Hip dysplasia in puppies.
Hip dysplasia is a progressive, degenerative disease of the hip joints, and is most often seen in large breeds like GSDs, Golden Retrievers and Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, small breeds can get it too. Both male and female dogs are affected with equal frequency, but the main cause of canine hip dysplasia is unknown. Supposedly this issue has to have a genetic link, so dogs suffering from hip dysplasia should not be bred. It looks like this condition is twice more likely to develop for puppies from parents that have hip dysplasia, than both healthy parents. However, even dogs from parents with normal hips can develop hip dysplasia as genetics accounts for about 25 percent of a pup’s chance of developing this disease (Cheddar's case).
Hip dysplasia may be noticed as early as four months of age, but more typically is seen in the nine to twelve-month-old pup (Cheddar's first surgery was when he was 10 m.o.). The painful condition causes limping and difficulty with standing up, running or jumping, your dysplastic pup may also develop a weird 'bunny' hops when running to minimize the pain.
Fortunately only a relatively small percentage of pets suffer the severest, crippling form of the disease (Cheddar was 'lucky' to be one of them).
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