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Leerburg Article Categories Health Articles The Importance of Good Positioning on Canine Hip X-rays

Hip Positioning Q&A

QUESTION:

Hi Ed.

I know you probably get hundreds of emails a day, but I'm hoping that you can take a few moments for me. I would be willing to pay for your time. I have an 8 month old Cane Corso pup that I purchased as a performance dog. He's got his CGC and is working towards his CD. About a month ago, he started limping so I took him to the vet. We didn't expect any problems with the hip, so we just quickly shot a hip film to rule out any issues there. Imagine my horror when I saw the following. And yes, I do realize the positioning is very poor. I took him back and we redid the films under anesthesia on Friday. I will post those, as well. His breeder is telling me that my dog does NOT have hip dysplasia. That "all" corso pups look bad at this age, and he will "outgrow" it. The breeder actually sent me a link to your web article on proper positioning for hip x-rays, and when I read it and scrolled down through the pictures, saw one of an 8 month old GSD that looks like my boys hips, and you suggested he be put down. My breeder sold my pup with a hip guarantee, but now he is refusing to honor it and told me to sue him. I would dearly love your thoughts/input on my puppy's hips. My vets are saying he needs a total hip replacement in both side IF the ortho surgeon says he's a good candidate. I am awaiting his evaluation this week. I did send the films to OFA, as well, for their input. I am just heartbroken and devastated over this. I have kept my pup LEAN (86 pounds at 8 1/2 months, while his brother is 127 and sister is 97 --I don't own them!), fed him well, given him supplements (Vit C, Glucosamine, MSM), exercised him moderately. Basically, I've done everything I can as an owner. And I did check OFA last week and the ONLY dog from my breeder's kennel that is listed....is severely dysplastic. Imagine that. I'm learning so much. But in a very hard way. Thank you for your time. (PS-- you have permission to post this on your site if you feel it will help others).


First films done on 1-7-12


Same dog w/anesthesia 1-14-12


Same dog w/anesthesia 1-14-12

ANSWER:

These are terrible hips and your breeder isn’t the most ethical person around.

These hips are about as bad as they get. Heck they almost look dislocated on one side. If the breeder won’t replace the dog then honor his request and sue him. I would.

Its always a terrible thing to be sitting in the vets office and he hands you a set of x-rays that look this bad.

I wish you the best of luck with your dog.

Regards,
Ed


QUESTION on Hip Positioning:

Ed,

My breeder sent me the link to your web site to view x-rays - specifically positioning. (She has been breeding Bernese Mountain Dogs for over 30 years, specifically for performance dogs, not conformation).

The attached digital photos of x-rays are of my 9 month old Bernese Mountain Dog's hips, (9 months old today, Jan 21, 2007) - the films were taken December 30, 2006. He injured his legging running in the back yard on December 28, was not putting weight on it, I took him into my vet on December 30....the vet took the attached x-rays. I went back and took digital photos of the x-rays to email to my breeder. My breeder and I have been discussing....she says she is shocked my vet would even let me see these x-rays...they are some of the worse positioning she has ever seen.

I had the dog on pain pills for a week and he is now on supplements. Also have an appointment on March 19th, 2007, at the regional vet school in this area (Virginia-Maryland Vet School, in Blacksburg, VA) to have preliminary OFA x-rays taken.

The digital photos are of only TWO x-rays, his hips and his (supposedly) hyper extended left knee.

If you have a minute, please give me your input on these films?

Thank you,
Carolyn

ANSWER:

The photo of the hips is below. This person needs to find a new vet. This is a case of really terrible positioning.

canine hip xray


Comments on the Hip X-ray article

Ed

Thank you for that article on hip positioning. I have an associate degree in Veterinary technology that i received in 1990, radiology has always been a passion of mine. You are so correct!!!! I have worked for so many vets who do not know how to take proper x-rays and even worse they hire people off the street to do it for them and instead of training them the right way to do it or pay a little more money for an educated person to work for them. They count on owners being un-educated. I have been telling people this for years. I breed Labradors now, and my vet and i have a good

understanding she takes 2 x-rays of hips for me tells me her opinion then give me x-rays and i can choose which one i want to send to OFA. But i must say she does a great job.

