Hip dysplasia is a developmental abnormality of the hip joints caused by laxity within the joint. Changes in bone size, shape and structure occur as the hips attempt to compensate for abnormal stresses on the joints. Dogs with hip dysplasia may exhibit lameness at some time in their lives. By the time affected dogs are two years of age, hip dysplasia is detectable by x-raying the hips. Young dogs (3 to 12 months of age) with hip dysplasia may be afflicted with acute inflammatory joint pain. Spontaneous temporary improvement usually occurs between 6 and 12 months. Older dogs (1.5 to 10 years of age) with hip dysplasia may have a slow onset of painful arthritis. Treatment for young dogs is often unnecessary. For the older dog, medications can be used to reduce the arthritic pain. Surgical procedures are also available to limit pain and reconstruct the hip joint. Hip Dysplasia occurs to some extent in all breeds of dogs as well as in non-purebreds.Your puppy's chances of developing hip dysplasia are minimized if both parents have normal hips. Ask for documentation to affirm that the sire and dam have had hip x-rays that have been appropriately evaluated. Accepted methods of evaluation are certification of normal hips by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), which the breeder should have available for you to see. It is important to note that any breed of dog can get Canine Hip Dysplasis.
OFA GUIDELINES FOR GRADING CANINE HIP DYSPLASIS
When hip x-rays have been taken, they are sent for evaluation by a panel of veterinary radiologists. The evaluation rates deviations in the structure of the hips from the breed normal.The radiologist will grade the hips with one of seven different physical (phenotypic) hip conformations used: normal which includes excellent, good, or fair classifications, borderline or dysplastic which includes mild, moderate, or severe classifications. Seven classifications are needed in order to establish heritability information (indexes) for a given breed of dog. Dogs used for breeding should have hips in the first 3 categories.Definition of these phenotypic classifications are as follows:
1.Excellent - this classification is assigned for superior conformation in comparison to other animals of the same age and breed. There is a deep seated hip ball (femoral head) which fits tightly into a well-formed hip socket (acetabulum) with minimal joint space. There is almost complete coverage of the hip socket over the hip ball.
2. Good - slightly less than superior but a well-formed congruent hip joint is visualized. The hip ball fits well into the hip socket and good coverage is present.
3.Fair - assigned where minor irregularities in the hip joint exist. The hip joint is wider than a good hip phenotype. This is due to the hip ball slightly slipping out of the hip socket causing a minor degree of joint incongruency (called subluxation). There may also be slight inward deviation of the weight-bearing surface of the hip socket (dorsal acetabular rim) causing the hip socket to appear slightly shallow
4.Borderline - there is no clear cut consensus between the radiologist to place the hip into a given category of normal or dysplastic. There is usually more incongruency present than what occurs in the minor amount found in a fair but there are no arthritic changes present that definitively diagnose the hip joint being dysplastic. There also may be a bony projection present on any of the areas of the hip anatomy illustrated above that cannot accurately be assessed as being an abnormal arthritic change or as a normal anatomic variant for that individual
5.Mild Canine Hip Dysplasia - there is significant subluxation present where the hip ball is partially out of the hip socket causing an incongruent increased joint space. The hip socket is usually shallow only partially covering the hip ball. There are usually no arthritic changes present with this classification
6.Moderate CHD - there is significant subluxation present where the hip ball is barely seated into a shallow hip socket causing joint incongruency. There are secondary arthritic bone changes usually along the femoral neck and head (termed remodeling), acetabular rim changes (termed osteophytes or bone spurs) and various degrees of trabecular bone pattern changes called sclerosis. Once arthritis is reported, there is only continued progression of arthritis over time.
7.Severe CHD - assigned where radiographic evidence of marked dysplasia exists. There is significant subluxation present where the hip ball is partly or completely out of a shallow hip socket. Like moderate CHD, there are also large amounts of secondary arthritic bone changes along the femoral neck and head, acetabular rim changes and large amounts of abnormal bone pattern changes.
Elbow Dysplasia is a significant genetically determined problem in many breeds of dog, often manifesting from puppyhood and continuing for life. In elbow dysplasia, the complex elbow joint suffers from a structural defect, often related to its cartilage. This initial condition, known as a "primary lesion", causes an abnormal level of wear and tear and gradual degradation of the joint, at times disabling or with chronic pain.
It is important to note that elbow dysplasia refers to different conditions that affect the elbow joint. A dog can suffer from more than one of these conditions. Osteochondrosis dessicans, or OCD, occurs when the cartilage in the joint becomes fragmented and fully or partially detaches from the bone. Since the cartilage normally cushions the areas of the joints that rub together, OCD causes considerable pain. Fragmentation of the medial coronoid process, or FMCP, describes the degeneration of part of the ulna, or outer front leg bone, that can occur when the ulna and radius, or inner front leg bone, grow at different speeds. In ununited anconeal process, or UAP, the hook that connects the ulna and humerus, or upper front leg bone, fails to properly fuse with the ulna and causes the joint to be unstable
Your puppy's chances of developing elbow dysplasia are minimized if both parents have normal elbows. Many breeders are now X-raying the elbows. Ask if they have documentation to affirm that the sire and dam have had elbow x-rays that have been appropriately evaluated. Accepted methods of evaluation are certification of normal elbows by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), which the breeder should have available for you to see.It is important to note that any breed of dog can get Canine Elbow Dysplasia.