Hip problems in a puppy?

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by GeAnnMarie, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. GeAnnMarie

    GeAnnMarie Mini Aussie

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    Our puppy (a miniature australian shepherd) is 6 months old and I have a slight concern about the way his back legs move. At a normal walk they seem fine and move fluidly. Then, when he is between a walk and a run, they move almost in unison like a galloping horse, but in a very stiff way. Almost as if they are rocking back and forth or bouncing behind him. But at a full speed run he seems to move fluidly again.

    Is it normal for puppies to have this odd stiff sort of gallop? Or is this possible hip problems? Once cause may be that we live in an apartment with all linoleum floors. Any running he does in the house causes him to slide across the floor. We try to discourage running in the house and take him out for walks frequently. Could the linoleum floors be causing any problems?

    Thanks!
     
  2. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    Personally I would bring him to the vet.

    I do not mean to offend you or anything, but there is no such thing as a Mini Aussie. These are simply runts, smaller dogs. People just bred smaller Aussies and called them Miniature Australian Shepherds.
     
  3. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Is the dog pacing at a lower speed ? ( both rear and front legs on one side moving forward together). This causes a rear end "waggle"..then they switch to normal lope at a higher gait. Otherwise I agree...check with a vet.
     
  4. GeAnnMarie

    GeAnnMarie Mini Aussie

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    No offense taken, but as our puppy was definitely not the runt of his litter I am not inclined to refer to him as a runt Australian Shepherd. I understand that the AKC only recognizes Australian Shepherds between 18 and 23 inches, but our little guy doesn't fall into that category. Keep in mind the standard Australian Shepherd itself was not recognized by the AKC until 1993.

    That is exactly right! For those not familiar with the Miniature Australian Shepherd here is a little background info from the Miniature Australian Club of America (http://www.mascaonline.org):

    During the 1960’s, a Californian Australian Shepherd enthusiast acquired several small working Aussies from the rodeo circuit. Intrigued by their compact size, she worked with a veterinarian to develop a breeding program in order to preserve the trait, which quickly resulted in litters producing both dogs only 13 to 14 inches tall as well as larger Australian Shepherds. The smaller dogs eventually became known as "miniature" Australian Shepherds.

    The mini Aussie soon attracted the attention of experienced Australian Shepherd breeders and eager newcomers. Lines were researched and educated breeding to full-size Aussies was and is strongly encouraged to diversify the gene pool and improve conformation and type of the mini Aussies. Herding instinct, intelligence and drive were preserved and many mini Aussies continue to work a variety of livestock today.

    The first registry to accept the Miniature Australian Shepherd was the National Stock Dog Registry (NSDR): the same to first recognize the Australian Shepherd. Acceptance was next achieved with the now defunct Rare Breed Kennel Club (RBKC). After the RBKC folded in the early 1990’s, the mini Aussie gained acceptance with the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA).

    Unfortunately, ARBA regulations stipulated that in order for a breed to qualify for Group and Best in Show competition, it could not have a name associated with an AKC breed. So in 1993, when the Australian Shepherd was granted full show privileges in the AKC’s Herding Group, one group of mini Aussie enthusiasts opted to change the mini Aussie’s name, a move which caused great confusion in the dog world and for the general public and eventually led to the development of a separate and distinct breed from the Australian Shepherd called the North American Shepherd.

    Dissatisfied with the limited show schedule offered by any one club, enthusiasts attempted to secure wider recognition. However, it soon became apparent that acceptance could not be gained under the new name because it implied a new breed. In actuality, the mini Aussie remained a size variety of the Australian Shepherd, with a continuous genepool, and not a separate breed. Those concerned with maintaining Australian Shepherd heritage, instinct, temperament and type, and interested in pursuing further recognition formed a Miniature Australian Shepherd parent club in order to attain these goals.


    The reason we are not taking him to the vet at this point is because it does not appear to be causing him any discomfort. We live in a non-english speaking country at the moment so taking our puppy to the vet is slightly more complicated. We go to the vet for shots, travel health exams, and of course any emergency situations. Smaller issues wait until we are back in an english speaking country.

    But we are interested in other pet owners personal experiences that might be helpful in identifyng whether this is something he will grow out of or a possible sign of future problems.
     
  5. GeAnnMarie

    GeAnnMarie Mini Aussie

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    I looked up a little about what you mentioned with pacing and such. I am not real familiar with the terms used for a dogs gait. From what I read though it looks like he is doing a really low speed gallop. Maybe that is why it seems slightly choppy and stiff. Then when he goes into a fast gallop it seems more natural. Any thoughts?

    A few terms I came across I am not sure of though were crabbing, lumbering and prancing.
     
  6. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    It could be the uncertainty of the footing on linoleum. Many dogs will adopt a strange gait on linoleum at medium speeds simply because they don't feel secure. If you can, try to take him somewhere he can move on grass and see if his gait is the same there after he has some time to adjust to the new surface.
     
  7. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    I'm certainly not saying you should refer to your dog as a runt, and I'm sure he's a big sweetheart, but they are not a breed (at least not with the AKC).
     
