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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all - We just came home with a beautiful GSD yesterday that we are already in love with and making part of our home. He is 5 months old and from a Western German lineage. Both parents are of Schutzhund background and the mothers hips have been certified. The question is, he has a noticeably strange walk and hits the front of his toe on the back leg which we also witnessed on the mother but not as drastic. The breeder promised us that this was “normal” because he is so big and the Western German shepherds have a dramatic slope. The vet did X-rays today that showed that his hips were normal and she was not too concerned with HD however she did see signs of dragging on his rear toenails. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it a hereditary thing or is it a more serious condition?

Please help!
 

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The first thing that pops into my mind is possibly a neurological issue such as Wobblers, and that's only because I dealt with it.
I know the dog is new to you, but have you noticed any other things such as clumsiness, back end falling down when he turns quickly, sometimes kinda walks like he's "drunk", any discomfort with his neck when you bend it from one side to the other.
These were just some of the symptoms along with the dragging of the toes that my dog had before he was diagnosed with the Wobblers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The first thing that pops into my mind is possibly a neurological issue such as Wobblers, and that's only because I dealt with it.
I know the dog is new to you, but have you noticed any other things such as clumsiness, back end falling down when he turns quickly, sometimes kinda walks like he's "drunk", any discomfort with his neck when you bend it from one side to the other.
These were just some of the symptoms along with the dragging of the toes that my dog had before he was diagnosed with the Wobblers.
Thanks for your reply! He is a little clumsy but he is also 5 months old and fairly large. We haven’t noticed any of those other symptoms though. Did the vet make that diagnosis of did you go to a specialist?
 

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The vet suggested it was one of the possibility's and referred me to a neurologist. After a complete set of xrays, a CT scan, and MRI and Myelography the neurologist diagnosed my dog with Wobblers.
There are probably many other things that could account for the toe dragging so don't start to panic. Did the vet make any suggestions as to what could be causing it?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The vet suggested it was one of the possibility's and referred me to a neurologist. After a complete set of xrays, a CT scan, and MRI and Myelography the neurologist diagnosed my dog with Wobblers.
There are probably many other things that could account for the toe dragging so don't start to panic. Did the vet make any suggestions as to what could be causing it?
She referred us to a neurologist that we will be seeing in the morning. We mentioned it to the breeder and he immediately said to bring him back. We’ve only had the little guy for two day and needless to say we are already going above and beyond for him because we love his temperament and everything about him
 

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Not to send you into a panic, but this was one of the first signs of my last puppy (who was also West German show line) that ended up being put down at 8 months when he became inexplicably paralyzed. I would absolutely get on this now. The next step will likely be an MRI to see if your pup has any spinal issues.

At the same time, shepherds are notorious for walking terribly as pups and it’s pretty common for people to come along and ask us if we think their puppy has hip dysplasia because of these kinds of things. It’s good you’re going to be working with a neurologist!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not to send you into a panic, but this was one of the first signs of my last puppy (who was also West German show line) that ended up being put down at 8 months when he became inexplicably paralyzed. I would absolutely get on this now. The next step will likely be an MRI to see if your pup has any spinal issues.

At the same time, shepherds are notorious for walking terribly as pups and it’s pretty common for people to come along and ask us if we think their puppy has hip dysplasia because of these kinds of things. It’s good you’re going to be working with a neurologist!
I’m sorry to hear that about your pup. I’m at a loss right now because the x-ray of the hips and spin came back normal. I’m really just hoping that it’s hereditary because the 2 year old mother walked the same way with the back leg scraping the toenail. She appeared to be happy and healthy.
 

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I’m sorry to hear that about your pup. I’m at a loss right now because the x-ray of the hips and spin came back normal. I’m really just hoping that it’s hereditary because the 2 year old mother walked the same way with the back leg scraping the toenail. She appeared to be happy and healthy.
Yep, my boy’s x-rays showed everything as perfectly normal too.

I would definitely say it’s hereditary if the dam does it. I suppose if she really is healthy and has no lasting effects from it, it’s something that you can just live with with your puppy. Good luck! Keep us updated.
 

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I’m sorry to hear that about your pup. I’m at a loss right now because the x-ray of the hips and spin came back normal. I’m really just hoping that it’s hereditary because the 2 year old mother walked the same way with the back leg scraping the toenail. She appeared to be happy and healthy.
My Dogs Xrays did not pick up the lesions in the spine, it was the CT scan that picked them up and then the final conclusion from the MRI and Myelography. I would do a consult with the neurologist and then weigh your options, one of which would be to return the puppy. I'll let you know right know that it gets very expensive when they start doing Ct's and MRI's etc and surgery etc.
 

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One other thing, do you have a picture of the pup you can post, preferably a side shot and a rear shot to see the structure of the pup?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yep, my boy’s x-rays showed everything as perfectly normal too.

I would definitely say it’s hereditary if the dam does it. I suppose if she really is healthy and has no lasting effects from it, it’s something that you can just live with with your puppy. Good luck! Keep us updated.
I will, Hopefully this will help someone else down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
One other thing, do you have a picture of the pup you can post, preferably a side shot and a rear shot to see the structure of the pup?
Thank you for your help. We are at the neurologist now and waiting for the results. Can you take a look at the attached YouTube video? If you click the user it will bring you to more videos of our pup.
 

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Thank you for your help. We are at the neurologist now and waiting for the results. Can you take a look at the attached YouTube video? If you click the user it will bring you to more videos of our pup.
I'm no expert, but that doesn't look right at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for your responses. Unfortunately, after only having the pup for five days we made the heartbreaking decision to return the little guy to the breeder. After two vet visits and a trip to the neurologist he determined that the pup had an issue in his middle back/spine and an MRI will be needed for 3k to determine the issue. The neurologist continued to say that if the MRI did not show anything a CAT scan was going to be needed as well. If our pockets were deeper we would have done it in a heartbeat for him. I hope this helps someone else down the line.
 

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Thank you for your responses. Unfortunately, after only having the pup for five days we made the heartbreaking decision to return the little guy to the breeder. After two vet visits and a trip to the neurologist he determined that the pup had an issue in his middle back/spine and an MRI will be needed for 3k to determine the issue. The neurologist continued to say that if the MRI did not show anything a CAT scan was going to be needed as well. If our pockets were deeper we would have done it in a heartbeat for him. I hope this helps someone else down the line.
Sorry, that really sucks.

Did the breeder offer a replacement?
 

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So sorry to hear this. That's just heartbreaking. You didn't get him from a breeder in KY did you?
He was in NY.... We are now in a spot of looking for another puppy to be as good as he was. Do you know of anyone near NJ or will ship to NJ? We are looking for a short haired, black and red pup to be a great family dog.
 

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He was in NY.... We are now in a spot of looking for another puppy to be as good as he was. Do you know of anyone near NJ or will ship to NJ? We are looking for a short haired, black and red pup to be a great family dog.
Oh ok, just wondering since we had some issues with a pup we got from a breeder in KY. We got our older dog from a breeder who co-owned dogs with Charlie Starr, Drache Feld in KY. She is an awesome dog all around. I would think he ships but don't know what he has right now for pups. Hope you have better luck this time.
 

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I'm sorry you had to go through this. Looking at the video, besides some structural faults, there appears to be something else going on. I think you made the right decision even though it sucks. Good luck in your search for a new puppy, take your time, don't rush it, do some research on the breeders before you make a decision.
 
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