Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hip Dysplasia

Quote of the day:
"Both the sire and the dam have excellent hips therefore your dog should too unless you stressed him/her as a puppy."

Is this true? It seems to put all the blame on the owner if there does turn out to be a problem with a dogs hips. Something about this didn't sit right with me so some research was in order. This is an overview of what I found, be sure to read Parts 1-8 in full for more information on CHD.

Conclusions from Part One of the article:
To understand this genetically transmitted disease, we must first understand the workings of the normal canine hip.
by John C. Cargill MA, MBA, MS and Susan Thorpe-Vargas, MS

Hip dysplasia is not something a dog acquires; a dog either is genetically dysplastic or it is not. Initially, the hips of affected and normal puppies are indistinguishable. Later in life, an affected animal can exhibit a wide range of phenotypes, all the way from normal to severely dysplastic and functionally crippled. You should take away from this article the idea that hip dysplasia is genetically inherited. Never believe a fellow breeder or fancier who claims there is no hip dysplasia in his or her line. Never believe breeders who claim that if their breeding lines carried the genes for hip dysplasia they would be able to see it in their animals' gaits. This just is not true.

Conclusions from Part Two of the article:
Causative Factors of Canine Hip Dysplasia
by John C. Cargill MA, MBA, MS

Conclusions: While environmental effects, to include nutrition and exercise, may play a part in mitigating or delaying the onset of clinical signs and clinical symptoms hip dysplasia remains a genetically transmitted disease. Only by rigorous genetic selection will the incidence rate be reduced. In the meantime, it makes sense to have lean puppies that are exercised regularly and to avoid breeding any animals from litters that showed signs of hip dysplasia. It is probable that even normal exercise levels may increase the phenotypic expression of CHD of a genetically predisposed dog. Stay away from calcium supplementation of any kind; all it can do is hurt. There is no conclusive evidence that vitamin C can prevent hip dysplasia, but there is some evidence that vitamin C may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation in the dysplastic dog. Let your conscience and your veterinarian be your guides in supplementing with vitamin C. Fortunately, large doses of vitamin C are readily excreted, but it is still possible to cause untoward side effects with megadoses.

Be sure to read Parts 1-8 for the complete story, and for more information on Canine Hip Dysplasia check out the OFA website:
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

No comments: