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Discussion Starter #1
Our boy is 18 months; he is still intact, and we're looking into getting him a vasectomy after he's 2. He's a sweet boy, very biddable, pretty easy to train, we are considering keeping him intact since newer research shows it's better for his long term health. Our breeder asked we keep him intact until at least 2, longer if we were comfortable having an un-neutered male. TBH: he's been our easiest golden so far (out of 4 total)! I am jinxing myself even typing that...

We don't show, or ever plan to, and will never breed him: I'm wondering if we should plan on doing hip/elbow X-rays after he turns 2 to share on his K9 profile? Is it good to have a baseline from this young of an age?

We've never seen him limp, or have any issues when he runs; and I watch him like a hawk in our yard; he's taken to jumping up on our picnic table racing down it then launching himself off it to chase a bug or something stupid like this :rolleyes: I worry that we're doing long-term damage to his elbows with his youthful exuberance.

What's best practices? Our only concern is his long-term health and happiness. Thanks for the input!

ps
all our other Goldens have been rescues, although our first came with his papers (he was from a breeder in Florida), so we've never had a pup from the start to the end, and I'm not 100% if it's overkill to do hip/elbow X-rays for a pup we won't breed or show.
 

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I personally would. I never had hips and elbows done on Duke until I had multiple requests to breed him. He was 7 and passed hips but it showed an elbow issue. Our vet thinks the left elbow is probably from field work, but I wish I had a baseline from when he was younger. If I'd of known he had an issue, if he did, I would have limited the amount of field work he did to try and help preserve his elbows. I may have even done surgery if it would have been an option. When we found out the feeling was surgery wasn't a good option. He was showing no signs then but symptoms crept up quickly after that.

I just had them done at my private vet on my 2 year old and it was $500 for hips and elbows. It was well worth it for the peace of mind. Both of my guys are hunt trained and will not ever be bred, but I just think from now on no matter what my intentions I will have them done. It's also a valuable tool for others looking at using your breeder if you list his results on K9Data.

Elbow problems are not fun and in my opinion are more painful then hip issues.
 

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I would too. Like others said for peace of mind and to get an in depth look at my dogs health. I also want to be taken seriously by others involved in the breed and this is a great way to start.
 

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This is really helpful! I hadn't considered that his breeder would care to know, but that makes sense. Thanks!
 

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Just do ask the breeder to find out who does nice job on films in your area- it could be poor positioning and then you would be worried when there was nothing to worry about.
 

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Kate
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There are 3 reasons to get hips and elbows checked.

1. The dog is a show dog and you are looking to get your ducks in a row to validate the expense of showing a dog in the breed ring. You can still show a dog who has failed hips or elbows, however that's a lot of money spent in showing off a dog against breeding stock - when he can't be bred.

2. The dog is a performance dog - and you need to make sure he is physically capable of handling the rigors of training and competing. Generally speaking, if a dog fails elbows especially - people do not typically show their dogs beyond the novice level. They simply will not compete in any sports or levels that require the dog to jump. And I'm talking jump at all. With AKC, they have made changes to allow a different track for senior dogs and presumably dogs who are dealing with arthritis. That means that a full sized golden retriever would be jumping 12" instead of 24". For my dogs they are just skipping over jumps that low.... but I still think a dog with aches and pains would balk about doing a 12" jump.

Rather than struggle a while teaching a dog to jump and building up jump heights, teach retrieves, and all of the rest of the stuff - it makes sense to get the hips and elbows checked at 24 months. Get it done - if you dog clears, that means you don't have to baby or constantly question when your dog is trying to tell you he can't.

3. I know pet people who take their dogs hiking major distances, the dogs are "training partners" for marathons (so lot of jogging), and in general people might be asking a lot of a dog without thinking about it. All activities will have some wear and tear even on healthy joints....? I mean probably??? But getting those hips and elbows checked at age 2 (or you can do it after 12 months since breeding isn't an option and you are just taking a peek for your own information) - it means that if there's a problem, you know there's a problem and you can get your dog on maintenance plans and do a lot to keep the DJD from progressing too quickly.

Dogs with hip or elbow dysplasia start having problems by age 5. And it's not always straight out limping - but pulling back and not wanting to go for walks or just being more "lazy". ....

If you know early enough that your dog has bad hips or bad elbows - you can work with your vet on creating a supplement, exercise, and therapy plan to keep your dog comfortable long into his senior years.

The very best thing is if you have a 10-11 year old who is still running around like a young dog, has good solid muscle tone (there is clearly pretty typical muscle wasting with seniors - but you don't want that with a 6-7-8 year old), and basically isn't hurting too much. That's about all you can ask.

Picking a puppy from a breeder that does all the clearances - can help minimize the chances of you getting a dog who has severe HD or grade III elbow dysplasia...? But the rest is possible with making early changes in how you maintain your dog, knowing what's going on with his bones?


^^^^ So am saying, to me it makes sense no matter what that pup's job in life is... to get hips and elbows checked.

