Regarding the exploitation of the German Shepherd Breed in the United States, Hip Dyplasia ( HD ) is one of the more common forms. In Europe there is one type of HD, and its called HD, and while very rare amongst Authentic GSD’s, this is a very debilitating, crippling disease. However in the U.S., there is another type of HD, and there are many names for it including ” American Veterinarian HD or ” Phantom HD”. These types, which are merely a Clinical diagnoses, are NOT true HD, and make up 95% of HD diagnosis among Authentic GSD’s in the U.S.

To explain HD, we will us the example of the cup holder in your vehicle, and a tennis ball. In this example the cup holder is the hip socket, and the ball is the Femur head ( the top of the Femur bone )- leg thigh bone. If the holder and the ball are symmetrical and the ball fits nicely into the holder with just enough room to move around, and approximately 50% of the ball fits inside the holder, then if this were a hip joint, it would be a healthy hip joint.  However if the holder ( a hip socket ) is not exactly symmetrical, or the ball is not exactly symmetrical , or the ball does not fit approximately 50% inside the holder, then we are going to call that Hip Dysplasia. Keep in mind that you would not be looking at this in real time, you would be looking at a radio-graph image. So in actual HD, the Holder ( socket ) would be OBVIOUSLY deformed, the ball ( Femur head ) would be OBVIOUSLY deformed, and the ball would OBVIOUSLY set well short of 50% inside the holder. This would true HD, the dog who owns this hip joint would be progressively limping and in obvious pain. Again, this is true HD.

However here in America, because we have a very inferior, ignorant and corrupt Veterinary system, there is sadly another type of HD. Again this is the Clinical diagnosis or Phantom version.  In these cases which again, literally make up 95% of HD diagnoses amongst Authentic GSD’s in America, the dog does NOT exhibit any symptoms. The unfortunate dog has been exposed to an Am. Vet. for some reason, and the so called Veterinarian wants to do an x-ray, – what we will call ” Fishing ” or ” Panhandling ” for some extra money. So with the radio-graph the Am. Vet tells the dogs owner that their dog has HD, they will use medical terms such as ” Elasticity ” and ” Acetabulum ” and convince the owner that their dog is in pain, and must have a $4500.00 surgery when in fact the dogs hips are normal. Many such false diagnosis are a result of the American Veterinarian being unaware that the American version of the GSD is a completely different dog than the Authentic European GSD. Because the Am. GSD has very high incidences of true HD, the AM. Veterinarian just assumes that any GSD has the disease, so when they look at the x-rays, it becomes a matter of interpretation. Because the Am. Veterinarians house or car payment may depend of your dogs diagnosis, those nice symmetrical hip sockets and well formed Femur heads can begin to look less well formed.  Also, the OFA ( Orthopedic Foundation for Animals ) which is a branch of the American Veterinarian system,  is for the most part a useless organization, and many OFA certified hips ( as many as 30% ) are in reality bad Dysplastic hips.  The OFA is another subject.

Here is some advice on not having the trauma of a GSD with Dysplastic hips:

  • Only purchase dogs or puppies that are Authentic GSD’s.  Authentic German Shepherds and how to determine if such a breeding program has them is another subject on this website.
  • When visiting a Kennel, always ask to see the breeding dogs work and run off leash.
  • NEVER spay or neuter a dog, as the loss of hormones causes bone loss and deformity

Regarding being conned by an American Veterinarian in being told that your dog has this disease, remember the following-    HD CANNOT be diagnosed in a sub 12 month old.  A dog with true HD will begin to limp, and avoid running and jumping at 8-12 months of age, and this will become progressively worse.

Another interesting fact is that Human hip structure is very similar to dog hip structure. Based on the protocol that American Veterinarians use to evaluate HD in dogs, 80% of Humans would be diagnosed with HD, including Professional Athletes ( Marathon Runners, NBA Players etc ). Even you would probably be diagnosed with this disease if an American Veterinarian evaluated your hips as they do German Shepherd hips.

Some stats – True HD occurs in approximately 2% of Authentic GSD’s in Europe. However 36% of these same dogs are diagnosed with the disease in America. Worldwide,  approximately 19.5 % of German Shepherds are diagnosed with HD. As of the writing of this article in November 2017, VZH has produced 1038 puppies, and 3 have had actual true diagnoses of HD, and this is less than 1%. Specifically this is 0.28%. Is this something I am boasting about ? ABSOLUTELY NOT !! I have lost sleep over those three.