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BPO Expert Discussion Forum => Advice & Discussions with Dog Experts => : newf_owner September 07, 2009, 02:34:16 PM

: what can i do (hip problems......)
: newf_owner September 07, 2009, 02:34:16 PM
....well today started off great, i took my 5 month old newfie to the dog park and he was having so much fun, when i saw a lady with another newfie!!!! she told me she was a memeber of the colonial newfoundland culb and her newfie was 10years old and looked great, he moved better than my dog (which will get to my point) she also had a saint bernard!!

well she took one look at my dog and said the way he walks is not normal, she said he looked very "hippy" and i needed to have him checked right away, she recomended a vet an hour away who sees giant breed dogs,

i never really though there was any thing wrong with the way he walks because i never had any thing to compare him to, i got him from a breeder in washington state (i live in maryland) so i didnt actually get to meet the parents i just saw pictures,

when rota walks his rear bounces, it does look very unnatural (compared to how my aussie walks, perfectly and smoothly) i just thought it was because of his size... but she pointed out that he doesnt really bend his knees, (on his back legs)

also, on the add from when i bought him, it said his parents were ofa of good hips and heart but when i got his papers (with the parents names on them) i went to the ofa website and his mother was not on there at all (no tests done im guessing) and his father had 2 tests, heart and patella, some one on this site told me that was a bad thing because the ofa only posts GOOD results so the fact that hips werent on there means the father probably didnt pass the hip test... which means bad news for my dog

the breeder said he had a 2 year guarentee, her add stated it, she gave me so much trouble, (even in the begining after i paid for him, before he was shiped) she wouldnt return my phone calls, or emails, or answer my questions, and when i did get him i literaly had the threathen her with a lawsuit just to get his akc papers

i went to her site and she has changed the guarentee from 2 years to 1 year, (luckily i have cought the problem early enough)

my only problem is now what?? what do i do? i emailed her about every thing that happened and he weill be going to the vet this weekend, (if they have an open slot for me), what if they vet says there is a problem?

do i get my money back for him? or will she take him back? what am i entitled to? and if she takes him back.... what will happen to him? will she have him put to sleep?

i dont know what to do

here is her website, i hope she never sells another dog again, no one should have to go through this

i love my dog

some thing needs to be done....
: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: Jennalyn September 07, 2009, 07:44:50 PM
Well, honestly, if you can prove that she gave you a two year gaurantee, I'd take her to court, in two different ways:

It sounds, and I'm saying "sounds" only because I don't have all the information, that she committed fraud - by promising you a healthy dog to get money out of you and knowingly not delivering on that promise. So you could technically civilly sue her for the money you paid for your pup, AND for vet bills (past and present... possibly future)

And, honestly, depending on how much you paid for the dog, plus the money you will have to spend keeping your dog as healthy as you can and as comfortable as possible, you may also be able to have her charged criminally. 

Depending on the state and county you live in, you may want to speak with your local police department.

Hope this helps some.  These measures won't really effect how your pup grows and any pain he may go through, but it something that you can do to help you feel a little less powerless.
: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: newf_owner September 07, 2009, 08:08:14 PM
yeah, i paid 1625.00 for him

i took some videos of him walking, can any one tell me if he looks like hes walking normaly?

he seems to hop a little and in the video it looks like he some times swings his left leg (while running)

i did finaly get ahold of the breeder today, and she said the father was sold to her as having excellent hips she said some thing about him scoring in the 90th percent, and she was lookin for the certificate while i was on the phone with her and she couldnt find it, i informed her that the hip test is not on the ofa's website (only caridac and patella)

i love my dog and dont want him in any kind of pain, i also was looking up treatment, and it all points at major surgery.....

does his walking look normal to you?
: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: Jennalyn September 07, 2009, 08:54:39 PM
He does look like he has am awkward gait.  But then again, he's still a puppy.

If you haven't already, I'd take him to the vet and have him looked at (xrays and such).  A vet that is very familiar with large breed dogs should be able to tell you if there's something wrong.

But, my Briscoe had a "prancy" walk as a pup, and there's nothing wrong with his hips...  So, it could be just growing "pains"...
: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: patrick September 08, 2009, 06:15:12 AM
If he had a score of 90% then he had the Penn Hip study  and 90% would equate to excellant. Penn Hips are not on the OFFA site. You know these big puppies do have a lumbering akward gait  One of my Pyrs the instructor very familiar with all breeds thought she too walked funny- not so she is OFA excellant.  So before you panic just get him checked out by the vet
: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: newf_owner September 08, 2009, 02:15:36 PM
thank you so much i have been so worried all day, wondering what i did wrong and how im going to aford his treatment, he has an appointment with the vet the lady recomended to me on the 17th (he is a very buisy man) when i talked to the receptionist there she said he usualy only sees newfs, and that hes a really great doctor

i feel alot better

im going to hope for the best

: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: sc.trojans September 08, 2009, 05:18:55 PM

You posed a lot of questions here, so I will offer what I can....

As Patrick stated, hearing a percentile would indicate that she did PennHip - the most scientific basis for grading the hips and honestly, more reliable than even the OFA.  Before purchasing him however, you should have requested proof of all health certifications and had her explain them all to you.  So if there was a Pennhip evaluation done, ask to see it.

Keep in mind however, that both parents may have been certified with clear hips, by either the OFA or Pennhip and this still does not guarantee that your pup will be free of it.  Simply looking at the parents is not sufficient, and knowing what the grandparents also looked like, as well as all the offspring those grandparents produced (your pup's parents' littermates) is what is key.  Good pedigree analysis, including a vertical evaluation is your best option for evaluating a pup's health prospects.

