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German Shepherd-Hip dysplasia

February 7th, 2005, 07:02 PM
I have a 5 month old german shepherd, I know this breed is prone to hip dysplasia. I read many different articles on how to help avoid it if possible, from breeding properly to diet. I don't know the back ground of breeding of my dog, he was a rescue. I heard for the diet to make sure I get puppy food for large breed dogs that don't contain more than 26% protien and 16% fat. Some say to start this at 8 months old, others say to start this diet as soon as possible to the age of two. Does anyone know any info on this?

February 7th, 2005, 08:57 PM
Hi I haven't been here for a while, but hip dysplasia is something I know quite alot about. I have a 22mth old black lab with severe hip dysplasia on both sides. She was diagnosed at 8mths of age---x-rays and a vet helped us to get a diagnosis. We are going to have to have a total hip replacement done this summer on the right side, but her orthapedic specialist might change his mind if he doesn't think that she's old enough.

Now that you know a little about me and my furbaby I can say with all certainty, that the specialist as well as two other vets, have told me that puppy food is very high in calories and therefore helps with faster development and growth. He told us that Sindar should have been on an adult type food for large breed dogs ASAP to help and slow down her rapid growth, as some vetrinary studies have shown, this may help with the rapid growth that can accelerate hip dysplasia.

Your dog either has it or doesn't, I'm sure that you known that it is often a common misconception that dogs suffer from H.D in older age, well that's not true. A dog will develop signs/ symptoms of H.D as young as 4mths and can go years without being diagnosed.

A good sign that a dog does have H.D is that when they run their back feet will hop together like a bunnies, they will be weaker in the back legs
and they can sometimes stand with their feet facing slightly inward these are just symptoms a visit to the vet to get x- ray's is a very good idea if you are concerned that your dog may have dysplasia.

And don't worry all hope is not lost if your dog does have H.D, there is life after being diagnosed with H.D.

February 7th, 2005, 10:01 PM
Baby kitty

My Bugsy has hip dysplasia too. He had a TPO done at 6 months of age. My vet said it went perfectly. He is allright so far (2 years old). However Bugsy doesn't know he has it.. and runs around outside & jumps off furniture like a crazy fool.. . So far so good. I have him on supplements. He hasn't had to take metacam in a long time. Although I keep it handy just in case. The opposite hip may need surgery as he gets older though (crossing my fingers, not).

I got him at 5 months old and at 6 months I noticed he was walking with his hock down. I though he hurt his foot.. what a week that was. Originally the vet thought he tore a major ligament in his hip (x-rays) because of the luxation but, refered me to the orthopedic specialist. After seeing him he was diagnosed with Hip dysplasia. And needed his TPO ASAP, because there is a small bracket of time for which this can be done. Seeing he is an x-large breed he was a little worried about the outcome. But all turned out well.

Info link on feeding large breed puppies

February 11th, 2005, 02:51 PM
My husband and I are certified narcotic detector dog handlers. Our dog, Alis Vicona was imported from Czechoslovakia (so we had to learn czech) and is a registered German Shepherd.
I would strongly suggest to you to get xrays done so that you can know what your risks are. There are other disease that can potentially affect Shepherds; it would be tragic to spend all this energy on needlessly preventing hip dyplasia when really your dog was developing something completely different :sad:
In a lot of cases, if you can identify what (if any :) ) problems might pop up or develop, you can handle and treat him accordingly and with consideration to these conditions, and perhaps prevent progression of any disorder.

Good Luck!


February 11th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Also diet is extremely important. Feed the highest quality food you can afford and puppy food for large breeds start now and only till a year then slowly switch to Large breed food that has glucosamine and condriton in it and you can always add supplements even if the food has it. I add fish oil for my guys coat. If you can buy the food in a grocery store or a vets office it is not good quality food. You want foods with no corn or soya these are allergens that bother a lot of dogs and are just filler with no nutritional value. Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet which vets will recommend have it as second or third ingredient so you are paying a lot of money for filler. If you want some suggestions for foods pm me I have read a fair bit on the subject and tried quiet a few of them. Good food you will feed less and in the long run it will help to keep your dog healthier and happier, that he does not spend a lot of time visiting the vet.

February 11th, 2005, 03:36 PM
I have been raised with GSD's and have raised 3 of my own.Knock on wood,none have ever had HD.I lost my one,Yukon is Sept.Tron,my current one is a retired Police Dog.My brother works for the K-9 Unit.My GSD's have been switched from puppy to adult at 6 months.This being suggested by my breeder.I totaly agree with what has been said about the food.Put him on a very good premium quality of food.I also agree about the x-rays being done.

