Tight Hips May Also Be Caused By:
- standing after long periods of sitting
- A tipped pelvis, which creates a structural imbalance
- Postural habits like leaning over into one hip or leaning forward into both hips when standing
- sleeping all night on the same side of the body
- having one leg longer than the other
- Tight hips may also flare up when you perform lower body exercises, like squats and deadlifts.
Classification Of Ofa Grades
Elbow and hip dysplasia are forms of inherited polygenic disease. It is a condition which shows signs as early as five months old. Typically, symptoms manifest between the fourth to sixth years of the dogs life. The detached cartilage rubbing against one another can result in lameness, puffiness, and pain.
The ensemble of dominant characteristic displayed by an organism is called phenotype. A collection of traits is called phenome. For dogs, OFA screens the phenotypic hip and elbow assessment.
They are categorized into seven categories:
Fair, good and excellent, are all considered normal results. Dog breeders should aim for these results. Borderline is a worrying but not dramatic OFA grade. Mild, moderate and severe, are considered dysplastic results and therefore such dogs should never be bred.
First Signs Of Hip Dysplasia And What You Need To Do
One health condition that all German shepherd owners need to be aware of is hip dysplasia. Some German shepherds are genetically prone to this crippling condition, however, it is possible for all breeds of dogs to be effected.
Both small and large dogs can suffer from hip dysplasia, despite it being more common in large or giant breeds such as German shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernards, and Great Danes.
Responsible breeders wont breed dogs with canine hip dysplasia and some will perform genetic tests on their dogs to reduce the genetic risk. However, there are additional factors at play that increase the odds of dogs genetically predisposed to developing CHD.
Along with genetics, nutrition, excessive growth, some types of exercise, and being overweight can all contribute to a dog developing hip dysplasia, which can show up in dogs as young as four months old.
What is canine hip dysplasia ?
According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, CHD is:
a condition that begins in dogs as they grow and results in instability or a loose fit of the hip joint. The hip joint laxity is responsible for potential clinical signs of hip pain and limb dysfunction and progressive joint changes.
What are the symptoms of Canine Hip Dysplasia?
Every German shepherd owner should be aware of the signs and symptoms of CHD so they can get appropriate care for their pet as soon as possible. The symptoms of CHD include:
How is canine hip dysplasia diagnosed?
You May Like: Why German Shepherds Are Good Family Pets
How To Help German Shepherds With Hip Problems
Find an Ethical Breeder
An ethical breeder will breed from HD free adults. Of course, theres no guarantee this will eliminate the risk of HD. But it can reduce the odds.
In Germany, dogs must certified HD free before they are used in a breeding pair.
This is not mandatory in the U.S. And as far as I know HD screening is not required in the U.K. either. But a reputable breeder should be able to provide you with this information.
Early detection gives you more opportunities to help slow down the degeneration.
Charley was 5 when she came into my life. So I didnt have the privilege of having her as a pup. If I had, I could have started with a host of treatments to help her more.
The only way to be 100% sure of HD is through an x-ray. These are done anywhere from the age of 6 months. But in most cases, from 12 months.
Maintain Healthy Weight
This is the most important part of helping German Shepherds with hip problems.
Keeping your GSDs weight at the lower end of the weight range will reduce stress on the hips.
Charley weighs in at 28kg thats about 64lbs. Shes a medium, compact German Shepherd, and a female. So her weight is perfect for her size.
Controlling weight is a two-fold plan exercise and diet.
Keeping your GSD on a healthy diet will naturally help maintain a healthy weight.
The ideal diet should be high in protein and calcium. Low in fats and grains like starch, soy and wheat is ideal.
Think about it
What Are The Treatment Options For Hip Dysplasia
Depending on your pets age, physical condition, and degree of hip pain/lameness, there are several surgical treatment options. Young dogs that show hip pain early in life that have no evidence of osteoarthritis on pre-operative radiographs may qualify for a triple pelvic osteotomy . This procedure allows your pet to keep its own hip joint, and eliminates pain and lameness by correcting the laxity within the hip joint.
Dogs older than 12 months that have osteoarthritis or dislocation of the hip joint secondary to severe hip dysplasia can be treated with either a total hip replacement or femoral head ostectomy . The advantage of total hip replacement is that it eliminates pain and lameness and provides normal range of motion and gait by removing the affected joint and replacing it with a prosthetic joint that is biomechanically similar to the original joint. Total hip replacements are usually very successful for the lifetime of your pet, and active dogs are able to resume a high level of activity for the remainder of their lives.
Radiographs of a juvenile dog with subluxation of both hip joints secondary to hip dysplasia. The head of the femur is poorly seated within the acetabulum, indicating poor hip joint congruity. There is no evidence of degenerative joint disease .
