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Unread 02-20-2010, 01:10 AM   #1
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Default Protruding skull ridge?

Hi all.

Look at this pic of Ming:


That picture was taken when he was about 1 year old. He's now four (where did the freakin' time go?). It seems like the bone ridge at the back of the skull which has always been a bit pronounced on him is protruding more though how I'd take a similar pic to show this is beyond me. It would have to be luck. Maybe if I bury a treat in the dirt (uh, mud! When is Spring?)

I vaguely remember my dal's skull bones being more pronounced with age but that was when she was well past 8 years old. He has lost a little weight (by my choice) and perhaps that has something to do with it.

Anyway - has anyone noticed or does anyone know if such changes in the skull are normal in some breeds? It is time for an annual vet visit soon so of course I'll have the vet look at it. The bone doesn't feel soft or anything and I don't even know if excess bone growth would be soft or hard so that probably means nothing.

thoughts?

Sorry it's been so long. life's just been busy with school and whatnot. Ming is doing well. Beautiful. Smart. And as wonderful as ever.

Included is a one of my favorite recent pics. As you can see, he has taken over my $100 (yikes) back rest. it is now his bed in our room. Not a great pic because it's from my Razr but I love how he looks.

If you don't recall Yao Ming and me - he is (we know) part Shar Pei and part (we think) Rhodesian Ridgeback. RR mixes not as rare in Texas as you might think. But momma was very big for a CSP and may have been a mix herself.

I'll add that the pics I've seen of pure CSPs and the one pic of a skull I found do show a rather pronounced ridge at the back. I figure it supports all that skin! But then, so do Ridgie pics

I'll add one more thing. My dal had a very rounded skull. So I may also just be unaccustomed to other dogs in this regard.
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Unread 02-20-2010, 06:29 AM   #2
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The skull ridge you are talking about is called the Occiput, and it varies significantly from breed to breed. In breeds with a pronounced occiput, it may become more pronounced as they reach full adult size. If both breeds have a pronounced occiput, normally, then I wouldn't worry about Ming. I did a check of some veterinary resources for information on any problems involving the occiput and found nothing regarding growth, development, cancer, etc.

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Unread 02-20-2010, 04:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vagreys View Post
The skull ridge you are talking about is called the Occiput, and it varies significantly from breed to breed. In breeds with a pronounced occiput, it may become more pronounced as they reach full adult size. If both breeds have a pronounced occiput, normally, then I wouldn't worry about Ming. I did a check of some veterinary resources for information on any problems involving the occiput and found nothing regarding growth, development, cancer, etc.

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Hi! Nice to 'see' a familiar um...screenname.

Many thanks. That's exactly what I needed to know and confirms my suspicions about breed variation. Found an interesting page with a variety of dog skulls on it and the occiput was very pronounced in some, very flat or round in others. And I thought that since he's a big boy he may just have grown into his full frame in the last two years.
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Unread 02-20-2010, 07:05 PM   #4
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Hi Kcat, Ming looks great in the new pic. He's very handsome!!
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Unread 02-23-2010, 11:32 PM   #5
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Hi Kcat, Ming looks great in the new pic. He's very handsome!!
Thank you. He's my gorgeous boy. I'm stupid in love with this dog.
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Unread 02-23-2010, 11:51 PM   #6
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Folklore used to believe that the more protruding the occiput, the smarter the dog. I'm not really sure what they called it, but "smart knot" comes to mind
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Unread 02-23-2010, 11:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by agilityk9trainer View Post
Folklore used to believe that the more protruding the occiput, the smarter the dog. I'm not really sure what they called it, but "smart knot" comes to mind
Well, there ya go! He's brilliant and beautiful. Clearly this lore is true!
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Unread 02-24-2010, 01:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by agilityk9trainer View Post
Folklore used to believe that the more protruding the occiput, the smarter the dog. I'm not really sure what they called it, but "smart knot" comes to mind
"Smart bump" is what we call it! LOL I've met some of the dumbest dogs with a "smart bump".

I had to ask the vet about my Coco's head, as her "smart bump" was getting larger as she aged. And she *had* been dropped as a puppy. He said in some dogs it simply becomes more noticeable - that I should worry if I feel any solid masses or non-bone bumps. (Although I'm sure he worded it better than that)
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Unread 02-24-2010, 05:10 AM   #9
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In english Pointers, a 'pronounced occipital bone' is in the breed standard as highly desirable.

My Pointer has quite an obvious occiput, it was weird to me when I first got him but i'm totally used to it now!
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Unread 02-24-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
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"Smart bump" is what we call it! LOL I've met some of the dumbest dogs with a "smart bump".

I had to ask the vet about my Coco's head, as her "smart bump" was getting larger as she aged. And she *had* been dropped as a puppy. He said in some dogs it simply becomes more noticeable - that I should worry if I feel any solid masses or non-bone bumps. (Although I'm sure he worded it better than that)
That's good to know. Thanks. I'm sure Dr. P will say as much when we go in. Clearly it's the only change. I've felt around, no out of place lumps or the like. Just a bigger "smart bump." I love it. I'll have to tell hubby about that. We're convinced Ming can read our minds. I will walk by him five times from bedroom to kitchen and back in a few minutes and he will ignore me but on the sixth time when my intent is to get food, as soon as I walk by he's on his feet. How does he know this?
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