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Discussion Starter #1
Hi There!

Sadly it looks like Thunders Hips aren't just just "puppy hips" at 5 months, he is very low on his hocks. We are going to try Aqua Therapy, and making sure he isn't overweight and hardly excercise him and see if they improve. He comes from good stock (papers etc) and the breeder (who is the other end of the country from us) are saying there is no history of this. We don't let him climb stairs, hills, we are really careful with him.

Any other therapy we should be looking at?
 

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Were his parents both OFA certified? Did you have his hips x-rayed? Swimming is excellent as are long walks. My young dog has hip dysplasia and I walk him 4-6 miles a day. Walking up hills are actually an excellent way to build up those muscles.

I would also put him on joint support. Different people like different products but I've had excellent results with this one: http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/121/2
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yup parents were rated as 0.0 and 2.3 I think

I keep hearing people tell me to not take him up and down hills? Is it just down?
 

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Being "low in the hocks" doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the hips. Isn't he from show lines? Show lines can tend to be "lower on the hocks" than working lines. Or did you have his hips xrayed?
 

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Well you have to get back down the hill somehow!
Seriously, I was told to swim my dog and to do hills with her. It made a HUGE difference in helping her muscles to develop. I think starting to walk him on flat surfaces (and grass is better than concrete) first and then working your way up to hills is a good idea.

And sorry, didn't check to see where you were. You probably have different supplements available there.
 

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I would keep him very lean and supplement him with vitamin c (start at 500mg and build to 1000mg) vitamin e and a glucosimine and chondroiten supplement. Swimming or hydro therapy is a great way to build muscle mass without putting stress on the joints. It may just be that he has loose ligments which is causing his hocks to be so loose. I wouldn't do any "forced" exercises, but would let him do whatever he wants off leash, especially on surfaces that are not too hard or too deep. Could just be he is growing fast and that is causing some of the looseness as well.

You can also x-ray him now to see what the conformation of the joint is like, meaning how deep or shallow the socket is and how round and where the ball sits in the socket. I would expect he will show quite a bit of laxity, which is not a huge problem if the socket is deep and the ball gfits in it well. If he has shallow sockets you are more likely to have problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yah I am from NZ, I'll look into supplements, I am always a little dubious about these things, but I'll investigate. He gets 1-2 15 walks a day on flat grass/concrete (we try and keep him on the grass verge but dogs will be dogs). We once or twice a week take him to an off leash park where right now the grass is very soft (wet) but very very occasionally he ends up getting softly knocked over by boisterous doggies in the park, most of the time, he can't run to keep up fast enough and spends his time chasing.
 

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You really want to limit the running and jumping. I know it's hard because he is a pup but I would keep that to a minimum.

As for the supplements--they can mean the difference between lots of pain and severely limited mobility and very little pain and good mobility. My first dog was diagnosed with HD 20 years ago. There weren't nearly as many options available for supplements and I had surgery done at 1 year and then again at 5 years. I wish I had had available then what I have available now.

My current dog, Rafi, is on supplements and NO ONE can tell that he has joint problems. When I adopted him it was obvious. That is because of the supplements. They are very, very important.

And you need to get Ester C and not just vitamin C and you want to work slowly up to 2000 mg per day.

The joint supplement should have glucosamine, chondroition AND MSM. I give double the recommended maintenance dose.
 

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I am going to point a very knowlegable person from the South Island to this thread. I know she will have some links for suppliments for you.

He could just be going through a gangly stage where he is just growing out of proportion. I would try to find a place to let him play in water and swim. It would be better if there are joint issues than running. Hocks would not necessarily mean an issue with the hips. You can request xrays if you have questions about his hips. He would be too young to be rated but it would give you an "idea".

Just an FYI to the other posters on here: Show Lines in New Zealand would be comparable to German Highlines in body type (although most in NZ seem to not have as much of a roach). They are not comparable to the Am/Can type of Show Line.
 

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Hi,

WooHoo.......... a sable GSD, my favourite


I have read your other posts regarding Thunder, and I think he looks in very good condition for his age.
As other posters have said, loose hocks at this age certainly don't necessarily mean hip problems.
I would be inclined to make sure Thunder doesn't carry too much extra weight, and would be careful with exercise. Swimming is great, and builds muscle tone without stressing the joints. Luckily you are in the North Island, I am sure it is a lot warmer for swimming than it is at this end of the country.

I would recommend Silberhorn as a supplement. Even if Thunder doesn't have any joint problems, it certainly won't do him any harm.
Please feel free to contact me by PM if you want.

Anita <the Southern Kiwi>
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Anita,

If you are in the South Island then you might know the breeder John Fields from CHCH (Where I am originally from) I got him from. Apparently the President of the South Island Shepherds Club. He is son of Oakway Ultimate Force and Westfield Katie.

I'll try and find some silberhorn asap. The Kennel I had him at whilst I was Snowboarding in Queenstown last week (awesome) are very concerned and the vet apparently was equally. My sister is a vet from Queenstown and she is in Auckland on Friday this week, she will give him a going over.

The lady at the kennel said I need to give him chicken frames to supplement the dry nutrience junior for medium breed ( I was told not to get the large breed ) that I feed him twice a day.

