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Hi Everyone

I hate to start a new thread, but couldn't find a similar one in this section!

Last week, Samson (14 months, Male, BIG) became lame all of a sudden on his hind right leg. I rested him for 24 hours while gently checking each part of the leg to gauge a reaction from him and soaked it as best I could in case he had a shard of something caught in there. He didn't react to the exam which scared me as I started to worry about what it began to look like – a hip problem. I started thinking that if this was the case at 14 months, he could have a tough road ahead of him. All the while trying not to be the paranoid GSD owner that I am!

I eventually called the vet to arrange an appointment and we went that afternoon. After not 5 minutes of inspecting him, she provisionally ruled out a hip issue and said it looked more like a cruciate tear. She gave him Rimadyl Injection and told me to come back at 8am the next day so they could put him under to take X-rays and inspect him better without putting him in discomfort. I did just that and when I collected him I was told by a nurse that the vet was in surgery and would call me to go over the prognosis.

She called later that day to say the X-rays (4) that they took didn’t show an issue with cruciate and that they were baffled by his limp saying it must be swelling in some area and I was given a course of Rimadyl 50mg tablets for him to take twice daily. She said that the resident orthopaedist examined him physically and his X-Rays and said that he did see some signs of hip dysplasia. My heart sank as soon as she said this and she continued that it was mild, describing it as a 2/10, not using the usual score system.

I came away from the process and in hindsight got quite angry. Firstly at the fact I was given a €305 bill for what really turned out to be a sore leg (He’s back to his usual self now, no limp, seems fully recovered) but more so at the fact that they diagnosed HD at his age, scaring the crap out of me.

Are they allowed to diagnose it that young, when his hips aren’t fully developed yet? I am always conscious of over-exertion on his hips and his parents had scores of 9 and 10 respectively (/106). He’s an exceptionally large GSD for his age and it’s not something they said they’re looking to monitor so I guess I’m hoping that someone on the forum can relieve me in some way!

Many thanks in advance for any help/advice and keep up the great work on the site :)

Aaron
 

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I would take those x-rays, hopefully the positioning is good and submit them to OFA. At six months of age they will do prelims. Your vets office can help you with this.

Perhaps he had a bout of pano? Right at this moment I wouldn't worry too much and would want OFA to review.
 

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OFA is USA not England--ah we crossposted that one.

Yes, they can show HD at that age. I would not be angry I would working on keeping him lean and ensuring he has good glucosamine supplement, fish oil etc and work on building muscle mass, control the types of excercise etc. You got a good early warning that they are not perfect hips.

His parents scores stack the dice but don't control the outcome - hd is more complex than that and his size is against him. I hope he lean for his size.

Post the x-rays here - some very in the forum for showing hips and people can play in with what they see.

I would NOT be angry at spending money to find nothing major! They did the right thing. I would be happy to have a warning my dog may develop some issues and be able to stake good preventive steps in advance.
 

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HD can be diagnosed as early as 4 or 5 months if the hips are really really bad. Actually HD can be diagnosed at any age. Depends on how bad the formation of the femoral head is, the acetablum is(socket) and how they fit together as to what age it shows up or how pain tolerant the dog is as to when, and if , the dog shows pain.
 

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Vote #2 for getting him on a joint supplement. Keep him lean and well muscled. Maybe recheck the hips via x ray after he is fully grown.
 

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Also, would like to say this very well could be pano (growing pains),,the rimadyl has helped with the leg pain that's why he's back to normal. Not really 'normal' the rimadyl is masking the underlying pano issue.
 

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If a vet thinks it's mild dysplasia at that age in a GSD, it's likely not dysplasia at all, especially in a big, lanky, 14mo old male. I have seen soooo many misdiagnosed dogs/xrays. Pano strikes suddenly, just like you described. The Rimadyl is making him comfortable, so he's not limping.

I'm not saying he couldn't have a hip problem or that the vet is wrong. What I'm saying is even if he does have a hip problem, the pain comes from arthritis, which if he only has mildly bad hips, then it's not that likely that he'd have it bad enough by his age to be limping already. Make sense?

