How To Find An Ethical Breeder
Now you know the signs and what to avoid, but where do you begin to look for the right seller?
- Start with whom you know: Reaching out to trusted members of your own network is one of the best places to begin. Talk to dog-owning members of your circle to learn how they found their pups and ask if they have any advice. Even if they themselves are not German Shepherd owners, they might have helpful tips or know someone who does.
- Ask a vet: If youre already a pet-owner, pick your vets brain. If you dont yet have a veterinarian, reach out to family and friends for recommendations. Cold-calling a veterinarian who has not been recommended is not a good idea, but a vet trusted by someone close to you is more likely to be reputable and may know ethical breeders.
- Visit a dog show: Many conscientious breeders raise German Shepherds who become show dogs. If a dog is a show dog, odds are, its owner takes good care of it. After all, these dogs are being judged as the best-of-the-best.
Attending a dog show as an audience member will give you the opportunity to see for yourself how the breeder interacts with their dog. You can get a feel for how they treat their animals before making contact.
Treatment Of Hip Dysplasia
Since dysplasia gets worse over time, treatments try to slow development, ease pain, or improve mobility.
- The best first step is to help your German Shepherd lose weight with a low calorie diet this puts less strain on joints.
- Moderate exercise is best for dogs with dysplasia. Short walks and swimming are great ways to develop muscles to support loose joints. Since German Shepherds are so intelligent, dont forget training to keep their minds active.
- Your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medication.
- A special diet with supplements to support joint health can make a big difference.
- A heated bed may help your dog sleep and relieve pain.
- If you have slippery floors, you may need to provide some traction so that your dog doesnt slip and re-injure their hip.
- In some cases, surgery is the best option. Some puppies with severe dysplasia may be recommended for less-intensive corrective surgery. In other cases, adults with severe arthritis and joint damage may need a hip replacement or surgery to remove the top of the femur.
German Shepherds are wonderful, active dogs and often have a great quality of life, even with hip dysplasia. If you watch for warning signs and use some preventive strategies, you should be able to avoid the worst symptoms of dysplasia.
How To Treat Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds
If your German Shepherd ends up with hip problems later in life despite the preventative methods you tried, there are, fortunately, many ways to treat the issue and reduce the amount of pain they experience.
Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherds can be treated with pain and anti-inflammatory medication, and joint supplements such as glucosamine. Physiotherapy, weight reduction, hydrotherapy, restricting exercise on hard surfaces are other treatment options. In some cases, surgery may be performed.
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Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
The first signs of hip dysplasia can be subtle, so its important to be educated on how this joint condition can manifest in our canine friends.
Whether you have an at risk breed or not, we always suggest monitoring your dog for any of the symptoms listed below.
Some of the most common signs of hip dysplasia in dogs include:
- Hesitance to jump on furniture
- Sensitivity of the back legs
- Change in normal gait
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your furry friend, we suggest having them seen by your veterinarian for a proper physical exam.
The Safest Way To Diagnose Seizures
There are many causes of German shepherd seizures, and pinpointing the exact cause is a difficult task even for a professional veterinarian. Thats why the diagnosis was made.
Diagnosis starts with checking the complete history of a German shepherds physical examinations. They will then try to check if theres somehow a trigger that causes them.
Other specialized means of seizure diagnosis mainly involves listening to the lungs, heart, and even the abdomen. This is because common signs include irregular heartbeat and abdominal mass.
You dont have to worry because rumored equipment that can cause seizures like dog shock collar will not be used.
Through the symptoms, causes, and even diagnosis, you should already be able to confirm the German shepherds seizure. At this point, you should at least have some seizure treatment.