Thanks again for educating the public and i think everyone should get a 2nd opinion before doing major hip surgery. AND I SO AGREE with you i have seen dogs with moderate hips dysplasia not show any signs of weakness simply from being able to swim to build there muscles.
Swimming Dogs is the best physical therapy.

Karen


TESTIMONIAL on hip x-ray article

October 15, 1998

My name is Goran and I'm living in south Sweden, I have been struggling with the result of bad position with the Swedish Kennel Club.

After reading your article and taken part of your excellent photos I have succeeded to get a veterinarian to take some new x-rays and our champion Parson Jack Russell Terrier dog has been upgraded from mild hip dysplasia on one hip and excellent on the other to excellent on both hips. I would like to thank you for the help that your article have given me.

I'm planning to write a article in our club magazine and also in the Swedish Kennel Clubs monthly magazine and if I can use your photos it will be very helpful for my work. I will also like to refer to your article if you don't have any objections about it.

All the best and thank you again.

Yours,
Goran


QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Frawley,

Over Christmas break we noticed our dog, Abbey (one year old yellow lab) had a limp on her back right let that wouldn't go away. I took her into the vet and the vet established that at least one hip, more than likely, had displaces. We brought our dog in to our vet for x-rays and we were told," both of her hips show a loose joint on palpation. Knees tight. On the x-rays her left hip is nearly out of place. The right side is in place but is also affected. At this time there are only a few minor changes associated with chronic dysplasia." We were told she would be, "a good candidate for any of the corrective surgical procedures for hips." I started doing some research and luckily came across your article. After reading your article, I tried to determine whether or not her x-rays were bad. In the x-ray, her legs do not appear straight, one is bent more than the other. There is also no overlap with the pelvis bone and the leg bone at all. There does however appear to be the same amount of space between the tip of the pelvis bone and leg bone. Also, the holes in the bone structure are fairly symmetrical.

Our vet is in Delaware and a surgeon was recommended who is also in Delaware. I feel really confused about what to do. We were both shocked because our dog came with papers. I beginning to realize that doesn't mean a whole lot. I am just going to do what I need to on my end to make sure our dogs parents don't breed again. If you can give any advice I would greatly appreciate it. I hope to hear from you.

Sincerely,
Holly

ANSWER:

The fact that your dog has papers means absolutely nothing in terms of hip dysplasia. The AKC is a joke in that regard. They do not require dogs to have their hips x-rayed before they can be bred. This organization holds itself up as the ultimate supporter of pure bred dogs yet they allow people to breed dogs with bad hips. It’s a money thing and nothing else

With that said I cannot comment on what you should do. It sounds like the x-rays are good. You need to follow the advice of your Vet if you think he or she is reputable. It sounds like this is the case.

The smartest thing you can do is to keep this dog skinny. Skinny to the point of seeing a definition between the ribs and the loin. Skinny to the point where people (who know little about dogs) tell you your dog is too thin. Not only is this healthier for the dog it is much easier on what's left of the hips.

Then allow this dog to swim as much as you possibly can in the summer. Swimming is the best exercise there is for dogs with bad hips. It builds muscle without hurting the skeletal structure.

I would also highly recommend an all-natural diet. You can read about it on my web site. Look in the list of training articles on my web site at http://leerburg.com/articles.htm. Keep the dog on Glucosamine. We just added a liquid Glucosamine product to our product line. The liquid far out performs powdered products. The body absorbs it much better than the powder.

Good luck with your dog. I hope it turns out OK.

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QUESTION:

Ed,

I wish I would have taken your article in to my vets this morning. I had my seven month old German Shepherd spayed today along with hip x-rays. The vet said the hips were in very poor condition and showed the x-rays. He said they looked so bad that he re-x-rayed her standing when she was awake and they were just as bad. Your article doesn't mention anything about hip x-rays and the dog standing up. What is your thought on that?! At first I was in an absolute panic. He said she'd need major hip surgery in three months if they didn't improve. Now, I'm researching it a bit more before I do anything drastic.

-- Thanks Shelly

ANSWER:

Find a new Vet. Seriously. In 42 years of owning GSD’s I have never heard of hip x-rays when a dog is standing. This Vet is full of you-know-what.

You have the photos of correct positioning from this article I wrote. You do not have to be a Vet to figure out if the guy gave you a good set of x-rays.

