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We noticed our 6 month old puppy had a bit of a hip sway when walking, at out next vet appointment we had the vet check him out who said there was a bit of tightness in his right hip compared to his left.

He said he's too young to get an Xray on and in the meantime try not to overexercise him or let him jump up and down.

We have him on joint supplements, added extra meat into his diet, try not to let him run for long (hard when he's a puppy) and have been looking at hydrotherapy.

Is there anything else you'd recommend to prevent this potential hip dysplasia getting worse?
 

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You've gotta find someone to do an X-ray to see what you're working with. The hip swagger alone is not the way to diagnose HD nor is a just physical exam as well...I'd also find a vet who does pennhip or a lot of OFAs to get accurate positioning for the X-rays as well. Many Goldens have a certain sway when walking, sit sloppy, frog lay etc and have normal hips. Bottom line, you need an X-ray.
 

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I agree with everyone else, get the rads if you’re concerned.

But just for an anecdotal personal story for you - my oldest dog came back OFA excellent at 5 years old. He had a chronic right iliopsoas muscle injury which caused decreased hip mobility as he got older AND compensatory tightness in his left hip. My youngest dog came back OFA good at 2 years - she can move real stupid if she wants and her hips are not very tight. So all that to say that a how tight or not the hip feels isn’t always indicative of a hip issue, the only way to tell is through rads.
 

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Kate
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We noticed our 6 month old puppy had a bit of a hip sway when walking, at out next vet appointment we had the vet check him out who said there was a bit of tightness in his right hip compared to his left.

He said he's too young to get an Xray on and in the meantime try not to overexercise him or let him jump up and down.
So....I have a friend who shows/breeds malamutes. She took a dog in to get hips checked around 12 months (so well after 6 months) and dog had loose hips (plus the xray was a hideous positioning job which made loose hips look even worse) and the vet was all whipping the knives out and recommending hip replacement surgery.

This friend took her dog to a orthopedic specialist here in MI who at the time was the top guy for most people here in MI. In fact the current "go to" vet here in Michigan that everyone uses now, she learned how to do OFA's from this vet.

This specialist did new xrays which still showed loose hips and told this friend to take her dog home and let him grow up. His advice was get the dog on supplement, build up muscles, etc.... but let him grow/mature.

That dog had his hips redone close to age 3 and they came back excellent. I'm very foggy on the details now on which dog this was, but this person has had MACH (agility CH) dogs.

My thought here is that I'd be wavering between wanting to know what's going on.... and just wanting to kick that can down the road vs going through all the stress and anxiety unnecessarily. With a 6 month old who is not limping, does not have "popping" or "bone-bumping" (knock your knuckles together - that's what dysplastic hips can sound like, especially first thing in the morning)... has normal activity and bounciness, etc.... I would kick that can down the road to a point when he is closer to being fully grown and filled out.

Some dogs can look pretty bad. I've seen dogs whose backs are roached or hunched, indicating some possible sore spot in the spine or a need for an adjustment perhaps.... whose hips were excellent. And I mean, that was the OFA grade.

Some dogs simply can't trot to save their lives - and they have good or excellent hips.

Some dogs have smooth and gorgeous movement as adults - and who are show stoppers when heeling with their owners, and they have mild to moderate graded hips.

My take is the "sway" or perceived weakness with the rear.... with a gangly 6 month old, I'd try not to get too anxious or worked up.... UNLESS there are other symptoms. I would suggest you take a peek at how he gets up in the morning. If your pup gets up and roaches his back like a cat and goes "pop-pop-pop" while taking his first few steps after sleeping.... that would be a concern for me?

Anyway - if it stresses you out too much, get the hips checked now?

But if you decide to wait another 6-12 months+, give or take before you check, maybe suggest adding a joint supplement. Hydrotherapy is excellent. If you have access to fields and lakes, etc.... take your pup and let him run and swim and be a normal puppy. Jumping and all that... you can try to keep your pup's feet on the ground, but even that should not do much harm if you are talking letting the pups go up or down stairs, jumping on couches or off, etc. When people say restrict jumping and really extreme exercise with a halfgrown pup - they are addressing those people who let their dogs jump from fairly high spots. Or let the dogs do repetitive jumps (talking a lot of them) - example would be taking your pup on a hike in a forest where there are a lot of fallen trees that have huge trunks, and you let the pup jump over each and every single one of these, etc.... <= I think most of this would be sensible whether your dog has good hips or bad hips. Because he is still growing, you take cautions because there's other things that can get injured with a growing dog especially.

My opinion.
 

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We noticed our 6 month old puppy had a bit of a hip sway when walking, at out next vet appointment we had the vet check him out who said there was a bit of tightness in his right hip compared to his left.

He said he's too young to get an Xray on and in the meantime try not to overexercise him or let him jump up and down.

We have him on joint supplements, added extra meat into his diet, try not to let him run for long (hard when he's a puppy) and have been looking at hydrotherapy.

Is there anything else you'd recommend to prevent this potential hip dysplasia getting worse?
Find a vet who has access to underwater treadmills. I did this for my 6 month old golden who had a bad hip and he lived to be 12 and a half! We had weekly sessions in the winter then I just swam him in the summer. Having a pool helped!
 
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