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  • Leg problems

    I wanted to see if anyone on here has ever seen anything like my pup. Ill try to put all needed info in here but let me know if I forgot anything. I bought a harlequin male puppy from a breeder in NC when he was 7 weeks old. She knew I wanted him to use for breeding in the future. At the time the only problem I noticed was that he was severely bloated with worms. I wasnt really worried since thats easily fixed. He was also a little small, but I assumed it was from malnutrition and he was in a large litter. 14 in total. That evening I noticed he had trouble getting up steps, like his back legs couldnt step up. Also when he walked I noticed his back legs werent moving smoothly, almost like they were catching and would have a stop about 1/2 a step through. I was really worried and we were taking him to the vet the next day anyways so I asked the vet. He noticed it and said it could be hip dysplasia (spelling??) and said he was severely cowhocked. He said it could also be from having worms so badly and being so bloated with them that his hips couldnt grow correctly. He gave us supplements and told us to feed high quality food. We have been free feeding him Diamonds naturals chicken and rice for large dogs since. We called the breeder and she said there is no history in his lines and he had never been injured which I was thinking might have happened.

    The pup is now 13 weeks. He is no longer cowhocked, maybe a slight amount but nothing noticable so Im sure that will be fine when he is older. He had some trouble getting rid of the worms but is finally over that too. He still has trouble with his legs. My vet is not very dane savy and I think hes thinks Im overreacting lol. I also see that his hips seem to sink if looking at him from the side, his spine is not a straight line. He still has trouble walking up steps and there is a "stop" in his stride. I am worried he will not grow out of whatever his problem is. The vet says he is doing great and looks alot better but I worry it should be going better than it is. I noticed today after an unusually long walk that when we got home and he laid on the floor his muscles in his legs were shaking. My dogs got loose and chased a deer so we went climbing the hillsides looking for them. Usually he just runs around the house or in our dog yard which is about 1/2 an acre. He eats well and is otherwise great. I took him to another breeder who said she thought his bones had outgrown his muscles and I needed to feed him low protein and high calorie feed.

    I am sorry this is hard to explain but its something easier seen then explained lol. I can get pics or a video of him if any are needed. Thank you all for any help or advice!!!

  • #2
    many people do not allow dane pups to go up and down steps all the time. If you are worried about his hips go ahead and have them x-rayed it's more likely he is just growing and at 3 months I doubt it is worth spending the money on x-rays. Personally I would seek out an Orthopedic vet, maybe see one at a veterinary school or call around to see if you can find an ortho vet who has worked around large breeds before.
    Did the breeder do any kinds of health testing? Showing? how long have they been breeding? because how do they know line is free of HD even with health tested parents, HD can show up esp in cases were only a few dogs are even health tested or breeder just started breeding, also do you have any sort of health guarantee to fall back on does it only cover certain things?


    • #3
      First of all, stop the free feeding. Get on an adult kibble of 21% protein. Feed three meals a day for now. The pup needs to be kept on the thin side until at least one year of age. Climbing up and down stairs is hard on a growing pup's frame. Long walks are not a good idea either. Just playing in the yard is all that's needed. Don't feed puppy foods.


      • #4
        Hi there, welcome to the DOL

        Yes, picture and/or video would be nice, but I think its not outside the realm of possibility that your boy might have HD or wobblers. Sadly this breed is riddled with skeletal problems like this. Which is why an ethical breeder would never breed without health testing the dam and sire (and hopefully even more behind the pedigree). By health testing I mean PennHyp or Offa scores. Even better breeding pairs would have a CHIC number.

        I hope your boy continues to improve health-wise, but I would ask you to please neuter him as the last thing you want is to pass on his conformation (and thus health) faults on to other dogs. There is a LOT that goes in to responsible breeding. Thankfully you are in exactly the right place to learn all about that

        Might also want to check out the GDCA's website too.

        Again, welcome and best wishes for the good health of your boy.
        Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened.
        - Anatole France


        • #5
          I would, if you're able post some pictures of him from the side and a video of him moving. It will help people see what you are.talking about.

          As for his bones out growing his muscles, I would get a referral to an orthopedic specialist if you really think that is occurring. The advice given to you by said person with that opinion is dead wrong. Feed low calorie and moderate protein. Calories and minerals are what cause skeletal growth. When the body has an excess of calories past its energy requirements then that can accelerate bone growth. Protein has no effect on skeletal growth and builds muscles as well as maintains many other body functions. Ideally you will want to always be able to see the outline of his last two ribs but no spine or hips. If he is having issue with hip dysplasia then keeping him lean is even more important.

          As far as breeding him, I suggest you write that off now. Others will chime in on all the reasons it is a horrible idea, but for starters he is not health tested and from the sounds of it would not likely pass. You would not want to pass on heartache and financial difficulties to other owners just to make a quick buck.


          • #6
            I am not sure if I am replying right since Ive never posted before but here goes.

