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This weekend we took Max to the coast, he is 5 mo and weighs close to 60lb already. We kept hearing whats wrong with legs or whats wrong with his hips? We have noticed that he is weak in his hind legs (cant jump in the car). So we really took a good honest look at him walking while we were behind him and his hind legs dont walk straight they swing into each other and they seem wobbly. He had no trouble with going up and down stairs. Really thinking about taking him to the vet to be looked at. Would xrays be any good at such a young age?
On a positive note he was so good with all the people on the warf he didn't jump on anyone small children or elderly he even very gently nuzzled a little boy in a wheelchair. I was so proud of him!
 

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Hi there. I have no idea if Max has bad hips but I have a young dog here with bad hips and my first gsd was diagnosed with bilateral HD when she was 10 months old. If it is really severe then it will show up on an x-ray even when they are young. This is good to know because you can make choices about how you will proceed with his care IF he has hip problems.

That said, I have Rafi, my young dog, on Springtime Inc's Longevity. It has made a HUGE difference in terms of his mobility. I have combined that with walking him 4-6 miles every day and he can now do all kinds of things that he couldn't when I adopted him.
 

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in the month that ive been on this board ive seen lots of variation btwn members as far as when to get the hips xrayed. my personal opinion is not to do them before two unless you have reason to be concerned (which it seems you do) or if you're planning to do some sort of sport / strenuous activities with the dog. better safe than sorry is always true, but when my dog was 9mo... a year... and a year and a half... i didnt have $100 plus bucks to pay every few months. but like i said, i didnt have reason to be concerned, nor was she participating in any strenuous activities.

keep in mind - alot of puppies have a wonky or silly gait when they're that age. it takes awhile for them to grow into themselves. your 5mo old is almost the size of my 1yr old, but compared to some others on the board he isnt "huge".

it could be growing pains, it could be something serious. check his parents hip scores... and check with his littermates if possible.

but to answer your question - if you get him x rayed at this age and something is wrong it will show up. if you get him x rayed and nothing shows up - that doesnt meant you're in the clear forever.
 

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Hi there. I have a 5 month old male German Shepherd who weighs 54 lbs. A couple of weeks ago we were at the Off Leash park and a lady mentioned Link's back legs to me. She said he looked "knocked kneed" and that could be a sign of HD. Of course the minute I got home I checked his Pedigree and all the way to his Great-great Grandparents on both sides have been X-rayed. So then I emailed the breeder. She told me that he is a growing puppy and that is what their back legs do. I did notice that when he is on the grass they don't turn in as bad but on the pavement or when he is tired it gets worse. She also said that if he had HD that he would probably limp all of the time. It is scary to have someone mention it when HD is the number one thing on most of our minds I think when it comes to our GSD. This weekend we are hopefully getting together with the breeder and then she can see what his back legs do and also going to the Vet on Thursday so going to mention it to them also.
 

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I am also concerned about Ava's hips. I had her xrayed at 6 months and there were no signs but lately I have been noticing some things.

So, I think I'm going to take her back in to do another one.
 

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For all of you people worried about the hips: if your dog is from OFA certified hip lines then you're probably in the clear and what you're seeing is normal puppy gait. If not then you may have a problem.

Daily walks (gradually building up to long walks) and swimming will help strengthen your puppies. And joint supplements can only help and not hurt your puppies so you might as well get started on those too.

With my first dog it was REALLY OBVIOUS something was wrong. She was limping after strenuous exercise, falling down the stairs, couldn't roll onto her back and did not like having her hips touched or manipulated.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Knocked knee is exactly how I would describe Max. I checked Max's pedigree and the grandparents were also x-rayed with clean hips and elbows, please let me know how things go with the vet and breeder.

Dawn
 

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Thanks BowWow I do feel better Max doesn't limp and he rolls over like a champ when we ask him to. I did some range of motion with his legs just to see how he would react and he just stared at me like what the heck are you doing?

Dawn
 

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Something else to look at is that are the bloodlines of these dogs? American lines (as in American show lines) usually tend to be more "wobbly" or "sloppy" in the hind legs especially as puppies. It doesn't necessarily mean they have bad hips, it is just due to the way they are built.
 

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He is just a baby and is growing. Totally agree if there has been NO problems with hips in his line I wouldn't worry about it.
Mine is 3 yrs old and he has trouble getting into a car sometimes
all depends on how much I worked him.
 

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Originally Posted By: Link's MomIt is scary to have someone mention it when HD is the number one thing on most of our minds I think when it comes to our GSD.
but its always if not mentioned, then at least noticed, especially by non gsd owners. because they're all experts ya know. i laughed out loud in another thread (the dumbest comments one), one of the comments was "i can tell that dog has HD already". a week prior i had just heard someone say it at the park.
 

