OCD Puppy - Genetic? Treatment Options? - Page 1

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by junkmail2014nov on 29 January 2018 - 03:01

Good Evening,

I’m not a first time dog owner. Nor am I a first time pure breed owner. However, I AM a first time GSD owner. In December, on recommendation from a service dog training expert I purchased what I have been told is a pure bred, eastern European GSD. The female’s parents are a cross between “working” and show breed. The parents are here in the database. The breeder only accepted cash.

According to what is entered the sire shows Line Breeding of 5 generations. It is as follows:

Linebreeding - 5 generations Inbreeding coefficient
Father - Mother Who Wright's Hardiman's
5 - 4 (Information Removed Purposely) SCHH3(V-BSP), FH 00.39% 02.39%
5 - 5 (Information Removed Purposely) SCHH3 (V-BSP) FH IPO3 00.20% 01.61%

According to what is entered the dam shows "No common ancestry was found in 5 generations.”

The Dam is listed as "SCHH1, ED NORMAL, Kkl 1.”
The Sire is listed as "Hip: OFA Good (GS-XXXXXX-VPI) - Elbows: OFA Normal (GS-XXXXXX-VPI), Other health issues: OFA: DM normal.”

The pup is bright, curious, intelligent, and completely unafraid. Her temperament, I am told, will make her a good Service Canine. However, she began showing signs of what I would describe as a bit of stumbling on the back end (hock) at the beginning of January. I thought perhaps it was perhaps her very large paws and long legs. On Wednesday of last week she came up lame. I immediately took her to the vet. They originally thought to pass it off as Panosteitis: a short-lived (self-limiting) and painful condition characterized by limping and lameness affecting the long bones in the legs of young dogs, between the ages of 5 to 18 months. I was offered the choice of just giving her some NSAIDs and rest or I could have her X-rayed. My dealings with the breeder have not been well so I chose to have her X-rayed. The call came back Friday she has OCD: osteochondritis dissecans. We go back tomorrow for a second set of X-rays, possible synovial fluid testing and ortho consult for a final and complete diagnosis. She originally came to me with Bordetella, Giardia, and Conjunctivitis. I still do not have her papers. WhichI does not really matter as I had no intentions of breeding her.

Subsequent background work shows violations cited by the state to the facility for failure to maintain veterinarian records showing continuity of care. And the pup had to go through two rounds of anti parasitic treatments to get rid of the Giardia.

I have researched these articles and places of information regarding this disease here:

1. https://zukureview.com/sites/default/files/docs/Zuku_Visual_Flashnotes_Ocd_extended.pdf
2. http://criticalcaredvm.com/osteochondritis-dissecans-dogs/
3. And the threads regarding OCD on here

The clinical, expert opinion seems to be that this condition is first genetic, with exacerbating environmental factors such as nutrition, (i.e. excessive calcium and Vitamin D, over feeding leading to increased weight gain, which in turn stresses the joints, etc.), and over use or over play and/or even “traumatic injury” such as allowing them to jump, run too hard, play too hard etc. etc. at a very young age.

I obtained her when she was 10 weeks. The breeder stated she was being fed “Adult Purina.” She was the last of the litter to be sold. I have not seen the other siblings. I have been extremely careful with her play and physical well being and of course immediately switched her to a high end large breed puppy food when I brought her home. I am keeping her trimmed. She is not over fed nor is she over, or under, exercised in anyway.

From the materials I’ve found it appears that this genetic condition may be a result of “close line breeding.” The fact that her OCD is in her hock (Left hind leg/hip) concerns the specialists. I will know more tomorrow. My questions are:

1. According to the information listed on the Sire are these numbers acceptable for “Line Breeding?”
2. What do the abbreviations mean please? ("Kkl 1?” , “Hip: OFA Good (GS-XXXXXX-VPI) - Elbows: OFA Normal (GS-XXXXXX-VPI), Other health issues: OFA: DM normal...”)
3. Is there any way to be sure that this puppy I now have came from the line she is said to have come from?
4. How treatable is OCD? (I’m discovering conflicting recommendations and answers for treatment options in the literature...)?
5. Will this preclude her from being a service canine? (I do not want her to be in pain if working for me will hurt her)?
6. And can anyone recommend nutritional supplements she should be on? (I already have her on a Glucosamine/MSM powder mix supplement).

Any advice or recommendation would be happily accepted to further research. Thanks to all in advance.

Fantom76 (admin)

by Fantom76 on 29 January 2018 - 08:01

Instead of writing all the information about the sire and dam, please just give us the URL for each one so that members can look at the pedigree itself.

by Hundmutter on 29 January 2018 - 08:01

Going backwards in trying to give some answers to your list of questions, and some comments on the rest of your post:
Yes, do keep her on the Glucosamine MSM supplement (as long as the mix you are using does NOT contain additional Calcium). It is normally the best time to supplement for joints, before troubles begin in the growing/older dog - some people start using this in adulthood then wonder why it makes no difference. In your case with OCD already established it can't help prevent that, but may help with the rest of her growth / developing joints.

