I never mind answering health, behavior or training questions when I get some free time on the computer so please feel free to email me at:firstname.lastname@example.org
A GREAT LINK TO PET HEALTH INFORMATION ON THE VETERINARY INFORMATION NETWORK:http://www.youtube.com/user/MyVNN
Seasonal Health Tips for Fall
Autumn is a great time of the year for short muzzled breeds. These dogs do not do well in temperatures over 78-80 degrees or temperatures under 38 degrees. This time of the year is great for your dog to accompany you on a little longer than normal walk (still bring along a sports bottle of water for your bully! Bullmastiffs & French Bulldogs have a very short hair coat so they get chilly in the extreme cold; in the heat they have difficulty because of their muzzle size. These breeds have very short muzzles. The muzzle is the dogs air-conditioning system. Humans have the ability to sweat from glands all over our bodies, this is our cooling system. Bullmastiffs & French Bulldogs (as well as all dogs) do not have sweat glands on their body (with the exception of their foot pads) dogs use their nose to cool off through panting. The longer the muzzle (nose) of a dog the better able they are to cool off. But all dogs are MUCH more susceptible to brain damage and death from heat exposure than humans are so if you're not too hot that does not mean that your dog isn't!!
Fall is a time that we get ready for the long cold winters, here in the North East. Often times that includes putting antifreeze in our cars. Be extremely careful with antifreeze (I never keep it at the house, or put it in the car at the house).
Antifreeze is EXTREMELY TOXIC, DEADLY!!! Dogs will willingly drink it because it tastes sweet. There is a chance of saving them (an antidote) if you get them to the vets ASAP!! But if it's been awhile since they drank it, most likely they are not going to make it. It is not a swift death from antifreeze (Ethyleneglychol) but can take 1-3 days to cause death by organ failure. If you are not sure if your dog may have drank antifreeze (and it doesn't take much, just a lick will be toxic!!) take him/her to your vets right away, they can check their urine to tell if they have ingested it or not. NEVER WAIT if you even suspect they may have been exposed to antifreeze! Enough to be deadly to a cat is just for them to walk through some in the driveway and wash themselves later! It is really nasty stuff....so be safe and keep your pets away!!!
***There is a non-toxic antifreeze available now, but will usually void the warrantee on most cars (but I use it anyway!)
The other fairly common poison that dogs will get into is DECON (rat or rodent poison) or like products containing WARFARIN. Many people will use these products in the fall to avoid rodents coming into to their home via cellar or attic to avoid the cold. Keep it well away from you pets!! DECON or most other rodent poisons work by causing massive bleeding without clotting factor. They bleed to death is how it kills rodents, and can also kill your pets the same way! There is an antidote for WARFARIN poisoning, injectible Vitamin K. You must take your pet to your veterinarian right away if you suspect they have eaten any of these pellets, don't wait until they get a nose bleed, because it may be too late!!
One thing is Bullmastiffs are big, and it would take a good amount of pellets to be fatal for them, but even if you suspect they have eaten even a pellet or two, take them to the vets anyway!
These pellets must taste good and they will attract dogs & sometimes cats just like they attract rodents. So KEEP OUT OF REACH OF YOUR PETS!
Another season related issue is mushrooms, they grow when it is damp out and will flourish in fallen damp leaves, pets will frequently eat these mushrooms if given a chance, although rarely fatal, they can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal problems. So keep an eye out for mushrooms and rake away whenever you find them.
Another common problem in the fall is allergies; leaf molds seem to be one of the biggest offenders for dogs who have allergies. If your dog is suffering and itchy all the time he/she may have this problem. They will be itchy all the time, sometimes even a light touch to their body will cause them to frantically scratch at themselves!
Their hair coat may be dry or brittle with dead skin flakes. They may even experience hair loss.
If your dog is very itchy and experiencing effects of allergies, first check him for fleas, just one flea bite on dog that is allergic can cause a lot of skin problems. To check to see if your dog has fleas or not get a flea comb, and comb the hair (down to the skin) at the base of the neck and on the rump (over hips) if you collect little back specks that resembles pepper in with the hair your dog most likely has fleas, take the paper towel and wet it. Rinse out the excess water and put the black specks onto the damp paper towel, rub in. If it turns a red color then it is positive for fleas. The black specks are digested blood from the dog, since that is what fleas feed on.
I like Front Line to prevent fleas & ticks, but there are several other products on the market.
Always be careful and read the directions when using a flea product!
The other thing you can do is change their diet to a good name brand lamb & rice food (what a difference getting them off beef makes!!) Gradually change their diet to the lamb, turkey, chicken, buffalo or even Kangaroo diets (I have been feeding Natural Balance but at $60.00 a bag boy it adds up!) There are lots of other good foods like Purina ONE, Purina Selects, Iams, Eukanuba, just make sure there is a label that says AAFCO on the bag because that means it's been inspected! To change your dog's diet gradually increase the new food amount while decreasing the old food amount until they have completely switched over to a new food! This will save you and your dog from possible gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea. You may also add a 1/2 teaspoon of Canola oil to their food once a day. A good multi-vitamin like Pet Tabs is always a good idea too. I also give 3-V Caps and Glucosamine to my dogs.
If the itching continues for more than just a day or so, take them to your vet to be checked out, he may want to give them an injection of steroids.
On a much lighter note...shedding is common in the spring and in the fall, you might try giving your dog (about 1/2 a teaspoon) of Canola Oil in their food once a day, and have them on a multivitamin.
SEASONAL HEALTH TIPS FOR SUMMER
Recently with the humid weather & thunderstorms I've noticed a crop of mushrooms of various (unknown) varieties sprouting up in the back yard, some are so small they literally hide under blades of grass! If your dogs like to graze like mine do they could be at risk of mushroom poisoning, I don't know enough about identifying one mushroom from another, and even experts can be fooled by toxic look alikes so I always give the dogs activated charcoal caps (I give at least 2 each to the dogs over 100 lbs) when they come in the house to be safe. The activated charcoal will absorb any irritants, toxins or gas they might have, also from plant ingestion where there can be a lot of plants that are also toxic or irritants. I almost lost a dog to mushrooms a couple summers ago & do not take any chances. If you know your dog actually ate a toxic mushroom give the activated charcoal & call your vet, make sure you tell them you gave the charcoal only because it can also absorb oral medications for 45 min to up to 2 hours. Your vet will have injectable medications they can give instead of orals and will use injectables in most cases of GI problems anyway so you're always safer giving the activated charcoal as soon as possible. I always recommend keeping a box handy in your house & car!
Note: Keep in mind Activated Charcoal works by absorbing toxins or irritants and it does a fantastic job however it will also absorb medications given orally-so if your dog is taking medication for anything the Activated Charcoal will not have any contraindications with any medications however it will absorb them & your dog will not benefit from them if given close together-wait approx. 2 hours after giving Activated Charcoal before giving your dog's medication that way you know your dog will get full benefit from their medication!
The worst thing charcoal does is color the stools black for up to 48 hours after giving it, otherwise black colored stool (if you haven't given charcoal or Pepto-Pepto will do the same thing) then it could be a sign of GI bleeding & your dog should be seen by your vet as soon as possible, always bring a stool sample with you because Hook & Whip worms are common culprits.
Here's an article about mushrooms although they will vary geographically.
|Cool It! Summer's Heat Can Be Deadly for Your Pet|
Heatstroke might have killed a litter of kittens if Kim Intino, manager of HSUS's Animal Services Consultation Program, hadn't noticed their frantic movements while walking through a mall parking lot in upstate New York. The kittens, trapped inside a parked car on a hot, humid summer afternoon, were "literally throwing themselves against the car doors trying to get out." Their open-mouth panting and desperate attempts to escape the vehicle were signals to Intino, at the time an animal caretaker at a veterinary office, that the kittens were in real danger.
Intino immediately contacted mall security to have the owner of the vehicle paged. But before the owner arrived, Intino convinced a security guard to force the locks on the vehicle open, possibly saving the cats' lives. "Their bodies were very limp, and they were gasping for air when we got them out," she says.
The kittens were lucky. They survived. Many pets aren't so fortunate.
The Dog Days of Summer
Common sense tells most people that leaving their pet inside a parked vehicle on a hot, summer day could be dangerous after an extended period of time. But most people don't realize that the temperature can skyrocket after just a few minutes. Parking in the shade or leaving the windows cracked does little to alleviate this pressure cooker.