            I was only planning on breeding if he turns out great and it was just a growing issue. I would NEVER breed a dog with hip problems. I was wanting to get him OFA'd but I dont know if he ever can. Im wondering if its HD or an injury?? Will they OFA him excellent if they can tell its from an injury or any hip problems at all will make him fail. I wondered if the OFA is just for HD.

            He goes back to the vet this Thursday and Ill ask if he knows an ortho vet.

            My problem right now is deciding if I should take him back to the "breeder" We have a 2 year guarantee and called her within 2 days of buying him to tell her about our concerns. She was not happy and said we injured his hips letting him swim in a lake! She also said he must have caught worms after we got him when we only had him 2 days! I just dont know what to do since we are attached to him but I paid a lot of money for him and I would never pay that much for a pet dog. I hate to take him back and its a growing thing and hes great when he matures. A friend of mine also bought a pup from her, from a different litter, that now has a severe staph infection and also had worms badly.

            My vet was having me free feed since he was small for his age and had the worm problem that took alot from him. Ill switch to 3 times a day since hes not really dane savy lol.

            We have steps to go up to the house but he usually walks up the hill anyways so I dont think the steps caused any problems. He has maybe gone up them 4 times.

            She said the parents were OFA'd but now her story changed. I am not sure what all she even knows about his lines, she told me she just bought his sire/dam from a friend. She also said she shows but still trys to say my pup is show marked when he odviously isnt so Im not sure what she really knows.

            We first got 2 danes as pets and just decided to breed and are trying to do things right. I learned my mistake with this pup! I had previously bought a fawn pup from the same breeder that was AMAZING and I just trusted this boy would be the same... This has been a nightmare though and I do love my boy, he is so sweet, but I wish I had asked a few more questions then I had. I just hope he turns out great!

            Here are some pics of him that I took a bit ago. Sorry they arent too great, I was holding my 6 month old son and trying to take them lol. Hes also more a little more cowhocked than I thought. Ill get a video tomorrow. Thanks so much everyone for the help and kind words! I am glad I found this forum!
            Attached Files


            • #7
              That looks to be a lot more then just a growth issue. I would get an x ray done or a referral to an orthopedic specialist if that is an option. Ofa will judge the hips based on what the x rays show if you decide to send them to ofa. Regardless of why the hips are bad, if they are bad then the ofa will come back failing.

              I'm sorry to tell you but I seriously doubt you'll see any money back from the breeder you got him from. If she did ofa the parents then look them up on the ofa website, if they are not listed then the chance she actually did them is little to none. The fact she sold you a puppy on full registrations to breed but not show makes her less then reputable. And since your guarantee is really only as good as her reputation, you are not in a good place.


              • #8
                First off he is technically show colored, he's not the desired show marked, but that all he has going for him his conformation is very poor, she should not have sold you a pup like that on full breeding rights, sounds like she has no interest in being a good breeder as she is making up excuses, how on earth can she say she hasn't produced HD from her pups when she just got the parents. In the first picture it looks like he has HOD! something does seem wrong with his growth. his hips look like HD when compared to dogs who have it I just haven't heard of it in a 3 month old puppy. Swimming is used in rehabilitation of all sorts including orthopedic injuries she is way off base saying that injured him.
                Ok fine you are attached emotionally so keep him but make her give you back the difference of what she charges for full registration and pet. You have a contract so you have legal basis, of course check local laws but since she has a contract she is stuck so long as you followed all the requirements of the contract from the beginning, any vet can attest to a worm problem can not be contracted and be extreme within two days. I always support the idea of going to small claims court many people will say you need a lawyer and will waste money going to court but I disagree, you don't need a lawyer and their is implied knowledge a breeder has when selling pups as breeding quality also if a breeder sells a sick pup from the start it is very difficult for them to not loose all money and pup in court. I can PM you some sites if you think this lady will try and rip you off. I just hope you didn't have him shipped.
                Last edited by angeldane; 09-06-2010, 06:46 PM.


                • #9
                  I didnt know you could check the OFA website so I did and neither sire nor dam was OFAd. Big suprise...

                  I had planned on starting to show my dogs but recently found out I might have to have surgery so I wont be able to until next year at least. That is another reason he was so expensive it because hes so well show marked. My fault that I didnt research more and just trusted her. When I brought up that hes not show marked she had the nerve to say his confirmation will make up for it!!

                  What is HOD? Im not sure of the shorthand on here sorry. My vet also said that if he does have HD and was already having symptoms at 7 weeks then he would probably be so severe that he would have to be put to sleep or have surgery by 1 year old. If that is the problem but he said you cant tell for sure until at least 6 months but really 2 years.

                  I also thought about asking for the difference between limited and full. I think thats a great idea if she goes for it. Thanks angel for all the help You can pm me some info if you dont mind. My grandfather was a judge for 40 years so my family has a lot of lawyer connections if needed too lol.