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QUESTION:

I have a 10 week old GSD and I took him to the vet for the first time and the vet did some sort of pulling test on the dogs legs to check for a hip problem. My pup yelped loudly and now the vet wants to do X-rays and thinks there is potentially a problem. The vet says that if there is something wrong they are going to fuse the bones together to prevent future problems.

Do you see anything wrong with this? Any concerns or comments would be appreciated. Thank You

ANSWER:

Find a new vet- seriously !! This guy is full of beans. I have bred dogs for 30 years – over 340 litters. This is total BULL on a 10 week old puppy. This is a perfect example of a crooked vet trying to get his hand in your wallet.

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TESTIMONIAL:

Ed,

Hope all is well. I sent you a message about a year and a half ago reference my dog's hips. The vet was saying he was a candidate for the Pen hip surgery and his hips were not very good... this evaluation came after a physical evaluation at 4 months of age. Your reply was to get a new vet and tell her to get her head out of her ass.... I took your advise. I just received my dog's OFA results... OFA Good. Thanks for your advise.

PS My dog is out of Valco Vom Leerburg (Dago) - Jon Wycoff, and Zalinde Vom Leerburg (Frankie) - Jon Wycoff.

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QUESTION:

Hi Ed,

We would like to get your opinion about something our vet suggested. She would like to do a PennHIP on Dita (Hilde X CJ) and possibly a Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis if required. Is this a viable course of action or a load of crap? We want to do what is best for Dita in both the short and long term.

Thank you, Rip and Denise

ANSWER:

I have written about PennHIP on my web site. I am not a fan of it and don’t recommend it. It basically measures the degree of laxity in the hip to determine if the dog will be Dysplastic.

The way I look at this is that young dogs are like young people. They are loose ligamented. I was when I was young and I used to throw my knee caps out. As I aged my ligaments tightened and the problems disappeared. I believe the same thing happens with dogs – they are loose ligamented – not all, but a lot. As they age they tighten.

When a PennHIP is done on a loose ligamented dog its my opinion that this can give you a false negative reading.

We will do normal preliminary hip x-rays at 6 to 10 months of age. When we do the OFA we never do it when a female is in season and we try and swim them every day (not run them) for a month before the x-rays to tighten them up).

I have been breeding dogs for almost 30 years – and never heard of Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis.

So I would have to wonder if this Vet was trying to get into your wallet.

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COMMENT:

Ed,

I was sent your site by a friend who does rescue work with me. Overall the info is very good. But the last letter about the JPS surgery is incorrect. It is the newest surgery for hip dysplasia. It was developed at the university of Wisconsin. It is very very new. The long term studies are still being done.

I am sorry you have such a high disregard for veterinarians that you deem it a money making scheme by a vet vs sound medical advise. Stereotyping vets as money grubbing is as bad as someone saying that breeders do it for the money.

There are many of us out there that do this work for the love of animals ....I do not disregard your site as full of quackery because you are selling your products....

I work hand in hand with my clients to get the best for their pets.

Sue

ED'S RESPONSE:

You are in the minority.

I am sorry to say this but my feeling is that the vast majority of Vets are more concerned about making money than the care of dogs. Pushing yearly vaccinations is the perfect example. It’s complete BS and anyone who defends that position is full of beans. Pushing Science Diet over a all-natural diet is just another BS move –

Your profession has a public relations problem. The vast majority of Vets are arrogant asses that assume their customers are stupid (notice I said customers) If you have not figured this out then what can I say. Just today I made the decision to start a STUPID VET section.

I happen to have a very good Vet – she is honest about things she does not know and we work together to keep our dogs healthy.

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QUESTION on Hip Problems:

Hi Ed,
I really need your advice on something. My Rottie pup is 15 months old and in the past 3 months is showing signs of hip dysplasia i.e.:funny looking walk, wont jump up into jeep etc. Our breeders have a hip guarantee in their contract and I inquired about the guarantee tonight. They told my wife and I that we would have to pay for the X-rays (no problem) and that if she was indeed dysplastic then we could give them our dog for a new puppy or they would give us $300 dollars towards surgery. My wife and I find this policy to be quite unrealistic as we absolutely love our dog and would never give her away just because of her hips. I put a deposit down over two months ago for the first male in a litter to be born in two weeks with the same breeder. Would it be unreasonable for me to ask for the breeder to absorb the costs remaining on that dog? If I traded mine in for a puppy, they would be down a pup any ways, and would probably put mine to sleep, so what's the difference? What do you think of this breeders policy? Am I being unreasonable? My wife doesn't want me to even buy the dog off of them because of their policy. I am aware of the risks even if the dogs parents hips are certified (in this case they are) and have tried to convince her that it is just bad luck on this one. I respect your opinion and recognize your long term experience as a breeder. Where do I go from here Ed?