BTW, my large male was diagnosed w/a cruciate tear and hip dysplasia also....he had pano. ;)
 

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wom Eisenherz, I am really surprised you are diagnosing this 14 month old male with out seeing xrays as to not being HD.How did you come to that diagnosis?

HD pain is not caused by arthritis, it is caused by the formation of the femoral head and the joint socket, usually bone scraping against bone. Or in cases of sublexation, the femoral head is not even close to the hip socket.
HD is diagnosed at any age, with xrays. If xrays show changes in the femoral head/socket, then a diagnosis of HD is made, and the degree of changes give the grade.
HD is NOT arthritis... arthritis is NOT HD... Two different things, arthritis affects all the joints, HD affects the hips. Lots of folks do not want to admit to HD, so they say their dog is arthritic.
Age has nothing to do with diagnosing HD. Recently I have seen so many posts saying young dogs are not affected with HD, if the dog is young it can't be HD...it has to be older to have HD. So not true. That is why OFA will do prelims for dogs under 1 year old and give a rating for HD if you think a pup has HD. I have had them done with 6 month old Sheltie puppy (severe bilateral HD) and 12 month old GSD, that I am surprised she could even walk, a 10 month old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy diagnosed with severe HD. and 9 year old Sheltie give OFA Excellent.
HD effects almost every breed and at every age.
 

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I am not trying to pick a fight by any means. But with 35 plus years of experience at vets with xraying for hips and hundreds of xrays sent to OFA, I have seen many many bad bad hips.. It is very unusual to have a wrong diagnosis made if PROPER xrays have been taken and they are sent to OFA. That is why OFA sends them to three vets for opinions, its not just one vet giving an opinion.
 

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...And this is why I hardly ever post on this board. Please reread what I wrote, slowly and carefully. I wish I could say I'm really surprised you're jumping down my throat for what is only your own misunderstanding, but alas, I'm not.

You'll see that NOWHERE did I diagnose the dog with anything. I merely was trying to point out that if a vet is waffling between ACL and bad hips, it may just be pano, as I have had this very experience myself!

And I beg to differ about wrong diagnosis frequency. I've seen dogs pts who OFA'd good when they were submitted. I've xrayed dogs myself that the vet diagnosed moderately dysplastic, OFA rated good. Your regular old vet is often not qualified to interpret, even if they can take a decent xray, which often times, they can't. Sorry if that offends people, but it's the truth.

The VET said he had **very mild signs** of dysplasia. So, if the VET is right, and it's very mild, then I think my theory that at 14mos. he wouldn't have enough arthritis to cause pain is quite a viable one. Also, look at how the problem started- acutely. Not a long history of symptoms. If the vet is wrong, and it's severe enough that at 14 mos. he's already in pain, well, then the vet is still wrong and why is he wondering about an ACL? I am well aware that HD isn't arthritis, by the way. Again, reread what I wrote. Additionally, how many very large young males have some subluxation that disappears as they age? In my experience, many.

I know I'm not part of the clique and hardly have the right to post here, but occasionally I check in and see something that I've had a fair bit of experience with and sometimes, I have the audacity to tell my experience, in case it helps a dog. :cool:
 

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If a vet thinks it's mild dysplasia at that age in a GSD, it's likely not dysplasia at all, especially in a big, lanky, 14mo old male. I have seen soooo many misdiagnosed dogs/xrays. Pano strikes suddenly, just like you described. The Rimadyl is making him comfortable, so he's not limping.

I'm not saying he couldn't have a hip problem or that the vet is wrong. What I'm saying is even if he does have a hip problem, the pain comes from arthritis, which if he only has mildly bad hips, then it's not that likely that he'd have it bad enough by his age to be limping already. Make sense?

BTW, my large male was diagnosed w/a cruciate tear and hip dysplasia also....he had pano. ;)
Read what you wrote. In the first sentence, you state that "if the vet thinks its mild dysplasia at that age in a GSD, its likely not dysplasia at all". You also state in the second paragraph that the pain comes from arthritis............. That its not likely that he'd have it bad enought by his age to be limping already".

