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B@ssmaster

Hip dysplasia?

12 posts in this topic

I have a question for you knowledgeable people. I have a 6.5 month old chocolate lab, purchased from a breeder. The breeder guarantee’s his dogs, so there should be no problem there. The pup is still not running with both back legs staggered during his running stride, he's still doing the "bunny hop" as the young pups do. Add to that, my vet says that his right rear hip sometimes has a slightly audible pop when she does his flex tests during normal checkups. I am afraid I have a problem to deal with here. He does not seem to indicate pain in any way, he's a normal, happy, energetic pup. He has spent 5 pretty tough days pheasant hunting this season following my older dog around, doesn’t seem to have any issues with being abnormally sore following the days afield, he never limps or anything of that nature. I do not expect any issues from the breeder if the pup does indeed have a hip problem, but I am not sure my vet is "completely knowledgeable" with the hunting dog hip issues. If you were in my shoes, would you see certain vets or specialists for an exam/xray before you talk to the breeder, or would any vet have the skills to be able to diagnose hip problems accurately? Or I could be reading a problem when none exists; maybe it’s normal to not have the full stride at his age. I am not sure, just looking for information/advice from people with more experience. Thanks for your comments.

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6.5 months old? I don't know a vet that would even begin to venture a guess as to hip deformity at that age! The bones are growing and moving and hardenening up and you wouln't even begin to venture a guess as to what you are dealing with. I'd wait till he's a year old and have a prelim hip exam / films done and start from there. Don't put anything into hip 'flex' exam.

Good Luck!

Ken

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If you live close to Watertown SD, take your dog to Dakota Animal Clinic. DR Gene Kluck is the best Vet I have been to in my life. CAJ

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6.5 months may be a little early IMO to have hip X-rays, but I would consider talking your pup to a place like the U of M around 8-9 months for opions.

Something to keep in mind as far as time goes with this. I have been through basically the same thing (just recently) and what I found out was that the U of M does not recommend doing TPO surgery after 10 months of age. You will get MANY opinions on this depending one what vet you talk to as some will do it up to two years old. I trusted what the U of M recommended and in that case it was too late for my pup to do the TPO surgery (he was 14 months old). If you don't know what TPO surgery is do a search on the web, it's really expensive but has a high success rate.

I had my first X-rays done around 10-11 months and they could see issues in his hips although they were considered mild. My dog was borderline as a TPO canidate at the time and 3 different vets told me the same thing.

Stillwater Vetrinary Clinc (Dr. Waters) or the U of M would be reommended from me. There may be one other place near you but I forget the name.

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I concur with the UofM being a great place to go, especially for surgery... but...

if you want the full low-down on hips and evaluations at a vet clinic as opposed to paying for the U, use Dr. Fran Smith at Smith Veterinary hospital in Burnsville. She's been on the board of OFA and can give you an accurate hip reading based on their criteria. She is also a breeder and handler of labs and knows more about the breed than probably any other vet in the state. She is nationally reconized in many areas of study. I use her for all my evaluations (never been wrong once from what I recieved back from the OFA) and any other intensive vet needs or breeding issues. Call her and find out what she thinks would be the proper protocal with your situation.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Good to know Labs...thanks!

And the U of M is definintley not the cheapest place around!!!

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Well, did the xrays mid Nov. Vet rated hips as moderatly severe. Sent to OFA. Came back as "Severe". Besides the alignment problem, my vet says that the hip sockets themselves have formed too shallow. He says the surgery can fix the alignment of the hip bone to the head of the femurs, but the sockets are not deep enough to reliably seat the head of the femur. Chances of the $3500 surgery producing a reliable field partner that will be durable for a reasonable number of years seems remote from that explaination. Vet recommended against the surgery. I agreed. Have obtained another pup from the breeder, who was more than cooperative. We now have 3 labs running around our house. (I must have done something right, since my wife has allowed that. She's a saint.) So, I have two hunters and my wife has a new 63 lb lapdog. smile.gif Not the ideal situation, but we are making the best of it. Thanks for the advice guys, I appreciate it.

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Since you are keeping the dog i recommend placing him on a joint supplemnent and ester C, my 1 year old lab was dianosed with severe hip displacia this summer and we have him on Glucosmine/Condrotin and 2000 mg of ester c a day and we have seen some improvement with him.