Your response is greatly appreciated,

Brody

ANSWER:

You can’t form any opinions until the dog is x-rayed. Read the article I wrote on correct hip positioning for hip x-rays. It's very good.

Right now you don’t even know if your dog has bad hips. He could have pulled a muscle.

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HOW DO I PICK A VET?

Hi I have a question. I want to get my German Shepherd Hip's x-rayed. We are going to breed her with a stud but they want an OFA "good" hip's. We live in NY and I was reading about the experienced you and people were having about wrong positions, lying Vets and etc. I wanted to know how can you know if they are experienced? We go to a Vet clinic here called Valley Cottage we called and asked if they do x-rays on hips. They said yes. it is $293 for the x-rays and $43 for the certificate. Is it reasonable, the price? That's a lot of money for not doing the job right. They seem good with dealing with animal problems but reading your article has made me wonder how do I know they are good with the x-rays of the hips. I wanted to know if you recommend anybody in NY or NJ that is very experienced with this type of job. Thank you Ed.

Amanda

Ed's answer on picking a Vet

This is a complete RIP off keep looking. $293.00 for hip x-rays is ridiculous

Print off my article. Take it to where you are going to have the x-ray done (not this place) ask them if they will guarantee correct positioning like in this article. If they cant or wont guarantee then don’t give them your business.

Regards

Ed


Really Bad X-rays:

This is 6 mos. old Onyx GSD. Diagnosed when she was spayed with "severe" HD.
She had been limping for  a week and wanted them to check for a splinter while she was sedated.  They took x-rays and this is what was shown.  This is the same x-ray, just my digital camera zooming in on one. I  thought you would  like to see another vet who should find another career!  She has since started limping again for the past week, hopefully it is just pano and not her hip.

Thank you for your web site showing the proper positioning for the hip x-ray,
Jane Jean

Bad Hip Xray

Bad Hip X-ray

Ed's Response:

I would never pay for an X-ray that was so poorly done. The vet is incompetent.

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley


Comment:

Hello Ed, I have just read your article about the importance of good positioning and it's really helpful. I have decided to repeat my GS x-rays because they are not good enough I think.
 
I send you an x-ray done to a Border Collie of 3 years and a half, that I think is really good, almost perfect, so you can put it in your article if you want to. Thanks a lot for your dedication and lovely work.

border collie x-ray

Ed's Response:

Too bad more Vets don't know how to position hip x-rays like this Vet did them.


Question:

I acquired my GSD earlier this spring from the training director at the local schutzhund club. Here is the breeders website: http://www.vomhuelsman.com/ & here is the line breeding:
http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/para.utkoma?fadir=318978&modir=340576We thought everything was fine until strangers pointed out his awkward gait as a sign of HD. We took him to the vet who X-rayed him with the diagnosis of having HD. They were sent onto a "specialist" who also confirmed it. The breeder takes the stance that you do in your article on correct positioning: 1. Bad positioning  2. Loose joints 3. etc. He told me not to let it get me down yet but there is that long shot chance that with even good lines the dog may have got it. I just re-read your article today and my dog's x-ray looks very similar to the one you used as an example of bad positioning resulting in a false positive, which has brought me hope.  My question: My pup still shows the physical symptoms of HD especially the "bunny-hopping" motion. Can a dog not have HD and still show the outward physical signs? Have you seen pups that show the typical physical symptoms of HD at a young age, but don't actually have it? Love the site and the videos!
 
Thanks,
Drew Connell 
 
P.S. I am currently looking for somewhere to start swimming him.

Answer:

You don’t mention how old this dog is now, but young dogs and pups grow through some very weird growth stages. It’s possible for them to have a weird gait, and grow into a normal hipped dog. If you really like this dog, I would re x-ray him at some point after you have him in really good muscle.

