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
Only hip joints and surrounding tissues are affected by the
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.