What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?
Canine hip dysplasia is an abnormal development of the hip joint (coxo-femoral).
How does my dog get Canine Hip Dysplasia?
It is a genetically transmitted tendency to develop looseness or laxity in the hip joints.
How do I know if my dog has Canine Hip Dysplasia?
Dogs with hip dysplasia may have various signs or symptoms. These may include:
-acute episodes of lameness of the rear legs that will worsen with exercise.
-difficulty rising, walking, climbing (stairs), running,
-later on development of arthritis and consistent lameness
- shifting weight forward leading to a more barrel chest and narrow pelvis appearance
What can I do about Canine Hip Dysplasia?
To find out if your dog has hip dysplasia requires radiographs (xrays) of your pet’s hips. This may or may not require sedation to decrease the discomfort of positioning for the radiographs. The radiographs in conjunction with the history, clinical signs and physical exam will provide the diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, the treament options for hip dysplasia vary from conservative medical care to more aggressive surgical care to total hip replacement. Your veterinarian and possibly a board certified surgeon are your best sources for guidance once the diagnosis is confirmed.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from getting Canine Hip Dysplasia?
The only real way to try to prevent Canine Hip Dysplasia is by trying to select pets that come from backgrounds with no evidence of hip dysplasia in their pedigree and that are certified by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of America). This is still no guarantee that a pet will hip dsyplasia free. There are certain breeds, usually small, that are at no or low risk of hip dysplasia. Check with your veterinarian to find out how to minimize your chances of getting a dog that has hip dysplasia.
Are there certain breeds that get Canine Hip Dysplasia more often?
There is a lengthy list of breeds with increased likelihood of having hip dysplasia, these include:
Saint Bernard, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Chow chows, bulldog, pug, basset hound, Newfoundland, bloodhound, rottweiler, see the resources below to find out what risk your breed is.
Where can I find more information about Canine Hip Dysplasia?
Orthopedic Foundation of America (http://www.offa.org/hipinfo.html), Institute for Genetic Disease Control in America (GDC)