Take the article on hip positioning with you to the vet, and make sure the positioning is good before you pay for anything.  Better yet, go to a specialist for the x-rays as it usually doesn’t cost much more and they have a lot of experience in taking the films.  The vet we use does not even sedate or anesthetize the dog for this, and I feel it’s a more accurate picture of the joints and much easier on the dog.  I x-ray my young dogs between 6 and 8 months old and then again at 2 years of age.

If a specialist evaluated your x-rays though, and confirmed a diagnosis of HD, I would be hopeful but not too hopeful. 


Question:

I came across your website and was reading your questions and answers about hip x-rays, dysplasia, etc.  I noticed you mentioned that you prelim your dogs between 6 and 10 months of age.  Why those ages?

I prelimed a male weimaraner at 15 months.  He came in as mild dysplasia with Subluxation checked off.  I called OFA and spoke to the prelim vet, Dr. Keller.  He stated that there was No arthritis or change in the ball or socket, but because there was more subluxation in my guys hips than other Weims of his age, he marked it mild.  Was 15 months a bad age?  Dr. Keller mentioned he has had dogs growing at that time frame that he marked off mild, and when they got their regular OFA sent in after the 2yr mark, they came in passing.  He said my guy could be growing and tighten up in time because the subluxation was all that was noticed.  I have put him on Pala-tek just in case this was true.  My vet also agreed, as he wasn’t sure if my boy would pass or borderline due to the x-rays being breed specific.  Wasn’t sure how they graded Weims.  Also, he went through major intestinal surgery at 10months of age.  Dropped a ton of weight for about 2-3wks.  Didn’t know if this could have something to do with him growing, or ligaments and muscles forming again, etc. 

When coming out of the anesthesia from the x-rays, he wasn’t real normal till the next day.  Still droopy tired in the A.M.  Normal at dinner time.

Also, have you seen this happen?  If so, would you wait a certain time past the 24month mark.  His mother OFA Excellent at 30 months.  His father Excellent at 24.  He has a ton of Excellents and goods, and his brother was prelimed at 11months and came in Good.

Please let me know.  This is a multiple BOB dog and I will do anything to possibly have him pass.

Answer:

We x-ray at the age we do because we don’t want to wait until the dog is 15 or 24 months old to know hip status.  If the dog has a problem we want to know earlier, rather than later.

I don’t know what you feed this dog, but I would get him on a raw diet and get him in very good condition before I x-rayed him again.  I wouldn’t put an age limit on it, but when he was in tip top shape I would re do the films.  We all like to see OFA excellent dogs in our dog’s pedigree but it is no guarantee that you will not have a dysplastic dog.   Genetics play a role, but so do exercise, diet and environment.

If you search our site on the terms hip dysplasia you will find a lot of information.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


Question:

Ed,

My name is Chris and I found your website via a Google search on Lab Hip Dysplasia. You must get tons of email so I hate to bother you but my friend Jennie is totally distraught. The attached x-ray was taken of her 6 month old male yellow lab puppy. The dog lives in Durham, NC and got the X-ray when he went in to get fixed. The Vet told Jennie this was the worst hips she every seen on this old of a puppy. I am going to call my VET for a second opinion but was hoping you could take a look at the XRAY and tell me what you think. The dog came from a NC breeder and the parents were both certified with good hips. What things should Jennie be doing over the next few months, 6 months, and several years.

Thank you in advance for your time,
Chris

hip xray

Response:

If this is the worst set of hips your vet has seen then he lack experience. While the hip is not great it certainly is not TERRIBLE. His comments are one of the reasons that I lose respect for Vets - They have to earn my respect before I listen to them - there are too many out there who lack experience or are more interested in your wallet than your dog's health.


