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View Full Version : Knee and hip problems in most cavs????



hbmama
24th February 2008, 06:54 PM
I hijacked someone elses thread with this question, (sorry) but the other post got me to thinking about knee and hip problems in cavaliers. I didn't get a response so I am starting a new thread.

I am just wondering, since the majority of the people on this board have cavaliers from very reputable breeders who closely follow CKCS breeding protocol for health testing......how many of you have had luxating patella and hip problems down the line anyway, even though your pups parents and grandparents were cleared and OFA registered?

Mine was kept for 6 months by her breeder, and she actually had her hips and knees xray'd and cleared before we got her. Even so, just because she is a cavalier, do I have to be overly worried about her developing these problems later on? I bought the PetPlan gold insurance and would do anything necessary to keep her healthy, pain free and happy of course, but just wanted to know if this is something that just happens in most lines of this breed over time.

Karlin
24th February 2008, 10:17 PM
Just for some perspective:

I actually think most on the board have cavaliers that aren't from reputable breeders. :) That's because a lot have rescue dogs, or dogs that came from pet shops, or online breeders selling dogs, or brokers, or so-so breeders... usually it is only by the second or third dog that people might have met other owners or joined a discussion board or email list or in some other way, begun to learn about how to find a good breeder.

Very few of us here have had dogs with either hips or knee problems so while these are definitely known problems in the breed I wouldn't classify them as common. I only know of one of our Irish board members with a dog that needed to have patella surgery done so far, and only a handful here overall on the board have had to address these issues. I don't know of anyone dealing with bad hips offhand.

For most dogs, if patella problems don't show up by age one (when their joints are fully formed) I don't think they tend to show up at all. Hips sometimes take years to show problems though. I would say MOST breeders don't score hips however.

I've homed something like 60-70 cavaliers and of those, only one had a bad patella. Of my four dogs, none has had patella or hip problems. So maybe that will make people feel a bit more confident. :)

Given the cost of any medical intervention, I think insurance is always a good idea. :thmbsup:

Patella problems BTW are a feature of small breed dogs generally.

cosmic81
25th February 2008, 03:36 AM
this is very informative!

Nancy
25th February 2008, 12:36 PM
What Karlin said is VERY true about small dogs and knees. I was 2 for 2 with previous dogs. One mixed breed, and one Lhasa both had double patella surgery. The problem can be hereditary or injury. My rule now is to NEVER let them jump on and off the bed. I have a large ottoman and they learn from the time they are here to use that. If someone has the nerve to be sleeping on the ottoman, then Mona will whine while I remedy the situation :) You can also use a bench or pet stairs.

hbmama
25th February 2008, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the comments. I feel a bit better now, but whatever the situation, we will handle as we go along and try to prevent injury too.

Dottie loves running up and down the stairs, she is 7 months old. Should I not allow this at this age? Could this cause any injury in her developing bones or joints?

Isabelle
27th February 2008, 03:41 PM
Isabelle is going in for her second patella surgery. She was also diagnosed with hip dyspasia at one year old. And her thigh bones have a ten degree curvature. It all makes for quite an interesting walk sometimes, and I own a dance studio... so people laugh and say she is dancing, and I just cringe.

I was told by her breeder that it was all my fault because I let her run up and down the stairs or jump and play as a puppy, also because I fed her puppy food (which the breeder said made her legs grow too fast for the rest of her body to keep up with??) What? How do dogs live in the wild if they are not allowed to run and jump and climb? And as someone in an industry dealing with growing bodies, I have to say that sounds ridiculous. High impact sports BUILD strong bones in developing children.

All I know is that these are the most wonderful dogs I have ever encountered and I will always have one in my life. I will just be pickier about the breeder next time.

WoodHaven
27th February 2008, 03:56 PM
There is an hereditary and environmental component of HD and Patella luxation. If the sire and dam were clear of both clear per OFA and vet- then the breeder 'might' have an argument. I try not to overtax the 'growing' pup- and I am not a big fan of puppy food, but IF I was this breeder- I'd feel at least some responsibility.

