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How does your dog run? Clues to hip dysplasia in gait?

Discussion in 'Dog Health issues and questions' started by XTNa, Jan 11, 2010.

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  1. XTNa

    XTNa Boxer Buddy

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    Hi again, everyone.

    I'm lucky enough to live in a dog friendly apartment building with its own dog run on the property. While Atlas and I were there one day, a neighbor saw how Atlas was running and told me that the vet of her golden (who was 13 and had, I believe, severe arthritis and hip dysplasia) said that the "bunny hop" way of running was definitely a clue to the joints in the hips being worn down, at least for goldens. Her dog ran with a "bunny hop" for all his life, and she just thought it was cute. She suggested I get it checked out, although it could also be that that's the boxer gait, and is different from how goldens run.

    Atlas just turned 3 a month ago, and he, too has run with a bunny hop from as far as I can remember. Also, watching other dogs in various dog runs, they do, too.

    How does your dog run? When gearing up for that first *zoom* in a boxer burn, or while chasing around other dogs, do both back feet lift at the same time in a slight hop? (Atlas doesn't do this all the time, mainly it's for gaining speed in a sprint.) For those of you whose dogs do, how is your dog's orthopedic health? Is this something I should get xrayed to check?

    As always, thanks, all!
     
  2. Caney Creek

    Caney Creek Boxer Insane

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    The "bunny hop" is not part of a normal gait for any breed. As for your pup, he could just be hopping around playing... hard to say without seeing it for myself. But I don't think I've ever noticed either of my boxers doing the "bunny hop" even when they first start off running... they break out into a boxer burn from a standstill most of the time. I wouldn't think that bunny-hopping would be effective for gaining speed either :confused:

    How often do you notice him doing it? And do you notice any other HD symptoms, such as swaying his hips when he walks, and generally being reluctant to extend his back legs?

    Here's a video I found on youtube of a boxer puppy with confirmed Hip Dysplasia. It doesn't show the "bunny hop" but it does show several other gait abnormalities that can be symptoms of HD.

    YouTube - Hip dysplasia in Boxer Puppy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  3. johann

    johann Boxer Insane

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    That video was so sad. :( Such a cute puppy.

    My parents' bernese mountain dog always had a weird bunny hop with her back legs as a puppy. They did a pretty extensive work-up for suspected hip dysplasia (x-rays, sedated hip exam, appt with an orthopedic specialist). Thankfully their puppy had some torn cartilidge and not hip dysplasia. She still does the bunny hop and the frog sit though, maybe it just became a habit for her.

    I hope your pup is ok. I also don't think I've ever seen Johann do a bunny hop type move, if anything his hind legs move even more when he's doing a boxer burn. Legs flying every direction.
     
  4. XTNa

    XTNa Boxer Buddy

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    Wow, thanks for finding that. Poor little guy. :(

    Atlas doesn't have a sway like that, his chest just sort of rocks back and forth...but maybe it's the same sway, just less pronounced. :)(?)And his bunny hop isn't like that, either...perhaps I misspoke when I said it was for gaining speed--it just seems that way to me. :D He loves to get up on his hind legs, and when he plays with other dogs, chances are he will do that first, and then lunge ahead to run, two front paws first, followed by the back two paws together, rather than separately. He does it when he's going for a full sprint, with ears flying and jowls pulled back from his velocity (it's like he's running with two legs instead of four). If he's not sprinting, he moves at a trot that's very like that of a horse, four legs moving with a very centered and still torso. Lastly, he almost never frog sits--in his whole life, I've only ever seen him sit that way a handful of times. He is quite slow at lying down sometimes, though.

    I think I will still get it checked out, but I feel a little better about knowing what I should be looking for.

    Thanks so very much!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  5. RockyCody

    RockyCody Completely Boxer Crazy

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    swaying while walking

    Rocky does sway like that when he walks - everyone kinda makes fun of him for it. I just sometimes say he's a pretty princess. But now I'm worried - he's 5.5 months. How do I get him checked out for it? Is there anything I can do now?

    He never seems like he is in pain and he'll sit normal. When he lays down he'll turn his hips to one side kinda like the frog sit but when he's laying. Anyone else's boxer do that?

    :( I think I may have to take out some pet insurance...
     
  6. MKAD

    MKAD Boxer Insane

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    My Sammy does the frog sit a lot; he also loves to keep his hind on the counch with his fronts on the floor (like he is streching).
    His annual is in a week & HP is one of my questions for the vet.
     
  7. RockyCody

    RockyCody Completely Boxer Crazy

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    Rocky always does that. Hips/back legs on the couch, fronts on the floor. he's fallen asleep like that before. I just thought he was a weirdo. I'm scared now :(
     
  8. johann

    johann Boxer Insane

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    Johann does that all the time. :LOL: I think the frog sit is more when they don't sit square on their hips and are always rocked off to one side.
     
  9. MKAD

    MKAD Boxer Insane

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    Sam always has this glosssy-eyed look when he does it; like it is relaxing for him...
     
  10. Caney Creek

    Caney Creek Boxer Insane

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    OK, that doesn't sound so much like HD :) The "bunny hop", when you're talking about a dog with hip displaysia, is a stiff hop with their hind legs kept right under their body so as to avoid fully extending their back legs. From your description of Atlas's "hop" it sounds like he's just being a goofball (and, I know exactly what you're talking about -- Caney does that sometimes too :p).

    I wouldn't stress just because he sits funny ;) Lots of dogs without hip problems do that sometimes too. HD is a very painful condition -- if he really did have it you would likely be seeing changes in his behavior such as being more reluctant to play/run, limping after exercise, etc.
     
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