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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been watching Madison's hips the last month or so, and wanted to know if there was any cause for concern.

She seems to walk with a bit of a swagger, and when she runs she sometimes runs with her back legs hitting at the same time (apparently a sign of dysplasia) but once she loosens up she runs more freely.

I don't know if this is developmental, or early signs of dysplasia. She isn't fixed yet so we haven't had her X-rays done. She gets spayed next week so we'll know more then, but I wanted to hear people's opinions on the matter.

Her mom had Excellent hips and her Dad's were Fair, but he was a really large dog, so I'm not sure if that plays into that equation. I also don't know if there's much you can tell at 5 months. Also wanted to know if there are things we can do to ensure that she gets the best development possible.

Are there any signs to look for that signal good or bad hips? The way she sits/lays or walks?

Any insight is appreciated!
 

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It's hard to say. I'd have the vet take an OFA view and submit it for review. It's important because sometimes a general practice vet isn't as good at reading them radiographs as a board certified radiologist. The more eyes, the better. This would be considered a preliminary clearance since she's a puppy but it's wise to do because these vets see hundreds of films a month. They know what they're looking for/at. It costs a nominal fee, about $20.

My pup is out of OFA Excellent Dam and Fair Sire with a history of good, passing clearances. Every once in a while genetics stumps us and a dog does get HD or ED. Try not to worry yet.

Hoping that Madison's hips are OK!
 

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Madison

I wouldn't worry about Madison. I think she might be too young to xray for Hip Dysplasia, but maybe I'm wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not too worried, but I did want to be sure. Her gate is normal for the most part but sometimes there's a strut. She doesn't seem too stiff or sore unless she's had maybe a looong day in the woods after not so much running for a stretch.
 

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A 5 month old puppy is gawky and gangly and usually their legs are too long. They have legs and angles and don't always know how to use them. It is not unusual to have a puppy this age with their gait off. As long as she isn't limping and doesn't seem to be in pain, I wouldn't worry about her. Let her grow into herself some more and enjoy her fleeting puppy hood!

If you are going to have her hips xrayed, I cannot stress enough that you should go to a vet who does a lot of OFA xrays and not just your general vet. The positioning is everything with a hip xray and bad positioning can actually make good hips look far less than desirable. The legs need to be properly alligned and the hips need to be rotated properly to get a good view of the hips.

With that said, we had a mildly dsyplastic golden for over 12 years. He was one of our first goldens and yes, his parents had clearances. He was mildly dysplastic in one hip and it never slowed him down or caused him any pain. The generations of clearances that we have been doing have not totally eliminated hip dysplasia because it is a multi-faceted disease and has many factors besides genetics. However, it has lowered the number of severely dysplastic goldens there are. Of course, this is only for reputable golden breeders who have generation after generation of clear hips behind their dogs.

Best of luck!
Jennifer
 

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shadow friend
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I know from watching Cats and Dogs Kitty Galore - all those dogs walked with a swagger. I sometimes would worry with Max wondering what that would look like. But after that movie being so bad that I was reduced to watching the dogs from behind when they were walking around - that Max walks just like they do! And I'm thinking your pup does too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the assurances and insights. I'm glad a little bit of the occasional waddle seems normal. She lets me stretch her legs straight back along her body and lays like that often enough that I think she probably is just an awkward adolescent. She's also not bow-legged or in pain, but she is a little slow moving when she first gets up. I suppose we all are...

First puppy, bound to be overly cautious I suppose.

Anyhow, thanks for the input, have a good Thanksgiving! :)
 

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Nancy
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Isn't that called 'pacing'? It doesn't mean there is a hip problem, it's a lazy, relaxed way to walk.
 

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Hi,

Don't mean to scare you or spoil the positivity here, but Summer was only 4 months old when I noticed she walked funny.. 2 different vets examined her, and did an xray, but both said she was fine.. She walked happily, bunny hopped a lot, but her body did look like a slinky toy moving from side to side, especially when she walked slowly. When she trots she looks normal..

We were told to exercise her more to get those muscles going with lots of free running on grass etc.. Couple of months later she got a bit slow when getting up and I got worried, but the break point for us was when one day she refused to play..

Made an appointment with an ortho vet, he examined her and there was definitely something going on.. She underwent GA for xrays (he wanted a clear view of her relaxed and he also took PennHip measurements). Turns out she has pretty bad hip dysplasia. We caught it early and there's no degenerative changes in her joint, but it just doesnt fit nicely..

She's now on limited exercise till 14 months when the joints mature then we'll take it from there.. Maybe long walks (more than 30 mins) isn't a good idea with a pup as young as 5 months?

I know many people on this forum do a lot more than that with their pups and are absolutely fine.. Just my point of view raising a pup with hip troubles..

Another sign you can try - when shes standing, place some pressure on her rump and if it buckles down then it may be a sign of something going on.. Most normal dogs can withstand quite a bit of pressure..

GOOD LUCK!! I really hope its a puppy growing stage...
 