Question:

Hello I came across your site as I researched CHD. I had gotten a really bad hip x-ray that I submitted to OFA, it was rejected. I was dumb so I got another from the same vet, it was accepted but the dog was rated as "mild dysplasia" on notes it said unilateral due to subluxation, I was devastated but accepted it. After I read your site and your photos I re examined the original films and for lack of a better word they sucked! A few days ago I got her re-X-rayed and attached is the film. Please tell me what you think, I know it's not perfect (film or the hips) but just want to know if I should be overly concerned. Also about CHD I have been doing a lot of research and I am not truly convinced that all forms of chd are hereditary. Unilateral for example happens about 85% of the time on the left hip...why? have you ever heard of a decease that likes "sides" that much? Also if it is true that there are a multitude of genes that contribute to CHD then why is it so prevalent? what little I know about physiology, the more complex something is the more rare it is. Also why X-ray when we should just isolate these so-called CHD genes and just scan for them? oh yeah they cant seem to "find" (isolate) these genes. I don't know it just doesn't make any sense to me, it is either over my head or over their heads as well. Please let me know what you think of the x-ray all opinions welcome. I emailed this to two of the addresses because I didn't know which one.

Ps. I love your site. Oh and the x-rays are of an adult female Fila Brasileiro 3mths to her next heat cycle.
 
Juan

xray

Answer:

I no longer use the OFA – I honestly believe that it is a flawed process run by inexperienced people.

I completely disagree with the rating on your dog. This dog does not have bad hips.

I do agree that there is far more than genetics going on to cause bad hips. I write about it in my article on positioning - over exercise at a young age, over weight at a young age, feeding a shitty diet (I believe that a raw all-=natural diet leads to healthy bone and joint development).

So in closing – don’t listen to these fools. I remember a female I had back in the early 1990’s. The OFA told me the same thing about her hips – mildly dysplastic – I completely disagreed. I bred her a number of times. She had 56 pups and not one had bad hips, in fact several had OFA excellent hips.

Kind Regards,
Ed


Question:

First I would like to thank you for the excellent article on proper positioning for hip x-rays.

A friend recently had a dog x-rayed for OFA. Her vet said the x-ray was normal. And the OFA result was mild dysplasia. I told my friend not to worry too much at this point. That first she should take her dog to an orthopedic vet and get x-rays with sedation and proper positioning and I sent her your article on proper positioning. If the x-ray looks good she can resubmit to OFA and if it looks bad she can find out what the orthopedist suggests for managing her dog's condition.

My question to you is... how does she find a really good orthopedic vet?
What do you look for when choosing an orthopedist?

And should she tell the vet that her dog has already OFAed mild dysplasia? Would that taint the opinion?

My breed has submitted less than 100 x-rays for OFA ratings and hasn't received an excellent rating in the last 11 years. Has OFA tightened their standards over the years or something? My breed is not known for having hip dysplasia but they are so small that it might not be noticed without x-ray if they were dysplastic. I wonder if OFA has some sort of quota system in place so that too many dogs in a breed won't receive an excellent rating and make the statistics for the breed so good that people will not to be inclined to use OFA.

And I wonder if I would be better off just taking dogs to a good orthopedic vet and getting an opinion on hips before breeding rather than submitting to OFA.

Thanks for your input.
-Cathy S.

Answer:

If you can’t get referrals from other people who have had good experiences and results from orthopedics vets, then I would Google search your area for board certified orthopedic veterinarians.

If a vet is good, I don’t think it matters if you tell them about previous radiographic results. They should be able to see for themselves the status of the dog’s joints.

You will get varying opinions about the value of OFA, some people won’t breed or buy pups from stock that is not OFA’d. We personally feel that a qualified orthopedic vet’s opinion is good enough for us. We stand behind our puppies either way.

Cindy


Question:

HI ED,

So I went and got the X-ray. My dog is in very bad shape. It is probably my fault. The vet says she has really bad hips and he wants to do a total hip replacement which I am not so sure about. I should agree, I haven't decided yet. I am going to get a couple of more opinions but after all she is 6 years old and I think it will be too risky. Right know I am just thinking on some sort of pills I should start her on. Stop working her you know probably just let her be a pet. But please have a look a the photo's and give me your opinion which probably won't be very positive but life sucks and you have to deal with it. Any ways enough talk.

Thanks for the quick reply. The x-ray is not perfect but I think probably could have been worse. Please tell me what you think I should do at this stage.

Paul

Bad Hips

 

Ed's Response :

These are some of the worst hips I have seen. I agree with your vet, this dog either has to have new hips or he will have a very very painful life. I can’t remember the last time I recommended a dog have new hips.

