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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
an adorable 6 week old golden chose us a few weeks ago (then about 3 weeks). we got an email after his first vet visit saying that he needs to go to see a puppy orthopedist next week just to get a second opinion on the structure of his paw. he is doing well on all other fronts but has anyone heard of/ had this problem with a turned paw at this age? did it resolve itself? thanks
 

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Could it be a nutritional issue? Pups who are overnourished/undernourished or getting an improper calcium ratip can develop bone problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i'm not sure. i assume the vet would have told her if that was the case and she would have relayed it to us. they are very well taken care of so they could possibly be too well taken care of? we really hope it turns out to be nothing.
 

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Do you have the puppy or is it still with the breeder? Do you have a photo? Are they saying that this is a congenital defect or an injury?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
he's still with the breeder. she's not a breeder breeder nor a backyard breeder. she is a co-worker of a family friend whose golden and neighbors golden had puppies (both w/papers).

most of the photos i have don't show his paw, and the ones that do, you can't notice it. but we didn't notice it last week when we saw him.

the vet didn't apparently think it was too major, but the he still thinks it needs to be checked out just ot be on the safe side.
 

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awww I hope someone might be able to help, I guess it might be like e club foot in a human?

Hope the pup is fine and it's something minor.
 

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Is it a front paw? Which way does it turn?

My Sage (12 years old now) has an angular limb deformity of his left front leg. It started showing up when he was a young puppy (by 8 weeks). It happened because the growth plate of the ulna was damaged sometime prior to 8 weeks, probably 3-5 weeks of age). I didn't know about the deformity until I had had him for a couple of weeks (he came from a puppy mill so I didn't want to return him and have him euthanized-this deformity was in no way genetic, but made him unsellable).

90% of the growth of the ulna comes from the distal (lower) growth plate, so damage to this growth plate can cause a lot of problems when/if the radius (the other bone in the lower leg) continues to grow. In the case of this particular angular limb deformity, the paw rotates out and there is an extra angle at the wrist.

Sage also has a bit of an elbow deformity on that leg due to the abnormal pressures of the leg. He has lived a normal life despite the leg. I got him to be a pet and he has fulfilled that job quite well. He has even gone hunting almost every year (when he was young). Now, he is old and a little stiff (from arthritis in the spine) so he spends most of his days lounging on the couch. He also isn't on anything beside glucosamine/chondrotin and fish-we've tried a couple of trials with Rimadyl and then previcox and they don't seem to increase his quality of life on a daily basis. He does get Rimadyl on occassion when he's been extra active and it does help then.

Here's a picture of him earning his one and only "real" AKC title (rally novice). He was 10 at the time. I was so proud of him. You can get a pretty good idea of what the leg looks like. And FWIW, he only has a limp at a walk (because the bad leg is shorter), not a trot, so I made sure to keep him trotting when we were showing, other wise we would have been excused for lameness. We actually were excused before the judge even saw us move at our 4th attempt (it would have been a bonus leg). I guess it was destiny that he only got 3 rally legs, when he only has 3 good legs!


Would I do it again if I knew my dog was going to have a deformity? Probably not, but then again my priorities have changed. I want a competitor now and having a leg like Sage's isn't compatible with that. Do I wish I had returned him and gotten a "whole" dog? Nope, I have learned so much from him and he's been a good boy.

Wow, this is a long post. Sorry!
 

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I absolutely love the story of Sage. Congratulations on your Rally leg- very cool for a ten year old gentleman golden!
 

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Is it a front paw? Which way does it turn?

My Sage (12 years old now) has an angular limb deformity of his left front leg. It started showing up when he was a young puppy (by 8 weeks). It happened because the growth plate of the ulna was damaged sometime prior to 8 weeks, probably 3-5 weeks of age). I didn't know about the deformity until I had had him for a couple of weeks (he came from a puppy mill so I didn't want to return him and have him euthanized-this deformity was in no way genetic, but made him unsellable).

90% of the growth of the ulna comes from the distal (lower) growth plate, so damage to this growth plate can cause a lot of problems when/if the radius (the other bone in the lower leg) continues to grow. In the case of this particular angular limb deformity, the paw rotates out and there is an extra angle at the wrist.