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The biggest signs before Calvin was diagnosed were.

- He would sit randomly on a walk and wouldn't want to move.
- His hip made an audible "click" when he walked.
- Bunny Hopping
- Hated going up stairs and didn't like playing.
- Wasn't just slow getting up in the morning... it was retarded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If she doesn't want to sit, she won't sit... But when I say sit and push, her hips click a little when she decides to sit. I wouldn't call it a 'buckling' though, but maybe I shouldn't be putting pressure on her.

She goes up and down stairs fine, she gets up from a laying down position fine, just has that 'pacing' when she's walking slow.

I always wonder what the right approach is with exercise, because we take her on quite long of walks (a mile each way, to the dog park) so I know she gets pooped out by the end, but she doesn't show signs of pain or anything. I also don't think it's super slinky-like, just a little sway to her. Also, I've seen videos of the 'bunny hop' with a dysplasic dog, and it looks really exaggerated copmared to Madison's run.

When she does it, it's not her full out sprint but between that and a trot, and her legs just kind of hit close to the same time. When she really opens it up she doesn't run like that.

Haha I'm not trying to look like i'm "in denial" or anything, I just wanted to paint a more vivid picture of what I'm seeing with Madison compared to what I have seen and what people are saying, to maybe help paint a better picture for people to form opinions based on their experiences.

And I'm still unsure about what the right amount of exercise is.
 

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With what you described just now, I'd have her hips x-rayed and sent to OFA for reading. Clicking hips? Not normal.

When my pup trots, his legs move back and forth with no sway. It's a really clean movement. Swaying could be lazy walking, but it shouldn't happen while she's trotting.

Wouldn't you feel better if your mind was put at ease if she's HD free? And if she does have HD, it's better to know sooner and being strengthening exercises and treatment.
 

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With what you described just now, I'd have her hips x-rayed and sent to OFA for reading. Clicking hips? Not normal.

When my pup trots, his legs move back and forth with no sway. It's a really clean movement. Swaying could be lazy walking, but it shouldn't happen while she's trotting.

Wouldn't you feel better if your mind was put at ease if she's HD free? And if she does have HD, it's better to know sooner and being strengthening exercises and treatment.
Seconded. I hope its nothing serious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yea, she doesn't do it when she's trotting at all. I would call it much more of a lazy walk, but she gets spayed on Tuesday and we were planning on doing the X-Rays then anyhow, so I will have them sent to OFA for piece of mind at the very least.
 

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Sounds like shes ok.. Though I don't really know what puppies with good hips actually look like while learning their bodies..

Summer did fine on stairs and loved long walks... Its torture now to keep her still!

Good luck =)

Apparently our first vet who took the xrays (Summer was a good girl, so he did them with her awake and staying still) had positioned her in a way that caused her hip to approximate.. So it looked like her hips were nice and tight. I didn't know any better and the xray looked to fine to me..

The ortho did some manipulation on her (awake and sedated) and she had a positive Ortolani's sign in both hips.. Her hips were also super out of whack.

Turns out from the first xray (taken at 4 months) he could already see that the socket was extremely extremely shallow.. We missed the opportunity to try a juvenile pubic symphysiodesis, which is done in young puppies..

All the best! Just hope you don't miss anything..
 

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Summer has HD but she doesn't sway when she trots. Only when she walks, especially slowly.. And she bunny hops a whole lot. She also ever clicks, only did when the vet tried to see if her hip could pop out.. EWW!
 

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Danielle
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We found out our boy had HD at 8 months old :(
I had suspected it for a while and he was physically checked by 2 vets.. both said he was okay. I just knew he wasn't and pushed for xrays. On a scale of 1 to 10 his right hip is a 9 and his left is an 8. He has no sockets in either and they are basically dislocated. He never shows any signs of pain, even when he was being examined and they pushed, pulled, tugged, and twisted on his hips and legs. No flinches, no yelps, no pulling away. You just never know with dogs, they hide it so well.

I pray that her xrays are okay when you get them done. HD is something I would never wish on a dog or their owner.
 

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Sorry I am just now seeing this..

When Milo was a young puppy it didn't take much to tire him out. I just thought that we got lucky and had a nice calm puppy. Or that he was growing and was just sleepy. But it was really his hips hurting him.

When he walks he sways. Before he was on pain medicine his walk was more of a "limp and twist" after a little bit of activity or exercise if that makes any sense.

When he walks I could hear his back toenails dragging which meant he wasn't lifting up his legs normally.

He tends to sit down and shift all of his weight onto the left hip, rather than sitting up straight.

He hated walking up the steps. He would sit at the bottom and just stare at them while he braced himself to come up.

When he is laying down it is very hard for him to get back up.

He doesn't stand just to stand. He sits (with the weight on his left hip) or lays down as much as possible.

Hope this helps give you an idea of some symptoms of HD.
Please let me know once she gets her hips xrayed, and I really hope it turns out okay.
 
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