Depending on how she is after treatment, maybe it will weaken that leg for the future and maybe not. If that hock does stay weak, then yes, sorry, while she may be able to do many things well, I would not choose to use her as an assistance dog, especially if that might entail you using her for your balance, at times.

I think you are finding conflicting stuff around OCD because it covers a wide spectrum. I have zero experience of it in GSDs, where it is still not that common (although I had heard of its occurance in our breed before this), but have some older, limited knowledge of it in the elbow joints of other breeds, many of which have a higher genetic propensity to OCD. Medicine continues to improve quite quickly, now plastic joints can be built on 3D machines etc, and some vet.surgeons have had great successes rebuilding and replacing them. We always used to get told to 'manage' such joint disease, maybe there would be an operation to clean the area of floating bone and cartilege, but they can do a lot better these days. Though it can work out expensive.

The only way to be sure if your pup is really a product of the advertised mating is if there have been DNA identity samples taken of the parents - if the breeder had his stock DNA tested (for anything, identity or DM or other conditions) and will provide, then you could test her to see if she matches. But I suspect the breeder you describe has either not had any testing done, or would not allow you access to the info. You might be able to get something from the previous generation, if (any of) the grandparents were tested (and you can find them), but that might prove complicated and would not give you an exact answer. Otherwise, some physical resemblence (phenotypic) traits might appear, and/or some genotypic ones (temperament, working abilities, diseases etc), as she grows older - but you would need close knowledge of the parents, and earlier dogs in her pedigree, and it is pretty subjective even so.

Inbreeding only becomes really problematic if both Sire and Dam have close linebreeding behind them, particularly where it involves the same dogs in the history of both ! So yes if her records are accurate your bitch is free of 'inbreeding' and the genetic influences of too close line-breeding; but you don't want to breed with her and I doubt it would have helped determine where her OCD comes from, so 'acceptability' does not come into the equation anyway.

I have not attempted to enlighten you on your second question, all those abreviations etc can be found in articles on this PDB site, you can research them easily for yourself rather than me writing an essay in this post! Talking of research - of which you are clearly very capable - may I ask why you did not do more advance research on the GSD as a breed, if this was to be your first GSD ? And on the breeder's reputation, before you handed over money ?

Wishing your puppy successful treatment, and a happy life.

by Jenni78 on 29 January 2018 - 13:01

What "high end large breed puppy food" are you feeding?

I had one puppy once with OCD in his elbow, quite a long time ago. I feel I caused it myself with his diet. I didn't know better at the time. He didn't fit any of the other parameters of risk. Parents fine, siblings all fine, super breeder, no other issues. I thought I was doing the best with the best food. Live and learn. He lived to be quite old and was sound for the vast majority of his life after arthroscopic "cleaning" of that joint capsule. However, I have heard anecdotal accounts where nothing is done and the dog still does fine. The little "mice" break off and bother the dog, then move around or grind down to where they are no longer causing pain.

I do believe in a genetic predisposition, however, I have not seen it with my own eyes in a GSD. Rather, I have only seen the environmentally-induced cases- always a well-cared for pet puppy who weighs too much. Here is a great resource for OCD as well as other common ortho issues: http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/feed_program_for_ocd_repair.htm

Another thing that jumps out at me is the fact that the pup was repeatedly treated for giardia (that's normal, btw, it does require repeat treatment) and I'm wondering what medication it was? You might be surprised to find that not all vets are savvy about which meds can and cannot be given to a large breed puppy. I had one prescribe one that clearly states it is not to be given to a large breed under a year, to a four month old! Reason being, it disrupts cartilage production. In a growing pup, if you disrupt cartilage, you alter the formation of the joint, as that is a complex and rather delicate process.

It's possible that if it's in only one joint, it is trauma. I don't know that it matters what caused it, unless you could prove it's genetic. . Could be pano, too. Could be a misdiagnosis. I have had many of those- one for an ACL tear that was actually just pano. Imagine that- ACL surgery for pano. But it happens.

I would ask for a second opinion from a radiologist on the films, at the same time I would switch to a different food (I have a few I use to "fix" DODs like pano- a good one is Fromm Gold Large Breed Puppy). I got 3 opinions before I got the right diagnosis, all on the same film. My dog was diagnosed with an ACL tear, then hip dysplasia, then finally, the right diagnosis, pano! I find vets are really not familiar enough with large breed puppy x-rays, in terms of what is normal and what is not, and too many cases of misdiagnosis are made.