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OK, while having sire and dam of any pups with OFA rating does not mean that your pups have good hips. Even if the sire and dam are OFA Excellent (best OFA rating) you pup could have bad hips. You odds of having a pup with good hips is increased by having parents, grand-parents that have good hip scores, but it isn't a guarantee.

Some lines have a really gangly stage they go through where the growth rate on the front end and the back end isn't the same so the pups are just out of balance. Some lines have loser ligamentation that other lines, so the pups will seem wobbly.

You first call should be to the breeder, explain what the pup is doing and ask if you should get some Preliminary Xrays and rating from OFA.

If you are going to spend the money on Premliming you dog, then make sure that the Vet is GREAT, not good, but GREAT at doing Xrays. The positioning of the dog can make good hips look bad.

Val
 

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Bad hips can pop up in dogs with many generations of certified hips behind them. I have one myself - I noticed that at 7 months she was walking a little funny. Not limping, no other signs, she just moved slightly off, so I took her into the vet. Vet insisted it was just pano - I insisted on x-rays and it turns out she did have bad hips. One was VERY lax and had a little arthritis starting to form. I redid the x-rays when she was 4 and the one hip has a lot of arthritis. Fortunately she doesn't seem to be in any discomfort but that can vary greatly between individual dogs.

At that age you can get a good idea of whether the pup has good or bad hips. You can also do PennHip at as young as 4 months which may be a better indicator than the traditional OFA type x-rays.

I'd get the x-rays done so you can have the peace of mind and also so you can start thinking about the future. If the hips are bad, you could start now with supplements (just be careful which you use on a growing pup) and regular swimming to keep him as healthy as possible.

I've seen too many dogs with great pedigrees turn out to have bad hips - don't just assume you're safe because the whole family is OFA'd.
 

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Thanks for chiming in on the no guarantees. I've only adopted one dog with a known pedigree so I've always just assumed the worst.


I do put my bigger dogs on joint supplements when they're young whether or not they show signs of problems. An ounce of prevention...
 

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Originally Posted By: Link's Mom She also said that if he had HD that he would probably limp all of the time....This weekend we are hopefully getting together with the breeder and then she can see what his back legs do and also going to the Vet on Thursday so going to mention it to them also.
Dogs with HD may NEVER limp (my pup was doing bite-work, and we checked her hips at 7 mos just to see if she could hold up to the work). I was working with an Orthopedic veterinary referral hospital, and she came to work with me every day, and not ONE of the vets noticed anything about her gait. The X-rays showed that she had a pretty severely dysplastic left hip. The right hip was fine. Since she was so young, we were able to do surgery for her hip to help avoid crippling arthritis and pain.

From the many breeders I know, they take it very personally when one of their dogs is diagnosed with HD. I can understand why they feel so upset by it, but the fact of the matter is that hip ratings are not a garuntee of HD in offspring. It is not necessarily the breeder's fault, although they might feel like the suggestion of HD is an accusation. My breeder did, and all I wanted her to do was inform the owners of my dog's littermates
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Quote:For all of you people worried about the hips: if your dog is from OFA certified hip lines then you're probably in the clear and what you're seeing is normal puppy gait. If not then you may have a problem.
My breeder argued with me that there was no way my pup could have HD since the dogs in her lineage were German rated A and OFA excellent.
 

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Ok, I'm taking that statement about lines back then. As I said above, I've only ever adopted dogs and only one came with a pedigree. I notice very subtle signs of HD because of my experience with my first dog. Rafi does not limp and no one suspects he has a problem now. But if you manipulate his hips wrong he will scream.

Btw, I knowingly adopted him with bad hips. His temperament is perfect and my first dog with HD lived to be almost 12 and was absolutely the most amazing dog.
 

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Sorry, I wasn't trying to gang up on you. I am a slow typer, and when I went to submit my post, all of the sudden there were three or four others all saying the same thing.
 

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I had HD diagnosed in two dogs at around the age of 6 months. I noticed limping and bunnyhopping and stiffness after rising. I would make a vet appointment and he will most likely manipulate his hips and see how they feel and also observe range of motion and see if the dog has any negative pain reaction. I don't normally think of HD as causing a dog to be wobbly in the back end. That may be due more to his conformation as I have seen certain lines look that way as puppies.

Good luck.
 

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You can do Penn Hip and OFA at 4 mos. One of the shots for PH is a standard OFA shot, but the vet will not give you the reading then (at least the PH vet in our area).

We have done a shot at almost 5 months (per a request) and they were great hips. No question.

Our ortho vet in Hungary, who does the "a" stamp there (and they are VERY strict), normally likes to wait until 6 months. But, we have some great vets in our area for xrays. We are lucky.
 

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Not to sound negative but just wanted to say that my previous gsd had OFA certified parents and pedigree, and she had severe hd AND elbow displasia too...


I keep watching my 8 month old pup for signs, I am paranoid about it now LOL
 
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