Last night at puppy socialization night I noticed Dozer was running funny, but I didn't mention it to anyone (didn't want anyone to worry). My vet tech was there as well as my sister (vet assistant) as well as my trainer, so I figured if anything was weird they'd point it out, especially my sister, who was commenting on how she thinks Dozer would be good at agility.
I'm paranoid about bad hips. I had a dog with bad hips and while he lived a good and happy life to the ripe old age of eleven, it was heartbreaking when he was having a bad day.
Today I went on YouTube and looked up Labrador Running ... as it turns out Dozer runs exactly like a lab and there's nothing to be concerned about. Hubby told me, when I mentioned it to him, "Cybil ran like that too and don't you think if I thought Dozer had an issue while he was running I'd mention it?" Um, yeah, probably ...
I didn't really think Dozer had a problem or else I'd (a) be calling the vet and (b) be calling the breeder. Everything else leg related looked normal to me, but his running looked weird. I = crazy.
Back to my regular scheduled non-paranoia day.
I did the same thing, analyzed Baloo's gait non-stop. Once he hit around 18 months it got better, because I figured if he was going to have really bad hips it would've shown itself by now.
I also put him under for full x-rays (elbows, shoulders and hips) when he was seven months because he limped for 4-5 days on and off. Came back all clear, but how's that for paranoid?
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
You sound like a typical lab mom. After I had lost a dog to lymphoma, I took Kasa to the vet because she had a lump on her neck too. The vet felt it and said "Thet's her larynx." I felt like a fool, but I still worry too much.
The only way to know if your dog has bad hips is to have them xrayed.
I got all of my guys done when I had them spayed/neutered, just for my peace of mind because I do performance events with them (obedience, agility). Ruger has bad hips, but he's going to soon be 8 years old and we are still competing, and he's never been lame. I've had him on supplements since he was a pup, so hopefully they have helped, plus I keep him at a leaner weight and exercise him quite regularly (swimming a lot) to keep the muscles around the hips well toned.
The more you know, the more pro-active you can be in managing your dog's health.