With the DCM concerns as they are (and we don't know exactly whether they are just diet caused or if there is a hereditary aspect that we don't know about) - it's good idea to get the heart checked by a cardiologist, even if you are not breeding the dog. That can be a lifesaver thing for you to do + that's important information for the breeder.

And then same thing with eyes - definitely do get them checked every year. That's not about breeding. It's trying to get ahead of any bad diseases with their eyes.... so you protect those beautiful eyes as best you can. I know unfortunately about people who get eyes checked every year and they still have had dogs develop PU.... and even early treatment can't always save the eyes. But you give it a shot + it's all information that's useful for the breeder (or other puppy buyers).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just do ask the breeder to find out who does nice job on films in your area- it could be poor positioning and then you would be worried when there was nothing to worry about.
Great advice, thanks! My breeder is in Toronto, Canada, and I'm in California, near Sacramento, unfortunately, I don't think he'll have a rec for me.

If anyone in Northern CA (from Sac to Tahoe-ish) has a recommendation for a vet that does great X-rays, please let me know. My vet retired last July, and I'm having a hard time finding a good replacement.
 

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There are 3 reasons to get hips and elbows checked.

1. The dog is a show dog and you are looking to get your ducks in a row to validate the expense of showing a dog in the breed ring. You can still show a dog who has failed hips or elbows, however that's a lot of money spent in showing off a dog against breeding stock - when he can't be bred.

2. The dog is a performance dog - and you need to make sure he is physically capable of handling the rigors of training and competing. Generally speaking, if a dog fails elbows especially - people do not typically show their dogs beyond the novice level. They simply will not compete in any sports or levels that require the dog to jump. And I'm talking jump at all. With AKC, they have made changes to allow a different track for senior dogs and presumably dogs who are dealing with arthritis. That means that a full sized golden retriever would be jumping 12" instead of 24". For my dogs they are just skipping over jumps that low.... but I still think a dog with aches and pains would balk about doing a 12" jump.

Rather than struggle a while teaching a dog to jump and building up jump heights, teach retrieves, and all of the rest of the stuff - it makes sense to get the hips and elbows checked at 24 months. Get it done - if you dog clears, that means you don't have to baby or constantly question when your dog is trying to tell you he can't.

3. I know pet people who take their dogs hiking major distances, the dogs are "training partners" for marathons (so lot of jogging), and in general people might be asking a lot of a dog without thinking about it. All activities will have some wear and tear even on healthy joints....? I mean probably??? But getting those hips and elbows checked at age 2 (or you can do it after 12 months since breeding isn't an option and you are just taking a peek for your own information) - it means that if there's a problem, you know there's a problem and you can get your dog on maintenance plans and do a lot to keep the DJD from progressing too quickly.

Dogs with hip or elbow dysplasia start having problems by age 5. And it's not always straight out limping - but pulling back and not wanting to go for walks or just being more "lazy". ....

If you know early enough that your dog has bad hips or bad elbows - you can work with your vet on creating a supplement, exercise, and therapy plan to keep your dog comfortable long into his senior years.

The very best thing is if you have a 10-11 year old who is still running around like a young dog, has good solid muscle tone (there is clearly pretty typical muscle wasting with seniors - but you don't want that with a 6-7-8 year old), and basically isn't hurting too much. That's about all you can ask.

Picking a puppy from a breeder that does all the clearances - can help minimize the chances of you getting a dog who has severe HD or grade III elbow dysplasia...? But the rest is possible with making early changes in how you maintain your dog, knowing what's going on with his bones?


^^^^ So am saying, to me it makes sense no matter what that pup's job in life is... to get hips and elbows checked.

With the DCM concerns as they are (and we don't know exactly whether they are just diet caused or if there is a hereditary aspect that we don't know about) - it's good idea to get the heart checked by a cardiologist, even if you are not breeding the dog. That can be a lifesaver thing for you to do + that's important information for the breeder.

And then same thing with eyes - definitely do get them checked every year. That's not about breeding. It's trying to get ahead of any bad diseases with their eyes.... so you protect those beautiful eyes as best you can. I know unfortunately about people who get eyes checked every year and they still have had dogs develop PU.... and even early treatment can't always save the eyes. But you give it a shot + it's all information that's useful for the breeder (or other puppy buyers).
Kate; thank you for this wealth of information! I truly appreciate your perspective, and concur. I'm learning a lot today. Barkley's going to have a slew of appointments in October when he turns 2.
 

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Yes, for sure! Mainly for piece of mind, but it's also a good thing to have on record for the future. A lot of breeders when considering a certain dog for their program don't just look at the individual dog and their ancestors, but also siblings. The more dogs that get x-rays and grades from OFA, the more information breeders have to work with in the future.

It's a good thing for you to know too, especially if your dog is active and will continue to be active well into his life. Kaizer and I do agility non-competitively right now, but if we ever do try to compete, he'll be jumping 24". We also walk through the woods a lot, and he's constantly running full speed and jumping over rocks and logs. I got his hips/elbows looked at in February just to make sure there wasn't any issues - both came back with passing grades, but I suspect one of his elbows will be an issue when he gets older (his x-ray looked a little weird). He's almost 5, I didn't get them done at 2 because we had other issues we were dealing with, but I wish I did for a baseline - I have no idea if his elbow always looked like that or if it was something that happened with wear.
 