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Why is it that labs seem to be very prone to problemed hips. Don't breeders have the parents hips certified before breeding them. I realize they may still throw pups with bad hips,(recessed genes) but it is not as likely. One ? for bassmaster, did your breeder say he was going to take this stud and mother out of his breeding program now that they have thrown bad pups? Or will he keep breeding them just not to each other, even though they both have the problemed genes? I don't think I would have accepted a second pup out of his program, and definatlly not with shared genes of either of the first pups parents. No matter if they are from CH or MH they still have that bad hip gene. I do breed dogs, just not labs, and I would stop all breeding and start calling clients if I ever realized a health problem. After finding the source dog, culling all dogs related to them, I might resume my breeding program. Granted the 20 people I have on the waiting list would be mad, but most will understand because they want quality. Bassmaster I guess you are lucky you got a replacement, I don't think many of the 50 lab breeders listed in the S.TRIB on a Sun. would do that for you. Good luck with your new pup.

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Hip dysplasia is a bastard of a disease. While I tend to agree with the substance of your post, an isolated incident of a dog with dysplasia would still be an acceptable prospect for a breeding dog.

Case in point, I have a female who had 4 litters of pups, she has one known puppy with hip dysplasia... and luck would have it, my vet owns her. It is from a breeding from a direct import of a Scottish dog. Their hip program is no where near as far along as ours. He is 100% clean for hips and some elbows for 2 generations with some screening beyond that. My dog's pedigree is 100% clean of hips and elbows for 2 generations, 100% clean on hips with most having been screened for elbow for 3 generations and almost 100% for 4 generations on hips, (elbows were rarely checked back then). Just a few dogs were never checked that far back. We are now back into the late 70's and early 80's before most breeders were sreening their dogs. This line has dogs that are used for the seeing eye program. They are very stringent on which dogs will and won't be used for breeding. Should she have been taken out of the breeding pool? Her offspring culled? She is 12 1/2 years old and has the joints of a dog half her age. Structurally she is sound. If any breeder can uneqivicably state they have never bred a bad hip... they are liars. It happens. All we can do is minimize it to the best of our ability. And a good and reputable breeder works hard to those ends.

The way I've been taught, the passed down trait of dysplasia is this... all puppies recieve a 'dose' of the dyspalsia gene... how much they recieve dictates if the disease will manifest itself. It is not a recessive trait (meaning both parents need to pass along a gene for them to get it). Only one can pass down a large enough dose...

I do agree that in the Lab world, a majority of people breeding their dogs do little to no screening of their dogs, and this is sad... screebning of the parents is just a small step in the right direction... but what is above them? The more generations we can stack that are clear, the less your odds of ever seeing the disease becomes. This takes time, and the beauty is this... a true breeder out to improve the breed will stand by the pup and it's guarantee. We also want to know of pups that have problems and the only way to know what we are producing is for those buying our dogs is to get them screened. One way to achieve this is to place a 'limited' registration on the puppies papers. It limits you from ever breeding that dog until "I" the breeder lift the limited portion from your dog's registration. I will lift it upon written proof that all hip/elbow and eye criteria have been met. This will in the end also begin to curtail the problem of having 50 litters in the Sunday paper each week....

Good Luck!

Ken

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well put Labs

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CW,

Yes, the breeder has pulled the parents from his breeding stock. Very upstanding guy, IMO. In fact, I believe he's been mentioned here a number of times by others that have his dogs.

Both the male and female were screened and certified "good" or "excellent" hips, not sure how far back the lines have been screened however, I didn't do that much research. The breeder explained to me (a newbie) that even a pair of "excellent" rated LABS can run up to a 5% chance of throwing a pup with hip problems. Sounds like LABS4ME has said pretty much the same thing, if I may paraphrase: there is always a chance. I have to commend the breeder, he has been very straightforward in dealing with this whole issue and honoring his guarantee. He gave me several options for picking a replacement pup, from current litters to waiting as long as I wanted to pick out another pup from future litters. I chose to get back on the training bandwagon sooner rather than later, I'd like the dog ready for next fall if possible. He had a pup available from a breeding that looked very favorable to me, lots of characteristics that I like. The new pup is from a completely different line of dogs, hopefully he will be clear. Only time will tell. Early exams from my vet are very positive for this little guy (I know it's very early, but a nice feeling none the less.)

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