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Wondering about age and other potential issues

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Hiraeth View Post
    I think my biggest concern (and indicator that he might be quite tall and have associated health problems), is the current height and the amount of knuckle he has left.


    Most of what I listed was asking which tests I could/should do in the future.

    Zephyr definitely moves oddly. I'll try to video it, but he paces instead of trotting (you all probably know what I mean, but just in case someone else doesn't, both right legs move forward at the same time, then both left legs move forward at the same time). It could just be a weird movement thing, or it could be an early indicator of a problem.
    Thanks for the information and advice! Definitely going to enjoy him and do my best to make sure he receives the best care I can provide.

    P.S. Is that an Aaron Rodgers reference?
    I don't know who Aaron Rodgers is? So that would be a nope!

    No, I didn't expect you to run out and do all these tests on a 7 month old. I think overall, most of them are unnecessary because you are only learning of the current state for today. They aren't predictions of the future. With the exception of breeders, pets are very unnecessary to preventative test because no matter what you learn, you will only treat symptoms as they arise. Breeders are different because they are choosing breeding pairs based on test results. Would you do a hip replacement? My guess would be no. That would be extreme, even for a crazy dane person like myself. The only exception is, the cardiac US and EKG. I do think that is important for ANY dane between the ages of 2-3 at any age. I just wanted to put it out there for you that it's not the end-all be-all. A hyper vigilant owner that closely monitors the dog day to day trumps any test you could perform. Just like Titan, soon enough you will know everything about him and know when something is off.

    Height is not necessarily a prediction of future problems. Phin is just at 40" and had excellent mobility. He has perfect hips. A well balanced dog, at any height, should have no mobility issues. I would not count Phin's spine injury as height related. It is not. I know exactly what he was doing when he caused his spine injury and it would have happened even if he was knee high. What the height does cause a problem with his spine injury is that our treatment abilities are limited.

    In an overall daily life, I don't even notice how big Phin is. I live with him like anyone with a 30" dane would. He takes up just as much couch or bed as any other dane. If Zephyr gets larger then the average, it's not the end of the world. I know people like to say the bigger they are, the harder they fall. That is such bullshit. Just because my danes legs are 4" taller and body is 4" longer then a 36" dane, does nothing to his life expectancy. It's all fairly random. My point is, don't worry yourself over it. Sure, I wish Phin was closer to standard but it's just not really overly concerning in the grand scheme of things.

    Lots of dogs pace as you described. It just may be the dog and not an issue. Take notice, be vigilant and give care as needed. Phin is a foot shuffler. He shuffles all 4 paws when walking. When he is coming down the hallway, it sounds like someone in socks sliding their feet. Shuffle..shuffle.. It's just his lazy way of walking. Now, give him reason to move with purpose, and he will pick up those feet and get going. Otherwise, he just shuffles his feet along. He is lazy.. nothing more. Oddly enough, I have seen videos on youtube that goes about training the dog to trot and not pace. Not sure you want to invest time in doing that.

    You'll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what the future holds. You've taken on a bit of a project dog and I'm sure all will be well. If not, then you face it at that time.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Angel7292; 07-20-2016, 05:01 PM.
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    • #17
      Asaah paces all the time. I've been told by someone, I can't remember who but it was someone in Danes, that a lot of big dogs do it. All good and excellent hips in her pedigree, and she has no mobility problems. Whenever I get her moving faster she has a normal gait. Of course if you want to do hips and elbows, then go for it, but I don't see why it would ever be necessary for a pet dog unless you see a problem, especially if it requires sedation. I like to do yearly bloodwork, mostly because I feed raw but also to have a baseline. If you're going to pull blood, you could also do a thyroid panel, although again I don't see the use if he has no symptoms. I just don't see the use of putting rescues through that just because their ancestry is unknown. None of those tests, with the exception of cardiac testing, will tell you anything you won't know by observing your dog.
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      Chaucey
      Asaah ~ xxx Asaah LaLa, CGC, registered therapy dog

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Angel7292 View Post
        Now now... don't talk like that is a bad thing! Phin is just perfect at 40" and 190 pounds. He is perfectly perfect! Smaller would have been better, but I love every inch of my beast.

        Hey, at 7 months Phin was dead in the middle of the average size on the height / weight chart! I wasn't going to mention he just didn't stop growing. Don't scare her like that!! I think MOST danes are amongst the average. I think the ones that aren't, are smaller.

        Pffttt... Zeph's height and weight is right on for a 7 month old. I'm sure he will stay within average. (Darn you Lisa, you are gonna scare her! haha)
        Not at all - lol!!! I agree Phin is perfect - both his size and personality! I wasn't trying to scare Hiraeth, and doubt she could be scared quite frankly, given her experience. 😊 My BYB Dane who was spayed early, was taller than Zoom etc etc lived to twelve, while my Aussie mix who I thought would easily live to 15-16 only lived one year longer than Kahuna. It's easy to get worried over statistics, but at the end of the day none of us can predict what will happen. Which is why I always shake my head when people tell me how short the lifespan is for Danes... Love the pics - Zephyr and Titan look like they will be best buddies!
        -Lisa (Zoomer's mom)

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        • #19
          I had to go look up the Shark size at 7 months.

