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hip dysplasia vs injury?

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Here's my personal experience with hip dysplasia. After my old German Shepherd passed away, I was given a pup by the local backyard breeder of GSDs. No questions asked, I figured Tara would be able to accompany me on my long daily walks. Walking is all we did, no frisbee, no foolishness, just wandering around the area. By 5 mos of age it was obvious that the dog was in serious trouble. Tara wanted to lay down all the time and she'd whimper while getting up and laying down. I took her to my vet and after x-rays the vet said she had the worst hip dysplasia he'd ever seen, there was no socket for the hips to align themselves in. Surgery was an option but I couldn't afford the several thousand dollars it would cost. I put her down that afternoon. I only had her two months but she was so loved. I went after the breeder and he denied he'd ever had HD in his dogs. I'm sure he knew and thats why he gave the pup away. This was a German Shepherd, not a BC but its heartbreaking in any dog. I hope Lucy is fine. My dog had severe symptoms that persisted regardless of how much exercise she received.

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I politely disagree then about the sports issues and injuries in dogs /humans. The shorter lifespan of canines has also to be considered. It is great you have the resources to contact and see expert vets. I hope you also listen to some of the people on here that have had the breed for many years. Pathology of disease is similar in many cases for humans/canines. I have torn my acl several years after my BC did. Common sense is also a good tool when raising a puppy. "Proof" is not always found in the literature. Ridiculous was strong word but I was tired of seeing you talking about doing things that might be bad for your young pup. You might ask the "breeder" why she let the pup go so young. I sure wouldn't get another dog from someone that did that. I made that kind of ignorant mistake 13 years ago. We are all on a learning curve.

Caroline

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i am not sure what is stupid. I have never gone running with my pup. i have played gentle frisbe for a total of 3 times in 3 months. everyday i play 10 min of fetch with her where she is not allowed to jump. My friends all think i am way overprotective of her. I was just pointing out that many of the experts are not sure the roll of exercise. Some have told me the more the better others have told me to be prudent. I personally feel i have taken the inbetween route. I have no stairs and when she was really young i carried her to the grass rather than walk on the sidewalk. No one knows for sure if it is a good thing to limit their activity or a bad thing.

What is really evident on this discussion board is all of us have tremendous love of our dogs and the breed. I think discussing these issues and reading each others opinions has been helpful.

Most importantly, this site has been a great site for psychological support. I am completely devistated to see Lucy limp. The orthopedic experts tell me its highly unlikely this is hip dysplasia. Hopefully they are right. Last night i slept about 10min. I love Lucy more than anything she is my little baby. Her smile and little cry when she sees me gets me through very hard days. I know many people including my friends don't understand this but i am sure the readers of this site relate.

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Hey Denise, I?m so glad you posted that link. (I should have read this second page before I spent 5 minutes looking for that thread!)

 

Echo, I?m very glad it looks like Lucy will be fine, poor little girl. It is worrying when they hurt, but please don?t go over the top worrying about her. Remember, hopefully you?ve got her for the next 14 years or so ? you?ll be worn out if you worry yourself to death over everything that happens with her.

 

As a for instance, I for one probably wouldn?t have even thought about CHD as a cause of Lucy?s pain unless I knew for example that parents had bad hips ? it?s so much more likely to be a traumatic soft tissue injury of some kind, which should be fine with rest, and maybe some pain meds like Metacam. My little girl woke up with a really sore foot the other day ? couldn?t put it to the ground ? Sunday trip to the vet ? no obvious cause, but problem located to one toe on one foot. Rest and Metacam for a week or so, and she?s back working ? with me having still no idea what happened. These things happen.

 

I can?t remember if we?ve ever posted for you the link to Kim?s wonderful Black Dog Farm links page ? a wonderful resource for all sorts of things ? including canine athlete stuff, and puppy stages. Anyway, here it is: http://www.geocities.com/black_dog_farm/BCLinks.html. You?ll find lots of great suff there.

 

While Lucy is having some physical rest, why not start some mind training ? maybe introduce her to a clicker if you haven?t already, and do some free shaping just for fun ? like 101 things to do with a box, which you should be able to find on a web search. Lots of fun, and helps to build that relationship with your dog which is the foundation of everything you want to do with her.

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To understand my approach to CHD, I have to turn to sheep, where some of the emotional and politcal baggage is stripped away, for an analogy.

 

One of the really important traits in our sheep is loin eye area. We want larger loin eye area to produce lamb chops with more meat on them. Turns out this trait is about 50 percent heritable. This is about the same as the upper range of the estimates of heritablity for CHD (48 percent).

 

What that means is that half of the work of increasing loin eye is done through selection and the other half through feeding. A lamb with genetics for small loin eye can have the best feed in the world, and it will still produce a small loin eye. A lamb with large loin eye genetics will only develop it if you provide the conditions necessary for the genes to express themselves: ie, adequate levels of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

 

We produce lambs with large loin eyes by managing both the genetics and the environment. We use breeds of sheep that are known to produce heavy muscling and large loin eye (Texel and Cheviot in our case) and we feed the lambs well so that their growth is not limited by lack of nutrition.

 

However, we have found that there are some economically-significant traits that are negatively correlated with large loin eye. Prolificacy is the main one. The breeds that produce large loin eye tend to be less prolific than the ones that have smaller loin eye areas. Since the vast majority of the cost of running a sheep enterprise rests in the upkeep and feeding of the ewe flock, it's axiomatic that the more lambs each ewe produces, the more potential she has produce for revenue. The difference between an average of 1.5 lambs per ewe and 1.8 across a 1000 ewe flock is 300 lambs per year, and in today's market that represents about $27,000 in additional income that can be gained with not a whole lot of additional cost.

