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Love My Golden
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I am wondering what the benefits are to getting my 2 year old golden xrayed and evaluated for hip dysplasia. Daisy runs and jumps just fine but when she walks her back end really sways. The vet thinks she might have hip dysplasia. Just in case, I bought insurance a few months ago that would cover her in the event she would need surgery in the future.
I got Daisy from a reputable breeder and both her parents were hip certified. Daisy is a family dog and has been spayed so the reason I would get her evaluated is just to know and also cancel her pricey health insurance if she does not have dysplasia. What is the benefit to knowing? I already feed her a high quality food and she gets a glucosamine chondroitin supplement every day and I am working with my vet to get about 5-10 pounds off of her. Are there things that I should do differently if she does indeed have hip dysplasia?
The estimate I got included sedating her and a pain reliever for after the evaluation. Seems like this could be a bit painful and don't want to put her through that if I am doing all that I can do anyway at this point. Any thoughts or words of wisdom for me? Thanks!
 

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Stephanie
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If your vet thinks it's a possibility I would do it for the peace of mind and a head start on managing it if she does :)
 
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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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If she has HD, it's only going to get worse with age. By 5 or 6 years old she could be completely lame, as osteoarthritis sets in. I would get the xrays so I would know, so I would know the severity if it's there, and so I could plan a treatment appropriate to the severity so that her later years are pain free. Really, I can't think of a reason not to do it.
 

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If the vet thinks something might be up, it wouldn't hurt to take x-rays, though I would be looking for someone familiar/skilled with taking OFA X-rays. Second, if your breeder is reputable, she would appreciate the data point. Did you actually go out to offa.org and see the are and dam's 4 core clearances listed? Plus see that there was a solid history of clearances throughout the pedigree? Looking at the breeder's website, she only speaks of a hip clearance on the new sire. There is no mention of clearances elsewhere. Have you been feeding the required food from the makers of nuvet in order to maintain the health guarantee?
 

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Kate
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I am wondering what the benefits are to getting my 2 year old golden xrayed and evaluated for hip dysplasia. Daisy runs and jumps just fine but when she walks her back end really sways. The vet thinks she might have hip dysplasia. Just in case, I bought insurance a few months ago that would cover her in the event she would need surgery in the future.

I got Daisy from a reputable breeder and both her parents were hip certified. Daisy is a family dog and has been spayed so the reason I would get her evaluated is just to know and also cancel her pricey health insurance if she does not have dysplasia. What is the benefit to knowing? I already feed her a high quality food and she gets a glucosamine chondroitin supplement every day and I am working with my vet to get about 5-10 pounds off of her. Are there things that I should do differently if she does indeed have hip dysplasia?

The estimate I got included sedating her and a pain reliever for after the evaluation. Seems like this could be a bit painful and don't want to put her through that if I am doing all that I can do anyway at this point. Any thoughts or words of wisdom for me? Thanks!
Well answering your questions in order:

1. Getting the insurance was a good idea. Not because of hip dysplasia necessarily, but generally speaking you have a "healthy" dog. If she comes down thyroid issues or knee problems or whatnot - it will all be covered going forward. I think it gets expensive after age 5 - if the insurance even accepts patients that old.

2. The reason why everyone pushes to have hips checked prior to breeding, even when there is a history of good hips behind the dogs.... just plain and simple, it's always a gamble with puppies if they will inherit good hips from their parents or not. I think the history of clearances somewhat should help ensure that your dog's hips won't be severe. But you never know.

3. The reason why it's a good idea to have the hips checked on a pet dog is - you are going to do some things differently if that dog has hip dysplasia. And it all comes down to extending your dog's "active" life for as long as possible. You want to be able to have your dog go hiking and swimming with you at age 9 or 10. That's is your goal as a pet owner.

Dogs with untreated hip dysplasia (meaning no supplements, no swimming regimens, no steady careful exercise, allowed to become overweight or obese, etc) - they start struggling to lead an active life around 5 or 6 and they experience the "dropping rear end" thing sooner than those geriatric years.