          Eisen Shark is 7.5 months old, 34" and 118 pounds.
          He just didn't grow a whole lot past that point, so I doubt you're looking at having an absolute monster, maybe just slightly bigger than average. Here's a pic I took of Eisen tonight. Not the best quality, but you can probably see how freaking huge his overall bone looks. To me, anyway haha.
          Attached Files
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          Fergus
          SC Dinnie Stone Guardian, CGC
          Eisen Shark
          C Shadows On The Sun, CGC

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          • #20
            Peach uses the pacing gait too. It's just her slowest gait, like a walk for a horse. I have to tell her to "pick it up" and urge her forward to get her into that trot. I've seen lots of dogs that walk that way, I was also surprised when I first started noticing it. All these standardbred dogs pacing around
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            Peach, merle Great Dane
            Born July 7 2014
            Peach & Emily!

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            • #21
              Health testing is done on adult parents, BEFORE breeding, for the purpose of ruling out breeding partners with issues. The whole point being to avoid producing affected puppies.

              It's a moot point for you - you already have the dog. There is no point in doing any kind of testing whatsoever. Hip xrays will do absolutely nothing for you, now or at 2 years old. With HD, you treat and manage symptoms. There is no point in looking for a diagnosis preemptively. Dogs can have HD and never, ever show any symptoms whatsoever (ie no treatment needed). You could go do a cardio echo today (or in a year or two) and that has no real bearing on whether or not the dog will have cardio issues. A lot of times these don't show up until 4-5 years old.

              Focus on raising a healthy puppy: physically, emotionally and mentally. Save your money to deal with and treat any health issues that come up later on down the road. Knowing health testing status for a pet (now or at 2 years old) does not really benefit you.
              *Jennifer*
              Member GDC of Mid-Florida
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              • #22
                I'm glad a lot of other people have Danes that pace! I've never seen one do it. Zeph paces even at high speeds - I've never seen him trot normally. Might just be a weird thing he does, or something he'll grow out of. I was a bit worried about it because my dad had a Lab mix, Maggie, who paced and had very weird hips and movement. We lost her to double ACL tears at 2.5 years of age.

                Also, the teeth picture that was requested:



                Originally posted by oceanbluedanes View Post
                Health testing is done on adult parents, BEFORE breeding, for the purpose of ruling out breeding partners with issues. The whole point being to avoid producing affected puppies.

                It's a moot point for you - you already have the dog. There is no point in doing any kind of testing whatsoever. Hip xrays will do absolutely nothing for you, now or at 2 years old. With HD, you treat and manage symptoms. There is no point in looking for a diagnosis preemptively. Dogs can have HD and never, ever show any symptoms whatsoever (ie no treatment needed). You could go do a cardio echo today (or in a year or two) and that has no real bearing on whether or not the dog will have cardio issues. A lot of times these don't show up until 4-5 years old.

                Focus on raising a healthy puppy: physically, emotionally and mentally. Save your money to deal with and treat any health issues that come up later on down the road. Knowing health testing status for a pet (now or at 2 years old) does not really benefit you.
                I suppose my thought process with wanting a look at the hips is to see how much and what type of exercise I should be providing him. If they look pretty iffy at two years of age, I would focus on doing a lot of swimming and other low impact exercises and cut back on running on hard ground with him. But if it's overall not going to make a difference, then I won't bother until I see a sign that something is off!

                He's already insured. I no longer mess around with the idea of large medical bills. Learned my lesson the hard way and am never going to go through that again!

                Thanks for the advice
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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Hiraeth View Post
                  However, these are considerations that I'm not making for Titan's future, because I have Titan's parent's records and am aware of their health and OFA scores. So this is all 'future planning, what it means to own a Dane with an unknown health background who is on the large side and most likely bred by people breeding for size'-type stuff.
                  Something else I wanted to mention, is that just because Titan's parents were health tested is no prediction of his future either. Titan, God forbid, could be the one to end up with all the issues you are worrying about with Zephyr. As I've said multiple times, when you health test, it is a snap shot of TODAY... not the future. A dog with no DCM today can die of DCM later on. Parents with good cardiac US means they were healthy that day, not that they won't develop cardiac issues. Same goes for the hips, elbows, eyes and thyroid.

                  I have all of Phin's parents health testing. Hips, elbows, eyes and cardiac, thyroid were all normal / excellent for his parents. At the age of 2, Phin was discovered to have a slight irregular cardiac rhythm with ectopic beats. At the age of 5, he was diagnosed as hypothyroid. See how this works?

