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Discussion Starter #1
Last weekend our dog trainer suggested we have our 6 month old checked for hip dysplasia. He noticed him getting up slowly from a laying position.
So, while Edison was being neutered yesterday, we had x-rays taken. The vet called today with heartbreaking news. He said there signs of hip dysplasia and he'd like to make an appointment with us to go over the x-rays. He said when Edison is 3 or 4 he would start him on supplements. That's so far from now, why not start therapy early?
I called the breeder immediately. He assured me he has never had a puppy that has gotten hip dysplasia. He also contacted his vet and told me 90% of the time, it's just puppies growing, not hip dysplasia; at such a young age puppys' bones are not fully formed and it was too early to diagnose unless it's a severe case. He said it was best to wait it out to make sure but also said he had no problem honoring out contract if in fact it was h.d.
We love this little guy so much. We really want to believe the breeder but I see so many posts here about x-rays from 6 and u month old pups being diagnosed. Is it wishful thinking to believe his joints aren't fully formed?
I'll know more when we see the vet and x-rays but until then, I'm scared, heartbroken and hopeful all at the same time.
 

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Keep the appt and talk to your vet.
Request a copy of the X-rays for a second opinion.
Hip dysplasia is a blanket term.
Two main factors -
The shape of the ball & socket....
The way the ball fits into that socket, and moves (laxity)
I feel in most cases, severe HD can in fact be diagnosed young. For an accurate grading of hips, it’s better to wait until 2. A dog showing mild hd but the positioning is poor, should be x rayed again. A young pup that’s showing mild hd should be x rayed again when mature and that’s when I feel the argument of “they aren’t fully developed” can apply.

Make sense?

A lot of factors to consider.... not enough info yet.
 

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I have a couple with hip dysplasia. One was pretty young when he dislocated his hip. What I'm saying next is not to scare you but neutering early(before growth plates are closed) causes problems earlier then later. After learning that I waited for my last dog to be neutered. I had hips xrayed and made sure everything was closed up, then he was neutered. I will not do it any other way in the future. 18-24 months would be the best age to neuter/spay if doing so.
 

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another factor, though already too late, is that early neutering can have an effect on the growth of joints and lead to increased issues with HD and other structural issues.
And why getting up slowly would be a reason to worry about HD I have no clue. Is your vet experienced in positioning for OFA? You can send them in and have them evaluated by 3 experts though it won't be an official rating for a dog under 2 years. If the xrays aren't of a quality for OFA, I would get some that are. Incorrect positioning can make good hips look iffy, especially in a young puppy.

https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/early-neutering-poses-health-risks-german-shepherd-dogs-study-finds

Seven percent of intact males were diagnosed with one or more joint disorders, compared to 21 percent of males neutered prior to a year of age.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately, being new pet parents, we have relied on our vet for most of our advice. He convinced us to neuter him early. The main reasons he gave us were lowering the chance of cancer and to curb any aggression that may appear throughout adolescence. Our dog isn't aggressive at all. He play bites...a lot. But he told us that lots of dogs turn aggressive when reaching puberty. He never mentioned an increased risk of HD that came along with early neutering.
Since we can't undo the neutering, any suggestions on what we can do to help support healthy bone growth and formation?
We are feeding him Orijen for large breed puppy.
 

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I would go to your appointment, talk to the vet about the severity and prognosis of the HP, and get a copy of the x-rays. Is the vet experienced with orthopedics? Make sure the positioning for the x-rays is good. Most likely you have a wonderful and perfectly competent veterinarian. But if something doesn't feel right, it can never hurt to get a second opinion. I took one of my dogs in for x-rays after a day or two of limping when he was about 1-year-old. Long story short, the vet (one I hadn't had before) told me that Asher had bad elbow dysplasia and the sooner we scheduled him for surgery the better. I asked for a copy of the x-rays and asked him to send the x-rays to a specialist; he only reluctantly did so. It took me over a week and several follow up calls to make that happen. I switched to a vet recommended by our trainer. Turns out the positioning for the x-rays was terrible and there was nothing wrong with his elbows...it was just a sprain. He hasn't limped a day since. I don't want to give you false hope that your pup doesn't have HD, but don't panic yet, especially if your pup doesn't seem to be in pain. I think some dogs lead active lives with mild, and even moderate HD. I would avoid high impact exercises, jumping, twisting, and stairs as much as possible. I'm sorry you're going through this. Let us know what you find out from the vet.
 

