Hip dysplasia is a complex inherited disorder where the hip joints of a puppy do not develop correctly. The condition is characterized by the weakening of the joints, as the dog grows older. The condition is also known to cause stiffness, pain, as well as lameness. Certified dog breeders try to ensure that they reduce the chances of the puppies being born with hip dysplasia.
In the case of hip dysplasia, the dogs, which are to be mated, are x-rayed from 4 months to about two years of age before the conception of the puppy. This is to make sure that the hip sockets are tight and in the best condition such that they will not weaken with age or increase of activity. If the breeding dogs are certified with ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ hips, then there is a higher chance that the puppy will have good hips as well. It is essential for the parents to be x-rayed even when they do not show signs of lameness. If no test is done due to the lack of hip dysplasia signs, there is always a possibility that the puppy will have some degree of hip dysplasia and in some cases; it might be severe to the extent of requiring total hip replacement in many cases, at a young age.
There is no guarantee that the x-rays entirely prevent the puppies from getting hip dysplasia. As such, most certified breeders prefer to have pure breeds as they have lower chances of developing the genetic disorder. The creation of a pure breed reduces the genetic predisposition to hip dysplasia. To further reduce this risk, breeders also look into the history of the parents to see if they are prone to hips dysplasia before the breeding.
Lastly, after the puppy is born, the breeders will take measures to prevent the development of hip dysplasia before it reaches adulthood. These measures may include restriction of its exercise routine to prevent overexertion of the joint, proper feeding to promote proper development of its bones as well as the occasional use of dietary supplements that provide necessary nutrients, such as vitamin E, which help prevent the onset of hip dysplasia.
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