was a youngster at all but i have noticed it in the last couple of months randomly.

I was actually fortunete (at least i think) during puppy stage. He never once came up lame, hurt himself or have any major health concerns. I was very attentive to him (watching carfully for issues). He was not allowed to jump from his own shoulder height until at least a year and a half (now not at all due to the front leg structure).

I will post a video of the dog in movement soon.

I think suppliments as you suggested to start. (What do you think of: Supplementation of Vitamin C is contraindicated due to an increase in calcium levels in the blood, possibly worsening the disease - i have seen this same idea in a few places)

LOVE THIS COMMUNITY!!!!!!!! Its nice to see others taking such a great interest in GSD health and wellbeing, it reaffirms that im not a crazy obsessed GSD lady afterall, just one of many, lol
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It is the bone above the front foot. It is about 1/5 the length of the actual leg and below the leg and wrist.

 

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Weight looks fine.

He's a GSL, they tend to have more coat and won't look like a WL or a dog with a shorter coat. From what I can see in the pictures, he doesn't need to lose or gain any weight. They naturally carry a bit more visual weight because of their big bone structure, thick heads and bodies, and more "plush" coat.

Duke looks overweight too in some pictures or with people who can't judge past the coat. However, if you rub down his back and side... you can feel his ribs, his spine, and a very obvious tuck. Duke is comfortable around 80-85lbs at 26" tall.


Same dog in motion... you can see the tuck here


OP... I'd definitely get him on some supplements more based around joints and bones. Carmen has some great information about how to do this. :)
 

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For the vitamin c .. look for pure ascorbic acid and not anything that has calcium ascorbate. I buy human grade for my dog, crush them and put them in his slightly moistened food, with the daily dose split between his feedings.
 

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not "pure" ascorbic acid . REAL food sourced vitamins are not pure , they come accompanied with co-factors and compounds in complexity , the nature or action which we don't yet fully understand.

Back in the early 1920s(?) there was Dr Szent - Gyorgi who was awarded the Nobel prize in Physiology / Medicine for his studies in vitamin C.

One group got the attractive "science made" crystal white, the other group got the dingy, browny natural food sourced compound.

Conclusion -- the natural form was effective.

Here is "
The Nobel Prize winner Dr. Albert Szent-Georgi
Dr. Albert, who discovered Vitamin C, reportedly said that “ascorbic acid simply cannot confer vitamin activity.” Unfortunately, almost every supplement sold today only contain these fractional reproductions and not the whole food, natural form. Fortunately, Real C is available as a healthy alternative."

Are Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin C Identical?

"
Vitamins are not individual molecular compounds. Vitamins are biological complexes. They are multi-step biochemical interactions whose action is dependent upon a number of variables within the biological terrain. Vitamin activity only takes place when all conditions are met within that environment, and when all co-factors and components of the entire vitamin complex are present and working together. Vitamin activity is even more than the sum of all those parts; it also involves timing.
Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their specific life functions within the cells. When isolated into artificial commercial forms, like ascorbic acid, these purified synthetics act as drugs in the body. They are no longer vitamins, and to call them such is inaccurate."

Natural Whole Food Vitamins: Ascorbic Acid Is Not Vitamin C | The Doctor Within
 

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good feet and pasterns - pictures of curedba's pup Argos

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18 weeks

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good feet as well.

Pastern is not a bone . Very complicated area where radius and ulna meet at the carpus , held together with sinewy ligaments and cartilage . Parts of the pastern would be the carpus , meta carpus and phalanges, like our fore-arm , wrist , hand and fingers.
"
The carpal joint, which is equivalent to our wrist, is made up of seven small, block-shaped bones that join the radius and ulna to the metacarpals – the bones of the pastern. The carpal bones fit together like a three-dimensional jigsaw and are joined to each other by a complex system of ligaments that allow enough movement between the bones to provide flexibility but not enough to permit friction, which would eventually result in arthritis."

some dogs have been bred to have a longer length to the wrist , which then looses some of the integrity , gets too soft . Makes side movement look good , gives the illusion of ground reaching extension , "illusion" , because so much more "leg" goes out beyond the nose . That is like wearing clown shoes. To see the extension look to see how liberal or free the arm is, upper arm being able to swing from chest . http://pennvetwdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/9-Zink.pdf

previous posts about pasterns:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/critique-my-dog/172475-please-offer-critique.html
 

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I also have a german shepherd bitch that is 4 years old never has had a pastern problem but now seems to be going down on her pasterns. I feed a grain free, she is not over weight and very active. Ive just noticed her going down on her pasterns ive started grinding her toe nails trying to keep them pretty short and noticed a little improvement, but still pretty soft. any suggestions
 
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