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Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your
veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the
diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Hip dysplasia is of major concern to
owners and breeders of large and giant dogs. Here are a number of interesting facts
about the disease.
it's most severe forms hip dysplasia is a debilitating, painful disease that
causes a lot of suffering for affected animals, and distress for owners.
Great emphasis is put on the need to
avoid breeding from affected animals because there is believed to be a genetic
inheritance - although the precise genetic pattern has not yet been determined
and, following studies in German Shepherd Dogs, it has been concluded that hip
dysplasia is only a "moderately heritable disease".
and breeders might be interested in some of the following facts about the
- The hip joints of dogs that go on
to develop hip dysplasia are believed to be normal at birth
- Breeds with the lowest prevalence
of hip dysplasia are near the size of ancestral dogs see Evolution of
- Hip dysplasia has not been
reported to occur in wild canines - eg wolves and foxes
- Hip dysplasia does not occur in
racing greyhounds (one of the early dogs kept by humans), but greyhounds kept as pets do develop hip dysplasia.
- Studies have shown that
environmental factors - including exercise - are just as important in the
development of hip dysplasia in young growing dogs as genetic inheritance.
German Shepherd Dog puppies kept confined during growth developed less severe hip
dysplasia than their littermates which were allowed to exercise vigorously.
- Hip dysplasia has been reported to
occur in domesticated cats, and in humans 1.3 children in every 1000 are
reported to be affected.
- Dogs with a low prevalence for hip
dysplasia have skin and subcutaneous fat content of only 1-2%, whereas
breeds with a higher prevalence have 5-10% fat in these tissues.
- Growing puppies that weigh more
than the mean for their group are more likely to develop hip dysplasia
than littermates weighing less than the mean for the group.
- Interpretation of hip XRays is the
"gold standard" for assessing the severity of hip dysplasia in
an animal - and a scoring system based upon XRay changes is used in
all breed schemes designed to reduce the gene pool by breeding from unaffected
animals. However, studies have shown that the degree of change on an XRay
is NOT directly related to the amount of pain and disability that an
animal is suffering.
- Breeding only from dogs with
normal hips at 1 year of age (as determined by XRay examination)
significantly reduced the prevalence of hip dysplasia in the offspring in
several controlled breeding studies.
All dogs intended
for breeding should be entered into a hip dysplasia screening programme
and only "normal" individuals should be used for breeding
Keep young puppies
from breeds known to have a prevalence for the disease "lean and
mean". Avoid over-feeding, avoid obesity and avoid too rapid a growth
Do not over-exercise
young growing puppies
For more information
about hip dysplasia CLICK HERE
Updated October 2013