We have a 9 month old yellow boy who has always sat in an odd position, with his toes pointing inwards. He doesn't seem to be in any pain but he has never been very active since we got him at 4 months. His weight is normal for his age. His sibling runs rings around him and he seems to act like a much older dog - spending much of his life sitting around. He loves going for walks but doesn't chase balls much - his brother always gets there first! He is very affectionate and will come if we call him but he sometimes makes it look like it's a bit of an effort. When he lies on his bed, he has always just flopped down rather than sitting like his brother. We took him to the vet and he said it may be early signs of HD - he suggested we have him x-rayed. We are worried about putting him through the trauma of general anaesthesia unnecessarily and also concerned that our 11 year old son will worry about him - he's very anxious about our dogs since one was killed by a car in January. We don't know what to do for the best. Can some labs just be less active than others? Is it possible this could just be normal for him?
Nothing that you write specifically says hip problem to me. Some dogs are lower energy than others. Some dogs will sit with their legs properly positioned in a nice tight sit and other will sit with their legs splayed straight out in a sloppy sit. I have one of each of these in my household. The sloppy sitter usually does not stay in a sitting position for very long (unless there is food involved) and usually slides down right away to lay on the floor.
Both of my dogs have good hips.
Your dog is too young to x-ray for a diagnosis IMO and unless he is exhibiting pain I would not concern myself with it. You can always get the hips x-rayed when you neuter him. (assuming that you have not done that yet).
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Thanks for your reply. I think it's a bit soon for all this too. My husband took him to the vet who is basing his diagnosis on the fact that Alfie turned around after he started manipulating his back legs. He made no sign of being in pain, but just looked like he wanted to know what the vet was doing - well you would, wouldn't you! Thanks again - you've put my mind at rest.
What I would do if you have some concerns about him is be sure to moderately exercise him daily (no jumping from heights, not running alongside a bike) and include a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement for him daily. The muscle will help support his hips and the supplement will help his joints.
Also be sure to keep his weight on the slim side (I know not easy with a Lab)!
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
My Gracie sits in a very sloppy sit and her hips a good. Nothing you have described def describes HD. Lola, my black lab, was diagnosed with severe HD at about 10 months old... she was very slow to rise and limped after sleeping, walked with a big wiggle, and limped after play.
Is your pup neutered? If not yet, have him x-rayed then. I would not worry too much. Agree with Bigbrowndog, moderate exercise daily, swimming is great. Lola has been swimming everyday since May and she has not limped once...even after romping around with the other dogs. She is also on Phycox, which works wonders for her.
Good thoughts and prayers for your boy, keep us posted.
We've had two labs for quite some time now. When one got to the ball, stick etc. first, eventually the other stopped trying. That could be part of the activity descrepency between the two.