Dog Disease - Bone Conditions/Problems With Dogs, Specifically German Shepherds

Following is a list of all dog diseases related to bone problems with dogs,specifically with the german shepherd dog breed.

HIPS DYSPLASIA: This is by far the most common of these conditions. The hip is a ball and socket joint with the femur head fitting neatly and deeply into the socket. The severity of the problem depends on the depth of the socket and how well-molded the femur head is. If your Shepherd puppy shows signs of intermittent lameness on one or both of hind legs, or finds difficulty getting up, consult your vet. It is possible to take X-rays at an early age, but the plates can only be scored if your dog is over twelve months old. In the USA your Shepherd has to be two years old before hip plates can be scored. Each hip is scored individually, 53 points on each side, making a total of 106. The higher the score, the worse the hip. 

If you intend to work your Shepherd in Working Trials or Schutzhhund, you must have a dog with good hips. However, your dog can live a normal life as a pet with moderately severe HD.  As this is a hereditary condition, only breed from Shepherds with good hips. At the moment the average score is 17. The Breed Council of UK gives guidelines with regard to hips, and states that no dog with a score over 20 and no bitch over 25 should be bred from.

UNUNITED ANCONEAL PROCESS: An uncommon complaint, often referred to as elbow dysplasia or non-fusion of the elbow joint. The condition is caused by a faulty union of the anconeal process with the ulna. A loose fragment of bone sets up irritation in the elbow joint which cause intermittent lameness. This complaint usually causes a thickening over the elbow and Shepherd turns its feet and pasterns outwards. It usually becomes apparent at four to five months of the age and can only be diagnosed by X-ray. An operation to remove the loose fragment of bone will correct the condition.

PANOSTEITIS: Again this condition is uncommon. It is caused by excessive production of bone along the long bones. The cause is unknown and condition usually affect the puppies between five and twelve months of the age. It can cause lameness. It usually corrects itself by the time the dog is twenty months old.

CHRONIC DEGENERATIVE RADICULO MYELOPATHY (CDRM): This is a condition usually found in elderly dog. The first signs are the loss of muscles on the hind legs, a situation which gradually deteriorate until the Shepherd finds it difficult to stand up. It is a distressing condition because in every other way the dog is perfectly normal. Finally, when your Shepherd gets to the stage of dragging its hind legs along the ground, we think that euthanasia is the kindest solution. There appears to be no pain attached to this condition, which has been little researched and, at present, appears to be incurable. 

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