Hip Dysplasia is a reasonably common condition affecting many different breeds of dogs ,these including Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Mastiffs, Boer bull’s, German Shepherds and Rottweiler’s.
The primary cause of Hip Dysplasia is laxity within the hip joint, causing an early degeneration of the cartilage and eventually, arthritis of that joint. The causes of Hip Dysplasia can be grouped into three categories: Genetic, Nutrition, and Over Exercise.
There is strong evidence to show that Hip Dysplasia is passed on genetically from one or more parents onto the pup. Before one considers breeding, radiographs should be taken of both the sire and the dam to ensure that neither are suffering from this condition. If either are, they should not be used for breeding.
Nutrition also plays a big role in this disease. Your pup will grow in some cases more than ten times faster than you do ,making it difficult for the hip joint to develop normally. Large Breed Puppy food has been formulated to slow this growth down and should therefore be fed to all large breed puppies until they are at least 18 months old.
Research has shown that over exercising your pet when it is still a puppy can cause micro fractures in the hip joint and a resultant remodelling of the joint . Puppies should therefore, never be over exercised.
Most affected dogs will show hip pain, difficulty getting up, bunny hopping or a strange gait. These signs can begin in dogs as young as 6 months of age.
Diagnosis of this disease is made radiographically .
There are a variety of surgical procedures that can be performed to either prevent the cartilage from degenerating or to replace the joint once this has occurred. The earlier this problem is detected, the greater the chance there is of helping these patients..
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from Hip Dysplasia, arrange with your veterinarian for an X-ray . The sooner the better !!