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Interesting article. I've thought for a long time it isn't genetic. Both of my dogs that have it are not over-weight(Robyn is slim and slender and Brennan is average now(but he just filled out). I got both dogs when they were about 12 weeks so I don't know what happened between birth until I got them.
 

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I am not sure ... Beau is OFA good and I ran him hard (on dirt playing fetch) between the ages of 12 and 24 months... I am going to be announcing about Tilly after the weekend and her Pennhip puts her in the 90% range (very tight hips) and her former handlers played frisbee with her. Both dogs are lean though. I still think genetics plays a role. But interesting factors.
 

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I have looked at too many x-rays of related dogs - as well as unrelated - to believe it is not genetic.

I think that this research has merit for sure - exercise and environments definitely have an adverse effect on forming bones. Look at horses - young racehorses break down like crazy - and saddle horses who are not pushed from 16-18 months onwards do not suffer the same types of injuries....osselets, shin splints - not just catastrophic breakdowns....

Lee
 

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The article did not say it was not genetic. I forget, something like 15-40% is genetic, it says, but the larger percentage, they then say, "more important", which sounds subjective to me, is the environment.

Interesting article. While I don't know the science, it does make me think of all the posts here that worry about their puppies being too thin and asking how to fatten them up. That desire for the big boned and big muscled shepherd and the misguided belief that they just need more food to get there.

The other thing about some of the posts here at the forum is the recommendation for supplementing puppies with all kinds of things. Just interesting. We certainly are more food obsessed than we used to be.

Years ago I had a lab mix that I'm sure I was the cause of his elbow dysplasia. I was young and stupid and never heard of growth plates and such. I used to mountain bike with my dogs and thought it was cool they could keep up with me on the down hills. He was much to young for that. I cringe that I did that knowing what I know now.

Anyhow, just early morning thoughts.
 

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As a Senior Vice President of a medical device company, my professional opinion is that, this article can be safely disregarded.

It has too much inarticulate and speculative information.

And any one who says "Genes causing so-and-so have not been found" - (sic) ergo it is not genetics based, is an idiot.
 

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Being a Senior VP of a medical device company may or may not mean your professional opinion is based on sound and current technical background. This is from the perspective of being a techno-geek in the biologics industry and dealing with senior management who often tend to be from more of an MBA etc backgound than a scientific one. The author has a PhD in Physiology from Cornell (I checked and they do have a program in this) so I would consider that to be reasonable credentials.

This piece links many journal articles and think it adds interesting discussion points. This was the quote which you disparaged as well as the detail.


2) The genes that cause hip dysplasia have not been found

Hip dysplasia tends to be more common in some breeds than others and in some lines than others, which suggests that there is a genetic component to the disorder. However, scientists have been looking for genes that are responsible for the development of hip dysplasia in dogs for decades without success

​Genes that are associated with hip dysplasia have been identified in some breeds, but they are breed-specific; that is, the assortment of genes is different in every breed. (For example, see studies on the German Shepherd dog (Marschall & Distl 2007, Fells & Distl 2014, and Fels et al 2014), Bernese Mountain Dog (Pfahler & Distl 2012), and Labrador Retriever (Phavaphutanon et al 2008.) Genes that could cause hip dysplasia have not been found in any breed.
 

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Interesting timeline on this... way before most of us even get a puppy!

7) Exercise is good and bad
Exercise strengthens the muscles of the legs and pelvis that will increase the stability of the hip joint. But all exercise is not created equal.

Puppies raised on slippery surfaces or with access to stairs when they are less than 3 months old have a higher risk of hip dysplasia,while those who are allowed off-lead exercise on soft, uneven ground (such as in a park) have a lower risk (Krontveit et al 2012). Dogs born in summer have a lower risk of hip dysplasia, presumably because they have more opportunity for exercise outdoors (Ktontveit et al 2012). On the other hand, dogs from 12-24 months old that regularly chase a ball or stick thrown by the owner have an higher risk of developing dysplastic hips (Sallander et al 2006).

The most critical period for proper growth and development of the hip in dogs is from birth to 8 weeks old, so the type of exercise the puppies are exposed to is most important during this time.
 

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Playing ball between 12-24 mo?! Oh, wow. Talk about taking the joy out of life for some dogs, if that's true. I forwarded it to a vet I trust, to see what she thinks.

I really worry that the "it's all environmental" chorus seems like a way for sketchy breeders who make risky choices (not doing OFA certs etc) to deflect blame on the owners and absolve themselves of the need to be careful and thoughtful in order to create sound structure. Maybe the birth-to-8-weeks component puts even more pressure on them. I don't know.
 

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Good article. Joint laxity but this has been known? Would think genetic still plays a role along along with exercise, diet and trauma, learning about exercise and diet from this forum. I remember when max slipped and fell hard on his side and worrying about his hips. I'm making sure he has good food didn't grow to fast by over feeding and watching calcium/protein/phosphorous and when he runs it is not hard cement. I did my part but still think genetics will play there part as well. My grandfather was 93 and someone ran a red light and smashed right into his car he died. He drank lots of beer, smoked and had lungs pinker then mine and I don't smoke- genetics. Many many years ago so many German shepherds had bad hips(loose hips) seemed common. I do not see that so much today and would think careful breeding has a part in that.
 

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There has to be some type of genetics involved. There are some lines of dogs that NEVER get HD, and some that get it all the time. No way you can blame that much of a difference on how breeders are the first 8 weeks, or what we do when we get them home....

