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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

My vet mentioned that it would a good idea to take Xrays of Maya (4 months female) when she gets spayed in July (she will be 6 months then). He said it could help detect bones problems at an early age.

What do you think? The cost is $300 just for 2 Xrays ($100 per xrays plus $100 for specialist to review the xrays (I want that job!!).

Also, they mentioned a blood sample, which is $65 (optional).

If we go with everything listed above the bill will be about $800.

To spay only it will be $300.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lauri & The GangYour vet is ripping you off with the "specialist eval".

Send the xrays to the OFA and for $35 they will eval both hips and elbows (or $30 for just hips).

http://www.offa.org/hdappbw.pdf
And not only on the x-rays!!!!! 300.00 for a spay?????
185.00 in our area when you go to a vet that isn't trying to rip you off..... and in Pasco the county even gives you 50.00 back after your pet is spayed or neutered!!!!
 

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Yeah, should be; Spay $200, Xrays - $30, Radiologist ? Can't remember other than the $35 ofa. I've had medved in Columbus ohio look at xrays, but I'd have to look for it.

Maybe you should find a new vet before the spay. Texas can't be that expensive.

Maybe you should go to the general forum and ask for referals from other Texas people in your area.

If you dog is generally healthy, you can skip the bloodwork.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I phoned another vet in my area and they charge $165! That also includes1 night stay, bathing and stiches removal after 7 days.....I guess I need to swtich vets!
They also told me the Xrays are not that important at that age (6 months) since I won't even be breeding her and hips problems don't even become apparent until they are at least 3 years old.
 

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Another thing, when my (old) vet gives estimates on surgeries, they list a price range from minimum to maximum and all the options. Sometimes the options include Frontline, and microchips. Go figure. But the minimum price is around $150. Options add up and include, bloodwork, laser, head cone.
 

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It's not always true that hip problems don't become apparent until 2-3 years old. I had a dog that showed obvious signs and had problems getting up at 6/7 months old. X-rays at that time enabled me to decide if I wanted to have TPO done on his hips.
I'd say if you haven't seen like trouble getting up or severe limping that its true you don't need to have x-rays done at 6 months, but be vigilant in observing your dog.

PS - I had the TPO done on him and he lived to almost 15 without any further hip problems.
 

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Let me ask? Is there something that might look right when your girl runs? Do you suspect something might be a miss with her hips?

When we bought our last GSD (Now living with my mom) she ran funny and was not out growing the "bunny hop" that GSD pups can sometimes display as pups. Because of this I had her Hips X -rayed at 6 months old and the vet said they did not look good and explained what he saw.

We had her X rayed again at 2 years old and sure enough she was real bad on 1 side but the other side was O.K we then had her re evaluated at 6 years old and her good hip was then her bad hip and her bad hip had no change.

Hexen is turning 11 years old on July 2 and she still can get around and does not show any signs of pain...

With my current GSD hella I saw right away the difference in her gait from Hexens. Wow what a difference in the way they run and move.
So no do not get her hips done yet unless you suspect something.
 

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I would even wait on the spaying if you can. Maybe after her second cycle or at least after she turns 1 year old.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
She does do the "bunny hop" when she runs but she is only 4 months! Is that still normal?
 

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I checked Maya's history - sounds like she came from a not-so-great-breeder so I would do preliminary Xrays at 6months: they won't tell you that she won't develop dysplagia BUT they will tell you if she has good/fair/poor hips & elbows at 6months.
If she does have some dysplagia, starting at 6mo with supplements & monitoring her activity, doing special activities to strengthen etc can make a big difference in her longterm prognosis.
Many dogs do not show obvious symptoms even when they are dysplagic so I wouldn't use that as a criteria.
 

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This is just me, and I'm just a person with a well loved pet.

When Dante was neutered I had his hips x-rayed and sent of to OFA for prelims (Wish I had requested the elbows as well!) and had the results published.