AT
27th February 2008, 03:59 PM
[QUOTE=Isabelle;250699]

I was told by her breeder that it was all my fault because I let her run up and down the stairs or jump and play as a puppy, also because I fed her puppy food (which the breeder said made her legs grow too fast for the rest of her body to keep up with??) What? How do dogs live in the wild if they are not allowed to run and jump and climb? And as someone in an industry dealing with growing bodies, I have to say that sounds ridiculous. High impact sports BUILD strong bones in developing children.

QUOTE]


Those things may make an exisiting problem worse but won't cause it completely.
high impacts could damage the growth plates in a puppy & cause them to grow at the wrong rate, that is why puppies are not allowed to train for agility until they are fully grown.

bear in mind puppies grow quickly & are fully grown by a year or so , children take 18 ? years

Karlin
27th February 2008, 04:37 PM
Generally vets advise not walking puppies long distances because of impact on joints so as others note, a lot of walking and jumping isn't advised (that is why dogs generally must be at least 12 months old before starting agility training). And there is a line of thinking that puppy food accelerates bone growth and weakens joint development. But there's no way that normal walking and playing and normal feeding is likely to have caused patella injuries and hip dysplasia though they might have added additional stress. Generally once patella problems are spotted it is often recommended to try to keep activity to a minimum to see if the joint will correct.

At the same time, on a normal puppy I do wonder if advice to avoid agility etc is still the right advice, given that studies DO show that impact sports build strength and bone density in humans (at any age). eg http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.asp?rid=21884

AT
27th February 2008, 05:25 PM
At the same time, on a normal puppy I do wonder if advice to avoid agility etc is still the right advice, given that studies DO show that impact sports build strength and bone density in humans (at any age). eg http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.asp?rid=21884

from everything i've read joint problems are not usualy to do with bone density or strength.
If the growth plates are injured they may close too early making certain bones shorter than they are supposed to be & causing stress on the joints.

for example if a dog has bowed front legs it is usually because the 2 bones in the forarm are different lengths forcing the longer bone to bend. Not because the bones are weak.

WoodHaven
27th February 2008, 05:27 PM
Bowing of the bones can also be caused by a nutritive deficiency.

maggeroni and cheese
24th May 2008, 06:13 PM
Maggie is home recovering from patella surgery and I am losing my mind.....no jumping up on the couch or walks for 6 weeks.....only out to potty and back inside....what a total nightmare and I will never ever ever buy a pet store puppy again !!!! The poor baby is miserable right now and trying to keep her calm and from jumping up on things is going to be a lot of work !!

Cathy T
25th May 2008, 12:28 AM
Maggie is home recovering from patella surgery and I am losing my mind.....no jumping up on the couch or walks for 6 weeks.....only out to potty and back inside....what a total nightmare and I will never ever ever buy a pet store puppy again !!!! The poor baby is miserable right now and trying to keep her calm and from jumping up on things is going to be a lot of work !!

The recovery from patella surgery can be exhausting...but you can do it. I promise you that you will get through this. I think the thing to keep in mind is that the surgery is 92% effective. So once Maggie is better, she's all better. You get into a new routine within the first several days. I went through 8 weeks of recovery only to find the surgery did not hold, had to be repeated, and another 8 weeks of recovery. But we got through it. And we were all doing the happy dance when Shelby got her final release. Unfortunately, we've now found out, 3 years later, that the surgery again did not hold. But we're dealing with it and she's not in pain.

You learn how to manage her. We kept Shelby on a short short leash any time she wasn't in her x-pen. We had set up an x-pen in the middle of the family room for her to stay in. When she wasn't in the pen or in her crate she had a leash on. When she sat on the couch with us we kept the leash up tight so she couldn't jump down.

Hang in there. It'll get better.

chloe92us
25th May 2008, 06:47 PM
Casey, my tri, has a littermate who required double knee surgery by age 16 mos. As you all may know, I was "tricked" into purchasing Casey when I showed up to adopt a 2 YO adult Cavalier and they "changed their mind!" and told me at the door..."but look at these adorable puppies instead!" A scam???? I think so! But thank goodness I got her, I would be lost without her!

They were Irish puppy mill imports (we think!) although the breeder still claims that is NOT the case. They have not had any problems with her joints since, and it has been 4 years.

chloe92us
25th May 2008, 06:50 PM
Oh, I should add that my toy poodle had luxating patellas, so it DOES run in the toy breeds.

I opted not to have her operated on as they were not bad when she was younger, but did get worse as she aged.