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Other Remedies For Hip Dysplasia Pain
For less severe cases of hip dysplasia, a veterinarian may recommend one or more of these treatment options:
- Physical therapy to improve muscle strength to stabilize the joint
- Hydrotherapy which uses water to aid in healing
- Diet changes for better nutrition or weight loss
- Exercise restriction to avoid worsening the condition
- Anti-inflammatory and other medications for pain relief
Who Is The Best Human For A German Shepherd
German shepherds love being a part of a high-energy family or with someone who leads an active life. A sedentary lifestyle doesnt work for this herding breed, as they love to learn, play, and be a part of their human pack! German shepherd puppies can get distracted easily. Even though they love children and family life, while training, its best to have them focus only on the task theyre learning so as to avoid sensory overload.
German shepherds are a tried and true family dog. They love swimming , running, and romping in a big backyard. Theyre highly social and friendly dogs, so a busy household works well for them. They also need plenty of affection and snuggles. Due to their hunting heritage, they love to play fetch!
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German Shepherd Feeding Guide By Age
As mentioned above, the age and development stage of your German Shepherd will play a big part in what foods are best suited for him.
To make your research easier, were breaking down the GSD feeding guide into age-based categories. Simply find your dogs age or developmental stage below to find the right information at the right time.
Be sure to check with your vet before beginning, switching, or stopping a feeding program. The information provided here is for research purposes only. Always take your vets advice for your individual dogs needs.
What Causes A German Shepherd To Be Put Down
The most common reasons German Shepherds are put down are musculoskeletal disorders and an inability to stand. One of the most common problems these dogs face which cause both of those is hip dysplasia. Although its not always preventable, there are things you can do to keep your pet from becoming another statistic.
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Genetic Predisposition For Hip Problems
German Shepherds are one of the many large-breed dogs that are prone to hip problems.
Some shepherds are born with a genetic disorder called hip dysplasia, which results in a misaligned hip joint.
They also are more prone to a condition called Degenerative Myelopathy as they get olderand often develop significant pain and weakness in their hips as a result.
German Shepherds commonly develop arthritis, which can cause significant hip pain and inflammation.
Before buying a puppy, be sure your breeder has disclosed information about all of these conditions.
If you are adopting a German Shepherd, anticipate experiencing some of these issues with your new pet.
Screening Your Dog For Hip Dysplasia
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Canine Hip Dysplasia: How To Tell
Do your German shepherds hind legs appear bent? If so, it maybe be because of breeding. The exaggerated hind leg angulation is often bred into the dog because of standards that dictate rear legs should come as close to a 90-degree angle as possible. Along these same lines, a sloping back causes hindquarters to become more angulate and, thus, prone to lower back pain.
These bent legs could point toward one of many health problems, one of which is hip dysplasia. If you notice a difference in your dogs gait or resistance to climbing stairs, it may be a good idea to have a certified veterinarian check your pup out. Although irreversible, canine hip dysplasia can be monitored and treated to reduce chronic pain. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 19.8% of German shepherds suffer from hip dysplasia. The progression of it and the treatment options available depend on a number of factors, including the degree of misalignment and age of the dog.
CHD has a range of signs, depending on the severity of the disease and degree of looseness in the joint. Symptoms include a bunny hop gait, limping, lameness in the hind legs, and decreased range of motion, among others. The severity also ranges from mild to extreme painsome German shepherds even have to use a wheelchair.
What Are German Shepherds Habits
- German Shepherds are active, energetic dogs who require plenty of vigorous exercise each day. If denied exercise, they may become escape artists or engage in destructive behaviors, such as digging or chewing. Their love of exercise may lead them to roam should they get out of their yard or enclosure.
The German Shepherd personality is aloof but not usually aggressive. They’re reserved dogs they don’t make friends immediately, but once they do, they’re extremely loyal. With their family, they’re easy-going and approachable, but when threatened, they can be strong and protective, making them excellent watchdogs.
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Should I Get A Male Or Female German Shepherd
While it depends on your preferences, female German Shepherds are friendlier companions and make better family pets. They are easier to train and more sensitive. They are also smaller, have better agility, and also mature quicker than males. Male German shepherds are more territorial, protective, and likely to show aggression. This makes them more suitable as guard dogs.