On a warm, sunny day windows collect light, trapping heat inside the vehicle, and pushing the temperature inside to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree Fahrenheit day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within ten minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. At 110 degrees, pets are in danger of heatstroke. On hot and humid days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute, and quickly become lethal.
A recent study by the Stanford University School of Medicine showed that temperatures inside cars can rise dramatically even on mild days. With outside temperatures as low as 72 degrees, researchers found that a car's interior temperature can heat up by an average of 40 degrees within an hour, with 80% of that increase in the first 30 minutes. A cracked window provides little relief from this oven effect. The Stanford researchers found that a cracked window had an insignificant effect on both the rate of heating and the final temperature after an hour.
Pets, more so than humans, are susceptible to overheating. While people can roll down windows, turn on the air conditioner or exit the vehicle when they become too hot, pets cannot. And pets are much less efficient at cooling themselves than people are.
Dogs, for example, are designed to conserve heat. Their sweat glands, which exist on their nose and the pads of their feet, are inadequate for cooling during hot days. Panting and drinking water helps cool them, but if they only have overheated air to breathe, dogs can suffer brain and organ damage after just 15 minutes. Short-nosed breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, young pets, seniors or pets with weight, respiratory, cardiovascular or other health problems are especially susceptible to heat-related stress.
Pets on the Move
While it used to be that our animals stayed home to guard the couch, increasingly dogs, cats and other pets are going along for the ride, whether tagging along during errands or putting in major mileage during the family vacation. The high number of animals on the road means that awareness and vigilance are essential for protecting pets from parking-lot peril. Help spread the word by following these tips:
Deb Antoniades, of Monroe County, New York is an animal lover who not only keeps her own pets at home when the temperatures rise, but who is vigilant about keeping other animals safe as well. "I keep a stack of photocopies in my glove compartment of an article about the dangers of leaving a dog in your car in the summer—even with the windows open. I leave [the articles] under the windshield wiper of any car I notice with a dog left inside. I've called 911 a couple of times as well."
In case of an emergency, it's important to be able to identify the symptoms of heat stress caused by exposure to extreme temperatures. Check the animal for signs of heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness.
If the animal shows symptoms of heatstroke, take steps to gradually lower her body temperature immediately. Follow these tips, and it could save her life:
In many states, it's against the law to leave a pet unattended in a parked vehicle in a manner than endangers the health or safety of the animal. Despite these laws, not to mention a basic common sense that should guide most pet owners during the summer, companion animals die every year from heatstroke. The worst part is knowing that each death was preventable. That's why sharing this information is so important. Summers, after all, are truly supposed to be carefree.
|Summer Care Tips for You and Your Pets|
Coping with the Bites and Stings of Nature’s Creatures
The welcome months of spring and summer bring lush green lawns, warm days and pleasant nights, fragrant flowers and thoughts of relaxing vacations. Unfortunately, they also bring those ever-present and annoying insects and creatures of all kinds. We humans are used to shielding ourselves from insects and reptiles in a variety of ways, to avoid being stung or bitten. Our pets, however, are unaware that these unwelcome pests can become a source of danger.
When the weather begins to warm up, out come fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, wasps, bees, yellow jackets, fire ants and snakes – sometimes armies of them. They are all ready to attack us and animals, infest our homes and cause itching, illness or even death in some situations. The best way to combat these pests is to prevent or avoid them in the first place. Discuss with your veterinarian the safest products or procedures to use toward preventing these unwanted guests. Some common preventive methods include:
Be on the Alert for Stings
If you suspect that your pet has been stung or bitten by an insect, it’s always best to call your veterinarian immediately for advice on what to do.
Dogs are most often stung on their face or paws and these stings can be extremely painful -- sometimes you can’t immediately tell what is wrong. A dog that has been stung will often become agitated, run around shaking his head or pawing at his muzzle. If stung in or around his mouth or throat, swelling can constrict your dog’s airway and be life-threatening. Multiple stings can also cause major problems, such as anaphylactic shock. Signs of shock can vary but may include depression, breathing problems, pale gums and a weak pulse.
If your dog is stung by fire ants, remove him from the area and brush off any ants remaining on him. Don’t spray them off with water, as they will hang on with their jaws and continue to sting.
Spider bites can be quite dangerous to dogs. Although generally harmless, there are several varieties of spiders that can cause severe problems. Some spider venom contains digestive enzymes that can damage skin tissue, causing a wound to grow quickly with a secondary infection.
Be certain to inspect your dog often for ticks (cousins to spiders) that can also pose a threat to your dog’s good health. They can also carry and spread blood-borne diseases, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tick Paralysis.
These kinds of injuries are covered under the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan. The costs of treatment can quickly add up, especially if your dog has had a life-threatening situation. PetPartners paid a claim of over $2,200 for the hospitalization of Piano, a dog in California, after she was attacked by a swarm of bees in her backyard. After several days in intensive care and three blood transfusions, Piano amazed everyone and survived this potentially fatal attack.
Things That Slither and Bite
Treatment for a snake bite can be quite expensive and vials of antivenom can cost as much as $750 or more. We see many claims for snake bites; some recent claims included, $2,783 for a German Shepherd Dog bitten by a snake, $1,895 for a Labrador Retriever bitten by a Rattlesnake and $1,262 for another Labrador Retriever bitten by a snake.
Snakes are beneficial to our environment because they control the rodent population, among many other reasons. In general, they prefer to be left alone and avoid conflict. If your dog is bitten by a snake, try to identify it, without getting bitten yourself, as identification is important in determining treatment. Notice the snake’s head shape (triangular vs. oval), coloration, markings, size, and whether or not it has a rattle at the end of its tail. Keep your dog as quiet as possible, since movement spreads snake venom. If you’re out on a hike, carry or walk your dog to the car at a normal pace and do not let your dog run. Snakebites are very painful, so be careful -- even a loving dog may bite when it’s in pain.
Plan Ahead and Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Planning ahead for unforeseen medical emergencies can help make them more manageable when they occur, with better outcomes. Pet healthcare insurance can significantly help you manage the cost of veterinary care and preventive measures and save you money in the long run.
The range of AKC Pet Healthcare Plans* offers quality and affordable coverage for as little as 68 cents a day, far less than the cost of a soft drink at a fast food restaurant. You can choose the Essential Plan that covers unexpected illnesses or injuries up to $11,000 for treatment costs per year, at $20.75 a month, or higher levels of protection with Essential Plus (for a higher cost). You may be interested in plans that, in addition to accident and illness coverage, also offer reimbursement towards those wellness measures that can add up to $500 or more a year. The Wellness Plans are designed to provide coverage up to $13,000 for treatment costs a year, and this includes flea, tick and heartworm prevention, as well as an annual physical exam, annual dental cleaning and prescribed vaccinations. The Wellness Plus option also offers additional coverage for spaying/neutering.
Seeking a veterinarian’s advice first is important if you have any questions about your dog’s health. If you program your veterinarian’s emergency phone number into your cell phone, you’ll have it close at hand if something happens to your dog and you’re away from home.
If a friend or sitting service is caring for your dog during your absence, discuss in advance your dog’s health history and potential health emergencies, as well as any medications they are taking. Make certain your veterinarian’s contact information -- and the phone number for the closest emergency veterinary room -- are clearly posted. Be prepared and be safe – not sorry.
TOXINS THAT YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF:
Despite the huge number of hazardous plants and materials out there, I have noticed that three of them seem to be more commonly ingested by pets than the others. So, although I encourage you to be proactive about protecting your pet from all potential poisons, please be especially aware of these three.
I recommend that pets never be allowed access to any poisons. However, please be especially careful with the three listed above. Dogs are more likely than cats to be exposed to each of these poisons because they are less selective about what they eat.
If you suspect that your pet has consumed any poisonous product, contact a veterinarian immediately. Acting quickly can help to prevent serious consequences.
If possible, always bring the packaging from the product that was consumed, as well as any remaining product to the veterinarian’s office when you seek treatment. This will help the vet to positively identify the type and amount of toxin consumed.
Remember, however, that the best way to keep your pet safe from poisons is to make sure he or she does not have access to them in the first place.
WHAT IS GASTRIC DILATATION-VOLVULUS?