I understand being concerned, based on the breeder experience and the condition she came to you in (you do realize, though, that these people will never up the ante in terms of puppy care until they are called out on it?), but I would not jump straight to a serious genetic disorder. You gave a lot of unnecessary information, but not enough critical info. Her exact age, her height, weight, any photos or video of the lameness, and lastly, her pedigree could be quite helpful in terms of knowing typical growth patterns of particular bloodlines and such.


by Hundmutter on 29 January 2018 - 16:01

Jenni, good point about the food used, I missed that. Like you I realised Pano could ALSO be present, but felt I couldn't do justice to the complications of that - your explanation is ace, hope it helps the OP get to the bottom of what is going on. Re the giardia, please see your PM inbox.

by junkmail2014nov on 29 January 2018 - 17:01

Good Afternoon,

Thank you all for your time and kindness in responding. I will try to answer the questions raised. Before I do, is there a help page anywhere for this site on how to answer threads? I was trying to answer each person’s specific comment in line however this may not be available. For now I will address each respondent’s username.

1. Fantom76: I am purposely obscuring the Sire and Dam’s links due to circumstances I am not yet able to discuss. Please read further down and I think this may become clear.
2. Hundmutter: Thank you SO very much for all of the information provided. To answer the last question as to why the research was not done into the breeder’s background before hand;
a. I was relying on the expertise of a Service Dog Trainer in my area. The research into THAT person’s background was quite extensive.
b. That person had raised, bred, and shown GSD’s for over 20+ years; had now moved into SD work. This person recommended a GSD to me to be a service Canine due to the nature of my work. I travel quite a bit and am single.
c. At the time I made the decision to purchase a GSD based on the Service Dog Trainer’s recommendation, several factors beyond my control, which I cannot name at this time, resulted in my trusting this SD person based on my research into them, not the breeder themselves.
d. The SD trainer, from what I am given to understand, (and yes I am being very careful in my wording), reached out to the president of their SD organization who recommended to them this particular breeder.
e. I have subsequently discovered that the president of the SD organization is apparently associated with this breeder. In what capacity I do not know however it appears to be at least for an extended period of time. It has only been in the aftermath where I have used my considerable skills to find history on the breeder now that I am experiencing “red flags.”
f. This breeder has, as of this date, still not either registered the litter or registered this puppy. Which I do not know. I have requested registration so that I my do genetic testing to determine parentage. I have yet to receive the registration.
g. I had, and have, no intention’s of breeding the puppy.
h. I have contacted the AKC. Apparently I am finding out now, and I have been told by the SD trainer I was going to work with that this person was also unaware of this, that there is an “6 month open case of investigation” against this breeder however on the AKC site the breeder is still listed as a a “Preferred” breeder. AKC is working with me to put “some pressure” on the breeder to provide my limited registration papers.
3. Jenni78: I am feeding Taste of Prey Puppy mix, trout. I began supplementing with Nupro Glucosamine Complex on Wednesday of last week. The ingredients are:
8510mg Organic Whole Ground Flaxseed
7500mg Norwegian Kelp
1300 mg Proprietary Blend (Bee Pollen, Lactobacillus acidophilus)
500mg Glucosamine Sulfate KCL (Shellfish)
300mg MSM
300mg Vitimin C as Ester C, Chelated Calcium Ascorbate
300mg Shark Cartilage (which is the Chondroitin Sulfate source)
Inactive ingredients are: Calcium citrate, Desiccated Liver. Garlic, Lecithin, Yeast cultures (Vegetable Source)
4. It has been recommended to me by the ortho specialist who read the original radiographs that I actually switch to Fromm large breed puppy. I have this on order.
5. Finally, yes I realize that the breeder will need to be called out, if indeed this is the issue. Hence the reason I am being careful at this time.
6. She was treated with:
a. Metronidazole 250mg for the Giardia.
b. Clavamox for the Bordetella 14 days.
c. BNP Ophthalmic Ointment for the Conjunctivitis for 7 days.
7. She is currently on:
a. Carprofen (i.e. Rymadyl), 75mg, 1/2 tablet BID
b. Trazodone 75mg BID q 12 hours for mild sedation
c. Cholorhexidine-soaked pads qd for 7 days for her skin irritation/vaginitis. It is the vet’s opinion that she may have been immunocompromised which has resulted in the vaginitis irritation.
8. I requested a full blood panel and urinalysis. Once I returned home after the holidays. This was prior to this most recent event of possible OCD. All came back within normal to good limits.
I am using the mental toys with food, freezing her food, different toys etc. plus still working with her on the commands etc. she CAN do to help keep her stimulated.
9. I still take her everywhere with me, in limited amounts, so as to continue her socialization and mental stimulation. Obviously she is not allowed to jump etc. But she loves going to the park and coffee shops and laying on her mat and watching everyone and everything.
10. Today’s appointment will be the second opinion. I am also contacting a reputable specialist, (I have investigated this person), who is both an ortho and also uses a mix of Eastern Medicine for treatment options. They are awaiting these latest radiographs as well.

