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Dysplastic Hips

The term 'dysplasia' means abnormal growth. This means that dysplastic hips have developed over time, nearly all dogs diagnosed with CHD or Canine Hip Dysplasia are born with normal hips.

Generally it is recommended that you don't have your dogs hips xrayed for dsyplasia until around 2 years of age, as an early clear xray could give a false impression of the true story.

There are 2 things most commonly found to be abnormal when dysplasia is diagnosed: first is that the head is not held in the joing tightly, so instead of a snug fit it is loose, secondly instead of smooth surfaces there are misshapen surfaces of either the femoral head or the inside of the acetabulum causing friction, wear and tear.

Both situations are going to result in pain. In order to attempt to reduce the pain you may first notice that your dog is not walking correctly and freely.

Canine Hip Dysplasia is considered a heritable or genetic disorder. Read further in the section on genetics to understand this further as it is complex.

An important poin to remember with hip dysplasia is that the joint is not stable. This means that the joint is more prone to injury which is only going to make the entire situation worse both in the short and long term. The dog may not be displaying behaviour that alerts you of his pain until an injury is added to the condition, especially when the dog is younger.

Another important point is that there are many things that could cause your dog to be showing signs of pain or discomfort that have nothing to do with dysplasia, so it you should alwyas consult your veterinarian to be certain what is happening and how best to help your dog.

The pyrenees in this video shows movement issues commonly seen in dogs with hip dysplasia, and the obesity of the dog is of great concern as well.

The longer dysplastic hips are left without attention and knowing about them, the more damage that is likely to be done to the acetabulum or the femur. If the damage progresses to arthritis then you have more problems to deal with.

Small dog breeds are affected by hip dysplasia, however it is more commonly seen and far more serious in the large and giant breeds of dogs.

Links to article sections for Canine Hip Dysplasia:

Introduction What is canine hip dysplasia?
Normal hips description and xray image of normal dog hips
Abnormal / dysplastic hips understand what it means to say hips are abnormal or dysplastic
Symptoms of dysplasia signs to watch for in your dog
Diagnosing dysplasia how canine hip dysplasia is diagnosed
Interventions and management what are the treatment options for canine hip dysplasia?
Genetics of dysplasia is canine hip dysplasia inherited or caused by environment?
Breeding decisions how do I know if I should breed my dogs?
The AVA/ANKC hip dysplasia scoring scheme an explanation of how this scoring scheme is used
PennHIP® method an explanation of the PennHIP radiographic method

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