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a condition that occurs in dogs when the stomach becomes distended with air, and then while dilated, twists on itself. This interferes with the blood supply to the stomach and other digestive organs, and blocks the passage of food, leading to bloat. The distended stomach impedes the normal return of blood to the heart, causing drastically reduced cardiac output and a decrease in blood pressure. Blood and oxygen are deprived from tissues which in turn causes them to begin to die, releasing toxins into the blood stream which among other adverse effects, cause serious disturbances in heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias) - a common cause of death.
Simple gastric dilatation does not produce volvulus (twisting). Current thinking has been that the dogs most susceptible to GDV are the large, deep-chested breeds, which have a cavity and space for the stomach to be more mobile within the abdomen. Other factors that have been accepted as risk for GDV include overeating, rapid eating, single daily feeding, high water consumption, stress, and exercise after eating
The Abstract of the most recent study (2010) by Marko Pipan, Dorothy Cimino Brown, Carmelo L. Battaglia and Cynthia M. Otto follows.
ACTIONS: Call Veterinarian to advise of bloat while in route. Transport dog to Veterinarian immediately!
ACTIONS: Transport dog to Veterinarian immediately.
ACTIONS: Get to a Veterinarian. Death is often imminent!
Dogs may go from phase 1 - 3 bloat in a very short time. Some have known to do it in minutes!
The study has been titled: "Risk factors for surgical gastric dilatation-volvulus in dogs: an internet-based survey"
The investigators are: Marko Pipan, DVM1; Dorothy Cimino Brown, DVM, MSCE, DACVS1; Dr. Carmelo L. Battaglia, PhD2; Cynthia M. Otto, DVM, PhD, DACVECC1
Until the final report is published only a limited amount of summary information is available. The following is the abstract of the manuscript submitted to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association for consideration.
Objective – To evaluate risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in a large number of privately-owned dogs across a wide geographic area. Design – Internet-based case-control survey. Animals – 2551 privately-owned dogs.
Procedures – Respondents were recruited by posting the electronic link to the survey on websites for dog owners; the information was also disseminated at meetings of dog owners, newsletters and email lists for dog owners and breeders, owner-oriented dog publications, and through emails forwarded by participants. The questionnaire addressed dog specific, management, environmental and personality associated risk factors for GDV in dogs.
Results – Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were being fed dry kibble. Other related factors were found to be: anxiety, being born in the 1990s, being a family pet, and spending at least 5 hours a day with the owner. Factors associated with a decreased risk of GDV were playing with other dogs and running the fence after meals, fish and egg dietary supplements, and spending equal time indoors and outdoors. A significant interaction between sex and neuter status was observed with intact females having the highest risk for GDV.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance – In dogs with a high risk of GDV, regular moderate daily and postprandial activity appears to be beneficial. Feeding only commercial dry dog food may not be the best choice for dogs at risk; however supplements with fish or eggs may reduce this risk. The effect of neuter status on GDV risk requires further characterization
The Importance of Good Positioning
on Canine Hip X-rays
I would like to thank Dr. Jane Brakken for help with my dogs and
allowing me the use of her x-ray room to take these photos.
Hip Dysplasia (another article on the subject)
The positioning is so bad in this x-ray that the dogs owner
should have refused to pay for it.
The purpose of this article is to teach the average dog owner how to determine if a hip x-ray is done properly on their dog’s hips. The article will demonstrate correct positioning and poor positioning. It will show 2 different sets of x-rays done on the same dog on the same day. One set has good positioning, the second set has poor positioning. You will see that with poor positioning, a dogs hips can look worse than they actually are. You will also see that no matter what you do with positioning you can never make a bad hip into a good hip.
The photo of the hip x-ray above (labeled good positioning) was done on a 10 month old German Shepherd from my kennel. While the dog is slightly angled on the x-ray plate, the positioning for the hips is pretty good. The photo below (the same photo as above) shows the various points on an x-ray to look at to determine if the dog was positioned properly.
Because this article is directed to the general public, I will not attempt to use the proper medical names for a lot of the terminology in this article.
The first thing to look at in an x-ray is to see if the legs come straight down from the hips with the knee caps square and looking alike. We don't want to see one leg straight and the other going off at an angle.
The above photo has 3 sets of colored arrows (green, yellow and red).
The green arrows above point to the bone that the hip socket is built into. These bones almost look like wings. You will notice that you can see more of the wing on the right than the wing on the left. When the position is 100% perfect, both wings will look exactly alike.
The yellow arrows point to holes in the bone structure. When the body positioning is correct the 2 holes on the left side are the same shape and size as the holes on the right side. The positioning is good on this dog, but not 100% perfect. That's why the holes on the right are slightly different than the left. This is most noticeable in the lower right hole being smaller than the left side lower hole.
The red arrows above are the first things I look at when examining an x-ray. They point to the amount of pelvis bone that is covered by the leg bones on the x-ray. If you look at the pelvis, you can see that with the legs fully extended straight down, the legs overlay the very corners or tips of the pelvis. You can see the overlap through the leg bone. The picture above shows an even amount of overlap on both sides of the pelvis. The photo below shows a much larger overlap on the left of the screen than on the right of the screen. This is poor positioning.
The photo above is the same dog only a different x-ray than the first one. This second x-ray has poor positioning. Notice how much more the pelvic overlaps the leg bone (the green arrows) on the left than on the right. The result is the hip is pulled further out of the socket (the single red arrow) because of poor positioning.
The x-ray above is an example of poor positioning. Again this is the same dog as the good x-rays above. The dog is rotated. You can see the upper right hole through the body cavity is noticeably smaller on the right than the left. The pelvic wing under the leg is noticeably larger on the left than the right.
This photo graphically shows the results of poor positioning. This photo shows the same hip joint on the same dog x rayed on the same day. The hip in the red circle is a much deeper seated ball in the socket than the picture in the yellow box (which had poor positioning to produce this results).
Some people ask how the difference can be so dramatic. My feeling is that these are young dogs. They have loose ligaments (just like a young child). If I took some of the falls that my eleven year old does I would have numerous broken bones. It’s the same with our dogs. As they get older their ligaments are not as loose and they will probably not stretch as much. There may not be as much of a difference in older dogs. But at a young age positioning is critical.
The importance on positioning is often over looked by the vet that is shooting the films. There may be a number of reasons for this:
In my opinion, none of these are good reasons. To get good x-rays you have to have a good vet. I have a couple of local vets that are very good with x-rays. If they make a mistake they re shoot it at their expense. We just recently started to see the OFA send x-rays back to the vets because of poor positioning. When this starts to happen on a consistent basis, we will start to see much better x-rays of the dogs.
Over the years I have seen some absolutely terrible jobs of x-raying dogs. As time goes by I will continue to add poor x-rays to this article so people can learn what to look for.
There are several operations that are being done today to correct a bad hip and allow the dog to live a normal life. The x-ray below is an example of what a hip can look like after the operation. This operation needs to be done at an early age.
This is a photo of a very bad set of hips. It's questionable if surgery could even correct this dog’s problem. These are hips from an 8-month old German Shepherd that came from a back yard breeder. A dog with hips like this should be put down. It is facing a life of pain.
The 2 x-rays above are of the same dog (a Border Collie). The top x-ray was taken at 8 months of age. The lower x-ray was taken at 4 years of age. This can give you an idea of what will happen to bad hips over time. Notice the thickening of the neck of the joint. The ball also shows signs of arthritis. This dog is living as a house dog where her exercise is monitored. When the pain gets bad she is given Rymadil and this seems to make her comfortable.
Same Dog 9 Months Apart
Here are photos of 2 different x-rays taken of the same dog taken 9 months apart. The first x-ray showed the dog having bad hips. If you look closely you will see the positioning is not correct. It's not that bad but it is also not perfect.
Taken Sept 2002
The second photo below shows the dog with good hips. The positioning has been improved and this has made a big difference in how the x-rays look.
Taken June 2003
My advice to anyone would be to not accept incorrect positioning of any kind. Discuss this with the vet before the x-ray. Show him this article if he has any questions. I personally will not pay for a bad x-ray.
I recently had a similar situation with a young dog that I x rayed at 6 months. The picture did not look that good but the rest of the litter was good. So I redid the X-ray at 9 months and saw an entirely different x-ray. The dog will pass OFA if the x-ray stays the same.
