Hip Dysplasia

Many people have the misconception that ACD's can't suffer from Hip Dysplasia (H.D.) and that the disease is restricted to the larger breeds. This is not so. I personally have seen one case here in North Queensland where the pup had to be put down.

Hip Dysplasia Misconceptions

There are five common misconceptions about hip dysplasia that are often circulated. Now is the time to set them straight.

Only large size purebreds are candidates for hip dysplasia.

Although the disease is particularly common among certain large breeds (from Burnese Mountain dogs to Bloodhounds), all sizes of pure breeds and mixed breeds are subject to hip dysplasia.The incidence is considerably lower in the small breeds.

A hearty diet can avert Hip Dysplasia.

On the contrary. Dogs that are genetically predisposed to Hip Dysplasia, seem to benefit from a lean diet during the first two years. In one study, eight wek old puppies restricted to a 24% smaller ration had a 46% lower occurrence of Hip Dysplasia than pups that ate freely. Some veterinary nutritionists believe slowing the growth rate during the early months of life can lessen the severity of the disease and may even help prevent it.

Only hip joints and surrounding tissues are affected by the disease.

Evidence now indicates the shoulder, knee and some intervertebral joints may show similar changes: The loss of cartilage, inflammation of the joint capsule, bone damage and spur growth at the bone carilage interface. Hip Dysplasia simply is the most conspicuous - and the most painful - manifestation of this form of oesteoarthritis.

Only dogs suffer from Hip Dysplasia.

While a higher percentage of dogs are affected, the disease is not unknown to humans. About 1% of the human population suffers from Hip dysplasia, and the rate for the inherited disease is higher in some populations of Native Americans, due to the past practice of strapping infants, straight legged, to cradle boards. Replacement of diseased hips with artificial joints is one treatment, both for canines and humans.

The abscenec of Hip Dysplasia guarantees dysplasia free pups.

Out of 100 matings of "normal" dogs in breeds affected by hip Dysplasia, 75% of puppies will test "normal", but an average of 25% will have Hip Dysplasia. Genes for Hip Dysplasia are believed to be "masked" or hidden in some generations, making the elimination of the disease from breeding stock even more difficult. Hip Dysplasia, first diagnosed in the 1930's, probably has plagued domestic and wild canines for centuries.