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What is hip dysplasia in dogs?
Hip dysplasia (HD) is a developmental hip disorder in which wear and tear occurs on the hip joints and causes a lot of pain in your dog. It is inherited and occurs in both young and older dogs. Often, the hip joint is not well developed in the dog’s first year of life.
In a normal situation, the hip socket is at a 45-degree angle (see left image in the picture below). Thus, the hip head falls nicely into the hip socket.
In hip dysplasia, the hip socket is at a different angle of 10 to 20 degrees (right image in the picture below). As a result, the femoral head does not fit properly in the hip socket, causing the femoral head to dislocate with every movement.
Abnormal and normal position of a hip socket.
Hip dysplasia in young and old dogs
Interestingly, most dogs that have complaints of hip dysplasia can be divided into two age groups.
The first group are young dogs with ages ranging from four or five months to two years. In this group, the complaints are mainly due to stretching/tearing of the joint capsule.
In the second group, dogs older than two years, the resulting joint wear is the cause of the complaints.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia (HD) usually causes a lot of pain for your dog. For an owner, this pain is not always obvious. Therefore, unfortunately, the pain often goes unnoticed.
The most common and visible symptoms of a dog with hip dysplasia are:
lying down a lot
difficulty standing up
irregular way of moving
poorly developed muscles in the hind legs
How to prevent hip dysplasia in your dog
Hip dysplasia is often hereditary. Nevertheless, you can do something yourself to prevent hip dysplasia in dogs.
Prevent wear and tear and have your puppy examined for HD
The symptoms of hip dysplasia lead to wear and tear. This wear and tear always gets worse as your dog gets older. So have your dog examined for HD so that hip dysplasia can be treated even before wear and tear sets in.
Avoid being overweight
Make sure your dog does not become overweight. Overweight dogs often develop hip dysplasia faster.
Teach your puppy proper exercise
In young dogs, the pelvic muscles are still developing. Teach your puppy proper exercise from a young age and avoid overexertion.
Kelpies and HD
HD also occurs in kelpies although not to any great degree. The Association’s breeding regulations state that HD A and/or HD B may be bred with. Because the population is still small, it is important to keep the gene pool as large as possible. In addition, different countries measure and assess in different ways.