Don’t Miss: German Shepherd 101 Owners Guide
How Can I Help My German Shepherds Hips
After a vet examines your German Shepherd for hip pain they may prescribe medications to relieve their discomfort and help improve mobility. Some veterinarians advocate the use of many hip pain home remedies that are safe, natural, less invasive, and more economical than prescription medication. In addition, you can help your German Shepherds hips by giving your GSD beneficial oils, organic-based supplements, herbal remedies, and adjust their physical lifestyle to reduce hip pain in your German Shepherd.
Always follow the advice of your vet when dealing with a German Shepherd with hip problems. Never try to diagnose hip problems in your German Shepherd yourself.
Potential Health Issues In German Shepherds + How To Prevent Them
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get compensated if you buy through these links this is at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
German Shepherds are amazing, loving companions and faithful guardians who provide their families with years of joy.
However, they are also predisposed to a variety of health issues. Unfortunately, many of these health issues are genetic due to improper breeding practices to achieve a specific breed standard throughout the breeds history.
Of course, not every condition is genetic. Many health problems that plague German Shepherds are also related to their size, activity level, or merely being dogs.
Here are 20 of the most common potential health issues that affect German Shepherds, plus some steps you can take to help prevent them.
Read Also: How To Pick A Good German Shepherd Puppy
Swiss German Shepherd Profile
In truth, it was solely due to a fallacious perception that the white offspring were sometimes seen inside the German breed had been genetically inferior, and thus unworthy of pedigree registration, that the White Swiss got here into existence within the first place.
While it shares most of the traits, bodily and behavioral, of its better-known relation, being loyal, protecting, intelligent, and extremely work-driven, the White Swiss is mostly described as a more mellow and fewer extremely strung dog, which may solely add to its attraction.
The breeds coat developed to face up to the tough winters of Switzerland the place this breed originates from. Thick fur makes Berger Blanc Suisse dogs great for colder temperatures.
They can play in the snow for hours without getting chilly. This nevertheless means additionally that they dont benefit from the warmth.
When it is rather heated exterior, dont push your dog. Let him determine how long and the way far he desires walks to last. And by no means go away the home without a bottle of contemporary water.Many of those malleable dogs are employed within the emergency providers, and theyre ideally suited to the calls for search and rescue or policing duties. As one may think, they need to be stored busy and stimulated if dwelling solely as pets.
The thick white coat wants regular grooming to keep up its attractiveness, and it leaves its mark within the type of a bushy path across the dwelling.
How To Prevent Arthritis In Rottweilers
German shepherds are amazing dogs to watch. Their bodies seem to glide over the ground as they run. Unfortunately, these loyal and protective dogs are prone to joint pain caused by hip dysplasia and arthritis. Surgery, medication, supplements and exercise are some means of easing the dogâs joint pain.
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy German Shepherd Husky Mix
Customized Hip Support Options Are Available
No one solution will work for every pet, so choosing a hip support that will adapt to fit your dogs diagnosis is vital. The Walkin Hip-EEZ hip support system is the ideal solution for dogs who need to customize the type of support they receive. The Hip-EEZ is the only canine hip support with various attachments to treat and support different joint conditions, including:
- Hip Subluxation
- Supporting the remaining healthy hip of an amputee pet
- Pressure sore treatment and prevention
Pet parents can purchase the Hip-EEZ attachments separately as needed. Each one offers a simple, non-surgical option to treat common canine hip conditions and was designed by a rehab practitioner based on actual patients that she treated.
Recommended Reading: Royal Canin 30 Lb Bag German Shepherd
Natural Relief For Pain
You can ease your German shepherdâs joint pain to a small extent by supplementing his diet. The two most important supplements for joint support are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. While these supplements wonât cure any damage caused by dysplasia, arthritis or injury, they will help your pupâs body repair damaged tissues in the joints. Natural anti-inflammatory supplements like omega-3s and vitamin E can help, too. If you decide to add a natural supplement to your poochâs diet, talk to a veterinarian or pet nutritionist first to get the right combination and dose of supplements.
Read Also: What To Know About German Shepherd Breed
If My Dog Has Hip Dysplasia And I Want To Pursue Additional Consultation Or Treatment At Texas A& M How Can I Schedule An Appointment
Appointments can be scheduled with the Orthopedic Surgery Service by contacting the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Monday through Friday at 979-845-2351. Either you or your veterinarian can make the initial phone call, but we will need to speak with your veterinarian prior to confirming the final appointment.
How To Slow Down Eating
Rapid growth during puppyhood, as well as those cases of Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, are all preventable by managing your German Shepherd’s eating habits. Of course, you want to know what youre offering in that puppy food, but follow the feeding instructions also.
- Feed smaller portions twice daily.
- Place a divider in the food bowl, forcing your pup to slow down.
- Follow written feeding instructions on the packaging.
- Dont completely switch food brands right away. Instead, slowly mix portions to allow adjustment.
You May Like: Clothes For German Shepherd Dog
Where Can You Buy A German Shepherd Puppy
The best place to get a German Shepherd puppy is through a German Shepherd breeder, and it it best to go through a reputable one.
