Friday, May 04, 2012

A picture of Hamilton and I...we're both blurry and it doesn't show his true appeal, but still, that's him.
I am beginning to worry though, about his hips. 25% of Newfoundlands and 19% of German Shepherds have hip dysplasia; those aren't very good odds for him. He is young and there are things that can be done to reduce the severity and delay the onset, if his hips are of this type. He would have to get an X ray to know for sure. Either way, I am committed to him...knowing that his hips are going to crap out on him wouldn't change much except for preventative measures, which I'll do just in case. Low protein diet, keeping him lean, not over exercising him, not neutering (mostly because neutered dogs gain weight), no high impact activity such as jumping out of a truck bed, sleeping in a warm place with plenty of soft cushioning under him...all these are fairly easy things to do. There is something about the set of his hips, the low musculature of his hind legs, that worries me, reminds me of old Saint Bernard, who had to be put down for severe hip dysplasia. But he's young, strong and even if this is the case, there is a lot that can be done to give him the maximum time he can get and to love him while he's here.

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