If her condition is confirmed but is treatable and she can be a SD I will obviously NOT be using the SD Trainer. Irrespective of whether they knew of these conditions or not, I feel, in my opinion, either they should have or should have checked. Now that I am aware of what can occur, I will do the same myself. Due to my travel with work, if her condition does NOT allow for her to be an SD, I have already been working with a “reputable" GSD breeder (One I am in the process of investigating myself hence the quotes), to re-home her after diagnosis and subsequent treatment, if needed, is provided. I will not return the puppy to the breeder. I cannot be responsible for what other’s do, and this puppy is not to blame for what has happened. Yet this is still a living, breathing, intelligent creature who, through no fault of its own, is in pain and cannot fend for itself. For these reasons I refuse to abandon it. I cannot control others’ behavior or principals. I can only control my own.

This is all of the information I have at this time. Again, anyone’s comment and/or experience would be most appreciated. Thank you in advance.

by junkmail2014nov on 29 January 2018 - 18:01

I am leaving to go to the appointment. Wanted to provide more information that Jenni78 requested. I am not comfortable providing the lineage yet. However the other information is:
1. 5 Months and one week
2. Weight 40.7 pounds
3. Height approximately 20” at the shoulder
4. She has, from the day I purchased her, always had the low, “slinky” walk on the back end

Thank you!

by Hundmutter on 29 January 2018 - 19:01

Junkmail you are doing just fine with communicating ! If you want to tell Jenni privately about the breeder, use the PM system - I have explained how to do this in my PM to you just now, which you will find in your Inbox. [Don't bother to give me this info, I probably won't know anything about the breeder as I am not in the States.]

It is a real shame when people in the breed who should know better recommend their friends to newbies, without thought for consequences, as appears to have happened here. I am particularly shocked that this should be a Service Dog provider ! You won't get caught like that again. Always best to do your own research, no matter what someone else says about the breeder they know.

Not knowing the full story, I would say, however, that because OCD is not a simple or well-known hereditary condition in the GSD,(unlike for example Haemophilia A, or HD or Epilepsy) I don't think you can blame the breeder for careless breeding, they may be as surprised as you are; but it sounds as though this is just part of your beef with them.

Your pup sounds as though she is about right height & weight -wise for 5 mths. At 21 kilos she is probably not too heavy, or not by much. You do seem to be doing the right sort of things, and having sensible thoughts about your dog's future. Best wishes.


by Jessejones on 29 January 2018 - 19:01

First, there are two separate issues going on here, for clarity it would be best to focus on one on this thread...the joint health of the pup.
I can only confirm, though my own experiences with GS and large dogs, that a lot of vets can not read/diagnose large dog puppy symptoms/radiographs accurately. I have had many diagnosis made that where not accurate and I can only say thank God that I did not do the surgery that was recommended, but just waited, gave supplements like glucosamine and MSM (apparently MSM also helps as an antiparasidic against guardia) and added no extra stress onto the joint for long periods. All of these instances lead to clearing up of symptoms and living long active lives, to the end, without joint issues in old age.
Many vets, unfortunately, have trouble when trying to make clear xray and or positioning the pup so that it shows a clear diagnosis. So caution is important here and not to jump the gun. Good that you going to several.
GS pups can tend to walk in ways that might be concerning to an untrained eye as they are growing. They can appear to be clumsy and hurt a joint occasionally that will often resolve itself.
Perhaps I missed the reference as to what or which joints are effected. OCD is rare in a hip joint, more common in knee joints, elbows and shoulders.
One additional thing, careful with hardwood or cement floors. Slippery or excessIvey hard floors can cause damage in long run. Many homes have hardwood floors covered in polyurathane, which is an iceskating rink for dogs and can cause loose ligaments and instable joint movement, creating long term damage in puppies. My personal Methode is that I keep jumping activities to almost zero until good over 1 year and then only train it slowly. A dog does not know its boundaries and needs to be monitored. Also, keeping the pup very slim will be a great help. Absolutely do not over feed. Careful with too much calcium as bone growth may happen to quickly. Should be ratio of approx. 1.2 calcium to 1 phosphorous. Edited: fish oil - wild caught alsaska/pacific salmon, (not Atlantic salmon), and cod liver oil is beneficial as well and I use it regularly. Careful with Cod liver oil as too much can cause high levels of vit. A which can be toxic. Lots of info on the web about fish oils.
I am not a vet, but I am a human osteopath, so have a bit of knowledge in the area of joint damage. However, these are only my thoughts and there are surely many here with lots of experience.
The previous posters @Hundemutter and @Jenni have all added wonderful information.


by Hundmutter on 29 January 2018 - 20:01

Jesse, its one or both hocks.

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