I would also recommend swimming a dog to build muscle mass if there is any question on the hips. The better condition a dog is in the better chance of a good x-ray. I have a friend who has watched the OFA on a yearly basis. She has noticed that there are more bad hips in the winter months than summer months.
For me this translates into dogs not being in as good physical condition in the winter months as the summer. In the future I will not be x-raying dogs in the winter. I will also make sure that my dogs are in excellent condition when the x-rays are taken.
The Following are 3 x-rays of the same dog done at different times.
January - 2003
Positioning still not correct - look at right hip
May 2003 Better but not perfect. Look at the right hip in all three shots.
This is the worst case of hip positioning that I have ever seen. The Vet that took them and gave them to the customer should get out of the business.
What you can do to prevent bad hips
With all this said - if you are reading this article and are asking yourself what you can do to make sure your dog has healthy hips? The SV in Germany (the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany) has proven that genetics is only responsible for about 25% of the bad hips in dogs. This means that 70% to 75% of the bad hips are caused by environmental issues.
There are things that help:
1- Keep your dog thin - when I say thin I mean you need to see a definition between the ribs and loins of your dog. I cannot stress this enough. The more weight a dog carries the more pressure on the hips. This is extremely important when the dog is growing (between 8 weeks and 18 months)
2- Do not over exercise your young dog. DO NOT TAKE A PUPPY JOGGING !!! Not until its older than one year of age. Over exercise is the fastest way to destroy hips.
3- Feed a quality all-natural diet. If you don’t want to feed a raw diet at least feed it an all-natural commercial diet. I have an article on the various commercial kibble - we also sell one of the best called "Honest Kitchen" We have fed this for years and feel that it's the best we can find.
We stress the diet with our puppy customers and it has made a huge difference
4- If you have a question about subluxation in a young dog - SWIM the dog!! Take the dog swimming every day for 3 or 4 months before you have x-rays taken. Swimming is the best exercise you can do for a dog. It is way better than jogging the dog. When you stop and think that subluxation means the head of the femur is loose in the socket - does it not make sense to exercise the dog so the muscles and ligaments tighten up the dog as much as possible.
5- We give our dogs 99% Glucosamine supplements - we also sell it to customers click here for details. The fact is I take the same product myself (in orange juice)
The fact is you can do all of the things mentioned above and still get bad hips. That’s the sad thing. I have bred over 350 litters in 30 years, the dogs I breed have good hips 6 to 10 generations and we will occasionally get a bad hip. I will say that the percentage of hip problems in our kennel is much much less than breeders who do not follow this protocol.
THE WORST POSITIONED HIPS I HAVE SEEN
The x-rays above were sent to me in Feb. 2006. They are the worst example of hip positioning I have ever seen. The Vet that took these should give up his day job and seek another career.
The above 2 pictures are of awful positioning. The hips are bad however, and no matter how they were positioned it would not have made them look any better.
QUESTION on Hip Positioning:
My breeder sent me the link to your web site to view x-rays - specifically positioning. (She has been breeding Bernese Mountain Dogs for over 30 years, specifically for performance dogs, not conformation).
The attached digital photos of x-rays are of my 9 month old Bernese Mountain Dog's hips, (9 months old today, Jan 21, 2007) - the films were taken December 30, 2006. He injured his legging running in the back yard on December 28, was not putting weight on it, I took him into my vet on December 30....the vet took the attached x-rays. I went back and took digital photos of the x-rays to email to my breeder. My breeder and I have been discussing....she says she is shocked my vet would even let me see these x-rays...they are some of the worse positioning she has ever seen.
I had the dog on pain pills for a week and he is now on supplements. Also have an appointment on March 19th, 2007, at the regional vet school in this area (Virginia-Maryland Vet School, in Blacksburg, VA) to have preliminary OFA x-rays taken.
The digital photos are of only TWO x-rays, his hips and his (supposedly) hyper extended left knee.
If you have a minute, please give me your input on these films?
The photo of the hips is below. This person needs to find a new vet. This is a case of really terrible positioning.
Comments on the Hip X-ray article
Thank you for that article on hip positioning. I have an associate degree in Veterinary technology that i received in 1990, radiology has always been a passion of mine. You are so correct!!!! I have worked for so many vets who do not know how to take proper x-rays and even worse they hire people off the street to do it for them and instead of training them the right way to do it or pay a little more money for an educated person to work for them. They count on owners being un-educated. I have been telling people this for years. I breed Labradors now, and my vet and i have a good
understanding she takes 2 x-rays of hips for me tells me her opinion then give me x-rays and i can choose which one i want to send to OFA. But i must say she does a great job.
Thanks again for educating the public and i think everyone should get a 2nd opinion before doing major hip surgery. AND I SO AGREE with you i have seen dogs with moderate hips dysplasia not show any signs of weakness simply from being able to swim to build there muscles.
Swimming Dogs is the best physical therapy.
TESTIMONIAL on hip x-ray article
October 15, 1998
My name is Goran and I'm living in south Sweden, I have been struggling with the result of bad position with the Swedish Kennel Club.
After reading your article and taken part of your excellent photos I have succeeded to get a veterinarian to take some new x-rays and our champion Parson Jack Russell Terrier dog has been upgraded from mild hip dysplasia on one hip and excellent on the other to excellent on both hips. I would like to thank you for the help that your article have given me.
I'm planning to write a article in our club magazine and also in the Swedish Kennel Clubs monthly magazine and if I can use your photos it will be very helpful for my work. I will also like to refer to your article if you don't have any objections about it.
All the best and thank you again.
Hi Mr. Frawley,
Over Christmas break we noticed our dog, Abbey (one year old yellow lab) had a limp on her back right let that wouldn't go away. I took her into the vet and the vet established that at least one hip, more than likely, had displaces. We brought our dog in to our vet for x-rays and we were told," both of her hips show a loose joint on palpation. Knees tight. On the x-rays her left hip is nearly out of place. The right side is in place but is also affected. At this time there are only a few minor changes associated with chronic dysplasia." We were told she would be, "a good candidate for any of the corrective surgical procedures for hips." I started doing some research and luckily came across your article. After reading your article, I tried to determine whether or not her x-rays were bad. In the x-ray, her legs do not appear straight, one is bent more than the other. There is also no overlap with the pelvis bone and the leg bone at all. There does however appear to be the same amount of space between the tip of the pelvis bone and leg bone. Also, the holes in the bone structure are fairly symmetrical.
Our vet is in Delaware and a surgeon was recommended who is also in Delaware. I feel really confused about what to do. We were both shocked because our dog came with papers. I beginning to realize that doesn't mean a whole lot. I am just going to do what I need to on my end to make sure our dogs parents don't breed again. If you can give any advice I would greatly appreciate it. I hope to hear from you.
The fact that your dog has papers means absolutely nothing in terms of hip dysplasia. The AKC is a joke in that regard. They do not require dogs to have their hips x-rayed before they can be bred. This organization holds itself up as the ultimate supporter of pure bred dogs yet they allow people to breed dogs with bad hips. It’s a money thing and nothing else
With that said I cannot comment on what you should do. It sounds like the x-rays are good. You need to follow the advice of your Vet if you think he or she is reputable. It sounds like this is the case.
The smartest thing you can do is to keep this dog skinny. Skinny to the point of seeing a definition between the ribs and the loin. Skinny to the point where people (who know little about dogs) tell you your dog is too thin. Not only is this healthier for the dog it is much easier on what's left of the hips.
Then allow this dog to swim as much as you possibly can in the summer. Swimming is the best exercise there is for dogs with bad hips. It builds muscle without hurting the skeletal structure.
I would also highly recommend an all-natural diet. You can read about it on my web site. Look in the list of training articles on my web site at http://leerburg.com/articles.htm. Keep the dog on Glucosamine. We just added a liquid Glucosamine product to our product line. The liquid far out performs powdered products. The body absorbs it much better than the powder.
Good luck with your dog. I hope it turns out OK.
I wish I would have taken your article in to my vets this morning. I had my seven month old German Shepherd spayed today along with hip x-rays. The vet said the hips were in very poor condition and showed the x-rays. He said they looked so bad that he re-x-rayed her standing when she was awake and they were just as bad. Your article doesn't mention anything about hip x-rays and the dog standing up. What is your thought on that?! At first I was in an absolute panic. He said she'd need major hip surgery in three months if they didn't improve. Now, I'm researching it a bit more before I do anything drastic.
