Canine Hip Dysplasia, CHD is a skeletal developmental defect
in dogs. A high incidence occurs in larger, rapidly growing dogs or larger
working/sporting breeds. The disorder is the result of the upper portion
(ball) of the hind legs not fitting properly into the socket of the hip.
Dogs are not born with CHD but as they grow laxity of muscles and ligaments
around the joint in combination with the poor fitness produces excess movement.
The instability within the joint itself allows the hipbone to pull apart
in growth (subluxation). A general misconception is that dysplasia is a
form of arthritis that affects the hips. Rather severe osteoarthritis is
a secondary result of hip dysplasia. It occurs when the bones rub together
resulting in irregular bone growth and wear causing osteoarthritis.
It is believed, although no substantial proof is given, that CHD is inherited.
And many feel it is not influenced by diet or caloric intake, but rather is
a factor of the animal's overall weight and rapid growth.
Although it cannot be detected at birth severe cases may be detectable at six
months. The average age for the first symptoms to be displayed is around two
years old. Outward signs range from slight to severe pain including, difficulty
getting up from lying or seated position, climbing stairs, extending back legs,
a side to side sway of the crop, a resistance to jumping, a waddling or sway
in the gait, lameness especially following exercise, and pushing on the rump
may cause the pelvis to drop. Commonly these symptoms are more pronounced on
cold, damp days. These are all a result of deterioration of the joint that
limit a dog's mobility. CHD is an inherited trait that is influenced by several
genes (polygenic). Neither the environment nor how you raise your puppy can
cause hip dysplasia, however, it could play a role when and perhaps if he/she
develops outward symptoms.
Some such factors that could worsen symptoms are rough play, jumping, climbing,
excess weight gain/rapid growth, calcium supplementation (which increases novel
remodeling) or forced distance running especially on tarmac, asphalt or hard
There are treatments available. Some non-surgical treatments would help to
improve function and reduce pain and inflammation. The administration of drugs
such as aspirin, phenylbutazone ("bute") or NSAIDs and steroids could all be
administered but numerous side effects result from oral tablets. Also, some
drugs are available for injection. Dr. Dog offers Arthritis Care for Dogs,
which aids in pain relief from inflammation. This is administered in a topical
lotion, reducing side effects incorporated with other deliveries. Many cases
can be helped by surgical procedure. This should be discussed with a physician
to determine the best course of action for your pet's particular case.
Dog Arthritis & Joint