I just wanted to get back to the original topic and mention a few things.
You said you've only had your puppy for a short time and you're just finishing up on his vaccinations. Did your Vet give you any information beforehand on the possible adverse reactions of said Vaccine or tell you what signs to be on the look out for? I'm not saying this is the cause of your dogs slight joint malformation (if infact that's what it is) but your breed seems to be on the list of several dogs that are predisposed to Vaccine reactions.
When we brought home our English Mastiff puppy, the breeder had a file folder with literally hundreds of pages of material that I had to comb over and I think it's important to know that as an owner of a large/giant breed, you have to adjust and continue learning (for the life of the dog) what is best for them at the various stages. They have so many special requirements that most people aren't aware of and it's a constant learning process, in which you will worry and research things to death at times, trying to second guess yourself. I have spend many sleepless nights, trying to verify information, validate my nutritional choices, analyize my options, carefully weighing the pros and cons of every single health related decision I was entrusted with...I understand what you're going through and I hope you understand that reaching out to those who can possibly assist you or at the very least, direct you to your Vet (or a new one) with the proper questions in hand, it the right thing to do
You sound dedicated to the well being of your dog and you seem like a very caring owner who is willing to do whatever it takes to make your pet's life the best it can be.
Here is a snipit from one of the websites I was referred to: Vaccine Associated Disease in Young Akitas
Akitas also are subject to a variety of immune mediated disorders, including VogtKoyanagiHarada syndrome (VKH), pemphigus, and heritable juvenile onset immune mediated polyarthritis (IMPA). 3,14 Juvenile onset IMPA occurs in Akitas less than 8 months of age. Of 11 closely related puppies in the author’s case series, the mean age of onset was 14 weeks. 3 Initial signs appeared 3 to 29 days following vaccination with polyvalent MLV or killed virus or both, with a mean reaction time of 14 days. All had profound joint pain and cyclic febrile illness lasting 24 to 48 hours. Hemograms revealed mild non regenerative anemia, neutrophilic leukocytosis, and occasional thrombocytopenia. Joint aspiration and radiography indicated non septic, non erosive arthritis. Despite treatment for immune mediated disease and pyrexia, all eight dogs had relapsing illness and died or were euthanized by 2 years of age from progressive systemic amyloidosis and renal failure. Necropsies were performed on three dogs, two of which had glomerular amyloidosis and widespread evidence of vasculitis. The history, signs, and close association with immunization suggested that juvenile onset polyarthritis and subsequent amyloidosis in these Akitas may have been an autoimmune response triggered by the viral antigens or other components of vaccines. 3 The vaccine related history was reviewed for 129 puppies belonging to the family of Akitas discussed above. Polyvalent MLV vaccine was given to 104 of them, with 10 (9.8%) puppies showing adverse reactions and death. Another six puppies received a polyvalent all killed vaccine product (no longer commercially available) with no reactors, and 19 puppies received homeopathic nosodes initially followed by killed canine parvovirus (CPV) vaccine, with one reactor that died and one that became ill but survived. 3 A genetic basis for immune mediated diseases and immunodeficiencies states is well known. 1,2,12,13,15,17,18 The mechanism for triggering immune mediated disease is poorly understood, but predisposing factors have been implicated when genetically susceptible individuals encounter environmental agents that induce nonspecific inflammation, molecular mimicry, or both. 3,17 The combined effects of these genetic and environmental factors override normal self tolerance and are usually mediated by T cell imbalance or dys regulation. 17 Since the modern Akita arose from a relatively small gene pool, understanding the potential environmental triggers of juvenile onset IMPA has immediate importance. Numerous agents have been implicated, including drugs, vaccines, viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and other toxins. 13,10,11 Although the littermates from affected families typically end up in different locales, all undergo relatively standardized immunization procedures at a similar age.
I'm sure you've researched it already but here is the site just incase. Dogs Predisposed to Vaccine Reactions
One other thing I was wondering is if you knew any history of the parents?
Do you know if they had any health testing done? Have they or any of their offspring suffered from any joint problems or vaccination reactions? Have the lines been free of arthritis? Have you talked to the breeder?
GreatDaneMom is a great source of information in regards to HOD and nutrition in large/giant breeds and has first hand knowledge which to me, can be greater than most things you can read in a book or online etc. She mentioned Eagle Pack as being one of the only companies that have done extenstive testing in terms of large breed requirements. I also wanted to add this -- which was found on the EP website, for your consideration. Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Puppy and Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Adult were diets developed as a result advanced research and knowledge gained from the performance of Natural Pack. As more nutritional information became available the evolution of large and giant breed nutrition spawned the development of the Holistic Select large and giant breed recipes. Holistic Select with Select Actives Dog and Cat Food Contains Holistic, Natural Ingredients that Promote Pet Health Eagle Pack Food - Natural Pet Food - Large Breed Puppy Eagle Pack Food - Natural Pet Food - Large Breed Concerns
( Holistic Select for Large & Giant Breeds)--it used to be eagle pack holistic but now they have sold this line to wellpet, same makers of Wellness and they now call it "Holistic Select" It isn't what you would consider a premium food but at this stage in your puppy's life, that isn't really what you need. You can always change to another product once they are out of the 'danger zone' and their growth plates have closed. I'm not exactly sure when that would be in your breed but it would be worth looking into
Just wanted to mention that Vit D is also very important to keep in check,
in addition to the calories and the cal/phos ratio
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium kept in the blood stream and tissues. Hypercalcemia is a calcium imbalance where there is too much calcium in the blood because the excess Vitamin D is directing the body to store calcium. In a pup that could lead to abnormal joint growth where the joints wouldn't properly develop. It can also impact blood clotting, muscle weakness, constipation, fatigue, nausea and disorientation/dillusions.
I'm sorry if this is all over the place in terms of clarity or if you are already aware of these things. I just wanted to "put it out there for you" I'm so tired I cant see straight....lol....but I cant blame that for my spelling, because I spell the same way when I'm fully rested
Please let us know what your Vet finds re:testing, x-rays etc
I wish you both all the best.