-- Thanks Shelly
Find a new Vet. Seriously. In 42 years of owning GSD’s I have never heard of hip x-rays when a dog is standing. This Vet is full of you-know-what.
You have the photos of correct positioning from this article I wrote. You do not have to be a Vet to figure out if the guy gave you a good set of x-rays.
I have a 10 week old GSD and I took him to the vet for the first time and the vet did some sort of pulling test on the dogs legs to check for a hip problem. My pup yelped loudly and now the vet wants to do X-rays and thinks there is potentially a problem. The vet says that if there is something wrong they are going to fuse the bones together to prevent future problems.
Do you see anything wrong with this? Any concerns or comments would be appreciated. Thank You
Find a new vet- seriously !! This guy is full of beans. I have bred dogs for 30 years – over 340 litters. This is total BULL on a 10 week old puppy. This is a perfect example of a crooked vet trying to get his hand in your wallet.
Hope all is well. I sent you a message about a year and a half ago reference my dog's hips. The vet was saying he was a candidate for the Pen hip surgery and his hips were not very good... this evaluation came after a physical evaluation at 4 months of age. Your reply was to get a new vet and tell her to get her head out of her ass.... I took your advise. I just received my dog's OFA results... OFA Good. Thanks for your advise.
PS My dog is out of Valco Vom Leerburg (Dago) - Jon Wycoff, and Zalinde Vom Leerburg (Frankie) - Jon Wycoff.
We would like to get your opinion about something our vet suggested. She would like to do a PennHIP on Dita (Hilde X CJ) and possibly a Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis if required. Is this a viable course of action or a load of crap? We want to do what is best for Dita in both the short and long term.
Thank you, Rip and Denise
I have written about PennHIP on my web site. I am not a fan of it and don’t recommend it. It basically measures the degree of laxity in the hip to determine if the dog will be Dysplastic.
The way I look at this is that young dogs are like young people. They are loose ligamented. I was when I was young and I used to throw my knee caps out. As I aged my ligaments tightened and the problems disappeared. I believe the same thing happens with dogs – they are loose ligamented – not all, but a lot. As they age they tighten.
When a PennHIP is done on a loose ligamented dog its my opinion that this can give you a false negative reading.
We will do normal preliminary hip x-rays at 6 to 10 months of age. When we do the OFA we never do it when a female is in season and we try and swim them every day (not run them) for a month before the x-rays to tighten them up).
I have been breeding dogs for almost 30 years – and never heard of Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis.
So I would have to wonder if this Vet was trying to get into your wallet.
I was sent your site by a friend who does rescue work with me. Overall the info is very good. But the last letter about the JPS surgery is incorrect. It is the newest surgery for hip dysplasia. It was developed at the university of Wisconsin. It is very very new. The long term studies are still being done.
I am sorry you have such a high disregard for veterinarians that you deem it a money making scheme by a vet vs sound medical advise. Stereotyping vets as money grubbing is as bad as someone saying that breeders do it for the money.
There are many of us out there that do this work for the love of animals ....I do not disregard your site as full of quackery because you are selling your products....
I work hand in hand with my clients to get the best for their pets.
You are in the minority.
I am sorry to say this but my feeling is that the vast majority of Vets are more concerned about making money than the care of dogs. Pushing yearly vaccinations is the perfect example. It’s complete BS and anyone who defends that position is full of beans. Pushing Science Diet over a all-natural diet is just another BS move –
Your profession has a public relations problem. The vast majority of Vets are arrogant asses that assume their customers are stupid (notice I said customers) If you have not figured this out then what can I say. Just today I made the decision to start a STUPID VET section.
I happen to have a very good Vet – she is honest about things she does not know and we work together to keep our dogs healthy.
I really need your advice on something. My Rottie pup is 15 months old and in the past 3 months is showing signs of hip dysplasia ie:funny looking walk, wont jump up into jeep etc. Our breeders have a hip guarantee in their contract and I inquired about the guarantee tonight. They told my wife and I that we would have to pay for the X-rays (no problem) and that if she was indeed dysplasic then we could give them our dog for a new puppy or they would give us $300 dollars towards surgery. My wife and I find this policy to be quite unrealistic as we absolutely love our dog and would never give her away just because of her hips. I put a deposit down over two months ago for the first male in a litter to be born in two weeks with the same breeder. Would it be unreasonable for me to ask for the breeder to absorb the costs remaining on that dog? If I traded mine in for a puppy, they would be down a pup anyways, and would probably put mine to sleep, so what's the difference? What do you think of this breeders policy? Am I being unreasonable? My wife doesn't want me to even buy the dog off of them because of their policy. I am aware of the risks even if the dogs parents hips are certified (in this case they are) and have tried to convince her that it is just bad luck on this one. I respect your opinion and recognize your long term experience as a breeder. Where do I go from here Ed?
Your response is greatly appreciated,
You can’t form any opinions until the dog is x-rayed. Read the article I wrote on correct hip positioning for hip x-rays. It's very good.
Right now you don’t even know if your dog has bad hips. He could have pulled a muscle.
HOW DO I PICK A VET?
Hi I have a question. I want to get my German Shepherd Hip's x-rayed. We are going to breed her with a stud but they want an OFA "good" hip's. We live in NY and I was reading about the experienced you and people were having about wrong positions, lying Vets and etc. I wanted to know how can you know if they are experienced? We go to a Vet clinic here called Valley Cottage we called and asked if they do x-rays on hips. They said yes. it is $293 for the x-rays and $43 for the certificate. Is it reasonable, the price? That's a lot of money for not doing the job right..They seem good with dealing with animal problems but reading your article has made me wonder how do I know they are good with the x-rays of the hips. I wanted to know if you recommend anybody in NY or NJ that is very experienced with this type of job. Thank you Ed.
Ed's answer on picking a Vet
This is a complete RIP off keep looking. $293.00 for hip x-rays is ridiculous
Print off my article. Take it to where you are going to have the x-ray done (not this place) ask them if they will guarantee correct positioning like in this article. If they cant or wont guarantee then don’t give them your business.
Really Bad X-rays:
This is 6 mos. old Onyx GSD. Diagnosed when she was spayed with "severe" HD.
She had been limping for a week and wanted them to check for a splinter while she was sedated. They took x-rays and this is what was shown. This is the same x-ray, just my digital camera zooming in on one. I thought you would like to see another vet who should find another career! She has since started limping again for the past week, hopefully it is just pano and not her hip.
Thank you for your web site showing the proper positioning for the hip x-ray,
I would never pay for an X-ray that was so poorly done. The vet is incompetent.
Hello Ed, I have just read your article about the importance of good positioning and it's really helpful. I have decided to repeat my GS x-rays because they are not good enough I think.
I send you an x-ray done to a Border Collie of 3 years and a half, that I think is really good, almost perfect, so you can put it in your article if you want to. Thanks a lot for your dedication and lovely work.
Too bad more Vets don't know how to position hip x-rays like this Vet did them.
I acquired my GSD earlier this spring from the training director at the local schutzhund club. Here is the breeders website: http://www.vomhuelsman.com/ & here is the line breeding:
http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/para.utkoma?fadir=318978&modir=340576We thought everything was fine until strangers pointed out his awkward gait as a sign of HD. We took him to the vet who X-rayed him with the diagnosis of having HD. They were sent onto a "specialist" who also confirmed it. The breeder takes the stance that you do in your article on correct positioning: 1. Bad positioning 2. Loose joints 3. etc. He told me not to let it get me down yet but there is that long shot chance that with even good lines the dog may have got it. I just re-read your article today and my dog's x-ray looks very similar to the one you used as an example of bad positioning resulting in a false positive, which has brought me hope. My question: My pup still shows the physical symptoms of HD especially the "bunny-hopping" motion. Can a dog not have HD and still show the outward physical signs? Have you seen pups that show the typical physical symptoms of HD at a young age, but don't actually have it? Love the site and the videos!
P.S. I am currently looking for somewhere to start swimming him.
You don’t mention how old this dog is now, but young dogs and pups grow through some very weird growth stages. It’s possible for them to have a weird gait, and grow into a normal hipped dog. If you really like this dog, I would re xray him at some point after you have him in really good muscle.