So, you diagnosed it was not dysplasia and that the pain is from arthritis, not HD. Seems like a diagnosis to me.
Plus, HD is remodeling of the femoral head/socket, so it seems the vet who examined the xrays saw this issue at this age.
You also stated that your dog was diagnosed with cruciate tear and HD and he had pano.That is why you know what is happening with this person's dog. Has your dog since passed OFA? just curious.
I also never said anything about "the old time vet doesn't have experience with hip xrays". I said I have seen/sent in hundreds of xrays from all ages and breeds over the many many years of vet work and breeding myself. Have had plenty of experience also. I am also curious how a truly sublexated femoral head that is no where close to the acetablum(socket) goes back into the socket and disappears? If that is the case, why do we have so many cases of HD with sublexations?
 

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I don't think it is a matter of being part of any clique (I agree, is there one?). Nobody here has seen the x-rays. A veterinarian though they saw signs of mild HD. Regular vets are not always the greatest at reading x-rays, agreed and there is a tendency to assume GSD=HD.

BUT

I had a dog where the presentation was acute and the vet thought on original exam it was a CCL issue until she took the x-rays that told a story of severe HD with arthritic remodeling ....never a warning sign and she was quite agile until then. Femur heads looked like mushroms, hip sockets were flanged. Dog never showed a problem to one cold day when she over did it, and got wet in the cold..the next day she was stiff...then it went two two and three days and I took her in expecting a CCL injury.

She was also quite good after but when pointed out, I noted subtleties in her gait that I had not seen before becaues I was not tuned into that. I think the op needs to post the x-rays if she can should not be mad they were taken because that was a reasonable course of action, I think!

I believe the advice to treat the dog as though he may have HD, particularly given his large size is wise to allow complete bone and muscle development and joint lubrication. That would be good whether or not there is, ultimately, an issue.

Who said ANYTHING about PTS? Even the vet said they were not too concerned in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Many thanks for all your help everybody. I'm truly taken aback by the speed and extent of detail you've all given me :)

I should probably point out a couple of things for the sake of anyone who might read the thread and find a similar issue with their beloved:

1. Sam's mild HD diagnosis wasn't attributed to his lameness by the Vet

2. He is quite lean - something that had somewhat worried me until now, but if it will help his case still being a pup, I'll not take any drastic fattening measures! (I do actually still go beyond his recommended 433g DA of food and give him 600g - Royal Canin Maxi Junior, was thinking of changing to Royal Canin Giant Junior due to his size)

Unfortunately I can't post the X-Rays as the Vet won't release them until I've paid off the bill fully - completely understandable and I also understand now that if it forecasted a potential issue at Samson's early age it is money well spent. I'm unfortunately stuck in a doomed Irish economy so I'll be a while paying it off.

In any case, I tried attaching photos but there's a server error when i do try. These were taken a few minutes ago of his lean torso, hoping this is the ideal build described by jocoyn and Good_Karma - thanks to you both :)

I'm going to have a look through the forums for good glucosamine supplements and techniques to help build the desired muscle as per previous advice. What a site! I can't get over how great and helpful everyone is here.

Thanks again

Aaron & Samson


Here are links for the photos:

DSC_0486 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

DSC_0484 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 

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He looks like a good size for his frame

While you are looking, walking up hills and wading in chest high water are great for building rear leg muscle.
 

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he looks in great shape! Swimming is great for muscle building low impact.
 

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My then 10 month old pup was diagnosed with severe HD and at 16 months has just had his first total hip replacement (he is expected to need the other hip done). My specialist told me to build up muscle mass before he had the surgery and he agreed with walking in water. Swimming is good for them but apparently doesn't use the muscles in the rear as much as walking. I wish you both the best. A HD diagnoses can be scary at first.
 

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my boy is extremely large too. My vet said he was one of the largest he'd seen. When I got him at 3 the vet said he had mild hd. He is 14 now and still gets around pretty good. I do not know how fast it can advance, but for mine its slow. Hopefully if yours has it, that will be the case. I keep him lean. That helps him a lot. Good luck:). He's beautiful.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 
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