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Discussion Starter #1
Well, Murray is showing his age now. He turned eight in June, and he's starting to have some leg/hip/knee problems. There are times when he refuses to go on his walks , so we took him to the vet to see what's going on.
X-rays showed mild displasia in his left hip. There's also noticable muscle wasting in the right leg, and a really unstable patella in that leg, which is very trembly at times.

So his walks will be shorter now, and no more rough play with his boxer friend down the street.

I feel sad that my boy is getting old.
 

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That's so sad. I suppose though they are just like us... as we get older joints sometimes wear out. That's why I wish more basset breeders were actually doing the OFA certifications. I know that the BHCA recommends it.
 

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I'm sorry Murray is having problems. Did the vet really recommend cutting back on walks? I would have thought they would want to continue exercise to preserve as much muscle as possible.
 

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Sorry to hear.:( My Flash is showing the same signs. She's 8 and seems to hop more on her walks instead of trotting like the rest of the gang. We make sure she sleeps on a very comfortable bed....like we had a choice:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm sorry Murray is having problems. Did the vet really recommend cutting back on walks? I would have thought they would want to continue exercise to preserve as much muscle as possible.
His walks will be shorter, but more frequent (several short walks every day rather than one long one) and yes, you're right, the vet emphasized that it's important to keep him moving. His weight has always been right where it should be, so that's a plus with what's going on.

His knee seems to be the main concern; we think he was refusing to walk because it was hurting him- so no running and spinning with his boxer puppy friend, to prevent injury to the patella.
 

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Sorry to hear that Murray is having problems. Do you have him on any joint supplements?
The vet told us shorter and more frequent walks for Yogi as well to help him keep his muscle tone. He's been doing pretty good between the Glyco-Flex, fish oil and really good quality diet. Fish oil is supposed to be good not only for the skin but also for joint issues.
 

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X-rays showed mild displasia in his left hip. There's also noticable muscle wasting in the right leg
This was a problem mariah had at the age of one. Chiropractic and exercise created perhaps the most muscular hind in basset history. Of course she had no arthritis. It would not surprise me if most of the problem is from the luxating pettella that can be surgically corrected.

I wish more basset breeders were actually doing the OFA certifications.
actual OFA certification are of limited value. There has been no indication that breeding against hip displasia has had any signifcant impact on the occurance. One must keep in mind that hip displasia is not caused by a single gene but the result of interaction of multiple genes so breeding excellent to excellent does throw bad hips as well as breeding poor/to poor can produce excellent hips. Also there is no clear indication that laxicity (penn-hipp) or the fit (ofa) studied early actual lead to hip displasia ( clinical signs arthritis, pain ) later in life. There has been no significant determination the role genetic play in the disease vs evironmental cause like nutrition, growth rates, trauma etc which many believe may actual be more significant. But probably most signifcant is OFA does not have a good way of dealing with Chondroplastic breeds that differ signifcantly in hip and elbow conformation, Excellents hip as measured by OFA are just not going to happen in a basset hound. There is a signifact number if not a majory a basset are classified as dysplasic yet realatively few ever have a problem because of it.


Read more: Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
At present, the strongest link to contributing factors other than genetic predisposition appears to be to rapid growth and weight gain. In a recent study done in Labrador retrievers a significant reduction in the development of clinical hip dysplasia occurred in a group of puppies fed 25% less than a control group which was allowed to eat free choice. It is likely that the laxity in the hip joints is aggravated by the rapid weight gain.
Canine Hip Dysplasia:
Are Breeders Winning the Battle?

Despite these attempts and the OFA's encouraging reports of a significant decline in occurrence of breed-specific CHD, there still remains a very high prevalence of CHD not accounted for by the OFA. Additionally, frequency of CHD in offspring from OFA normal parents still remains disappointingly high.

Over the past 5 years, some revealing scientific reports have raised serious questions concerning the reliability of the OFA method for evaluating phenotypic expression (actual appearance of hip conformation) of parents as a means of predicting genetic outcome in offspring as well as the consistency with which these evaluations are interpreted.
Controlling canine hip dysplasia in Finland
Selecting against hip-dysplasia cannot be expected to be very effective, when based only on mass selection on phenotypic observations. Predicted breeding values based on progeny testing would probably give better results.
Estimation of heritability for hip dysplasia in German Shepherd
Dogs in Finland

Thus, the selection has been based on phenotypic grading of hip
dysplasia status by radiographic examination. However, this phenotypic selection has not
been successful, as in a previous study (LEPPA¨ NEN and SALONIEMI 1999) no phenotypic
progress could be shown, and the disease prevalence had instead increased during the time
of restrictions. The reason for the poor success of phenotypic selection is that no effective
genotypic selection has taken place during the time period and so the realized selection
differential of parent animals calculated from estimated breeding values was practically zero
(LEPPA¨ NEN et al. 2000).