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley


Question:

Hi Cindy,

My name is Darryl I am a small GSD breeder in Ireland and have recently brought my 14 month old male dog for a pre- X-ray as he developing into a super young dog and will certainly want to use him on my bitches.

I brought him to my vet and much to my surprise and upset she told me my dog had terrible hips and should in no way consider him as a stud dog. Needless to say I was shocked and very upset at the prospect of not been able to stud him and indeed end his promising ring career.

I was unsure of the results so I posted a page on the GSD database and included photos of the x-rays............ Oh my God!

What a response all said the same.. "the vet should be banned from taking x-rays" etc etc. I was also sent a link to an article that you ran and was amazed and educated at the same time. "The Importance of Good Positioning on Canine Hip X-rays" This was a fantastic article and armed me with the information I needed to return to my vet without looking like a fool.

I have attached the x-rays so you can see and will let you know how I got on.

I am fully aware also that because the x-rays were bad does not mean that a new set will improve his hip score however it will give me the correct information as to decide his future (fingers cross).

Kind regards,
Darryl

xray xray

Answer:

Those x-rays are horrible! It’s impossible for any vet to give an evaluation based on those.  Wow!

I’d find a new vet right away but not until I gave that one a piece of my mind. She should refund your money.

I wish you the very best.  Let me know how your young dog’s hips turn out.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Ed,

I wanted to drop you a note as I totally appreciate your writings on hip dysplasia. To me, its very confusing in dealing with vets and the misinformation that is out there. Your articles are clear and concise for the layman. However, I still cant figure out good hips from bad. Was hoping you could tell me if these are bad hips, ok hips, or good, excellent. My vet says I should have my dog fixed, never breed her and she is destined for a life of pain. It was a shock as this pup comes from some pretty serious well known foundation stock amongst all OEBs out there today. She is one year old and I had planned to breed her. Would really appreciate your view. My vet actually tried to get me to spay her when she had her in the office recently. I wanted to punch her! She does not seem to like my breed either so I am planning to find a more open minded vet but was curious if she was playing me or not. She said it was one of the worst she has ever seen. Thanks again and Happy Holidays.

Best Regards,
Brian

Answer:

I hate to say it but the hips do not warrant breeding.

Fact is, only about 30% of bad hips come from genetics. So those who say their dogs come from a great bloodline of good hips are only 1/2 correct.

The rest is a good diet, not over exercising the dog as pups and keeping the dog THING from puppyhood to x-rays age.

I don’t know which of those you did wrong or if it was the genetics.

This dog will not have pain, its just not good enough to breed.

Kind Regards,
Ed


Question:

I have two x-rays here I want you to look at. The one on the bottom was taken in Jan (8 months old). Purposively the second x-rays are of the same dog 3 months later.

Now, I am no expert. But these do not look like the same dog to me.

I thought I would shoot these to you and see what you think.

hip xray hip xray
hip xray

Answer:

Both hips are bad - the positioning on the top x-rays is terrible. I would not have paid the Vet fees on that.

Pass that on to your vet :-)

Regards,
Ed Frawley


Question:

Hello, Ed,

Please find attached the x-ray photo of 3.5 months old Ca de Bou (perro dogo mallorquin). Vet gave us the very worst prognosis for the future of this puppy. I'm on the crossroad of making a decision - to grow a "different" dog or to give up.

So far the puppy is active, only some symptoms of early dysplasia are noticed.

I'd be grateful to hear your opinion about this.

Gratefully yours -
Indre from Lithuania

hip xray hip xray

Answer:

I am sorry to say that these are terrible hips. Some of the worst I have seen.

Regards,
Ed Frawley


Question:

Hi Mr. Frawley,
 
I know that you must be getting hundreds of emails and sorry to keep you busy. I have a 15 month old toy poodle who has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia based on the attached x-rays. Looking at your website, I believe that these x-rays are not good quality, and I was wondering if you could give me a feedback on them. The vet is recommending surgery and, because of the poor quality of the x-rays, I am not quite sure if I agree with the vet's surgery solution.

Appreciate your feedback.

Thanks,
Asli

xray xray

Answer:

Your Vet is an absolute crook. A HANDS-DOWN THEIF.

He needs to learn how to position a dog for a hip x-ray. This positioning sucks.

