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Rhodesian Ridgeback and "growing pains"??

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  • Rhodesian Ridgeback and "growing pains"??

    Lately I have been noticing my 6month old ridgeback puppy (whom I absolutely freaking adore!!) has been very sensitive when you pet his back end. He has no limitation in activity; runs/jumps/plays etc without any pain or issue.

    I decided to take him to the vet to have x-rays done just to be sure. Good news is no hip dysplasia noted; growth plates still aren't closed so vet said it's hard to determine much b/c he is still growing and changes are occurring. She diagnosed him with "epiphysitis" or structural changes/inflammation in the growth plates. Treatment is an NSAID, limit activity when uncomfortable, and restricted diet. The vet said he's a good weight and actually on the lean side so not much can be changed with that. I find it hard to be able to restrict his activity since he doesn't seem painful when playing and he is still a puppy!

    Vet believes a lot of this can be related to the fact he's grown and almost doubled in weight over the last 1.5 months.

    Any body have any thoughts/experiences with this? The vet is going to consult our local Vet School (UGA) and get another opinion as well.

    I just want my baby to be comfortable for a long time!!

  • #2
    Personally I do not have experience but I know a lot of people who have. Good friend had a yellow lab bitch, she did fine once she stopped growing so fast (vet gave same recommendation yours did). Great Dane puppy the same. GSD and another Lab the same as well. None had lasting issues.


    • #3
      What is he eating?


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
        What is he eating?
        He's on Purina large breed puppy chow....


        • #5
          Originally posted by cbsh13 View Post
          He's on Purina large breed puppy chow....
          That might be part of your problem right there. That food is mostly corn. Switching to something higher quality may be advantageous.


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Simkie View Post
            That might be part of your problem right there. That food is mostly corn. Switching to something higher quality may be advantageous.
            Good to know! Do you have a recommendation? Vet said to keep him on large breed puppy but didn't mention anything about a specific brand...


            • #7
              I feed my Ridgebacks Orijen and have been exceedingly happy with it, although it is quite costly (especially if you're used to dog chow pricing!)

              Acana is made by the same company as Orijen and is a little less expensive.

              I also don't worry about special "puppy" or "large breed" kibbles. I feed something with an appropriate calcium level (under 1.8%) and enough protein (over 28%--more is better.) The calcium number is especially important and several kibbles branded for puppies are over this number, so it's still important to read labels and be informed.

              www.dogfoodadvisor.com is a good enough place to start looking around. You can get an idea of what things cost at chewy.com or petfooddirect.com


              • #8
                I'd take him off puppy food and feed a high quality adult food like Orijen or Acana. I raised both of my Dobes on Orijen (bitch is now 5 and 65 lbs and the boy is 2 and 82lbs...so "large" dogs) and switched them from the large breed puppy food to the adult food when they were 5 months old.

                Neither had absolutely any "growing" pains.


                • #9
                  Definitely get him on some high quality food! Grocery store brands are not good (even those pretending to be healthy food like Science Diet, etc.). Check out he ingredients. My ridgeback did go through some growing pains. I vividly remember once him running after me when I was in the golf cart. All of a sudden he YELPED in pain. I almost though I ran over his paw or something, but I knew he wasn't that close. But took him to the vet, and nothing was wrong. So just chocked it up to growing. He was very lean for 2 years. After that he filled out and now weighs a healthy 98 pounds (he is not fat, just big). Good luck with yours!

                  Pic of him a little younger: http://i740.photobucket.com/albums/x...fa6ee2f7e7.jpg

                  And as a cute puppy (best seat in the house!) haha. http://i740.photobucket.com/albums/x...eepingspot.jpg
                  “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                  ¯ Oscar Wilde


                  • #10
                    This happened to a huge sheltie I had when he was a pup; vet diagnosed it as "long-bone disease" or panosteitis and said it was more common in large breed dogs as they grew. He was on a quality diet already, so we just waited it out and he grew out of it, thankfully, fairly soon. Blue turned out to be the best protector I ever had. Aloof with almost everyone, but wonderful with all my pack. He is missed greatly.


                    • #11
                      My Ridgie didn't have any issues with growing pains but she was never on a puppy food - we were warned away from that by the breeder so she was always on an adult kibble, and only high quality grainless. Right now she's on Fromm and looks incredible, great energy level and very happy. She's 3.

                      Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments


                      • #12
                        A ridgeback pup owned by a friend of mine (a vet), had pano, which went all the way around, twice (i.e., a different leg was lame at different times). Dog ended up completely sound, which I would expect from pano, have had itin the wolfhound pups, can be very painful it resolves just fine.

                        I just kept an eye on them, as with any ridiculously fast growing creature, you just have to be conscious of what they are doing and not permit them to exceed what they should be doing.


                        • #13
                          Also if he's not castrated yet, don't do it until he's done growing. Early castration makes the long bones grow for longer -you get a legginess -but from a physiological point of view the growth plates stay open longer.

                          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                          • #14
                            My vet recommended limited free play and going for long (3-5 miles) slow walks everyday. no scateboard or rollerblades just walking and hiking. And swimming, but I did not have a pool.


                            • #15
                              to the fact he's grown and almost doubled in weight over the last 1.5 months.
                              this is your problem- he's growing too fast; and as someone else said, it's probably because you're feeding a corn-based very low quality diet. There's absolutely no real meat in purina large breed puppy food- it's corn, corn gluten meal, soy, and a bit of slaughterhouse garbage for flavor.

                              You might want to switch to Precise Giant Breed puppy food- this used to be called Eaglepack. It's a heavily researched food developed specifically for giant breed puppies. It's probably the only food on the market that actually underwent a real, proper "Feeding trial": they tested it by feeding to great dane puppies living in real pet homes from weaning to adulthood.
                              One result of feeding this food vs. other foods is the dogs grow very slowly and steadily and achieve their full mature size at later ages than dogs on other diets, which is much better for their skeletal health.