                  Oh and I did pick him up. We met in Tennessee actually. Thats why it took me 2 days to get him to the vet. We picked him up on friday and stayed in TN for the night then took him to the vet monday.

                  Thanks for all the help, Ive got some decisions to make but Im pretty sure Ill be taking him back. Its so frustrating that you have to be careful and cant trust "breeders" I learned my lesson the hard way and wont make that mistake again!


                  • #10
                    I'm sorry you are going thru this...hopefully someone can learn from your experience and not have to go thru the same thing in the future. I'd have to agree with the others and say that your breeder is anything but a reputable breeder.

                    Here's an example of an outstanding breeder...a friend at the park has an African Boerboel. He is 9 months old. She searched far and wide for a reputable breeder, and still her pup has been diagnosed with an inoperable heart condition. The vet found it at 6 months old...he can drop dead from it at any moment, but they can't repair it with surgery.

                    Her breeder offered to take him back when she found out about it. She has already had both the mother & the father altered (apparently its genetic but she has never had any other case that she knows of from the mother and father). Of course, my friend is way too attached to send her pup back to the the breeder has refunded her money 100% and has even offerred to cover some of the vet expenses they have incurred. I was blown away when I heard that, and extremely impressed.

                    I hope things work out with your cute boy, and I hope you will take everyone's suggestions here and decide to neuter him when the time comes. As beautiful & sweet as he is, he obviously should not be bred.

                    good luck
                    Debbie & Murphy


                    • #11
                      Get x-rays. Those legs/hips do not look okay or even close to normal, even the front legs look a little off. (tho that could be the camra)

                      HOD is a bone issue that causes bowing in the legs. This does not look like the problem. HD looks likly. The entire back end of this pup looks off.

                      If you get the x-rays with an orthopedic vet - they can tell you what the issue is, if it can be helped, and if it was the result of breeding. Get whatever the issue is in writeing from the vet incase you have issues with the breeder should you want to return the pup.
                      "Show me your dog, and I will tell you what manner of man you are."
                      ~Capt. Max von Stephanitz
                      Anubis CGC (RIP) , Cheza CGC, Schwarz Frost von Lichtefeld CGCA THD TDIA, Steele Gunner Goatsbane CGCA, and Professional House Dog Oliver.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by renegadedanes View Post

                        What is HOD? Im not sure of the shorthand on here sorry. My vet also said that if he does have HD and was already having symptoms at 7 weeks then he would probably be so severe that he would have to be put to sleep or have surgery by 1 year old. If that is the problem but he said you cant tell for sure until at least 6 months but really 2 years.
                        If he has HD and he's limping becasue of it a x-ray will show it, the 2 year thing is because some dogs show no symptoms of HD and have it, I have heard of pups with severe HD at 6 months typically they have to be put down, a pup typically can not get a hip replacement until it is close to full grown because the healing process takes a very long time and the body needs to be close to done growing or hip replacements will be too small. If a pup is in pain you certainly couldn't wait a year. I would go forth with x-rays and have them sent to an orthopedic vet to read.
                        HOD is a growth problem and it's typically from overfeeding a growing pup it's not suppose to be genetic. He looks like he has HD though not this
                        You know people in the legal field so I would talk to them many breeders will fold, I'd make her return my money, or take a replacement puppy if that is what contract states, in some cases you can get money back even if contract states otherwise, because in some cases the contract can be considered breached and made void. In most cases it is only worth going to small claims in many states maximum payout is 3000 I'm not sure how much you paid. I decided to share the links on the thread. my account is almost full.


                        • #13
                          Ill definitely have the xrays dont thursday then. Hopefully I will know more than that but I also really think its HD. Its just always in the back of my mind. Im going to email her now and see what happens.

                          I dont think its HOD either. He seemed underfed when we got him and I dont think it would show so early.

                          The contract says money back if contacted in 72 hours and dog is returned in 1 week or replacement puppy after. I dont want another puppy because if it is HD then it could have the same problem since it would be from the same parents. Ill push for my money back but who knows....

                          His front legs look normal, I had an odd angle on the camera so thats my fault. I agree that his whole back end looks off. Even his bones look smaller and weak.

                          Thanks again and Im going to look up an ortho vet and try to get an appt with one. Im glad you all were as worried as I am but also sad because I wanted him to be fine. I think I will have him fixed before taking him back so that she couldnt sell him as a "breed quality" dog to someone else.


                          • #14
                            Oh and one more question. If anyone knows. Do I go by laws in her state, NC, my state, WV or the one where we met and the purchase actually took place, TN?? I mailed a deposit to her in NC if that matters. Thanks


                            • #15
                              Hmm that is a good question. It will be either NC or TN. I would guess it would be the sellers home state, but since your actual purchase took place in TN it could be in those courts. Call legal aide for your area. They should at least know something basic like jurisdiction and it is free.