4. Hip xrays aren't painful for the dogs necessarily. I think they have to pull the hips slightly for the OFA xrays so if a dog has painful hips to begin with, she might sore afterwards.

My Jacks had xrays recently when he had a bout of gastro and I wanted his spleen looked at. They positioned him on his back and pulled his legs down. And I don't know if it was struggling with the vets or if they twisted a hip funny on him, but he had some limping for a couple weeks after that.

Sedation isn't always necessary. Some vets do the OFA's without.

5. Going back up to the health insurance - it's not that pricey on a young dog. I think I saw quotes for $25-35? You may want to check around to see if there are alternatives?
 

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I think it's ALWAYS in your favor to learn if the dog has HD or not. Whether you can be doing anything extra will depend on how their hips look. If your pup DOES have HD, you will want to modify his exercise regimine -- no jumping, more swimming, less intense exercise, etc.

And Megora is right - pet insurance is good for more than HD. I would recommend keeping the insurance policy, even if your pup doesn't have HD.
 

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You may want to get his hips x-rayed but the way you described the butt sway, it sounds like a typical Golden wiggle that occurs when a dog paces (that is, moves the front and rear legs on the same side together when walking).
 

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Love My Golden
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the advice. I will go ahead and get her evaluated since there are things that I should do differently if she does have it.
 

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Love My Golden
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Discussion Starter #9
I didn't realize that Goldens had wiggle when they walked. Daisy is my first Golden. Hopefully her wiggle is just that!
 

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Just a caution on the xrays-
print out the OFA page on how to position properly- vets like to imagine they know how to do them, but I have seen some positively hideous films that are so badly positioned it's easy to believe the dog is dysplastic.... unless you also can see the improper position.... so while he may be a fabulous vet, it does take much practice to do good films - most pet vets don't get that practice. It shouldn't cost more than say $250 or $300 or so, and surely someone on here knows of a good OFA positioning vet to recommend. Position is everything.

edit- anesthesia is absolutely not required. I've never had a dog sedated for films. I think if the vet needs to sedate them to do them, you should look for a more experienced OFA practiced vet to do them.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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If your vet truly suspects a hip problem..spring for PennHip. You will get the OFA money shot, plus measure laxity which Im learning the hard way, is valuable to project hip health into the future...
 
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Love My Golden
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Discussion Starter #14
Hmmmm.....I didn't know that swaying was common in Goldens. I wish my vet knew this, she could have alleviated some of my fears. This makes me feel better. :crossfing
I think that I will look around for a different vet to do her xrays. I love our vet but I will ask around and see who people recommend for the hip evaluation. Thanks again!
 

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My girl who wiggles has bi-lateral hip dysplasia; my male who does not is not dysplastic--watching the two walk side by side, its obvious the difference in movement between the two.
 

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If male dogs reacted the way male humans do to 'the walk', Ruby would have a long line of boys following her! My husband has even commented on her wiggle, and he's practically unconscious as far as the animals go!

She looks like quite the seductress from behind, and she's perfectly healthy!

Do you have a good selection of vets in your area? The reason I am asking is that you might try to find one a little more familiar with Goldens. They do have some health issues that are common to the breed, and I would definitely want a vet who knew what to look for throughout her life.

If the xrays are solely based on the 'sway', I wouldn't worry too much. If she's exhibiting any weakness in her back end, then I would do it in a heart beat.
 

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Hip Dysplasia Study

Wanted to let you know about a paid study ($100) for dogs with Hip Dysplasia. I know many people who have done this and, Rosetta (the recruiter for the study) is very easy to talk to and will send you info on the study for you to look over. Here is the info.

Looking for purebred American or British Golden Retrievers with hip dysplasia. Selected participants will earn $100. To determine if you qualify, please provide your dog’s ventro-dorsal x-rays. If our researchers determine that your dog is a valid candidate, you will then be asked to provide a blood sample (5mL) for genetic analysis.

Dogs with Hip Dysplasia Criteria –

OFA Fair-Borderline: 2 years or older

OFA Moderate-Severe 8 years old or younger

To enroll in this study or find out more information, please contact Rosetta at 617-500-5100 or at [email protected] .
 
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