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My female german shepherd recently got a urinary tract infection and we took her to our new vet(1st ever visit). He said that he thinks she has hip dysplasia and suggested that we take her for xrays with a specialist. He said he wasn't sure but that when he pulled her legs back that she acted like she had discomfort (I wasn't in the room b/c my wife took her since I was working). She made some noise or reacted to it I guess. Our previous vet never mentioned anything about it, although Gertie was very young for all those visits. But she is a German Shepherd. She "talks" about everything. I tried pulling her legs back at home and while I certainly didn't do it hard she didn't seem in pain by any means. She "talked" to me about it just like she does if I mess with her front paws. I tried again last night and she acted like she was used to it now and didn't really do anything.

Well, this of course feels like devastating news as I spent months researching and trying to avoid HD, in particular. I called the breeder and asked for her advice/opinion and she said that she would hold off. That GSDs go through rapid bone development around 3 months of age and everything is loose now, especially since she is about to go through her first heat cycle (she is 5.5 months old), but that it will start to tighten up over the next six months and even up to two years of age. She did say that it is, of course, possible that she does have some degree of dysplasia (she said her kennel runs at 12% HD, which is lower than average). She said that she has had many calls over the years just like mine and that while it is possible, most of the time it is a false alarm. That very often vets are quick to think GSDs have hip dysplasia and that there is a lot of development yet to be done.

I have observed Gertie running and she will bunny hop sometimes but more when she is trying to get going fast as possible. At mid stride she is not bunny hoping she is using all four seperately.

I feed her what I consider to be excellent food. She gets half Honest Kitchen (1/2 Force and 1/2 Zeal) and the half Kibble (I rotate Earthborne Holistic, Origin, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy and Taste of the Wild). Her weight is good to maybe a little skinny. She gets appropriate excercise playing with my other dog (Border Collie that is always on go) and walks with the family.

I guess my question is what do you think or what would you do and do you agree with the breeder or not? Should I just hold off and wait to see? I she does in fact have HD I want to do everything possible to head it off, but at the same time I don't want to subject her to a bunch of junk if I am jumping the gun. Thank you for your advice
 

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Well at 5.5 months she is for sure still growing Ofa will evaluate them as early as 4 months, And you are better off having them xrayed a month before or after their heat cycles. Which at 5.5 months she should have more than a month before, heat cycles do not change the bone structure but can cause them to look "loose" So may give you an idea of what you are dealing with. I think some vets are to eager to say HD with shepehrds also =\
 

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I think your breeder is right. Doctors tend to think GSD=bad hips.
The only diagnosis is with an x-ray.
No matter how good the breeding, it is always a possibility.
Wait until she is fully out of heat.
 

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I'd listen to the breeder right now, specially if they are reputable.
Get xrays at 1 yr for peace of mind.
 

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Unless she's having problems, I would xray at 1 yr for prelim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think our breeder is very reputable. I had many recommendations for her on this forum and had a few competing working line breeders compliment her as well. She has been completely upfront about everything and I would buy another pup from her in a second. So to follow up with your suggestions of waiting till one year for xrays is there anything I should do from now till then? Should I supplement diet at all or change what I am feeding her, etc??? Just want to make sure I am proactive now in case it does in fact turn out to be something. Thanks again for your time
 

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If there is no pain or other symptoms then I would wait and not waste money on prelims due to one vet's opinion right now especially with her going into heat shortly.

For your peace of mind you can get the prelims done in a few months (I agree around 12 months old) and submit them to OFA and then officially get them done at two years old and have them rated. It will be good information for your breeder as well
 
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