In my previous post about why NOT to choose a Kozie's German shepherd, I might have touched on health issues, but that's another consideration with what the guy does wrong - in my opinion - in breeding the dogs he does.
Zada has been limping off and on over the summer - at first I thought it might be Lyme's, but she's not displaying the traditional characteristic with her limping...i.e., limping on different legs. Her problem seems to be coming from her left front elbow - where the clicking noise originates. Yup, a clicking sound - which has been getting progressively worse.
I've talked to 2 vets about this - and their first response was that it could be elbow dysplasia. This could be due to various factors, some of which include growth abnormalities (different growth development of the 3 bones comprising the elbow), trauma, nutrition (probably causing the growth discrepancies) or genetics.
Since she's been getting very good nutrition, and hasn't had any trauma to the leg, I'm banking on genetics. Oddly enough, her guarantee (from the breeder) mentions hip dysplasia only. VERY convenient. Which means a) he's breeding dogs that he knows could be prone to elbow dysplasia and/or b) he's not checking for this disease, which is VERY common in shepherds - even European working lines like he's trying to reproduce.
I just find this all so very frustrating after purposefully hunting down European GSD breeders for this very reason...to stay away from all the afflictions of the American-bred shepherds. What's even funnier is he was pretty adamant about telling me there's always a possibility the dog could wind up with some health problems... I realize no breeder can guarantee the dog won't have any problems, but you'd think he'd guarantee for dysplasia in general; not just hips.
The point is, I'm going to have to have her in to get tested for her front legs - most likely X-rayed - in addition to taking care of her stretched/torn ACL. Which is MOST likely a sports injury, but can also be genetic.
OH, and she also has skin allergies, but at least - so far! - they're pretty mild compared to what I've seen in other dogs. Plus, of course, all the GI issues she's had since I got her!
Bottom line - DO NOT spend the money on a Kozie's German shepherd. They're NOT worth the money, and they're going to be prone to MANY problems, obviously health-related as well as behavior-related. (i.e., stalking and pouncing on dogs AND children) If you're rich and don't care that you'll be spending wads of dough on surgeries and vet bills, and know that you'll have to watch the dog at all times (never trust them in any situation, even after you've worked with them on obedience), then by all means, go ahead.
Don't get me wrong, I love the dog - if I didn't she'd be LONG gone by now - but she's been the source of myriads of trouble in my life thus far. *SIGH* And she's only a year old.