If you plan on showing your dog or using them as a working dog, you may want to purchase from a breeder that specifically deals with this.
Breeders are not your only option. Some other reputable places you may be able to pick up a German Shepherd is through a shelter or charity.
However, due to the demand of purebreds, youre more likely to find a German Shepherd mix than a purebred through these means.
Equally, you must remember that while a good thing to do, going through a shelter or charity often gives you little insight into the previous owner. Even if it was for a short while, you do not know how your potential puppy was previously treated.
Also Puppies are often rare in shelters but you can find them from time to time.
Some not as reputable places, and not recommended, are to buy a German Shepherd puppy at bespoke pet stores, online, and through places like Craigslist.
You may be able to find a perfectly healthy purebred puppy through these means, however, there are quite a few reports of horror stories from these purchases.
You may have a friend who has a litter of German Shepherd puppies for sale, and though they may not be a breeder, you might feel confident purchasing from them as you know the puppies are pure and healthy.
Prevention Is The Best Cure
Preventing debilitating hip pain is almost always less invasive than curing it.
Keep your German Shepherd at a healthy weight, as excess weight can cause or exacerbate hip problems. Your dog should get regular exercise, to keep his muscles strong.
If your shepherd is experiencing some hip problems, consider a non-weight-bearing exercise like swimming instead of running or walking.
Regular massage sessions or acupuncture may help your dogs joints stay healthy. You might consider a supportive or orthopedic dog bed to relieve the stress on your dogs joints.
Don’t Miss: King German Shepherd For Sale
German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia Outlook
Although it may seem scary, theres no need to panic if your GSD is diagnosed with this condition. The prognosis for hip dysplasia is generally good, especially if its caught early. If youre willing to put in some effort, your dog has an excellent chance at living a long and comfortable life after diagnosis.
Hopefully, this post gave you everything you need to know about German Shepherds and hip dysplasia. The most important thing to remember is that its not a death sentence. With proper management through surgery, use of a dog wheelchair, or supplements, your best friend can still live life to the fullest.
Please below if you have any more questions for me or if you have your own story to share. I always love to hear other peoples stories, especially about my favorite breed!
Loss Of Muscle In The Thigh
As the hip dysplasia condition progresses, dogs will not use their thigh muscles nearly as much, especially when it comes to running and jumping. This will, in turn, lead to an atrophy of the muscles in the thighs. The loss of muscle will eventually become noticeable visually, especially if hip concerns are left untreated.
This is another symptom that is not usually associated with many other conditions. If you notice this symptom in your dog, you have likely already seen some of the others listed here before he has gotten to this point of muscle atrophy.
Don’t Miss: Why Do German Shepherds Roll On Their Backs
Using German Shepherd Hip Pain Home Remedies
Using a natural German Shepherd hip pain home remedy is a smart choice to provide a more natural approach than typical prescription medications, or as a complement with your vets approval.
Home treatments are readily available and offer owners and dogs options that produce noticeable results.
A German Shepherds ability to get around is likely to diminish when he becomes a senior or impacted with hip dysplasia. But that doesnt mean his activity should stop or his life becomes less interesting for him.
With you by his side using these dog hip pain home remedies he can still get on the couch to keep you company. Of course, I cant stop him from requesting to watch Animal Planet again!
The Top 3 German Shepherd Joint And Hip Problems
German Shepherds have a long history of partnership with people. Originally bred as working dogs, they were favored for herding sheep and defending them if attacked. Known for their athleticism, intelligence, affection, and protective nature of their owners, they are also known for diseases that affect their breed disproportionately, because of poor practices by some breeders.
Sadly many of these great animals end their lives in pain, often unable to stand. There are three common causes for that, which might appear the same to an untrained observer, but require different treatment regimes.
Hip Dysplasia / elbow dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is caused by a malformation of the hip joint that causes deterioration of the cartilage, eventually causing pain, arthritis, and debilitation.
In a dysplastic joint, the bones are too loose and dont fit snugly in the socket. This allows the bones to move beyond their appropriate range of motion, causing bones to rub together. Over time that causes inflammation, along with increasing discomfort.
The Assisi Portable helps with Dysplasia by reducing pain and inflammation in the area, slowing deterioration and improving quality of life with effective pain management. Many animals with dysplasia no longer need pain medication after using the Assisi Portable regularly.
Inbreeding and health problems
Read Also: What Is Degenerative Myelopathy German Shepherd
German Shepherd Hip Problems
Does your German Shepherd experience any of these hip problems?
Watching your German Shepherd suffering from hip pain really breaks your heart! Especially when you dont know what to do for your dogs pain.
Hip pain and German Shepherd hip problems can cause your once active, high-energy dog to suffer from:
- reluctant to move very much
- tired and listless
Even the fittest and most athletic German Shepherd are vulnerable to the same sorts of injuries and accidents as people are. And, just like you, your dog also may experience the downfalls of an aging body that loses its tone and resilience.