Hip dysplasia is a mostly inherited disease involving abnormal development of the femoral head and acetabulum. All puppies are born with normal hips. The hips of dysplastic dogs will subsequently undergo progressive structural changes. Either the socket (acetabulum) will become too shallow or the ligaments and/or muscles do not exert enough control to keep the femoral head from slipping away from the socket. The severity of radiographic changes in a particular dog can range from normal to mildly affected to severely affected. There is no correlation between radiographic findings and clinical signs. A dog whose x-rays show severe disease may not show any outward signs and a mildly affected dog may have difficulty even walking. Regardless of the symptoms, they are both dysplastic and they both carry the genes necessary to pass on the disease

All my dogs were x-rayed in the Department of Veterinary Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, U.C.D. Belfield, Dublin 4, when they were over one year old, but I have now found a lovely Veterinarian in Wexford that will also take these x-rays of my youngsters and then send them to the British Veterinary Association for scoring. The results may take several weeks to be forwarded to U.C.D. or my Veterinarian in Wexford, and then on to me. When received I  decide if the dog scored is suitable for breeding, and I will never breed from them if the score is above the means average. I can sleep at night knowing that I have done my best not to cause suffering to one of the little puppies I have brought into the world.


Waddling/Swaying gait
"Bunny Hop" (both hind legs move together when the dog is running)
Acute episodes of lameness after exercise
Morning stiffness
Reluctance to move
Change in temperament
Obvious pain (some dogs are more stoic than others)
Overdevelopment of the fore-limb and shoulder musculature
Underdevelopment of the rear-limb musculature

I cannot express strongly enough the importance of having both the bitch and the dog X-RAYED AND HIP SCORED if you intend breeding from them.

For An In-depth Look at Elbow & Hip Dysplasia in Dogs Please Click on Mr. Fox above


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