  8. Love4Pits

    Love4Pits Playful Husky Pup

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    There is such a breed made up of smaller bred Aussies. BUT they are not called called Mini Aussies but North American Shepherd. Not saying that I like it all reminds my of the ALaskan Klee Kai really.

    I would get him to a vet
     
  9. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    i'd just like to make a small commernt in regards to the AKC here.

    the AKC is not the be all and end all of "everything dog". they only recognize a very limited number of breeds (153 curently i think), whereas the FCI - the world canine organization - recognizes 332 and there are still more breeds not even recognized by FCI that are nevertheless "real breeds".

    there are non-AKC-recognized breeds out there that have existed for longer than the AKC itself.

    as for the mini aussie, they are really great dogs and the breed has two dedicated parent breed clubs behind it (NAMASCUSA and MASCA), who have recently decided to merge into one single organization.

    last but not least, i don't want to step on any toes here, but it is not necessarily in a breed's best interest to even be AKC recognized in the first place, since the working ability and overall health of many of them has suffered once they are only bred to please the eyes of AKC judges. personally i think the UKC is doing its members a better service.
     
  10. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Total agreement here, Mordy. I shudder to think what is in store for the Neopolitan Mastiff now that the AKC has deigned to recognize this venerable old breed - that does indeed predate the AKC by a long, long time. There are some breeds that just don't need all of the hype that the AKC brings, and temperament, health and working instincts are sure to fall by the wayside.
     
  11. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Thanks for bringing up those points Mordy.
     
  12. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    I'm not saying the AKC is "everything". I'm just saying there is NO SUCH THING as a Miniature Australian Shepherd.
     
  13. caseyolee

    caseyolee Border Collies R' Us

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    If it looks like he is hopping when he runs, that's a bad sign. "Hopping" of the back end is a symptom of Hip displaysia. Please get him checked for it.

    The mini aussie is growing. There's a lot op people that have them now. Personally, I'd rather have a full-size aussie (i do have 2) b/c they were bred for herding. What is a mini going to herd? Nothing. The mini aussie is a breed though.

    AKC for a herding/working dog is worthless anyways. The ABCA (American Border Collie Ass) is trying and has been trying for years to get AKC to drop the BC. They never wanted AKC to recognize the BC in the first place, but they did anyways. Now it's a constant effort to get them to pull the BC out.

    FYI: If you have a BC registered w/ AKC and ABCA and the dog wins an AKC conformation title, ABCA will drop that dogs registry. ABCA is about breeding for work, not conformation. I hope they are successful in getting the BC out of the AKC.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005
  14. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    and i happen to be in disagreement with you on that statement. :)

    http://www.mascaonline.org
    http://www.namascusa.com

    there's a breed standard and obviously these dogs breed true.
     
  15. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    um, hold it for a second. the AKC does not recognize breeds just out of the blue, the national parent club of a particular breed has to approach the AKC and request it be recognized.

    so it is definitely wrong to blame the AKC for everything, even if they don't have all their priorities straight.

    from my understanding, the ABCA is a registry, not a breed club.
     
  16. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    Well then we must agree to disagree. I can have a different opinion if I choose to, and I do. And that doesn't make me irresponsible or my opinion worthless.
     
  17. GeAnnMarie

    GeAnnMarie Mini Aussie

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    I have heard hopping was a sign of hip displaysia so that was why I posed the question. We plan on having him checked when we return home in May (we are currently abroad). His breeder gauranteed him for hip problems up to a year also so we have always planned on doing a full check up for hip displaysia before he turns a year old.

    He doesn't hop at all when he is running. He just does that funny gallop/hop thing when he is between running and walking. His walk is fine also. No problems there. I know that he has no discomfort from it so I thought that maybe it was a just a weird gait he developed to use betweeen running and walking. Any thoughts?
     
  18. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Bimmer does the run-run-run-hop thing when he's in particularly high spirits, and Bear did it too.

    I don't remember how O'Reilly (the blind Aussie we had) moved at a medium gait, mainly because I don't ever remember seeing him move at anything less than full speed ahead, lol.

    If he doesn't seem to be having any pain and doesn't exhibit any real signs of dysplasia, you're probably fine waiting until you get home to have his hips checked thoroughly. I've never had a dog with hip problems, though, so someone who has been through it can give you better first-hand observations.
     
  19. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    of course you can have a different opinion, i don't argue that - just that you base your opinion on incorrect facts, which results in a pretty narrowminded point of view.

    neither did i say that your opinion makes you irresponsible. (huh, where did that even come from?)
     
  20. CreatureTeacher

    CreatureTeacher New Member

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    GeeAnnMarie, I would absolutely get my pup's hips checked as soon as possible. Even if it's not causing him any pain now, to show evidence of structural defects so young is a bad sign. I would also take him to a doggy chiropractor and an acupuncturist, just to cover my bases. The reason I react this way is that I once got close to declaring bankruptcy after a corrective hip sugery for one of my girls, and it didn't work the first time!! I had to take her to a different vet and have it done again, but thankfully they were experts and had a fund set up for us broke people. :) I always thought that if I'd had her as a puppy, maybe I could've prevented the problem altogether with diet and medical care.

    And I think we should take the "mini Aussie" debate elsewhere and leave this thread for GeeAnnMarie's health question. But that's just my opinion. :eek:
     

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