See this OFA article to understand more:

You asked what you are entitled to if there is a problem - that all depends on your contract with the breeder.  Good breeders provide contracts to protect the interests of the animal.  Your contract outlines any health guarantee, and commitments by the breeder.  My contract for example states that I will get money back for completing each health certification on my dog for example, and if there is a crippling problem, I get my money back.  If you do not have a contract, then you are likely not entitled to much of anything.  You made a direct, albeit blind purchase, with the breeder and it becomes "buyer beware" if you did not get a contract.

I took a look at your video - and honestly, there is no reason to panic.  His gait is not good (but so are a LOT of dogs) or "correct" but that does not mean he has hip dysplasia necessarily.  Keep in mind that he is not limping, so if his hips are not clear, they are not likely severely affected either.  It looks like he can live a good quality life despite his gait, and may not have any issues for a long time.

Most giant breed dogs, and certainly many many newfies are dysplastic to some degree.  There are also a host of issues that are possibilities affecting gait, so it could also be laxity in the hock (also a common issue in the breed) or just poor structure or angulation from the back causing poor gait. If it is a structure weakness, then it is what it is and your focus will be on management.

The important thing to do for him is ensure proper exercise and proper muscle development.  I have a 6 month old rescue Bernese Mtn Dog here right now and he came out of a petstore cage completely down on his hocks, barely able to walk, with no muscle development whatsoever.  After swimming therapy and proper exercise for the past month, this boy looks remarkably better, fully upright, walking normally and getting stronger.  He has both a bad hip (dysplastic) and a bad elbow (dysplastic) but is looking quite good given his condition.  We will focus on continuing his therapy and building strength, good supplements and a raw diet, and place him in a good home that will continue these things....he'll have a good quality of life.  So just keep that in mind.....

If you are really concerned, and want to learn more, then you should get involved with your local Newf club - those are your best breed experts and will happily educate you on your dog - just ask the show folks for an evaluation - and seek a consult with a good orthopedic vet who can x-ray him and submit to OFA.

: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: newf_owner September 08, 2009, 05:47:38 PM
you said maybe structure? like it seems that his back legs are a little bit longer than his front, i have noticed that,

as far as the breeder, i found her on the same site where i got my aussie from, and i love his breeder and i LOVE him so so much, i had found one breeder that was about 3 hours from me, but she didnt return my phone calls, and the lady i got rota from, called me back right away (at first) she had good references, and she said she was a breeder of great pyrinese (sorry i know thats not spelled right) for more than 10 years and then she began to breed newfs,

on her add and her site it states that there is a 1 year guarentee for health, but, since i live 3000.00 miles away from her, i never actually met her face to face, or met the parents or signed any contract, she sent me pictures of the parents, the father is a champion, and he is amazinly beautiful, the mother, i wasnt to sure of her head shape, but i just couldnt get over the dad and how great he was, (luckily my boy has a nice strong head)

when i talked to her she looked for his dads papers and said that she had purchased him from another breeder ONLY because of his hip score, (the 90 percent thing),

i do admit, i should have probably gotten my dog from a breeder that was much stricter about where her dogs went, and i do regret it, but the fact of the matter is that rota is now with me, (luckily and not some one much worse who wouldnt feed him right or give him vet care) and i love him, and i cant bare to think of him in any kind of pain

il let all of you know what the vet says about his hips next week

: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: sc.trojans September 12, 2009, 01:21:42 PM

Yes - there is a lot that goes into proper structure - including a level topline, which your boy may not have.  A poor topline will certainly affect gait and movement overall - and has a bigger impact on the back than usually the hip joint.

Structure also includes angulation - including front and rear angulation - very important in how the dog moves and affects gait.

ANY physiological imbalance, even minor, can cause a dog to "pace" - pacing is where the legs on the same side of the dog move together (this is incorrect gait sine the front left should move with the rear right).

You have Rota now and are absolutely right, that all you need to do is love and take care of him.  But I hope you also realize that there are more responsible breeders out there and it is important to work to find the reputable ones.

Going to the breed club and seeing who is active and abides by their code of ethics for breeding is a good start.  Checking with Newfie rescue, since those people always know who is breeding responsibly.  And ALWAYS ensuring you get a contract.  NO responsible breeder sells a dog without one.  Distance doesn't matter - the breeder will send you their contract for review, discuss any concerns you have in the contract, and have you sign and return it.  They will send you a signed copy with the puppy.  There should be health guarantees in that contract, and what that breeder expects you to do for that puppy, including vet care, training, and nutrition.  Health certifications are usually included and the breeder may offer certain refunds back for successfully completing health certs (good breeders want to know how your dog turns out since it affects their breeding program and informs them whether they should be breeding those two dogs).

Having pretty dogs does not make a good breeder - you want someone who does the health certs, shows them to you, and does some pedigree analysis to understand who to breed her dogs to.  Breeders who simply buy a female and a male are not doing their homework.

Good luck with Rota and keep us posted.....but know that there may not be anything major that needs to be done for him - he just may have poor structure.  If there is something, do the x-rays and get him certified and get him into OFA so that other buyers, like you have something to reference.  Its all valuable information.

: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: newf_owner September 14, 2009, 05:26:49 PM
thank you
: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: patrick September 18, 2009, 07:47:36 PM
How did your vet appointment go this week??
: Re: what can i do (hip problems......)
: newf_owner September 18, 2009, 07:52:02 PM
well the vet told me that he didnt see any problems with him (he went yesterday) he watche him walk and said that he may just grow out of it, he felt his hips and checked for pain (which there was none) and i need to go back to do x rays in a few months, they said he should be a little older, there were 4 great danes there when we went, so i really trust the guy, its a shame though its an hour away from here, but rota will be going back to him from now on