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Pups with “crepitance” (a grinding sensation) in one or both hips on manipulation can be flagged as requiring follow-up attention in the form of X-rays as early as four to six months of age.
With basic X-ray techniques pioneered by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), a certifying organization for canine hips, even pups at this young age can be identified as having dysplastic hips—which means they can potentially receive treatment (surgical or otherwise) at this time.
It goes together that people are willing to pay more for the pets and that vets charging more for their visits.If you have a large breed dog, especially if she’s a high risk breed (shepherd, Lab, golden, Rottweiler, etc.), think seriously about spending the extra cash early on.In fact, why not ask your vet to snap off some X-rays when he/she’s under anesthesia for castration/spay?If an inexpensive genetic (blood) test were available, it would certainly improve our ability to treat these dogs and, furthermore, to prevent even mildly affected animals from breeding and passing on the trait.But for now, asking your vet about hip disease and concerning yourself with the long-term orthopedic health of your dog (especially if he’s a large or giant breed) is possible through these early tests.
Of course, not all dogs are subjected to X-rays at this young age.