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I know that hip dysplasia is a problem with our breed. But I'm wondering... do we worry TOO much about it? I know that when Rookie was a puppy I watched constantly for any sign of hip problems or an awkward gait. And I am still always on the lookout.

Hip clearances were certainly an important issue for me when looking for a breeder. I made sure that both the sire and dam of my puppy had all of their clearances. I think that's absolutely essential. I also think it's important to keep him lean. But I wish I could let it go now and stop looking for signs of a hip problem. I definitely think that I worry too much about it sometimes.

We talk about it so much on this board. I guess because we want to be proactive and make sure we do what's best for our dogs. But what is the actual incidence of hip dysplasia in goldens? (I don't know where to look for actual numbers.)

Do we worry too much about it? Should we relax a bit? Or is it really important to constantly be on the lookout for any sign of it?

What do you think?
 

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Although Shadow had two hip surgeries for HD, an FHO at 7 months and a THR at 11 months, I have not been overly concerned with Tucker having HD. I did my homework when searching for a second Golden and although I know clearances are no guarantee, I just don't/didn't worry very much about it. If I were to see signs of a problem, he'd be off to the Vet in a split second...
 

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I often wonder the same thing.

I also wonder if maybe there is such a high incidence on this board because some of us came here looking for answers.
 

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I don't think we worry about it "too much"... Most of the discussion on it is prompted by a member who has valid concerns/questions regarding an individual. As a breed, frankly, "we" don't worry about it enough. By that I mean, people who would call themselves "breeders" and produce puppies out of uncleared dogs.
 

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I think it comes up on here so much because of all of the members who have joined after finding GRF on a google search after their dog has already been dx'ed.

when we bought our girls I wasn't concerned with clearances. I went to hobby breeders who could introduce me to the many generations behind my pups. I formed relationships with the breeders & found out the health history of those many generations. I LOVE that most people haven't heard of my dogs parents-good parents don't create good dogs. it's a crap-shoot, you get what you get. over breeding creates health problems. yes, careful breeding will slowly turn things around; but not in mine or my baby's lifetime.
 

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Susan
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I looked for a puppy whose parents both had clearances and I am keeping Jamie at a healthy weight. Otherwise, day to day, I don't think much about it. Of course I would head to the vet if I saw any signs of a problem.
 

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In some ways yes... It -is- a concern...but so is ED, thyroid, heart problems...and all sorts of other stuff.. specific types of muscle strains/sprains. But that's as not well heard of by the general public. There's too much that can go wrong!

And while yes, HD is bad, there is a lot that can be done to help decrease the symptoms in (some? most?) dogs with HD, especially with exercise and maintaining mobility. I'm guilty of not doing as much of this as I should be... *hurries off to appropriately exercise dogs...*
 

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I've never worried about it much even though both mine came from hobby breeders with no clearances to speak of. Maggie lived to be almost 14 y.o. with none of the common health problems we read about. Hank, at 7 mos. is still too young to be sure, but so far there doesn't seem to be any problems.

My BIL's lab had severe HD, and DD's fiance's GSD has early signs, so I know how problematic this can be.

I agree with LOVEisGOLDEN, when it comes to genetics, it's a crap-shoot, there are no guarantees even when the parents have numerous clearances. I in no way support the breeding of unsound parents, but I believe too many potential buyers put way too much emphasis on clearances.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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We talk about it so much on this board. I guess because we want to be proactive and make sure we do what's best for our dogs. But what is the actual incidence of hip dysplasia in goldens? (I don't know where to look for actual numbers.)

Do we worry too much about it? Should we relax a bit? Or is it really important to constantly be on the lookout for any sign of it?

What do you think?
This is taken directly form the OFA statistics. This is what the numbers reflect.
32 - ranking among all breeds (1 being the worst) Interestingly enough ranked at 31 is "Hybrid"
124251 - is the number of Goldens evaluated 1974 - Dec. 2009
3.9 - percent of Goldens that received an "Excellent" rating
19.9 - Percent of Goldens rated Dysplastic

GOLDEN RETRIEVER 32 124251 3.9 19.9

What is most troubling is you must realize that MOST people who know the dog is not going to clear never send the x-rays for evaluation by OFA. SO in my opinion overall, NO we do not worry too much about it.
 

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I don't think you can put too much emphasis on clearances. As far as I am concerned, if the pedigree does not have clearances, it should be a "no go" sign for any puppy purchase.

As to people who already have dogs whose parents did not have clearances, then love your pup, you will probably be lucky and have a healthy dog. I think everyone on the board feels the same way.

Selli came from a cleared pedigree. I didn't worry about it. There is the possibility she could have had HD, but I never saw any signs so I never thought about it. She had her hips x-rayed and got a good from OFA.

I guess the gist of what I want to say is, worry about it if you are breeding or if you are looking for a puppy. After you get your puppy, don't worry about it until you see symptoms.
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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Selli-Belle basically gave my answer. If you are a breeder, please yes, worry about it. If you're looking to have the healthiest possible pup given that life itself is a crap shoot, then yes, do your homework. Once your dog is home, whether a well-bred pup or a rescue with no known background, just love them and pay attention to their overall health. When you see something out of the ordinary or that concerns you, talk to your vet and do the appropriate diagnostics. No one should live with a companion animal in a constant state of worry....it defeats the joy.
 

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Because we have such an active daily lifestyle, I do prelim xrays with all my goldens between 8 and 12 months old even though they are pet dogs. Otherwise, I would worry like crazy. So far, I'm at 1 excellent, 4 goods and 1 fair for hips and 5 normal elbows with 1 bilateral elbow dysplasia grade 3. I only do the final clearances if there is a time they need anesthesia for another reason. Obviously, if I bred my goldens, I would do those final clearances. I'd just rather xray than worry.
 

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While I think that hip (and the other) clearances are critical, I also think that breeders and purchasers need to remember that they are not the only important factor. I've seen some very pretty dogs, with all of their clearances, who have horrible temperaments or other health problems such as bad allergies.
I absolutely believe that all dogs to be bred should have their clearances done, but I also think that they are only one part of the whole package of a healthy, sound dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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What is most troubling is you must realize that MOST people who know the dog is not going to clear never send the x-rays for evaluation by OFA. SO in my opinion overall, NO we do not worry too much about it.
How many people just take the vets word for it when they do x-rays? I am sorry I love my vet but he is NOT a radiologist. I had one vet tell me that my one girl was "at least a good - but should be excellent" - she came back OFA fair. Another vet told me he wasn't sure Cooper would pass - OFA good, but at the same time told me my other girl was "great - should be a good at least" - OFA Fair - sorry but OFAs panel is going to trump any vets opinion for me.

I wish more people would submit those x-rays even when they know they will fail just so we could have some accurate numbers.
 
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