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keep the appointment with the vet

**** have them submit the plates to OFA -- for a 3 expert evaluation -- THEN make your decision with GOOD
information

your vet didn't give the best advice as far as neutering

if there is a problem , and there very well may be , do NOT wait until the dog is 3 or more years of age to start
a proactive anti inflammatory protocol

all these can be food sourced and included natural Vitamin C ingredients , natural E , MSM, etc etc

does the body good --


can you request a copy of those plates and share them here

you can also request that your vet forward a view (digital?) or plates to the VET of the breeder
and then you can have a discussion with breeder , your and their vet --

did you get a guarantee?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We do have a guarantee from our breeder. He is somewhat skeptical of our vet but he stands behind his guarantee and his dogs and is willing to help. His dogs are AKC and none have ever had HD, but he does realize it is possible. Our appointment is Thursday, so I will be able to better assess our situation then and also get copies of our x-rays. No matter what, we want to be proactive. We started early already, not over exercising him, no jumping or rough housing, minimal stairs. His walks right now are only a block, maybe two on rare occasions.
 

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I would go to your appointment, talk to the vet about the severity and prognosis of the HP, and get a copy of the x-rays. Is the vet experienced with orthopedics? Make sure the positioning for the x-rays is good. Most likely you have a wonderful and perfectly competent veterinarian. But if something doesn't feel right, it can never hurt to get a second opinion. I took one of my dogs in for x-rays after a day or two of limping when he was about 1-year-old. Long story short, the vet (one I hadn't had before) told me that Asher had bad elbow dysplasia and the sooner we scheduled him for surgery the better. I asked for a copy of the x-rays and asked him to send the x-rays to a specialist; he only reluctantly did so. It took me over a week and several follow up calls to make that happen. I switched to a vet recommended by our trainer. Turns out the positioning for the x-rays was terrible and there was nothing wrong with his elbows...it was just a sprain. He hasn't limped a day since. I don't want to give you false hope that your pup doesn't have HD, but don't panic yet, especially if your pup doesn't seem to be in pain. I think some dogs lead active lives with mild, and even moderate HD. I would avoid high impact exercises, jumping, twisting, and stairs as much as possible. I'm sorry you're going through this. Let us know what you find out from the vet.
Thank you so much for all the info. I'm taking notes, so I can be prepared for Thursday's appointment.:nerd:
 

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When you meet with the vet, I'd ask him where the nearest Orthopedic Vet is. It might be less expensive to submit them like Carmen said, but I'd like to sit down with an Ortho and talk about the positioning and maybe re doing them. That's who I'd rather plan ahead with.
 

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none have ever had HD, but he does realize it is possible


that is not possible .

as to Strom's suggestion --- some breeders might want the OFA opinion .

I know that some of the guarantees that came with pups I have imported came with
the condition that OFA is the authority for a reading

keeps things consistent for their records
 

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Based on what this vet has already advised the OP, and like Jax is saying, the odds of this vet having taken these xrays with good enough positioning for an ofa evaluation? I'd guess you've seen a couple xrays over the years Spack, and have a different relationship with the vet you see.
 

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I agree with everyone who has recommended getting in front of a vet with lots of orthopedic experience.

There's a group on Facebook called 'OFA Hip and Elbow Results'. If you don't have a network of local (to you) dog people to ask for a solid referral, you might ask post there: "Looking for orthopedic specialists in Yourtown metro area to review films of 6 month old male GSD" or similar.

People who are happy with their orthopedic vet are usually very enthusiastic to recommend him/her.
 

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The X-rays

We saw our vet this morning. These are the x-rays he's basing his hip dysplasia diagnosis on. He said we will need a hip replacement in the future. Any thoughts?
Hi, did you ever have an answer? Also, I know it's late but those xrays are a terrible position and no one in there right mind would make a diagnosis based on that position. Hope all went well for you and your pup
 

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The left hip looks bad but position is not good. I would have his xrays redone by an ortho specialist. 6mo old is fine to get prelims but I prefer 1yr. OFA will give you a results with prelims.
 
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