 

So we juggle. We give up a little bit of loin eye genetics in the ewe flock to gain some prolificacy, and we use terminal sires with good loin eye to provide the genetic capacity to produce the lambs our markets want. But the two are in constant tension -- in some ways we're working against ourselves.

 

I approach CHD in the same way, except that we have no idea what we're giving up if we start to put selection pressure on tight hips for their own sake. I'm not saying that we should disregard CHD, but only that working ability should be the first consideration. Particularly in a trait that is apparently controlled by many genes, and is at least 50 percent environmental (and perhaps as much as 75 percent) I believe it's a really big mistake to put too much pressure on the trait.

 

Imagine 20 years from having dogs that are nearly free of CHD, but have lost stamina, or all work upright, or don't have a natural cast around sheep -- who knows what we might end up with. The desirable traits of Border collies are so subjective, the changes in the population would be nearly impossible to detect until it was too late. If the traits we were selecting for and against were as easily measurable and quantifyable as those in the sheep we produce, our job would be a heck of a lot easier. But they aren't. That's what makes this working gene pool so precious.

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Mite get bashed for this but here goes. I let my pups be pups. Tuck the bc wanted to get on the slide and my 7yr boy really wanted him too to but I figured a 3 month old pup didn't need to do that no matter the talent. Wait till atleast a yr. Tuck does run some,goes walking chases balls, plays with the lab and the kids and jumps onto bed and up for small distance to get ball. I've seen injured dogs and rescued a few. And I will go with Grandma's thinking AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE. Dogs don't stop growing till atleast 18 months and some don't stop till 2yrs. I try to feed good puppy food dry and some scraps ( as treat or whatever my small children hand over within reason). Money gets too tight sometimes and my dogs eat cheap food and get scraps and old bread. They never go hungry. (and if you do the research I think you will find dogs of old ate what we humans ate_-you know pre dog food days :rolleyes: ). The lab is a hoover when it comes to food so she gets hers once a day and I don't keep a full bowl out for her. Tuck is a eat a bite.. play ...play some more get a few more bites - somedays doesn't go thru his bowl. I don't restrict diet dogs or children with food unless they are hoovers and will woof down food so fast they are stuffed and still eating. They know their tummies better than I do. As Grandma would say IF IT IS HUNGRY FEED IT. Growing bodies need the right foods for bones and muscles and as parents, masters, doctors, vets and alpha dogs We are the ones who make sure they get what they need to grow strong and healthy.

 

Just as a side note only person I ever knew who did restricted diet was the owner of a Maltese pup and she figured the dog only needed to weigh 5lbs max full grown. My mother has my maltese whom I couldn't get cause she was attached to the hip so to speak with her littermate ( they would grieve themselves to death if separted -practically did a few times when had to be keep apart due to illness). Well my Missy my maltese weighs 10 -12lbs she has a broad build but isn't fat. Prissy her sister is petite built and weighs 6-8lbs. Same parents but just like us humans the genes deter our bone structure and somewhat the proper weight. That other Maltese that was being feed by a weight standard of 5 lbs didn't have as shiny a coat, eyes or as bouncy a personality.... Just to add fuel to any fires Prissy the smaller of our maltese is the one with hip problems ( and on meds for pain, and arthris) and my Missy the heavier built on has none of those problems.

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My rescue BC, Cricket, (now 1 1/2) has severe hip dysplasia (both hips are bad) and I opted to have surgery done just before her 1st birthday. She has had the worst hip done. It was very evident that she was in a lot of pain and it stressed me to see this. She is still recuperating in some ways, mostly needing to build more muscle in her hip area but I can say that since the surgery was done, she is a much happier dog. She runs faster than Jazz, and plays fetch continually. She doesn't do much jumping, and she may never do agility or other dog sports (herding not in our line of sight for the next few years :rolleyes: - but thats fine by me. She has a good nose, so we might try tracking. On rare occasions, I give her 1/2 a coated aspirin, if she has been over rambuncious in her play. She may never need to have her other hip done but that will be a decision I make when the time comes. I guess all I'm saying is that CHD is not a 'death warrant' for a BC....they can adapt wonderfully, provided you know the limitations.

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There is no conclusive scientific evidence that these activities or any activities increase the likelihood of hip dysplasia. Of course, any physical activity at any age puts your dog at greater risk for any type of injury

 

Actually there had been a study done in the States in the late 1970s with respect to Labrador Retrievers. That, of course, was before the internet etc and the only written copy of that that I had, has been lost via moves and housecleaning.

 

What was done was that they took 20 puppies. THe puppies were from two different litters, whose parents etc etc were clear for CHD. THe firs set of 10 were subjected to strenous field trial training from 4 months of age to 18 months of age. The other ten were given regular puppy stuff to do, a bit of low level training etc etc. until 12 months of age, and then the training became more intensive. The 10 puppies that received the strenuous training by 18 months of age, xrays of hips revealed low grade HD in 8 of 10. The other two were graded fair. The second group of 10 puppies, one graded poor, the others good to execllent. As they aged, the first group that received the strenuous training at such young ages developed chronic joint problems at a much earlier age than the second group did.

 

The researchers were of the opinion that overtraining in young dogs can create hipjoint problems because of the stress put on the jointes at a time when the muscles and ligaments are not adequately developed to support the demands put on the joints.

 

If you deal with any number of myotherapists and physical therapists that deal with young people that do a lot of sports, particularly competitive gymnastics, they will tell you in a heart beat that by the time those kids reach their teens, there is already damage done and degenerative changes taking place.

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