I love this puppy so much sometimes I think I might burst, I am hoping that if there IS a problem, we can do stuff to help him recover quickly.

He has been unnaturally quiet and reserved since I picked him up, but this kennel is very well known and came highly recommended from a number of sources. She has a lot of large breed dogs herself.
 

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YES. Silberhorn is what I was beating my brain over last night and I just could not find it!

Anita would better answer but I would think the PetShark and/or PetMussel. My guys have used both in the past, thanks to Anita.
 

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Quote: and making sure he isn't overweight and hardly excercise him and see if they improve.
I know people with GSD pups frequently recommend no exercise cause they say it will cause hip dysplasia, but I have to say I completely disagree. No high impact exercise (jumping great heights) or repetitive (jogging on leash for miles on pavement) but any and all offleash activities and the more the better is what I recommend.

NORMAL growth of any young animals bones/joints/tendons need alot of exercise and actually a bit of stress. You want alot of muscle to take the pressure off the bone and for your pup to grow normally. GSD's are a WORKING breed, and so they need the same (more?) exercise as they grow as any other young animal.

You DO want a lean puppy, and a fit puppy, but I also say a well exercised puppy. If they have a playmate and will run and tear around a yard all day, then I say they can go for it.

From http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1569&articleid=444

Quote: Exercise: Exercise may be another risk factor. It appears that dogs that are genetically susceptible to the disease may have an increased incidence of disease if they over-exercised at a young age. But at the same time, we know that dogs with large and prominent leg muscle mass are less likely to contract the disease than dogs with small muscle mass. So exercising and maintaining good muscle mass may actually decrease the incidence of the disease. Moderate exercise that strengthens the gluteal muscles, such as running and swimming, is probably a good idea. Whereas, activities that apply a lot of force to the joint are contraindicated. An example would be jumping activities such as playing Frisbee.
and here http://www.beartownchesapeakes.com/health2.html (this site has some great exercise suggestions too)

Quote: In our experience, exercise is just as important as proper nutrition for a growing puppy. Some breeders advise against hard exercise because of study results released many years ago. The study showed that puppies genetically prone to hip dysplasia did not develop clinical signs or had less severe hip dysplasia when they spent most of their time confined in small enclosures. This technique is not a reasonable or humane one for pets.
It's interesting because it's becoming more common for many sites to not even really mention the 'exercise' component as a contributor, just the genetics and OVER feeding/supplements. Like http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/hips.html

Quote:What causes it?
Hip dysplasia is a multifactorial trait, which means that a number of different factors can contribute to it. However, hip dysplasia is basically a genetic trait and will not develop if the hereditary factor is not there to begin with. Many factors work together to cause this disease, which is a combination of a dog genetically inclined to get this disease interacting with environmental factors that bring about the symptoms. These environmental factors excess calcium in the diet of puppy food for large breed dogs, along with obesity, high protein and calorie diets.

I PERSONALLY have the belief that this exercise thing is a cop out for people breeding pups with poor hips. Because it takes the blame off the genetics of the situation (which I feel is the major contributor) and instead makes it the new puppy owners 'fault' by responding if bad hips are diagnosed by merely blaming these new owners and saying 'YOU over-exercised the pup'.

Genetics and fat puppies (growing too fast on too rich a diet, or just way to much food) I do believe are the real issues. And exercise will help prevent the 'fat' so hopefully keep the genetics at bay as well.
 

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Having had two young dogs with HD I have to say that under exercising can make the problem worse because the muscles around the hips are underdeveloped.

As has been said, it's the type of exercise, not the amount of exercise. In addition to swimming, walking and hiking are good exercise because they both help build muscles. Both of my dogs were/are very well muscled because I exercised them so much.
 

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Exercise is important, but the pup needs to be able to stop when it is tired. Long walks where the pup has to keep up with you stresses a developing joint. Forced running at the same pace also stresses the joints. Jumping up and down in a kennel or playing frisbee also puts stress on a developing joint. Playing a lot of "fetch" where the dog that to stop suddenly is also not good for either the hips or the elbows. If the dog has ruoom to sweep around that is fine, but constantly running into a fence and having to break hard puts stress on the joints.

Even with the best conformation, the joints are soft which is what makes the x-rays of young dogs harder to read. So much is undeveloped at birth so it is important to remeber how much impact everything can have on the future development of the pup. Stress and injury to the joint can also cause a the joint fluid to become inflamed which may lead to less lubrication which can then lead to arthritis in the joint.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
yah I am inclined to agree with you guys and maybe I need to let my guy off at an offleash park to run around a bit more often, plus the swimming and the supplement perhaps. Right now he is usually at the park for 30 minutes 2-3 times a week though it is quite sporadic as its VERY wet here right now, and cleaning this guy is a major exercise afterward.
 

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Yes, I know John, and I believe he is coming down to our local GSD show in a couple of weeks.
I know how you feel with wet, muddy dogs at the moment, altho I don't think we have had the same amount of rain down here.
It will be interesting to see what your sister has to say about Thunder.
Steady walks are fine for him, what you don't want is him pulling hard into the lead or thumping into the concrete with his feet.
Reminds me a bit of an old horse rhyme I heard as a kid.........
"It ain't the hunting on the hill that hurts the horses hooves, it's the hammer, hammer, hammer on the hard high road."
 
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