I did all this for two reasons, 1st my own peace of mind to know if I should be doing anything differently with him. 2nd I believe I owed it to his breeder and to her future puppy buyers to have it done and published so all would know.

Now I was in a bit of a different boat than you are because Dante was 14 months old and not 6 months. Per OFA the % of change from the prelim to the final at 2 years old decreases as time passes before the first x-ray. That said, if I have a pup and they're older than 4 months (OFA's earliest age) and they're going under for anything, they'll be x-rayed and sent to OFA. Dante's hips prelimed as good and his final at 2 was excellent.

So if you go this route, make sure your vet is skilled with proper positining of the dog for hip/elbow x-rays and as an FYI for a price (don't know if it's still $5.00 or not) OFA will return the x-rays to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, Tkx Alto, then that brings me to another question....how can we check the reputation of our breeder if the pup was AKC registered?
 

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Yes GSDmaya Bunny hopping at 4 months is normal, bunny hopping by 6 months is also normal, but by this time you should also start to see some normal gait coming out when they run (depending on how fast the pup is maturing).

I just had enough experience to notice something was a miss with Hexen by that age)
 

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My opinion is that an x-ray at six months will not tell you if the pup will have fair, good, or excellent hips, sorry. I think it is a waist of money to x-ray a dog that young if it is not experiencing issues. In fact, it could be dangerous.

I say this because if you pre-lim your pup at six months and find her clear of any joint issues, then you might feel free to start agility or other strenuous things, which she will probably LOVE. However, since we know that the ofa changed the minimum age for certifying for hip displasia, etc., because of too many issues cropping up later, it is highly possible that you can have an issue that is simply not showing up yet. Puppies are generally born with normal hips. They are measured when the dog is 1 (pen hip) or 2 (ofa) and this gives a good indication of the wear and placement of the hips.

And so, even if you do not do agility, etc., it is also possible that when your 6-month normal pup becomes six or seven and starts showing issues, you may be more likely to overlook them or you may have had better luck x-raying at two to determine whether supplements make sense.

Save yourself the money and provide the supplements for healthy hips if you want. No added calcium. I think Ester C, and Glaucosomine and Chondroiton are good. Keep her on the thin side, and do not encourage jumping on hard surfaces, running long distances, etc. But let her be a puppy/dog. Down the line, maybe she will warrant an x-ray. It will cost more because of the sedation, etc, to do it separately, but not so much as to risk a premature evaluation in my opinion.
 

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I think your decision to x-ray depends on what you plan to do if the x-ray shows dysplasia. There are several surgical options that can only be done on younger dogs that are still growing and before arthritic changes set in - the JPS surgery is typically done on very young dogs and the TPO surgery is done on dogs under about 10 months. So there's a pretty narrow age window in which to act.

So, if you think you might want to go either of those routes or would at least like that option, it's a good idea to x-ray now so you can make an educated decision. The advantages of both those surgeries is that they are less expensive and less risky than a hip replacement later and can ward off future problems.

If you wouldn't consider either of those surgeries, then it makes more sense to give her joint supplements now and defer the x-rays until down the road when and if you see a problem.

As far as age to spay there are a lot of threads on this topic and while some on this board feel it's better to wait, others (including me) think the health benefits of spaying before the first heat outweigh any negatives, so personally I would go ahead with your proposed time table. But that's going to be a personal decision for you and what you feel comfortable with and what your vet recommends.
 

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I wasn't thinking about those operations as a reason to x-ray at this point. If I were considering that though, I would definitely want a specialist involved with the whole process as was suggested by your vet.

I hate to even think that anyone would put a puppy through an unnecessary surgery, but my mind is going there anyway. I would ask that they put the x-rays on cd for you and get yet a third (unconnected) opinion before doing any type of surgery.

That will cost even more money.
 

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If anything, you learned your vet is ripping people off! $300 for a spay? Holy crap!

I plan on getting Anna xrayed/OFA'd at two just for my own peace of mind. She's spayed and not going to be bred, but it's just something I want to know.
 
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