Severe hip dysplasia in dogs

One of the most common ailments among racing dogs is hip dysplasia. It is characterized by the looseness of the hip joint and can be a genetic condition.

However, it is also present in many breeds other than greyhounds, and veterinarians and breeders alike are attempting to come up with breeding guidelines to lessen the incidence of the disease among their respective racing populations.

Hip dysplasia is a complicated and serious ailment. And, it isn't as if veterinarians understand the disease either. But these days, hip dysplasia is occasionally diagnosed in dogs and cats.

In dogs, hip dysplasia is genetic, though the portion of the hereditary inheritance that influences hip dysplasia is somewhat controlled by the presence or absence of the causative mutation.

Although the causative mutation might not have been detected or deemed harmful, that doesn't mean that the animal has to suffer. Greyhounds are generally healthy, but they could be carriers of the gene for hip dysplasia if they themselves are dysplastic. If they don't show any symptoms yet; the only way to find out is to have an x biopsy done on the x chronological specimen of the hip dysplastic dog, that procedure is sometimes done for diagnosis. 

When puppies are born, if the dysplasia is mild then it will only manifest itself at the time of birth. If it is severe, puppies definitely have a higher chance of developing the disease, though it may not be so obvious. Severe cases of hip dysplasia can lead to changes in the angle and the femur and can affect the joint capsule. This is usually what is responsible for the severe form of the disease when the femur fails to form into the joint that is supposed to.

There are some breeds that are susceptible to hip dysplasia, and they include but are not limited to German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, English Shepherd Dogs, Border Collies, Irish Setters, and proved examples of the Collie, Cavalier King Charles, Springer Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers.

Hip dysplasia is the failure of the femur to develop normally, and calcium to form properly. This forms the basis of the muscles that are supposed to support the thigh and hip joint. Normally, the femur and tibia joint should form together in a way that makes it easy for the thigh joint to move in an erect position. Unfortunately, this is not usually how it happens, and when it does, it is more painful and appears to be suffering pain.

If you think that your dog might be a carrier for hip dysplasia, you should have him or her professionally screened by a certified veterinarian. The final diagnosis for hip dysplasia is usually by an x-ray.

Some of the screening tests and procedures that may indicate that the dog is a carrier of hip dysplasia are:

  • An arched back
  • A loud, clopping sound when running or jumping
  • An issue when sitting or lying down
  • An issue in or around the hips