by Linda Farthing
Whilst I was a vets nurse I lost count of the many dogs coming into the surgery with severe hip problems, some being only 2.
The owners were most concerned as some expressed they paid a lot of money for this dog and it was hip scored time and time again this happened and our senior vet explained that just by having a hip score does not eradicate the dog getting a degenerative disease.
With large dogs like Labs, they grow at a very fast rate, and owners do not seem to be aware that by letting the dogs jump about and rough and tumble, (which we all know Labs love to do) you put them at risk when they get older and in some cases even as young as 2 of damaging their hips.
Again some German Shepherds are renowned for having a problem with hip displaysia, but again, with my shep puppies, all purchasers were given a pack explaining the importance of keeping the dog calm, not letting it jump up etc., I never had one problem with any of the puppies.
One other reason I am against this hip scoring, the dog is put under a general anaesthetic.
We all know that this carries some risk. Again, I have seen it first hand a dog not coming out of an anaesthetic and dying on the table, although relatively rare, it is still a risk.
My other problem is with the Kennel Club, and their so called accredited breeders in most cases, breeders are extremely responsible , their main concern in breeding healthy puppies true to the breed, but I also know that there are many misgivings in the honesty of some breeders ie; purchasing puppies from another breeder
and giving false papers, this goes on quite a lot.
I have taken the decision to breed with my dogs without the need for a cert, my dogs are a very large part of our family.
They live in our house, sleep in front of the log burner and are in excellent condition regarding their weight, I know the pointers, from experience, as to whether they move correctly from behind, no sloping rear, straight limbs etc.,
If I am successful in breeding a litter my first priority is to make sure that the puppies go to knowledgeable homes, as my previously employee pointed out, hip scoring would mean nothing if the dogs were allowed to run and be walked for miles as the damage would then be done.
I would expect you to disagree with my comments, but its the same with inoculations, many vets agree that the dogs do not have to boosters every year, it is purely a financial thing, it doesn?t do the dog any good, as with humans we don?t keep getting boosters for polio, diphtheria, TB, and tetanus, I only have every 10 years! None of my other inoculations.
All the expensive dog foods that are on offer are a waste of money, my dogs have Chappie, two tins of sardines a week, and raw chicken wings once a week, my German Shepherd is nearly 15 years old a very large long haired, big boned, this has been her diet all her life, she is an excellent example of how this breed should be, and yet she was never hip scored, the problem with this breed is that through the generations people have gone for a sloping back which puts extremely pressure on the joints and sockets.