...The phenotypic selection method can be very ineffective, because most dogs used for
breeding are phenotypically equal (graded as nonaffected). Thus the selection intensity is
very low, if only those few animals with poor phenotypes (grades D or E) are excluded
from breeding.

Selection for breed-specific long-bodied phenotypes is associated with increased expression of canine hip dysplasia
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
It would not surprise me if most of the problem is from the luxating pettella that can be surgically corrected.
Yes, the unstable patella seems to be the main problem. As far as surgery: the vet says that while the patella is moving around pretty freely, it hasn't popped out of position yet, so he isn't recommending surgery at this time, just advising against stressing the knee.

Any comments from someone whose basset has had this surgery?
 

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Any comments from someone whose basset has had this surgery?
There is not a single surgery there are a variety of techniques based somewhat on the cause.

Petellar Luxation textbook of small animal orthopeadics

Luxating Patella
In certain breeds that have extremely short legs such as the Basset Hound or Dachshund, patellar luxation is thought to be secondary to the abnormal shape of the femur and tibia. The curvatures of the bones in these breeds work in conjunction with the forces of the quadriceps muscles to displace the patella to the inside. Please do not misunderstand – not all members of these breeds are affected with patellar luxation, only a small portion.
Petellar luxation
Middle-aged or older dogs with a more constant hind limb lameness. Careful questioning of the owner is essential with these patients to determine the course of the lameness. If the luxating patella is responsible for the lameness, there will be a long-term history of intermittent lameness, including the characteristic “skipping gait.” The owner may comment that the dog has had a problem with the leg from time to time for as long as they can remember, but the symptoms seem to be getting worse. This is often due to eburnation of cartilage on the medial trochlear ridge and the underside of the patella (1,2,4). Osteoarthritic changes in the joint may also contribute to lameness in these patients, but this may be of somewhat lesser importance, since the degenerative changes seem to be slower in developing, are of a more minor nature, and are less clinically debilitating than the changes seen in rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament, for example (3,7). If questioning of the owner reveals an acute lameness or an acute worsening of an intermittent lameness, the patellar luxation is frequently a “red herring.” More often, rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament or other causes of acute lameness will be present as a more significant clinical entity (1,2,5,8).
Medial patellar luxation and rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament are intertwined in several ways. It is estimated that at least 15% to 20% of dogs with patellar luxation will eventually rupture their cranial cruciate ligament (1). This may be due to a combination of 3 factors: First, dogs with significant patellar luxation usually have internal rotation of the tibia, which puts stress on the cranial cruciate ligament. Second, the quadriceps musculature-patella-patellar tendon mechanism normally provides cranial stability to the stifle joint. In the dog with patellar luxation, a good portion of this mechanism is deviated medially, thus offering less resistance to forces that would tend to subluxate the proximal tibia cranially. Third, cartilage erosion and degenerative joint disease may create an environment in the stifle that promotes degeneration of the cranial cruciate ligament (1,5).
I know of a couple of basset that wither continued or went on to compete in agility after surgery but in each case the luxation was intermittent and created a skipping gate.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
OK Mike, I read the articles; that clarifies a few things for me- thanks!

Yogi's Mom- yes, Murray has been taking fish oil for a couple of years to help his skin problems.
 

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Gosh, eight seems awfully young for these problems. Lightning is 12 and is just now showing some weakness in his hind end, and I was upset because I thought he was too young for that! (But then again, I still think of him as a puppy.) But I guess if it's a kneecap problem, age isn't really a factor. Do you have any facilities near you that have aquatreadmills for dogs, or offer dog swimming (for physical therapy)? I would think those would be excellent for Murray. I hope he's feeling better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Gosh, eight seems awfully young for these problems. Lightning is 12 and is just now showing some weakness in his hind end, and I was upset because I thought he was too young for that! (But then again, I still think of him as a puppy.) But I guess if it's a kneecap problem, age isn't really a factor. Do you have any facilities near you that have aquatreadmills for dogs, or offer dog swimming (for physical therapy)? I would think those would be excellent for Murray. I hope he's feeling better soon!
I'll talk to the vet about the water therapy- if there's a place around here, he would know.

And I hate to think of Murray as an old man at eight, but he does seem to have aged alot in the past year- his face is almost all white now, and the leg/hip issues have slowed him down. Our doxie Minna is the same age, and she still looks and acts like a puppy!

Here he is last December in our silly Christmas photo-he's such a sweet gentle soul, he didn't mind the hat one bit. You can see how white he is in this picture compared to the avatar, which isn't all that old:

 
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