                  Parents health testing IS important and you can rule out that the breeder isn't knowingly breeding a dysplastic dog, for example. Eyes, hips and elbows are done once (exception would be a dog with issues). Responsible breeders thyroid and cardiac test before each breeding because the previous testing is null and void after time passes. It's not a one time thing.

                  Your worry should include Titan. Not limiting it to Zephyr. Every dane is at risk for these health issues, well bred or BYB.
                  Last edited by Angel7292; 07-21-2016, 06:02 AM.
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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Angel7292 View Post
                    Your worry should include Titan. Not limiting it to Zephyr. Every dane is at risk for these health issues, well bred or BYB.
                    I suppose the way I worded it may sound like I don't worry about Titan, but I do. Just not in the same way. His risk is low. He comes from a line of cancer-free, long lived dogs. Sure, something could happen. There's always that possibility. But he has been set up for success, he has been fed the appropriate food from birth, he has received proper vet care and has been conditioned and exercised well.

                    Zephyr has been set up for failure. The risk of health issues is high because he's backyard bred. He hasn't received proper vet care, or nutrition, or exercise.

                    That's why I worry. And absolutely, I could lose Titan at 6 and Zephyr could live until 12. There's always that chance. But the reason we support ethical breeders so avidly here is that we all acknowledge that ethically bred dogs have the best chance for health and longevity. Titan was ethically bred. Zephyr was not. It only makes sense that I'd worry about him more, as I truly believe in the benefits of ethical breeding and the risks it helps to minimize.
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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Hiraeth View Post
                      . It only makes sense that I'd worry about him more, as I truly believe in the benefits of ethical breeding and the risks it helps to minimize.
                      Absolutely. The whole exercise of buying from responsible and ethical breeders is to mitigate your future damages. That also plays into previous conversations that you've been part of here about showing. It's not always about the title but finding a dog that has excellent conformation. Good conformation lends itself to having offspring with less physical issues in the future. Purchasing from health tested parents is no guarantee on your pup, but it gives the benefit that at least those dogs weren't breed with obvious genetic issues. It's all about mitigating your future damages.

                      I do think the wording perhaps misrepresented what you were thinking. A well bred dane may not get through life unscathed and many BYB rescues live until 12 without a problem. Poorly bred doesn't mean doom and gloom. His crappy diet got him this far without issue and besides growing problems (usually pre-6 months of age), a crappy diet for the first 7 months won't cause future issues. A crappy diet for 7 months won't cause cancer, DCM, HD, hypothyroid, cataract etc. It's the easiest thing to turn around with some good quality food. Anything lacking in the diet and any physical ailments from a poor diet can be changed without lasting effects for the most part. Good food = problem solved.

                      Many of our DOL angels have taken in sick, emaciated, injured rescues that are in visibly poor shape. They lived a lot longer then 7 months on much less. Some from the worst puppy mill situations ever. Most have gone on to do very well and have lived long and happy lives. If I were you, I'd move forward being cautiously optimistic and just be a vigilant dane owner. Zephyr looks good, appears to be of a good weight, decent coat and eyes. Nothing about him stands out as being alarming. If he was being malnourished or nourished improperly, he wouldn't be the height and weight he is. Although, the food was crap, many dogs in this country eat that crap from start to finish of their lives and are no worse for the wear.

                      Wishing you the best of luck. I'm sure he will be just fine.
                      Last edited by Angel7292; 07-21-2016, 07:02 AM.
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                      • #26
                        I didn't see your teeth picture til now, sorry! I do think those canines look like they haven't fully erupted. The age is probably accurate. How is he doing anyway?
                        ~ Lisa & Rupert

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Sparrow View Post
                          I didn't see your teeth picture til now, sorry! I do think those canines look like they haven't fully erupted. The age is probably accurate. How is he doing anyway?
                          I got his papers, so 12/11/15 is definitely his birthdate. Disappointing, as I was hoping they were being dishonest and telling me he was younger than he actually is.

                          He's just under 35" at the shoulder (so he's grown half an inch) and has put on 12 lbs in the 2.5 weeks I've had him, so he's at 122 lbs at 6 days shy of 8 months. Still underweight. He's consuming 11.5-12 cups of food a day. His musculature is improving, his odd movement is getting better (he's trotting instead of pacing now), so I think that was all due to general weakness because of poor nutrition and conditioning.

                          He gets along with the other dogs great! He's currently so enthusiastic about treats that he flails about and goes a little crazy when I bring treats out, so I'm working on calm behavior around low value rewards at the moment.

                          He's a really wonderful dog. I'm still worried about health issues, but he's insured now, so there's nothing I can do but feed him right and sit back and cross my fingers he stops growing soon
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                          • #28
                            Awww, sounds like he's doing really well. I'm happy for him that you have him and he's thriving.
                            ~ Lisa & Rupert

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