Sage also has a bit of an elbow deformity on that leg due to the abnormal pressures of the leg. He has lived a normal life despite the leg. I got him to be a pet and he has fulfilled that job quite well. He has even gone hunting almost every year (when he was young). Now, he is old and a little stiff (from arthritis in the spine) so he spends most of his days lounging on the couch. He also isn't on anything beside glucosamine/chondrotin and fish-we've tried a couple of trials with Rimadyl and then previcox and they don't seem to increase his quality of life on a daily basis. He does get Rimadyl on occassion when he's been extra active and it does help then.

Here's a picture of him earning his one and only "real" AKC title (rally novice). He was 10 at the time. I was so proud of him. You can get a pretty good idea of what the leg looks like. And FWIW, he only has a limp at a walk (because the bad leg is shorter), not a trot, so I made sure to keep him trotting when we were showing, other wise we would have been excused for lameness. We actually were excused before the judge even saw us move at our 4th attempt (it would have been a bonus leg). I guess it was destiny that he only got 3 rally legs, when he only has 3 good legs!


Would I do it again if I knew my dog was going to have a deformity? Probably not, but then again my priorities have changed. I want a competitor now and having a leg like Sage's isn't compatible with that. Do I wish I had returned him and gotten a "whole" dog? Nope, I have learned so much from him and he's been a good boy.

Wow, this is a long post. Sorry!
Great story. Thanks for sharing! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@iowagold

that is a very sweet story about your dog. thank you for sharing it.

it goes in. and yes, it is a front paw. he's not going to be a show dog so that's nothing we are concerned about. our previous dog had severe allergies (he was allergic to not only grass, but to human dander as well if you can believe it) and it was a bit of a challenge. he was on injections for years, had to stay out of the grass as much as possible, was only able to eat expensive food and went thru a lot of as he was 130 lbs. the vet bills and all around bills for him weren't astronomical, but they were enough to not want to go thru all of that again. our dog before him tho was amazingly healthy. he lived to be 13. he was only arthritic and for the last year or so was slowly declining to the point that he began to fall when trying to get up and decided it was his time.

for us, our concern isn't getting a golden that "looks different". we just want to know that he will be healthy and that there won't be any huge bills in the future, especially if the large bills will be a common occurance throughout his life.
 

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I wonder if your prospective puppy's parents have health clearances? I would hold off on falling in love until you get to the bottom of what the front paw means, and also find out about hips/ elbows of the parents, and heart/ eyes of the pup and parents while the pup is at the vet.
 

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he's still with the breeder. she's not a breeder breeder nor a backyard breeder. she is a co-worker of a family friend whose golden and neighbors golden had puppies (both w/papers).
This sounds very similar to how we ended up with our first golden. We know three of the four puppies ended up with pretty serious medical issues (since it was a co-worker of my husband, and most dogs went to co-workers, we weere able to keep in touch for a few years). We lost ours to cancer at 2 1/2 years of age after spending about $15K on medical bills over that short time. One had a pretty serious auto-immune disorder and another suffered from seizures. The parents did have papers, but no clearances.

Not to say that this is the case with this litter, but I had a voice in the back of my head questioning getting the puppy which I wish I had listened to. I know you're looking for reassurances that everything will be fine, but listen to your gut too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
the parents are in great health. i can't remember exactly how old the father is, but the mother 1 1/2. all of his litter mates are in excellent health tho and if we decide not to take him, there is a girl in the litter we like as well and she said she won't let anyone chose her until we decide what we're going to do after he sees the specialist. but the holding off on loving him part is hard. santa even came to visit him! :) we saw him again yesterday and he even seemed to recognize us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
what are clearances? these were an accident litter and we aren't paying her for her to make a profit. it's just to cover the medical bills and food and things until they come home to their owners
 

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Oh, I forgot to add that Sage DID have surgery on the leg when he was 4 months old at our local vet school. They removed a section of his ulna to allow the radius some chance to grow more normally. Unfortunately most of the damage was already done by that time. Twelve years ago, the surgery cost $500. I'm quite sure the surgery would be $800-$1000 now. They could have also done another surgery on the leg to straighten/lengthen it. That surgery would have involved external fixators, several months, and several thousand dollars (not to mention all the pain!).

