Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is the most common heritable orthopaedic problem seen in dogs. It affects
virtually all breeds of dogs, but is especially problematic in large and
giant breeds. CHD develops into a degenerative condition (osteoarthritis)
of the hip joints.
For this reason, there is a large section devoted here to the health issue as there is a lot of misconception about the issue, the impact on the dogs quality of life, life expectancy and the genetic implications for breeding.
It is a genetic trait that is affected by environmental factors and is one of the most studied veterinary conditions in dogs and stands out as the most common underlying cause of arthritis in dogs.
One of the most awful things about this condition for your dog if he is affected by hip dysplasia, is that it is very possible your dog has been in pain and been managing to live with the condition with various strategies since he was only some few months old. You may never have realised, as it is easy to just accept oddities about your dog (or yourself) and presume that is 'just the way he is' since it seems he was always that way.
the awkward gait of the dog pictured here is typical of hip dysplasia, however veterinary diagnosis by xray is the only way to be certain as other conditions(such as some arthritic conditions and ligament ruptures) can display very simliar symptoms and need different treatment and management.
Therefore detection and diagnosis is a critical health responsibility so that a management program can be put into action to give your dog the best possible quality of life.
If you are considering obtaining or already have maremmas or any other livestock guarding dogs consider the importance of strong healthy hips for the job these dogs perform.
If you are a breeder, please read these articles with great care and attention to ensure you are making the wisest and most informed breeding decisions.
This video is a little long (7 minutes) but it does give a very good overview of the condition by a veterinarian, with excellent animated construction of the structure of the hip joint.
This series of articles will examine normal hips, types of dysplasia, clinical detection, symptoms a dog may present, surgical and other interventions, genetics and breeding decisions.
This series of articles will also discuss the hip scoring schemes in use today.
Links to article sections for Canine Hip Dysplasia:
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