Hi all. :wave: I've been a lurker of these forums on and off but I never posted because I always found answers to my questions by searching. Anyway, this seems like a cool forum, so I figured I would join and get an opinion.
I have a 6.5 month old WGSL German Shepherd. Now, I'm not sure what it is because the problem could be a combination of many different tings, but it seems that he has a lot of angulation (his dad is angled a bit but his mom and siblings both have very straight backs), low hocks, and lack of muscle in the rear legs. He bunny hops sometimes and runs when he should be just fine trotting. I thought these were surefire signs of hip dysplasia, so I had a prelim x-ray done on his hips and spine.
The thing is, they came out VERY good. Hips are tighter than 70% of German Shepherds in the PennHIP registry, spine looks great, and the radiologist told me he would be very, very surprised if the pup turned out to have HD later in life.
The suggestion was to give it a year and if I don't see improvement see an animal physical therapist to have him worked so he can get the right posture and then if that shows no results, pursue a further diagnosis. I don't want to subject a puppy to a ton of testing because I know it can be really bad for them and I was hesitant to even do the x-rays (pennhip requires sedation which can suppress the immune system).
He seemed to be normal/the same as his siblings until around 4 months, then differences started being really obvious. He went from having a relatively straight back to suddenly having a really steep croup/angulation. What were previously slightly low hocks became really low and he started arching his spine a lot to compensate (giving him a very roached look when his spine isn't roached). I started sand walking him and walking him through water (with some swimming) and noticed his spine straighten out a lot, but there's still an obvious problem. Since he doesn't appear to be in any sort of pain I've gotten the OK from the vet to continue doing working dog sports with him, but I'm still concerned.
I think it could honestly be a lack of muscle and I'd need to build that up. I noticed when he actually does push off and straighten out his hind legs (instead of being sickle-hocked) his back looks straight like his brothers. The trouble is, he very rarely does that on his own. Also, to note, his calcium and phos numbers are good and he gets high quality food so it's not diet that's causing it (though at present I don't give supplements).
Any ideas of what this could be? Suggestions for building muscle? That'd be helpful, thanks.
Here are some photos for reference:
And a video of him walking: