It is a general perception that German Sheperds are prone to hip problems. The perception is so widespread that some owners rather own any other breed apart from GSD. As far as this country is concerned, this may be a fact. This is not due to the fact that this breed is prone to this problem. The true reason behind this is the human that breed this dog. I have personally seen Rottweilers and Great Dane having the same kind of problem, but then again it is not as rampant. If you want to find a solution to a problem and prevent it, you have to do a root cause analysis. We decided we should do a favour not only for dog owners, but most importantly for the dogs themselves. That is why I came out with this article.
Somehow the canine physiology does not seem to have gone through the same level of perfection that the felines have undergone through evolution. Pick a cat in your neighbourhood and compare it with a dog in the same neighbourhood. You will notice physical attributes of the cat are superior than the dog. I can’t but agree 100% to this fact. The cat’s physical attributes would seem as if evolution had selectively engineered this creature for superior requirements. This is evident from the streamlined and uniformed musculoskeletal structure of the feline species. All domesticated cats and its wild counterparts be it small or big have the same design within the same species. For instance among the species panthera tigris which is Tiger there are no variation in colour or strcuture. Well you don’t find tigers that come in different colours. Leave aside the the tigers you see in Tiger Shows in Night Clubs cause I regard them as a different species all together. But remember that, all dogs are of the same canine specifies regardless of their breed. And we so many variation among the dog species itself.
Well felines are also equiped with almost the best hunting skills. This is due to the fact of the musculoskeletal design again. They are also highly resistant to environmental extremes. Continous extreme heat and cold does not affect their metabolical performance. Their guts are so efficient that consumption of any kind of food does not cause any bilogical impact. Very rare cats eating too much protein causes them skin problems. Their coats are almost always perfect. Somehow their digestion system knows what to retain and what to excrete from the body. No, I’m not a fan of cats! I’m explaining these facts so that by now you would realize that nature didn’t take anything granted with this animal. This explains why cats can fall from 6 floors high and still land of their four limbs safely just to walk away as if nothing has happened. Yes momentum from such heights have no impact on the feline musculoskeletal structure. Most of you would have noticed in National Geographic and Discovery documentaries how a Leopard can lift a prey twice its weight just by gripping it on it jaws while climbing a tree. Even the big cat experts say that cats are at the height of their evolution at this period of time.
Now try this with a dog. Push it from a two story building. Most likely you will find a dead dog or a dog with severely broken limbs. Jog 10KM with your dog during a mid afternoon session. At the end of the session you will a dead dog or a dog that most likely will die due to heatstroke. Try feeding nasi lemak to your dog straight for 2 weeks. You will see he will be carrying all kinds of skin problems in no time.
Don’t you think nature is so unfair by neglecting this species. So many physical defects and imperfections. Owners to need to care so much for a pet dog restricted within the home compound compared to a pet cat that roams the whole neighbourhood. For dogs, nature had another plan for this animal. It saw that this animal had potential for working applications and loyalty to his pack leader who it considers its master. So nature allowed this animal to develop its reasoning faculty more than any other creature in the animal kingdom. You may think that dolphins are smarter animals. Maybe but not anywhere close to dogs in loyalty. And loyalty is something you have to rely on when you want a working partner.
So you will be wondering what all these have to do with hips. The fact is dogs are built upon a poorly optimized musculoskeletal design. This itself exposes them to all kind of joint related problems including hip and elbow dysplasia. Our roles as human is to ensure that this problem is reduced or eliminated through Selective Breeding. This is why unlike any other animals nature had entrusted dogs to humans. It should be a win win situation. But humans are as always selfish, greedy and self-centered. For the sake of money the don’t mind breeding dogs with hip and elbow dysplasia. For the same of money they don’t mind Inbreeding or Linebreeding the dogs. This had futher worsen the condition. And GSD being one of the oldest and most favourite breed in Malaysia, more breeders have inbred the dog rampantly for profit. Always rememnber breeding should be in the best interest of the breed. Refer to my article on Selective Breeding.
Now that this unethical breeding had been continuing so long in Malaysia, it had given rise to so many dogs with hip and elbow dysplasia. I personally have trained some dogs with this problem and it moves to tears seeing the dogs suffering from so much pain. It only depresses me that the suffering will multiply as the dogs ages. I’m attaching below X-Ray results and the recommendation letter from the Vet after she was examined.
[img src=http://www.westerwaldkennel.com/wp-content/flagallery/hipdysplasia/thumbs/thumbs_email.jpg]280Veterenarian Recomendation
The Vet’s recommendation is to perform a surgery which will cause around RM10,000 including the cost of post-surgery care. Yet the condition is not totally guaranted . Being genetically inclined, this problem can manifest itself to the elbow. Looking at the cost you might as well buy an imported dog. There is enough damage done to the dogs due to the reckless breeding practices. Next time before you buy a dog ask for the pedigree or do a background check to ensure that you know what you are getting yourself into.