Also,this is the age that Panosteitis occurs.This is very common in this breed.My cousins GSD had it.Watch for any signs of limping.It starts in the front paws,then the back.When Doc got it,he ended up with a fever,wouldn't eat,and lost weight.And the vet bill came to $3000.This in the matter of about 3 months.He had to have 3 exta x-rays.He was a large pup at the time.He was put on medication for the pain.Yeah,this hurts them.What she was told about the cause is,to much exercise at a very young age.And what I mean is going up and down the stairs alot.

I would definately sugggest you start him on the adult at 6 months.

Any pics?????? :D

February 12th, 2005, 08:07 PM
On another thread there is discussion about the barf diet (bones and raw food). The woman who runs PoshNosh told me only this week that she has seen first hand miraculous health restored to several animals - from major digestive tract infection to hip dysplasia - when they were switched to this diet. The idea is that like humans, if everything is in balance and free of toxins the body is made to self-heal. So it is preventive medicine in a way - and even though it may be a little more expensive up front, this kind of diet can save $$ in the long run with fewer trips to the vet (and no need for teeth cleaning either!) :)

February 12th, 2005, 11:01 PM
If anyone on here would know about the BARF diet it would be Carina.She has written a book that won an award. :thumbs up

Correct me if I'm wrong Carina,but this BARF diet is not for everyone.

February 13th, 2005, 04:45 AM
Happy to answer any questions about raw feeding. :)
A raw/BARF diet isn't the one and only proper diet, though certainly most dogs thrive on a properly balanced raw diet, & I prefer it for my dogs, of course!

But I find it a bit disturbing, this poshnosh woman making ridiculous claims about diet "curing" something like dysplasia, that is utter nonsense and irresponsible.
"The idea is that like humans, if everything is in balance and free of toxins the body is made to self-heal."
Baloney. :D
A good diet - kibble, cooked, raw, combination, can be important in overall health, and certainly many chronic conditions can be largely affected or caused by diet. But food is not medicine, it's just food! Goes in one end, gets pooped out the other. :p Adding omega 3 (fish oil) to the diet is supposed to be important for healthy joint development, as well as good skin & coat. It's the only supplement I give my dogs regularly.

Genetics probably plays a much larger role, certainly in things like dysplasia. And no breeder can guarantee 100% a pup won't be dysplastic, no matter how responsible and careful the breeding!
Many many dogs are dysplastic in hips or elbows, whether they have symptoms depends on how severe it is, and on how it's managed. Keeping a dog lean and sensibly exercised is important, espacially if it's a breed prone to this sort of thing. Often good muscle tone will help compensate for joint weakness, and carrying extra weight is really hard on weak joints.

February 13th, 2005, 10:43 AM
Carina - please don't get me wrong - she didn't say the raw diet was a "cure", only that she knew at on least two occasions dogs that had been medically treated by vets with little results did remarkably well once they started on this diet and continue to do so. It does make sense to me that food is fuel, and if you put bad gasoline in a car you won't get the same results :D

February 13th, 2005, 11:33 AM
Carina - please don't get me wrong - she didn't say the raw diet was a "cure", only that she knew at on least two occasions dogs that had been medically treated by vets with little results did remarkably well once they started on this diet and continue to do so. It does make sense to me that food is fuel, and if you put bad gasoline in a car you won't get the same results :D

Gotcha. :)
And yes, I've seen personally remarkable changes with dogs who were taken off kibble, so I don't doubt it!
I have a dog with elbow dysplasia (Cooper) and he has been on a raw diet & very well cared for his entire life. He is presently symptom free, gets lots of exercise, and even does agility. :) Would his condition be any different on another type of diet? I don't know....certainly zero-carb diet tends to keep a dog at a very healthy weight and any decent food (including better kibbles) help maintain good muscle tone & development.

February 14th, 2005, 07:27 PM
I have been reading on the BARF/RAW diet and there are some contriticting things being said. One site said it was a waste of money to supplement and give fruit and veggies to a dog being feed the raw diet, while some others say yes supplement and to give fruits and veggies with their raw diet. Does anyone have opionions on this? Thanks for any info provided!

February 14th, 2005, 09:08 PM
LOL, Kit. You've opened a big can o' worms here!
I sent you a PM. ;)