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Prevention Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
One way breeders prevent hip dysplasia is selective breeding. Obviously, this option is off the table for parents of affected dogs, but there are ways to help keep the condition under control.
Proper care can delay the onset of hip dysplasia in genetically predisposed dogs, perhaps resulting in a less severe form of the disease. In the best scenario, your dog may never develop any clinical symptoms.
Here are some possible ways to reduce the severity or even prevent hip dysplasia in dogs:
Does your dog suffer from hip dysplasia? What steps do you take to reduce their symptoms and keep them comfortable? Let us know in the comments below!
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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.
Does A German Shepherds Hip Dysplasia Affect Its Life Span
Dysplasia can be noticed in a German Shepherd from 4 months of age, while others, as they age, may have other conditions such as osteoarthritis. There are many symptoms that your dog may present with hip dysplasia. The symptoms turn out to be very annoying and serious, so your dogs lifespan could deteriorate.
Due to hip dysplasia, you may notice the following symptoms in your dog:
- Difficulty getting up
- Increased shoulder muscles
You must continuously take your German Shepherd to the vet for checkups to rule out hip dysplasia. When your vet performs a physical exam on your dog, you can immediately tell about his health.
The physical exam consists of examining your dog in the area of its hind legs, of seeing the state of its joints. In this way, the veterinarian will notice that your dog feels pain if you make some movements in the joints.
In addition to the physical exam, your dog may also have a blood test to see the complete blood status. Every time you take your dog to the vet, you should save the health history from supplementing this information with recent exam results. Through an X-ray, it can also be noticed if your dog has hip dysplasia.
Install Dog Ramps And Stairs
Ramps and dog stairs eliminate the need for your dog to jump and impact their joints.
Consider adapting your dogs environment to prevent pain from jumping on and off furniture or in and out of vehicles. High-car entrances and having to impact their hips to get in and out of bed to sleep with you can make your dog uncomfortable or worsen their joint problems.
You can get a slanted ramp so your dog can hop into your car the way he used to and make it possible to still enjoy your trips to your favorite hiking spots or coffee shops. Not to mention the obvious, but you might not be able to lift your large companion in and out of your car without having help, which isnt always available or suggested since you could hurt them.
A car ramp helps take the pressure off you and your GSD and make their usual routine a breeze as they simply walk up the ramp to sit next to you like your copilot on the passengers side.
And your favorite couch buddy wont be able to get himself up on a couch with their hip pain.
Be their hero by giving them an extra-wide carpeted staircase to sit next to you or bed down for the night.
Stairs and ramps help your GSD:
- get up and down off the furniture
- get in and out of the car
- entering and exiting their home
- reduce strain on their knees and hips
- prevent accidental slips and falls during uneven ground or jumps
Prognosis For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia
Dogs with hip dysplasia often lead long, full lives, especially with treatment. If you think that your dog may be affected, talk to your veterinarian. Treatment options and lifestyle changes you can make to keep your dog comfortable well into old age.
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Hip Dysplasia In Dogs How To Prevent And Cure It
Hip dysplasia is the most common cause of lameness in the hind legs of dogs . Like other bone and joint diseases, it has a genetic basis . Although not all descendants of an affected line suffer from it, genetic inheritance is the greatest risk factor.
Canine hip dysplasia occurs in the dogs growth stage and is due to a loose and unstable fit of the hip joint , causing pain and dysfunction in the extremities.
Over time, there is progressive loss of cartilage , development of scar tissue around the joint, and formation of bone spurs around the femoral head and pelvic cavity.
Dogs with hip dysplasia can lead long and healthy lives , especially with treatment and some change in their lifestyle . Although hip dysplasia pain can reduce a dogs quality of life, taking a few simple preventive measures can go a long way for your dog.
What is hip dysplasia?
When the stress of weight bearing exceeds the strength limits of the connective tissue and muscle that support it, the joint becomes loose and destabilized . This allows free play of the head of the femur in the acetabulum, which enhances the abnormal wear of the joint .
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