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Poodle Health Discuss Poodle health and important health testing for common poodle diseases.

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Old 11-01-2012, 03:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hip Dysplasia in Standard Poodles

My vet gave me a big sales pitch for getting a PennHip test, and basically went on about how common bad hips are in standard poodles and other large breeds.

My pup's dad had a PennHip and got excellent scores. Does it make sense for my pup to get the test? The vet's rational is that if you find hip problems, you can correct it while the pup is young (JPS surgery) but cant do that surgery after 4 months of age.

Also, can a vet who just wants to do lots of surgeries just put lots of pressure on the hips during the x-rays so they come out with a bad score? I realize thats a really suspicious question, but the huge sales pitch for the test really took me by surprise and I wasnt sure if it was justified, since I dont know how common hip dysplasia is in standard poodles.

Thanks for any help/info!
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The only reason to do one at his age is if you see problems! The ligament surgery is successful, but you are talking a lot of money for a PennHip. It also requires sedation, which in my opinion is best avoided in a young puppy (who knows what effects their immune systems).

I had a standard poodle with hip dysplasia, so I am well versed in all things hip . There isn't much they can do about it short of hip replacement. The ligament surgery is successful in young puppies, but you would certainly see big issues right now if Panda had problems. It is a wicked disease, but I doubt with as high a quality of puppy as Panda you would have an issue as a young puppy. Good breeders always do hip screenings before breeding.

Everything I have read has said Penn Hip is accurate over 4 months old and not before. Many, many poodle puppies have loose hips and that is common in all puppies until they are over 4 months old. A Penn Hip or simple xray done after 4 months is accurate, but before that you will get loose hips (just the ticket to tell you Panda needs surgery, eh?).

You were careful where you got Panda. Do you have his parents hip results? What were they? I did have Jazz xrayed even with his parents having fine hips because he was so clumsy (and I had a poodle in the past with bad hip dysplasia). Wouldn’t you know that only a month or so later Jazz suddenly gained some body control. LOL

Young puppies can have signs of hip dysplasia. Are his hips clicking? Does he toeout or in a lot? Does he stand with his feet under him instead of to the rear? Does he hop with both rear legs together most of the time (some of that is normal in a young puppy)? It is hard to evaluate in a puppy as young as Panda. Splaying out legs is a sign in an older dog, but not so much in a young puppy (they all have loose ligaments). Does his rear end swing back and forth when he walks (more than just a little- a little is normal).

Here's a video that shows a young puppy with obvious problems:

You can tell a lot from just one xray. Jazz' hip xray was $85.00 without sedation at 4 months old. It was read by a vet who does hundreds of ofa hips a year for show dogs. A Penn Hip is several hundred dollars with sedation. If you want to check his hips wait until 4 months old and ask his breeder where she or he goes.

If you see problems that's a different story.

here's jazz hips (fun to look at ) Vet said he had great hips (he was 4 months old).

Last edited by outwest; 11-01-2012 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I found this:

http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/sa...er_83/83t1.jpg

it says about 30% of standard poodles have some degree of dysplasia, but this is an OLD study. I believe it is less than that now.

For the record I think all breeding dogs should have a PennHip, not just an ofa hip.

I hope other people chime in, too. I am only one opinion. Other people may feel differently.

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Old 11-01-2012, 05:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great response from Outwest who has a lot more experience and knowledge on this than I do.

My opinion for what it is worth: GET A NEW VET!!!!!

I mean really. This is a pet with no symptoms, right? Does your vet think every puppy should have a hip Xray under sedation!?!!! I can assure you that my vet does not think so.

Based on OFA statistics, about 12% of the standard poodles that they test have hip dysplasia. About 12% are excellent. PennHip does not have a rating that specifically says that a dog has dysplasia. They just tell you how your dog looks compared to others of the same breed. I think that leaves lots of room for an unethical vet to interpret what PennHip scores in whatever way suits him. Sorry if I sound cynical. But I would not trust a vet who was trying to sell PennHip exams on a pet puppy that had no signs of any problems.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks very much for the responses!

outwest, Im not sure the ligament surgery youre thinking of is the same surgery as the one my vet is talking about. As I understand it, the JPS surgery is a procedure done on the growth plate, not a ligament. Its described on this page:

Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis

That surgery should be done at 4 months, before the growth plate gets too big, so the rational is to test pups at a young age, so they can have the surgery, if needed, at 4 months.


peppersb, Yeah, I think my vet thinks every breed at risk should have all pups pennhip tested. I will have to talk to some other vets. Hopefully I can get some info by phone.