Take the article on hip positioning with you to the vet, and make sure the positioning is good before you pay for anything. Better yet, go to a specialist for the xrays as it usually doesn’t cost much more and they have a lot of experience in taking the films. The vet we use does not even sedate or anesthetize the dog for this, and I feel it’s a more accurate picture of the joints and much easier on the dog. I xray my young dogs between 6 and 8 months old and then again at 2 years of age.
If a specialist evaluated your xrays though, and confirmed a diagnosis of HD, I would be hopeful but not too hopeful.
I came across your website and was reading your questions and answers about hip xrays, dysplasia, etc. I noticed you mentioned that you prelim your dogs between 6 and 10 months of age. Why those ages?
I prelimed a male weimaraner at 15 months. He came in as mild dysplasia with Subluxation checked off. I called OFA and spoke to the prelim vet, Dr. Keller. He stated that there was No arthritis or change in the ball or socket, but because there was more subluxation in my guys hips than other Weims of his age, he marked it mild. Was 15 months a bad age? Dr. Keller mentioned he has had dogs growing at that timeframe that he marked off mild, and when they got their regular OFA sent in after the 2yr mark, they came in passing. He said my guy could be growing and tighten up in time because the subluxation was all that was noticed. I have put him on Pala-tek just in case this was true. My vet also agreed, as he wasn’t sure if my boy would pass or borderline due to the xrays being breed specific. Wasn’t sure how they graded Weims. Also, he went through major intestinal surgery at 10months of age. Dropped a ton of weight for about 2-3wks. Didn’t know if this could have something to do with him growing, or ligiments and muscles forming again, etc.
When coming out of the anesthesia from the xrays, he wasn’t real normal till the next day. Still droopy tired in the A.M. Normal at dinner time.
Also, have you seen this happen? If so, would you wait a certain time past the 24month mark. His mother OFA Excellent at 30 months. His father Excellent at 24. He has a ton of Excellents and goods, and his brother was prelimed at 11months and came in Good.
Please let me know. This is a multiple BOB dog and I will do anything to possibly have him pass.
We xray at the age we do because we don’t want to wait until the dog is 15 or 24 months old to know hip status. If the dog has a problem we want to know earlier, rather than later.
I don’t know what you feed this dog, but I would get him on a raw diet and get him in very good condition before I xrayed him again. I wouldn’t put an age limit on it, but when he was in tip top shape I would re do the films. We all like to see OFA excellent dogs in our dog’s pedigree but it is no guarantee that you will not have a dysplastic dog. Genetics play a role, but so do exercise, diet and environment.
If you search our site on the terms hip dysplasia you will find a lot of information.
Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.
You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.
My name is Chris and I found your website via a google search on Lab Hip Displasia. You must get tons of email so I hate to bother you but my friend Jennie is totally distraught. The attached xray was taken of her 6 month old male yellow lab puppy. The dog lives in Durham, NC and got the Xray when he went in to get fixed. The Vet told Jennie this was the worst hips she every seen on this old of a puppy. I am going to call my VET for a second opinion but was hoping you could take a look at the XRAY and tell me what you think. The dog came from a NC breeder and the parents were both certified with good hips. What things should Jennie be doing over the next few months, 6 months, and several years.
Thank you in advance for your time,
If this is the worst set of hips your vet has seen then he lack experience. While the hip is not great it certainly is not TERRIBLE. His comments are one of the reasons that I lose respect for Vets - They have to earn my respect before I listen to them - there are too many out there who lack experience or are more interested in your wallet than your dog's health.
Hello I came across your site as I researched CHD. I had gotten a really bad hip x-ray that I submitted to OFA, it was rejected. I was dumb so I got another from the same vet, it was accepted but the dog was rated as "mild dysplasia" on notes it said unilateral due to subluxation, I was devastated but accepted it. After I read your site and your photos I re examined the original films and for lack of a better word they sucked! A few days ago I got her re-X-rayed and attached is the film. Please tell me what you think, I know it's not perfect (film or the hips) but just want to know if I should be overly concerned. Also about CHD I have been doing alot of research and I am not truly convinced that all forms of chd are hereditary. Unilateral for example happens about 85% of the time on the left hip...why? have you ever heard of a decease that likes "sides" that much? ALso if it is true that there are a multitude of genes that contribute to CHD then why is it so prevelant? what little I know about physiology, the more complex something is the more rare it is. Also why X-ray when we should just isolate these so-called CHD genes and just scan for them? oh yeah they cant seem to "find" (isolate) these genes. I dont know it just doesnt make any sense to me, it is either over my head or over their heads as well. Please let me know what you think of the x-ray all opinions welcome. I emailed this to two of the addresses because I didnt know which one.
Ps. I love your site. Oh and the x-rays are of an adult female Fila Brasileiro 3mths to her next heat cycle.
I no longer use the OFA – I honestly believe that it is a flawed process run by inexperienced people.
I completely disagree with the rating on your dog. This dog does not have bad hips.
I do agree that there is far more than genetics going on to cause bad hips. I write about it in my article on positioning - over exercise at a young age, over weight at a young age, feeding a shitty diet (I believe that a raw all-=natural diet leads to healthy bone and joint development).
So in closing – don’t listen to these fools. I remember a female I had back in the early 1990’s. The OFA told me the same thing about her hips – mildly dysplastic – I completely disagreed. I bred her a number of times. She had 56 pups and not one had bad hips, in fact several had OFA excellent hips.
First I would like to thank you for the excellent article on proper positioning for hip x-rays.
A friend recently had a dog x-rayed for OFA. Her vet said the x-ray was normal. And the OFA result was mild dysplasia. I told my friend not to worry too much at this point. That first she should take her dog to an orthopedic vet and get x-rays with sedation and proper positioning and I sent her your article on proper positioning. If the x-ray looks good she can resubmit to OFA and if it looks bad she can find out what the orthopedist suggests for managing her dog's condition.
My question to you is... how does she find a really good orthopedic vet?
What do you look for when choosing an orthpedist?
And should she tell the vet that her dog has already OFAed mild dysplasia? Would that taint the opinion?
My breed has submitted less than 100 x-rays for OFA ratings and hasn't received an excellent rating in the last 11 years. Has OFA tightened their standards over the years or something? My breed is not known for having hip dysplasia but they are so small that it might not be noticed without x-ray if they were dysplastic. I wonder if OFA has some sort of quota system in place so that too many dogs in a breed won't receive an excellent rating and make the statistics for the breed so good that people will not to be inclined to use OFA.
And I wonder if I would be better off just taking dogs to a good orthopedic vet and getting an opinion on hips before breeding rather than submitting to OFA.
Thanks for your input.
If you can’t get referrals from other people who have had good experiences and results from orthopedics vets, then I would Google search your area for board certified orthopedic veterinarians.
If a vet is good, I don’t think it matters if you tell them about previous radiographic results. They should be able to see for themselves the status of the dog’s joints.
You will get varying opinions about the value of OFA, some people won’t breed or buy pups from stock that is not OFA’d. We personally feel that a qualified orthopedic vet’s opinion is good enough for us. We stand behind our puppies either way.
So I went and got the X-ray. My dog is in very bad shape. It is probably my fault. The vet says she has really bad hips and he wants to do a total hip replacment which I am not so sure about. I should agree, I haven't decided yet. I am going to get a couple of more opinions but after all she is 6 years old and I think it will be too risky. Right know I am just thinking on some sort of pills I should start her on. Stop working her you know probably just let her be a pet. But please have a look a the photo's and give me your opinion which probably won't be very positive but life sucks and you have to deal with it. Any ways enough talk.
Thanks for the quick reply. The x-ray is not perfect but I think probably could have been worse. Please tell me what you think I should do at this stage.
Ed's Response :
These are some of the worst hips I have seen. I agree with your vet, this dog either has to have new hips or he will have a very very painful life. I can’t remember the last time I recommended a dog have new hips.
My name is Darryl I am a small GSD breeder in Ireland and have recently brought my 14 month old male dog for a pre- X-ray as he developing into a super young dog and will certainly want to use him on my bitches.
I brought him to my vet and much to my surprise and upset she told me my dog had terrible hips and should in no way consider him as a stud dog. Needless to say I was shocked and very upset at the prospect of not been able to stud him and indeed end his promising ring career.
I was unsure of the results so I posted a page on the gsd database and included photos of the x-rays............ Oh my God!
