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Discussion Starter #1
This is more of a curiosity based question, since it does not appear to be affecting my dog's health - BTW, he is not a gsd. He has some sight hound in him and has a large rib cage, and although he is a good weight, his ribs have always been prominent. He has always had a slight bump at the tip of his final right rib. In the last few months this has become increasingly prominent, much more so on the right side. He has not lost any weight, and the bulge in that side is obvious to the touch, especially when he is lying down. Anyone know what this might be? I am thinking bone spur; my partner is thinking that it's not important since it's not affecting him.

Opinions?
 

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No idea, but it could be anything. Caught early if anything serious could mean the world..I would bring him to the vet, to have the vet check it out..

Hopefully it is nothing serious..Good luck!
 

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Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAANMy mind has run amuck with many scary thoughts. Are any of them valid? Probably not! But I would take him to the vet to confirm that he is fine.
Agreed!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, we have an appointment on Wednesday. I just wondered if anyone else had experienced this. Sometimes that generates intelligent questions to ask. I checked bones spurs on the internet and the only reason listed for them is the healing of an injury, but as far as I know he has not been injured, has not displayed pain or distress of any kind. He still runs like a maniac and wrestles like a pro. But that bone DOES definitely stick out more than it used to.

It's possible it's just me being neurotic.
 

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I would LOVE to hear what your vet says. My girl has the same thing, and she also has some sighthound in her. She's the small one in the picture in my sig.

There was a concern that the tip of the rib had "turned" (I guess they can do that), but the chiropractor didn't find anything that indicated that. Indy's right is more prominant than the left also, and it can also be tender, if enough pressure is applied in the right place.

Any history of digestive problems?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No, not to speak of. Lots of intestinal problems last year, but both the dogs had it and I heard from the vet staff that it was a signature year for giardia and other intestinal bugs.

I will report back. It is really bothering me - much more than him. Does your girl behave as if her side is tender in any way when left to herself - protecting it, anything like that? I'm not seeing any of that at all, but when he's lying on his side and you stroke firmly along his ribcage, it's like hitting a snag. He's 8 years old now, and it never used to be this big.

p.s. Can't hardly see the second dog in your avatar. What is her mix?
 

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If you click on "the mutts" in my sig, you will see her picture, she's standing next to the GSD. In that picture, she was probably about 8 years old. You can't tell so much in the picture, but her ribs are sprung very wide. Most all agree that she must have some whippet in her.

She doesn't seem to guard it or fuss with it at all. But if I start pressing around the area, it's a bit tender, centered at one spot. Both her chiro and her vet thought it was strange, but no one knows what it is. She has had a history of pancreas problems, which is on the right side of the body, and I've often wondered if there isn't some weird muscle contraction from the inside. Of course I'm making all that up because no one else seems to have any suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the terminology - found this on another site:

"All dogs; in fact all mammals have floating ribs. They are more prominent in some breeds and can move around more in energetic dogs thus varying on a day to day basis. My bitch regularly gets placed at shows and her rib can be very noticeable. Apparently it is possible to manipulate it so that it is not noticeable but I have never tried - sometimes it's visible sometimes it's not."

So probably that's what it is - maybe got moved due to wrestling, but it does feel more prominent than it used to.

LisaT - your little girl looks VERY whippety. I will report on what the vet says.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's what the vet said - his impression is that there was trauma to the floating rib at some point and that since it is a cartilagenous site, the rib grew extra cartilege as a healing mechanism. He also said that bone cancer originating in the ribs is extremely rare and that since the dog is not in any pain the best plan is to keep an eye on things and monitor it for further changes.

So that's a relief.
 

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floating rib

Hey Guys...this is my first post. Hello all. Anyways, I have two german shepherds. They are brothers from the same litter and very different in appearance. One is silver and black with short hair (loki) while the other is a longer haired Brownish/Red and black(Thor). I recently noticed something on Thor's rib cage that didn't seem right. His last two ribs were not attached and you could move them around. I immediately panicked and thought he'd broken a rib while playing hard with his brother. After taking him in to the vet, I was told exactly what was said in this thread. It's just a floating rib, which all dogs have. I can't feel the floating rib on Loki however so apparantly it's not as obvious in all dogs.
 
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