I will add this email to web page I have done on incompetent vets.

Regards,
Ed Frawley


Question:

Hi Mr. Frawley,

Sorry to bother you, as I'm sure you get lots of emails about the subject.

We recently purchased a 4 month old German Shepherd. We took her to one vet within our 48 hour time limit who said the dog was fine. On the 10th day we took her to another vet because she wasn't eating or acting right. Immediately the second vet said her hips were horrible, that she has hip laxity, dropped hocks, and poor confirmation. We are at a loss what to do as our family has already bonded with her, and our 48 hours are up with the breeder. We don't want her to be in pain. I've enclosed very poor pictures of the x-rays From your website I'm not sure that the positioning is very good on these x-rays, and the exposure on the films doesn't appear to be very good either. 

Thank you so much for your time, we really appreciate it!

Sincerely,
Amy

xray xray xrayx

Answer:

Amy,

Your second vet is a scam artist. Please pass this comment along to him – or mail him my email.

The positioning on these goof balls x-rays is terrible. He needs to go back to school and learn how to take hip x-rays

I will add your email to my web page on VETS THAT DON’T DESERVE RESPECT.

Regards,
Ed Frawley


Question:

Hello Ed,

I took my dog into a PetSmart today for a free exam to be told that I should get hip x-rays for $450. I only moved to the US this year and don't have any Vet referral so I was wondering if you might be able to tell me what to look for and if you know of any specific vets that I should contact.

Your hip positioning segment was excellent information and I already feel a lot more informed.

Appreciate your help,

Regards,
Janet

Answer:

This is absolutely a RIP OFF. Just another reason to prove that Pet Smart is clueless about dog training and canine care. To allow a Vet to come into their store and tell people this is irresponsible.

A hip x-ray including the fees to send it into the OFA should be no more than $150.00 TOPS. Anyone who charges more than that is a con. There are a lot of good vets out there. Get on the phone and start to make some phone calls. Get prices for a hip x-ray including the fees to send the film to the OFA (if that's what you want to do).

Regards,
Ed Frawley


Comment:

Mr. Frawley,
 
I just wanted to send a quick e-mail regarding your web site and specifically the hip x-ray article you have written and posted. I just had my two and a half year old GSD, Matsi, x-rayed to ensure she wasn't having major issues with her hips after a few days of sensitivity. I read and re-read your article to ensure I understood what I was going to be looking at. My vet did a great job in getting good pictures. He explained everything and also stated he was sending the x-rays off to K-State for an ortho to look at just to verify. I can say with confidence that I wouldn't have been able to ask the appropriate questions if I hadn't read your article. I was able to instantly see that Byron took good pictures as well as be able to converse with him on what was being presented in the x-ray.  You helped make a stressful situation for me a lot easier since I new what to expect and what to look for ahead of time.

I will be starting Matsi on Salmon Oil/Vitamin E as soon as I get that ordered from you. I talked with Ashley in your office who was extremely helpful in pointing me in the right direction with what information to look up as well as what options I had in product and what you used at your kennel. I have purchased product from you for over a year and have always been impressed in the thoughtfulness in what you sell as well as the variety of product as well as information displayed. I have gotten more and more into dog training over the last year and am working with a K9 trainer who trains a lot of the police and sheriff's office personnel and K9's here in Kansas. I can honestly say I wouldn't have excelled in training and understanding without videos and information from your site. I am currently into Tracking and am enjoying that a lot. The K9 trainer that I work with has slowly pushed me into the bite work side of things. So I am rounding out my knowledge nicely.
 
I wanted to thank you for a great web site, solid information, and extremely helpful personnel.
 
Thanks, 
Richard


Question:

Dear Mr. Frawley,

Myself and a group of standard poodle breeders are debating the hip rating options we have currently.  We have a lot of respect for your website.  I am wondering if you would look at the attached x-ray and tell me what you think.  Thank you in advance for a moment of your time.  

Laura

xray

Answer:

I have always questioned the OFA. I feel there are too many incompetent vets that lack experience making calls

The right hip here is not good. It’s not that bad but it's not good. I also don’t think the positioning is perfect. I would wonder if it was a female that was in season.

I don’t think the dog will ever have pain with this hip

Regards,
Ed Frawley



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