Nothing my vet has told me is illogical, its just my intuition thats throwing up a red flag. The vet I saw at 11 weeks gave me such a big sales pitch that I couldnt help but wonder. He's not the one who does the test procedure though. I talked to that vet on the phone. He gave me a better feeling but Im still not sure what to think. Both these vets are at the same practice.



outwest, I dont remember the scores on my pup's dad's pennhip (I have them somewhere), but they were very good. His mom only had the OFA test and got a "good". The figure the vet threw out was 38% of standard poodles have bad hips.


EDIT: That video of the boxer pup is so sad! My heart breaks for him. Thankfully, Panda does not move like that.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't think you should prophylactically do that surgery, particularly when his parents have tested well. Come back and slap me in 9 years if he gets hip dysplasia. If you had bought him from a puppy mill or pet shop or someone who bred two random poodles together, I might change my mind. But, you got Panda from a breeder who clearly was doing the right thing. If there are problems in a line, you want to know about it and stop breeding those dogs, not routinely surgically correct things after the fact or anticipate problems that aren't really there.

For what it's worth, it is good to keep puppies from getting heavy or from growing too fast. The vet who xrayed Jazz' hips was the one who told me to take him off puppy food to slow his growth down and keep his weight healthy (feel some ribs, but not too much). He also told me no heavy athletics until over a year old and better to wait for full jumps and spins until 18 months with a large dog. Good nutrition and adequate exercise as a puppy helps a puppies bones, ligaments and tendons grow strong for their lifetime.

Peppersby, I am not a vet and don't profess to be one. I listen to vets, but I also listen to myself. I had a dog with hip dysplasia and it was very sad indeed. I learned a lot about it because of that and made sure I chose my poodle puppies from tested parents (with good or excellent test results).

Jacamar, you want the PennHip numbers under .50 for each hip to be considered a great rating for a poodle. In the .5-.6 range on one or the other hip would be okay, but only if the mate had excellent hips. That's my opinion.

Let us know what you decide to do. I am sure you will make the decision that feels right for you.

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Old 11-01-2012, 08:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would definitely get a second opinion from an unassociated vet. In my medium size town there are a few house call only vets which mean they don't do surgery or X-rays themselves. That type of independent practitioner might be a good second opinion source.

Outwest is right, you have a puppy from the top end of the bell curve from what you described. It is very very good that your vet can give you numbers, ( I do like peppersb numbers better since they describe the problem more precisely) but I think your gut feeling is correctly assimilating all of the information that you currently have.

Let us know how things go!
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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yeeks, I did it again. Sorry peppersb! (not peppersby. :().

Jacamar, my vet asked for copies of all Jazz' parents testing to keep in his file. Did your vet ask to have those? Sometimes I think vets as so used to seeing problems with purebred dogs they forget that not all of them have problems and some of them are actually very healthy! My vet has only seen Bonnie a handful of times. When he has seen her (once to remove a couple ticks and once to check a cut and for vaccines) he asks about allergies, her ears and all this other stuff. I always say, nope, fine, nope, fine and he always says, 'you're lucky!'. It makes me think many poodles have problems like my last one did. He insisted on worming both my poodles even though they had negative stools saying 90% of puppies have worms. I declined, but agreed to have them checked an extra 2 times, which were also negative. He said, 'i guess yours are the 10%'. LOL Panda looks healthy too.

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Old 11-02-2012, 06:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outwest View Post
yeeks, I did it again. Sorry peppersb! (not peppersby. :().
Outwest, you are so funny. I LIKE "peppersby"! It makes me smile. I think that y sounds sort of friendly and it goes nicely with the sb. So don't stop!

Jacamar, I think one of the issues is that we humans have very different attitudes about how much medical stuff we want going on for ourselves and for our pets. I'm instinctively on the "less is better" end of that spectrum and I'm pretty cynical about the reasons for all those tests and procedures. But other people take a very different approach. And that's fine.

I feel very fortunate to have found a vet who is an excellent diagnostician and up-to-date on the latest in vet medicine, but he is quite restrained in the treatment and procedures that he recommends. So he's the right guy for me. No way that we'd consider the kind of testing and possible surgery that your vet is suggesting. But I know that hip dysplasia is serious, and as Outwest said, “come back and slap me in 9 years if he gets hip dysplasia.”

I totally agree with making sure that you get a pup from tested parents. Cammie's parents were both OFA good. My rescue boy Bob is clearly very poorly bred, and take a look at the way he sits! Not good.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=. My rescue boy Bob is clearly very poorly bred, and take a look at the way he sits! Not good.[/QUOTE]

Does Bob have hip dysplaysia? I wonder if there are up to date stats on how many standard poodles do...I'm thinking the OFA (who have found it to be on the lower end of the spectrum) stats might be skewed because maybe more people who are knowledgeable and have a decent quality poodle send their results there? Unfortunately I don't know that many standard poodles so even anecdotally, I have no idea.
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