Maybe if you choose this pup and you get him to an ortho vet ASAP, something can be done to help the leg grow more normally.

To answer your last question, clearances are the results of extensive testing on the parents. Goldens should be cleared of hip dysplasia (by OFA or PennHIP), elbow dysplasia (OFA), cardiac conditions (OFA), thyroid problems (OFA), and eye problems (CERF). The first two can't even be accomplished until the dog in question is 2 years old. The third should be done by a cardiologist after the dog is a year old. And the other two should be periodically redone over the life of the dog.

Obviously if Mom is only 1 1/2, then it is definite she doesn't have hip/elbow clearances and most likely doesn't have the others. My best advice, if you choose to go with this litter, is to put the leftover money that would have been spent on a pup from clearanced parents ($1000+) into a savings account to pay for any potential problems that pop up. Hip surgery can run anywhere from $1000 to several thousand (per LEG). The other problems can add up quickly too. If you don't use it for routine stuff (vaccinations, heartworm pills, neutering, teeth cleaning) then it will be there when/if you need it. If you never need it, great! You'll have a nice little nest egg to buy your next golden. You can never have just one!
 

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Knowing what I know now about health testing breeding stock, there is absolutley no way I would ever buy a puppy from parents who haven't been tested. I feel that although there is always a chance your pup will develop problems of one sort or another the odds are greatly stacked against you if the pup's parents aren't tested before being used for breeding.

As for "accidental" breedings, I'm sure it sometimes happens when people don't take proper care of their bitch in season, but my feelings are they have intentionally bred these two dogs together. I just can't understand why. Apart from anything else the mum is not much more than a pup herself.

My advice would be to find a litter from health tested parents and leave this litter alone. ok, so this little pup may not have any lasting damage to his leg, but I personally wouldn't be prepared to take the risk. Like you said, your previous dog had all sorts of allergy problems, so it sounds like you need to give it the best shot at a pup without health issues.

I feel desperately sorry for him, though, but it isn't your responsibility to take...
 

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Health clearances are certifications of a dog's hips, elbows, eyes, and heart by a specialist. They are submitted to a central data bank( sometimes) called OFA. http://offa.org/geninfo.html . These are important to keep statistics on your side in choosing a healthy pup who will go on to be a healthy dog. You want both parents to score from decently to excellently on all four of these tests. While not an absolute guarentee, they stack the odds in your favor and the pup's. If you tell us your area, we can help you find a breeder who does these clearances .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i;m in the dc area.

for me tho, i had many dogs growing up. some belonged to neighbors that didn't/wouldn't take proper care of them, some were found abandoned, some were, in a sense, bequithed to us... we took which ever dog needed us (we never had more than one at a time tho). almost all of them were mutts and almost all of them were healthy. he had one that had mange and lived a relatively long life. so while i understand the stats of cleared dogs, our dog who lived to 14 was lab, airedale, and wolfhound was the epitomie of health but surely there was no health clearence. so truethfully, you can do everything right and still be nlucky with your puppy.

so bassically, a purebred isn't the main goal for us. while it would be nice, if we would end up not taking one of these pups we would more than likely end up at the shelter or a rescue agency. the cost of getting a golden from a huge breeder with everything set to a t is something we could use to rescue a dog and either save for healthcare for it or donate the difference to the specific organization.

i realize that is somewhat rambled and jumbled but i hope my thoughts translated well enough into words. it's been a crazy week the holiday and my mind from exhaustion and worry isn't exactly sharp at the moment!
 

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Since you're open to shelters & rescues I'd quite honestly pass on this litter...what has been passed off as an oops litter sounds like the classic BYB story "it just so happened that our papered & intact goldens got together with neither neighbor's knowledge & now we have pups". As for the price, I don't know about the DC area, but pups coming from parents that have had no health clearances & have not proven themselves worthy of being bred sell for pretty dang cheap & of course pass it is passed off as the cost of covering "medical & food". Hopefully these folks will think twice about breeding again & get their pets spayed/neutered so they don't have another "oops" litter.
 
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