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Late to the party...

We're going to have our Kona put through the paces, and submit info to OFA.

#1 - Our own peace of mind. We'd like to have an idea if there's anything to be aware of, vice "wondering".
#2 - Adding info to the data lake. The more info, the better.
 

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Both my girls were raised from pups, and I have had both of them X-rayed. My vet said Amber [9+ years] had one shallow hip socket, so she has been on glucosamine her whole life. She had never showed any signs of pain and still loves to run. She has slowed down with age, but she seems happy to be out. Sheena's X-rays showed no problems, and she runs full speed when off leash in the country. They are both house companions, so they never have any really serious workouts. I would recommend X-rays just for peace of mind.
 

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I was pretty paranoid so I got lily x rayed, she's had them slightly before she turned 2 when she got spayed ( I think 21 months), and then I repeated it last year when she was 3 ( because she suddenly lifted her back foot and didn't put weight so i freaked out, by the time we reached the vet she was fine, but I requested they x ray anyways haha)

She doesn't have any Hip dysplasia, but I don't think she has very deep sockets so I do have her on supplements! my vet says the next time we can get them done is when she is maybe 7 so that will be done as well in case there are changes.

Her background is pet store so no pedigree, no hip clearances so it was important for me to have a baseline.

For Monty as I do show him, and he will be getting them done at 2 and I will submit to OFA for my record and to update on his K9data page etc, and that is needed if he is to be bred (assuming he passes all clearances & titles etc). I asked my vet about it and they were charging like... $300 ( $200 USD) just to submit them to OFA??! this doesn't include cost of the x rays, or sedation! so i will probably submit them myself down the road ( need to research how). even if he fails, i'll still continue to show him too (just no breeding etc of course) and I will for sure update my breeder on his results be it pass or fail as well, I'm sure she will want to know! e
 

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I would - and I did. I really just wanted to know how her hips were because she is extremely active, and I got the surprise of my life when I discovered she has grade 1 elbow dysplasia. But it was great to know, because I had her evaluated by a sports medicine vet specialist, got prescribed preventative exercise and meds and supplements, and my now 7-year-old has never had a symptom. I was going to get her re-x-rayed last month just to see if there was any change at all (it won't get better, but i wanted to make sure there was no progression) but the clinic was cancelled because of the lockdowns. So I think it's just really good information to have, and if you have a good breeder, they will welcome having the information about the puppies they produce.
 

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Great advice, thanks! My breeder is in Toronto, Canada, and I'm in California, near Sacramento, unfortunately, I don't think he'll have a rec for me.

If anyone in Northern CA (from Sac to Tahoe-ish) has a recommendation for a vet that does great X-rays, please let me know. My vet retired last July, and I'm having a hard time finding a good replacement.

Did your breeder keep any siblings for show or breading? Do they have thoughts on getting the info onto k9data?

BTW what breeder did you go to?
 

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I have clearances done whether I plan to breed or not. I do train & show in obedience, rally, agility, and even 1 dog in hunt tests (his breeder's request).

That said, I respect my breeders and do what I can to help them. That includes doing clearances so they can be more informed on how the pairings went, did any problems pop up, are there any carrier status on DNA, hips, hearts, elbows, eyes look good?.

Some of my dogs are bred but while I have input into the breedings, my breeders make all the final decisions and clearances help those decisions. If my dogs are not bred, their clearance information builds into the breadth of genetic information my breeders examine so they have a fuller picture of how their lines are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Did your breeder keep any siblings for show or breading? Do they have thoughts on getting the info onto k9data?

BTW what breeder did you go to?
I don't think our breeder kept any pups from our litter for their breeding program, but to be honest, I never asked! Our pup is from Kyon; thanks for the suggestion to check with him: I know a lot of their pups end up in the U.S. but does this information easily cross borders? Would a puppy buyer in Toronto look at OFA or K9data?

Regardless, I will be getting B's xrays/heart/eyes checked in late October, early November, after he turns 2, and putting that info on K9. I'll share with Sean too (if he wants it).
 

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I don't think our breeder kept any pups from our litter for their breeding program, but to be honest, I never asked! Our pup is from Kyon; thanks for the suggestion to check with him: I know a lot of their pups end up in the U.S. but does this information easily cross borders? Would a puppy buyer in Toronto look at OFA or K9data?
Yes - at least the ones who know about ethical and responsible breeders will. Those same breeders in Canada use OFA; they follow the same clearance guidelines here as in the US. And many of them have their dogs on K9Data, too.
 

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My youngest is from a wonderful breeder, but I will never show her or breed her, and she'll be spayed when she's 2. But I will do her hip and elbow clearances, and she's already had preliminary heart and eye tests. I want to to do it for both my own knowledge, and also because I love my breeder. She is responsible and ethical and does it for all the right reasons and I want to be able to show that Juneau is another healthy, responsibly bred dog in her bloodlines.
 
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