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Thread: Vet Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Jamestown, NY

    Default Vet Question

    I'm at a loss, I just got the OFA results back from my 26 month old YLM and it shows mild dysplasia with subluxation in the left hip. My vet had said he saw a slight seperation but thinks due to the age of the dog the ball might still pull deeper into the socket. Is this a real possibility or just wishful thinking? I had put a JH on the pup last summer and was looking forward to SH, MH this summer and breeding - now I'm definately not breeding and wondering if I should stop working him. We train just about everyday - he's a real firebreather and doesnt show any lameness. Any input would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Andy Carlson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Otis, ME


    Don't give up on your dog. Maybe retake the X-rays at a later date. I had one dog that hips looked terrible on X-ray but never had a lame day in her entire 11 years.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2011
    Kinston, NC


    There are thousands of dogs out there that do not meet OFA standards with regards to fair, good or excellent hips which is required to get an OFA number. I have personally hunted with a dog the last 8 years or so (he is ten Now) and he has never made a lame step and has hunted all over this country. Train your dog and enjoy the hell out of him- I promise you he doesn't know the difference.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    South of Charlotte, NC


    I have a dog that showed a bad hip on an xray at one year old. He is now 5 and never had a problem with it. We did what our vet suggested, kept him working, kept him lean and he is doing great. Just let the dog tell you if you need to slow down.
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  7. #5
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Lake Winola, Pa


    Had a bitch that was dysplastic in one side ,NEVER took a lame step until her 16th birthday when she passed shortly after. Work your dog, hunt ,him, train him , keep him fit and deal with anything that may or MAY NOT come up
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  8. #6
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    NW WI


    If you are running and titling in HT only to breed, then you've learned a lesson that happens to many of us. Do OFA prelims first before you spend a ton of time and $$ on a dog. If you plan on keeping your dog no matter what (vs selling because he isn't breedable), then keep training and running because you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it, then don't bother, but find a way to keep your dog working regardless. Not fair to "retire" him just because he can't be a stud, as long as he's not bothered by the hip, and it's better for him physically to keep in condition, even if it means as someone else's dog.

    At 26 months, I don't think the odds are all that great that you'll get a passing hip in another year, but it is possible. If you are keeping him regardless then work him, put him on a real conditioning/muscle building program and redo them in a year, possibly try PennHip along with OFA so you have as big a picture as possible. FWIW, I did have one young one have a mild subluxation on one side at prelims that passed at 24 months. She was good enough, I didn't care if she ever got bred so we kept working/training.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

  9. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    I woul shoot another X ray and resubmit, possibly with another vet depending on the vets level of experience. I know of a few dogs who have not passed the first time but got a better rating on a second attempt, often times with a different vet. I tell people to ask locally in their area for recomendations usually from persons within their retriever club. Positioning is important. Personally I look for a vet that doesn't sedate. Pros and cons for both with and w/o sedation. If you have faith in the vet and that the xrays were done as good as possible, then it is very possible for your dog to be mildly displastic on one side and not to show symptoms.

    Good Luck

  10. #8


    Did your vet use anesthesia when doing the x-ray? I would check around on who in your area takes good films and do Penn Hip at the same time. Penn Hip takes three different views and use a scientific measurement of the laxity of the joint. It is by far the best way to evaluate a hip. Your dog is measured against other dogs of the same breed and given a percentile rating of how your dog compares to others of the same breed and age. No matter what the results I would never retire him unless he started having lameness. The muscles actually help hold the hip in place and you can't let the dog's rear end get weak or it will really start to both him. You might also look at a food that has joint support which most performance dog foods to include. Some dogs look fine on x-ray and are symptomatic and other dogs look terrible on x-ray and never experience an issue. Some other dogs x-ray great at 2 and then at 7 or 8 they can be have another x-ray and be full of arthritis.
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  11. #9
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    Jul 2003


    I would also get another set of x-rays pulled. Make sure that the x-rays are digital and the vet who does them are doing a ton of them. Sometimes regular film can be a bit old and give a cloudiness that you would not want on an OFA x-ray. How the dog is positioned is critical, and how much "pull" they put on the joint is critical as well. I have had vets give me back x-rays where the hip was rotated, knee rotated, uneven in pull on the joint. And OFA will not take into account poor positioning. It's up to you to make sure they are sent a good one. I have known dogs that were quite dysplastic to run field trials without a day of lameness. As a matter of fact, the best thing you can do for a dog with a less than optimum wheel is to give it good musculature, which will support a weaker joint. So, just keep training and swimming and having fun with your dog.

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