What a response all said the same.. "the vet should be banned from taking x-rays" etc etc. I was also sent a link to an article that you ran and was amazed and educated at the same time. "The Importance of Good Positioning on Canine Hip X-rays" This was a fantastic article and armed me with the information I needed to return to my vet without looking like a fool.
I have attached the x-rays so you can see and will let you know how I got on.
I am fully aware also that because the x-rays were bad does not mean that a new set will improve his hip score however it will give me the correct information as to decide his future (fingers cross).
Those x-rays are horrible! It’s impossible for any vet to give an evaluation based on those. Wow!
I’d find a new vet right away but not until I gave that one a piece of my mind. She should refund your money.
I wish you the very best. Let me know how your young dog’s hips turn out.
I wanted to drop you a note as I totally appreciate your writings on hip dysplasia. To me, its very confusing in dealing with vets and the mis-information that is out there. Your articles are clear and concise for the layman. However, I still cant figure out good hips from bad. Was hoping you could tell me if these are bad hips, ok hips, or good, excellent. My vet says I should have my dog fixed, never breed her and she is destined for a life of pain. It was a shock as this pup comes from some pretty serious well known foundation stock amongst all OEBs out there today. She is one year old and I had planned to breed her. Would really appreciate your view. My vet actually tried to get me to spay her when she had her in the office recently. I wanted to punch her! She does not seem to like my breed either so I am planning to find a more open minded vet but was curious if she was playing me or not. She said it was one of the worst she has ever seen. Thanks again and Happy Holidays.
I hate to say it but the hips do not warrant breeding.
Fact is, only about 30% of bad hips come from genetics. So those who say their dogs come from a great bloodline of good hips are only 1/2 correct.
The rest is a good diet, not over exercising the dog as pups and keeping the dog THING from puppyhood to xrays age.
I don’t know which of those you did wrong or if it was the genetics.
This dog will not have pain, its just not good enough to breed.
I have two xrays here I want you to look at. The one on the bottom was taken in Jan (8 months old). Purposively the second xrays are of the same dog 3 months later.
Now, I am no expert. But these do not look like the same dog to me.
I thought I would shoot these to you and see what you think.
Both hips are bad - the positioning on the top x-rays is terrible. I would not have paid the Vet fees on that.
Pass that on to your vet :-)
Please find attached the x-ray photo of 3.5 months old Ca de Bou (perro dogo mallorquin). Vet gave us the very worst prognosis for the future of this puppy. I'm on the crossroad of making a decision - to grow a "different" dog or to give up.
So far the puppy is active, only some sypthoms of early dysplasia are noticed.
I'd be greatfull to hear your opinion about this.
Gretefully yours -
Indre from Lithuania
I am sorry to say that these are terrible hips. Some of the worst I have seen.
Hi Mr. Frawley,
I know that you must be getting hundreds of emails and sorry to keep you busy. I have a 15 month old toy poodle who has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia based on the attached x-rays. Looking at your website, I believe that these x-rays are not good quality, and I was wondering if you could give me a feedback on them. The vet is recommending surgery and, because of the poor quality of the x-rays, I am not quite sure if I agree with the vet's surgery solution.
Appreciate your feedback.
Your Vet is an absolute crook. A HANDS-DOWN THEIF.
He needs to learn how to position a dog for a hip x-ray. This positioning sucks.
I will add this email to web page I have done on incompetent vets.
We recently purchased a 4 month old German Shepherd. We took her to one vet within our 48 hour time limit who said the dog was fine. On the 10th day we took her to another vet because she wasn't eating or acting right. Immediately the second vet said her hips were horrible, that she has hip laxity, dropped hocks, and poor confirmation. We are at a loss what to do as our family has already bonded with her, and our 48 hours are up with the breeder. We don't want her to be in pain. I've enclosed very poor pictures of the xrays. From your website I'm not sure that the positioning is very good on these xrays, and the exposure on the films doesn't appear to be very good either.
Your second vet is a scam artist. Please pass this comment along to him – or mail him my email.
The positioning on these goof balls x-rays is terrible. He needs to go back to school and learn how to take hip xrays.
I will add your email to my web page on VETS THAT DON’T DESERVE RESPECT.
I took my dog into a PetSmart today for a free exam to be told that I should get hip x-rays for $450. I only moved to the US this year and don't have any Vet referral so I was wondering if you might be able to tell me what to look for and if you know of any specific vets that I should contact.
Your hip positioning segment was excellent information and I already feel a lot more informed.
Appreciate your help,
This is absolutely a RIP OFF. Just another reason to prove that Pet Smart is clueless about dog training and canine care. To allow a Vet to come into their store and tell people this is irresponsible.
A hip x-ray including the fees to send it into the OFA should be no more than $150.00 TOPS. Anyone who charges more than that is a con. There are a lot of good vets out there. Get on the phone and start to make some phone calls. Get prices for a hip x-ray including the fees to send the film to the OFA (if that's what you want to do).
Surgical Diseases of the
Collapsing Trachea, Stenotic Nares,
Everted Laryngeal Saccules, Elongated Soft Palate
The trachea (windpipe) is a rigid structure composed of numerous cartilaginous rings. In some small breed dogs, particularly the miniature breeds, the cartilage of the trachea degenerates over time. When this occurs, the trachea becomes soft and flaccid and is prone to collapse during respiration. On inspiration, the cervical trachea collapses. On expiration, the trachea in the chest collapses. It is critical to diagnose not only tracheal collapse, but also the location of the collapse.
The most common symptom of collapsing trachea is a chronic, dry, hacking (honking) cough. In severe cases there may be exercise intolerance, cyanosis, asphyxia, and death. Clinical signs are often worse in hot and humid weather and are exacerbated by obesity and concurrent airway problems.
A tentative diagnosis of collapsing trachea is made based on history and physical examination. A cough may be elicited on palpation of the trachea. Radiographs (x-rays) may demonstrate the collapse. A definitive diagnosis may require the use of fluoroscopy, an x-ray technique that allows the doctor to observe the trachea during respiration in real time on a television screen.
Only the most severe cases are treated surgically. Most respond to correction of the other problems noted here or to medications. Weight loss and correction of concurrent airway disorders may alleviate a significant portion of the problem. Cough suppressants and antiinflammatory medications (corticosteroids) are often beneficial as is avoidance of stress and environmental irritants.
BRACHYCEPHALIC AIRWAY SYNDROME
The upper airway in dogs consists of the nose, sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. There are a variety of problems that can affect the upper airway and compromise the normal flow of air. A particular set of upper airway abnormalities affects brachycephalic dogs. The term "brachycephalic" refers to dogs with shortened noses and mouths. Bulldogs, Pekingese, and Pugs are examples of brachycephalic dogs. Problems seen in brachycephalic breeds include stenotic nares, everted laryngeal saccules, and elongated soft palates. These dogs can have any or all of these conditions. Sometimes these problems compromise respiration to such an extent that surgical intervention is required.
Symptoms of brachycephalic airway syndrome include the following:
Symptoms are often worse during hot and humid weather. Obesity can also worsen clinical signs.
A diagnosis is made by visual examination of the nares, soft palate, and larynx. Laryngeal examinations may need to be performed with the aid of sedation or anesthesia.
(Abnormally Narrow Nostrils)
The nares (nostrils) of brachycephalic dogs are often too narrow to permit normal respiration. These dogs tend to breathe exclusively through their mouths or make wheezing sounds when breathing with their mouths closed. The treatment of choice for this problem is a surgical procedure called rhinoplasty. When performing a rhinoplasty, a small wedge of tissue is resected from the side of each nostril. The remaining tissue is then sutured together, effectively widening the opening of the nares and allowing for more normal respiration.
Everted Laryngeal Saccules
The laryngeal saccules are small bags of tissue that normally sit in recessions just in front of the vocal folds. When we breathe normally, we decrease the pressure in our lungs and upper airways by expanding our chests. This action allows air to flow down our airways and into our lungs. Dogs with compromised airflow through the upper airway must work harder to fill their lungs with air. This decreases the pressure in the upper airway even more and literally pulls the saccules into the airway. When everted, the saccules sit just in front of the opening to the trachea and block the flow of air. The treatment for this problem is excision (removal) of the saccule tissue.
