Health and Nutrition

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine Hip Dysplasia afflicts millions of dogs each year and can result in debilitating orthopaedic disease of the hip. It is caused when the femoral head does not fit properly in the hip socket, causing instability of the joint. Over time, this malformation can cause Degenerative Joint Disease which causes increased pain and immobility. Characterized by varying degrees of hip joint laxity, subluxation (partial dislocation), and severe arthritic change, Hip Dysplasia’s clinical signs vary widely from virtually none in some affected dogs to being a crippling disease in others.

Hip Dysplasia is the most common inherited orthopedic disease in large and giant breed dogs and also occurs in several medium-sized breeds. The disease is inherited with a polygenic mode of inheritance, meaning that multiple genes must be present for the disease to exhibit itself. It is not known however which genes are involved nor how many. In most cases, Hip Dysplasia occurs bilaterally (in both legs). However, in approximately 7% of cases, only one hip is affected.

Through selective breeding strategies, veterinarians and breeders are attempting to eliminate Canine Hip Dysplasia. All breeding dogs should be x-rayed and certified clear by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and/or by the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP).


Additional Information:

Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.

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