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Over the past 3 weeks or so every once in a while after shadow gets up from lying down he limps keeping weight off his right rear leg, some times letting it hold a little weight some times none at all. I just saw for the first time tonight that he came in and was favoring it again (unusual because its unlikely he was lying down).

Could this be because of the cold weather (20-35 f)? Any other possibility? I have checked his pad and it seems to be in fine condition, there is a healed 4cm gash from running in the summer.

How worried should I be?
I plan on taking him into the vet here soon, but would like to be prepared , also should I consider insurance before he's possibly diagnosed with HD, will a diagnosis hurt my chances?


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From personal experience HD usualy shows up under a year ,if severe, or in old age . More likely to be cruciate ligament, still very expensive , but curable.:)
 

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I would get the insurance that covers HD such as petplan, though to be honest, the most common approach seems to be as simple as keep the dog lean and fit. That is all we were told to do.

My female had no symptoms before she was diagnosed with severe HD at 3 years old - she got wet and cold and that set of conditions was the only time she really had problems (cold damp weather)

But, yes, it could very well be the cruciate ligament - that is actually what my vet thought but the drawer test was negative and the x-rays told the story.
 

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HD can show up at any time, from a young puppy to an older dog. Alot depends on the dogs pain threshold and condition and how long they manage not to show pain.
My first GSD had no issues at all. Great shape, active and lean. She was just over a year old, we got back from the dog shows. She got out of her crate and was limping on a hind leg. I thought maybe just cramped up from being in the crate so waited a day. Took her into the vet and she had severe hip dysplasia on both hips. One was totally sublexated with no socket at all, the other was a total diaster both socket and femoral head were awful.
I did both hips with a femoral head ostectomy. She did great, was a Search and Rescue dog for 9 years after that.
 

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HD can show up at any time, from a young puppy to an older dog. Alot depends on the dogs pain threshold and condition and how long they manage not to show pain.
My first GSD had no issues at all. Great shape, active and lean. She was just over a year old, we got back from the dog shows. She got out of her crate and was limping on a hind leg. I thought maybe just cramped up from being in the crate so waited a day. Took her into the vet and she had severe hip dysplasia on both hips. One was totally sublexated with no socket at all, the other was a total diaster both socket and femoral head were awful.
I did both hips with a femoral head ostectomy. She did great, was a Search and Rescue dog for 9 years after that.
Did you vet say anything about your situation being average or normal?

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not sure exactly what you mean, but if you are talking about how bad her hips were, they were about as bad as I have ever seen and I have seen many many hundreds of hips, both good and bad.

Her hips were about as bad as you can get. I am amazed that she didn't show any signs until then. I had one hip done, waited about 4 weeks until she was putting weight on the first leg, then did the second. She was swimming as soon as stitches were out. I also started range of motion exercises the day after surgery, as she laid flat on the floor, I would move the leg forward and backward just like she would be walking.. This keeps the tendons and ligaments from "freezing" in a stuck position. By moving the leg 10 to 20 times a day for short periods, the ligaments and tendons kept active. She was toe touching within two or three days, would hold leg up when moving fast, then just started walking on it one day and used it freely. Swimming was wonderful exercise. Did the second hip and had the same recovery.
I have also had this procedure done on a Sheltie that had severe HD at 9 months. Same recovery , same method and he did fine.
FHO are done alot when a dog jumps from a truck and breaks the ball off the femoral head, quite a common injury. It is also done for Leggs Perth Disease, which is a common issue in alot of small breeds. The femoral head dies off because of blood supplies dying off in the bone.
I know some vets advocate rest and no walks etc, but I found by doing what I did, my girl did wonderful and had no issues with short stepping or limping after healing was complete.
On the funny side, we did xrays after both had healed and the false joints had formed, it was really weird to see the top of the femor bone just "floating" in mid air on the xray because the false joint is basically scar tissue and doesn't show up
 
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