But I DO believe that how we exercise the pups and how we feed them can have an impact on how the genetics progress!
 

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The author of the article posits 15-40% genetic. Understanding the complexity of genetic expression, though - and the lack of simple genetics associated with development of dysplasia......I don't take anything as set in stone. The thing with playing fetch though, I would like to understand what undue stresses? Leaping and crashing down I could get but just running?
 

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I never really played fetch with Robyn or Brennan. I don't like how they stop on a dime to get the ball. Robyn did agility but not until she was 10 months and it was all low jumps. Brennan did a lot of swimming. They never really used stairs and I lifted them into the car. Robyn has always been classified as slim and slender. Brennan was always kept thin, once he had both surgeries I allowed him to go up to 70 pounds but that is where he is staying and he looks really good. So now I'm thinking what kind of stuff they might have done as pups that could have played a role.
 

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I think anything can cause wear and tear. I can see be cautious during their growing period and considerate as they are adults. But a few jumps here there I hope it wouldn't destroy them. I think genetics plays a huge role if it does. I can see it wearing on a consistent basis like hopping in and out of a police suv everyday that is why they like the car it has less impact jumping in and out. A dog that has so much energy and its body that gets effected by little stress sounds like more like a defect or predisposed to such.
 

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I really think the DJD1 on Beau's elbow is from jumping in and out of the truck. He has zero lameness. We are better about using the ramp. Mainly because I know jumping in and out for years tears up shoulders and when they get old, they still try to but often hit the chest and fall down. Better to have a good habit.
 

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"Puppies raised on slippery surfaces or with access to stairs when they are less than 3 months old have a higher risk of hip dysplasia,while those who are allowed off-lead exercise on soft, uneven ground (such as in a park) have a lower risk (Krontveit et al 2012)."

This makes my house sound like a minefield. Tile floors, stairs, and our neighborhood is completely paved.
 

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nothing new in this report , consistent with the Swedish studies that came out ,mmmm, back in the late 70's early 80's .
There was a study done by ofa's Corley? (if memory serves me) which examined x rays of dogs done throughout their life times and then post mortem exam .

Here is where there is conflict in information.

Little impact has been made to eliminate hip dysplasia , but there has been a movement away from "worst case" type of disfigurement . The normal ranges , which do include fair , borderline and grade one percentages seemed to be static . Borderline and grade one were difficult to shift into a greater percentage of the range of normal. Thinking was that the range for normal / natural should be widened as it is under the "A" stamp and European systems , that OFA's consideration of hd free was too narrow.

Then another camp felt that by breeding only the higher levels of "normal" good and excellent , hip dysplasia could be conquered . But in reality there are dogs that are "excellent" who couldn't reproduce this -- and there are dogs with NZ that were hip improvers (which may not have been used if they had OFA - at great loss to the breed )

Dogs are more than hips.

And then there is Penn Hip which gauges the integrity of cartilage and ligaments.

nothing is black and white . x rays should be done and used as one tool , making an informed decision .

ZW seems to be a good system to sort things out , looking at pedigree depth , littermates , progeny etc.

I shake my head going back over some of the old SV GSD magazines and the high ratio of severe HD , accumulating points towards a high ZW (not desirable) of show line males which , bred and bred and bred , becoming pillars , and then inbred on . No secret . So how sincere is the attempt when money gets in the way .
 

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nothing new in this report , consistent with the Swedish studies that came out ,mmmm, back in the late 70's early 80's .

Then another camp felt that by breeding only the higher levels of "normal" good and excellent , hip dysplasia could be conquered . But in reality there are dogs that are "excellent" who couldn't reproduce this -- and there are dogs with NZ that were hip improvers (which may not have been used if they had OFA - at great loss to the breed )

ZW seems to be a good system to sort things out , looking at pedigree depth , littermates , progeny etc.

I shake my head going back over some of the old SV GSD magazines and the high ratio of severe HD , accumulating points towards a high ZW (not desirable) of show line males which , bred and bred and bred , becoming pillars , and then inbred on . No secret . So how sincere is the attempt when money gets in the way .
Knowing this - a potential GSD purchaser should be cautioned to look for what? I see so many cautioning against BYB's and making sure health testing for this has been done. I understand that it is one tool, but if it is really ineffective or inconclusive - what should a novice purchaser look for to insure the best possible outcome? Would the best chance be to only purchase from a repeat breeding where there were sibs that were 2 or older and tested?

It sounds as if it is really not possible for them to obtain the information they need from any source? I cannot imagine the heartbreak and disbelief when people invest thousands in the best quality dog they can afford only to have them turn up with this dreaded disease while they watch the neighbor dog - obviously from a BYB or poorly bred never suffer this crippler.....
 

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Knowing this - a potential GSD purchaser should be cautioned to look for what? I see so many cautioning against BYB's and making sure health testing for this has been done. I understand that it is one tool, but if it is really ineffective or inconclusive - what should a novice purchaser look for to insure the best possible outcome? Would the best chance be to only purchase from a repeat breeding where there were sibs that were 2 or older and tested?

It sounds as if it is really not possible for them to obtain the information they need from any source? I cannot imagine the heartbreak and disbelief when people invest thousands in the best quality dog they can afford only to have them turn up with this dreaded disease while they watch the neighbor dog - obviously from a BYB or poorly bred never suffer this crippler.....
There is no history of hip Dysplasia in my goldens lines going many years back and he ended up with severe hip dysplasia. It was just as much a shock to the breeders as it was to me.
 
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