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Thread: Knee and hip problems in most cavs????

  1. #1
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    Default Knee and hip problems in most cavs????

    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.

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    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.

    Patella problems BTW are a feature of small breed dogs generally.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Default thank you!

    this is very informative!

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    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.

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    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?

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    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.

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    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.

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    [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

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    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
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post

    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.
    Last edited by AT; 27th February 2008 at 05:38 PM.

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