Elongated Soft Palate
The soft palate in brachycephalic dogs can be too long for the length of the mouth. Clinical signs include snoring as the free end of the soft palate flaps during respiration. If the soft palate is long enough, it will hang down into the airway just in front of the opening to the trachea (windpipe) and prevent air from flowing normally. Of the three conditions affecting the upper airway of brachycephalic dogs, this is probably the most serious since airflow can be completely obstructed. The treatment for this condition is to surgically excise (remove) the excess palatine tissue. This procedure shortens the palate and prevents interference with the flow of air.
Protecting your best friend
One of the most important things you can do to give your dog a long and healthy life is to ensure that he or she is vaccinated against common canine diseases. Your dog's mother gave her puppy immunity from disease for the first few weeks of existence by providing disease-fighting antibodies in her milk. After that period it's up to you, with the help and advice of your veterinarian - to provide that protection.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines contain small quantities of altered or "killed" viruses, bacteria or other disease-causing organisms. When administered, they stimulate your dog's immune system to produce disease-fighting cells and proteins - or antibodies - to protect against disease.
When should my dog be vaccinated?
The immunity that a puppy has at birth begins to diminish sometime between 6 and 12 weeks. It is then usually time to begin the initial vaccinations, which will be repeated once a month until the puppy is about 3 to 4 months old. Thereafter, your dog will require repeat vaccination at regular intervals for the rest of his or her life. Above all, follow the vaccination schedule recommended by your veterinarian - if there is too long an interval between the first vaccination and the booster, your dog may have to undergo the series all over again.
Which vaccinations should my dog receive?
Most veterinarians believe that your pet should be protected against those diseases which are most common, highly contagious and which cause serious illness. Such diseases could include Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus, Canine Tracheobronchitis and Rabies. Other vaccinations may be recommended, based on your veterinarian's evaluation of the risks posed by such factors as your dog's particular heredity, environment and lifestyle.
|How effective is vaccination?|
Like any drug treatment or surgical procedure, vaccinations can not be 100% guaranteed. However, used in conjunction with proper nutrition and acceptable sanitary conditions, vaccination is clearly your pet's best defense against disease. Plus, when you consider what treating a serious illness can cost you and your beloved dog in terms of both money and distress, prevention through vaccination is extremely cost-effective.
Basic Canine Info. Congratulations on your new puppy!
Canine Eye Care
How to Apply Eye Ointment
Adminstering Medication to your dog
Pet proofing your home
Just as parents Â‘childproofÂ’ their home, so should pet owners Â‘petproofÂ’ theirs. Four-legged members of the family, like infants and small children, are naturally curious and love to explore their environment with their paws, claws and mouths. But they canÂ’t know what is dangerous and what is not... so itÂ’s up to you to make your home a safe haven. The following tips can help ensure that your pet enjoys a long, happy and accident-free life in your care.
All around the house
In the garage
In the kitchen, laundry room & bathroom
Out in the yard
Home for the holidays
Studies show that by age three, 80 percent of dogs exhibit signs of gum disease. Symptoms include yellow and brown build-up of tartar along the gumline, red inflamed gums and persistent bad breath. Small dog breeds are more likely to develop periodontal disease than large dogs because the teeth of small dogs are often too large for their mouths, according to veterinary dentistry experts. Plaque on dog's teeth are a concern because it can lead to heart disease.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the treatment required to save an animal (or human) life when he or she has suffered respiratory and/or cardiac arrest. CPR consists of two parts:
Rescue breathing and chest compressions.
These two techniques combine to keep the lungs supplied with oxygen and keep blood circulating, carrying oxygen to the other parts of the body.
Basic CPR is CPR performed by trained bystanders at the scene of the arrest.
Advanced CPR is CPR performed by trained teams of professionals.
Basic CPR is the most important, and will be described in this section.
All tissues require a steady source of oxygen. If the source is interrupted for only a few minutes, irreversible damage may be done. If an arrest occurs, basic CPR must be initiated at the scene.
Basic CPR: Rescue Breathing
Make Certain the Animal is Actually Arrested and Unconscious
Talk to the animal first. Gently touch and attempt to awaken the pet. You could be seriously injured should you attempt to perform CPR on a pet who was only sleeping heavily and was startled awake.
Ensure an Open Airway
Extend the head and neck and pull the tongue forward.
Look in the mouth and remove any saliva or vomitus. If it is too dark to see into the mouth, sweep your finger deep into the mouth and even into the throat to remove any vomitus or foreign body. Be aware of a hard, smooth, bone-like structure deep in the throat. This is likely to be the hyoid apparatus (Adam's apple). Serious injury could result if you pull on the hyoid apparatus.
Observe for Effective Breathing
Sometimes an animal will begin to breathe spontaneously when the head is put in the position discussed above (head and neck extended, tongue pulled forward). Watch for the rise and fall of the chest while listening closely for sounds of breathing. If no breathing is evident in 10 seconds, begin rescue breathing.
Begin Rescue Breathing
Rescue breathing is performed by covering the animal's nose with your mouth and forcefully blowing your breath into his lungs. In cats and small dogs, you must hold the corners of the mouth tightly closed while you force the air in.
In larger dogs, the tongue should be pulled forward and the mouth and lips held shut using both hands cupped around the muzzle. Force the air into the lungs until you see the chest expand. Take your mouth away when the chest has fully expended. The lungs will deflate on their own. Air should be forced into the animal's lungs until you see the chest expand.
Give 3 to 5 Full Breaths
After several breaths are given, stop for a few seconds to recheck for breathing and heart function. If the pet is still not breathing, continue rescue breathing 20-25 times per minute in cats or small dogs, or 12-20 times per minute in medium or large dogs. Push down on the stomach area every few seconds to help expel the air that may have blown into the stomach. If the stomach is allowed to distend with air, the pressure will make the rescue breathing efforts less effective.
If Breathing is Shallow or Non-existent
and the animal is still unconscious, continue rescue breathing 10 to 15 times per minute and transport the animal to the nearest veterinary facility.
Basic CPR: Chest Compressions
After Giving 3 to 5 Breaths, Check for a Pulse
If no pulse is detectable, begin chest compressions.
In Small Dogs or Cats
Squeeze the chest using one or both hands around the chest. Depress the rib cage circumferentially. Do this 100 to 150 times per minute.
In Large Dogs
Compress the chest wall with one or two hands, depending on the size of the dog (and the size of the rescuer). If the dog is on her side, place the hand(s) on the side of the chest wall where it is widest. If the dog is on her back, place the hand(s) on the sternum (breastbone). Depress the rib cage or sternum 1.5 to 4 inches, depending on the dog's size. Do this 80 to 120 times per minute.
Coordinate Rescue Breathing and Chest Compressions
Give breaths during the compressions, if possible. If it is not possible to give breaths during the compressions, give two breaths after every 12 compressions.
When Two or More Rescuers are Working Together
Rescue breathing should be given during every second or third heart compression.
Continue CPR Until
All resuscitated animals should be transported to a veterinary facility for further examination and care!
The secondary survey is performed once resuscitation measures have been successfully performed or when it is decided that resuscitation measures are not required. In some circumstances (because of ongoing resuscitation), the secondary survey is never completed and the animal is transported directly to the veterinarian or emergency hospital during resuscitation.
A general examination (from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail) should be performed. Determine and record:
Examine the eyes, ears, nose, neck, mouth (if possible), chest, abdomen, back, pelvis, legs, and tail. First aid treatment should be performed as necessary during transport to the veterinarian.
Taking and recording your pet's pulse is an important part of the secondary survey.
anatomy of a dog: carnivorous
domestic mammal raised to perform various tasks for humans.
Encephalon: seat of the intelluctual capacities of a dog.
Spinal column: important part of the nervous system.
Stomach: part of the digestive tract between the esophagus and the intestine.
Spleen: hematopoiesis organ that produces lymphocytes.
Kidney: blood-purifying organ.
Rectum: last part of the intestine.
Bladder: pocket in which urine collects before being eliminated.
Penis: copulative male sexual organ.
Testicle: sperm-producing male sexual organ.
Intestine: last part of the digestive tract.
Liver: bile-producing digestive gland.
Heart: blood-pumping organ.
Lung: respiratory organ.
Trachea: tube that carries air to the lungs.
Esophagus: last part of the digestive tract.
Larynx: part of a dog's throat that contains the vocal cords.
Veterinary Abbreviations & Acronyms
Common veterinary abbreviations and acronyms, including those for laboratory tests, diseases, weights, and measurements are described.