Environmental Factors Can Affect the Incidence of Hip Dysplasia

This article discusses and analyses a study done by Norwegian researcher Randi Krontveit on the environmental factors that affect the incidence of hip dysplasia in dogs.

Hip Dysplasia is known to be a hereditary disease, but it can also be affected due to environmental conditions. Hip dysplasia is when the hip socket forms in an abnormal way. This causes the dogs to eventually become lame due to the severe pain the dogs experience. This disease can also lead to arthritis within the dogs later in life. The disease is most common in large dogs such as the Newfoundland, Saint Bernards, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds.

Dogs are not born with the disease, but they are more likely to develop it if the disease is common within their families. Due to this, many methods can be taken in order to prevent the disease from becoming severe when the dogs are puppies.

In order to prevent the disease from happening and becoming severe, it is the best to prevent these measures when the puppies are born until they are three months old. One aspect of this is exercise. Within the study, it says that exercise is good that is light. This means that playing with other dogs and running are good for the dogs health within the first three months, but high impact activities should be avoided such as climbing stairs or jumping.

For the study, there were 500 dogs falling within 4 breeds: Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland, Irish Wolfhound, and the Leonberger. The dogs were examined by veterinarians and the owners were also asked to fill out a questionnaire in order to get information on the dogs. These dogs were tracked for a period of ten years after they were born in order to test for Hip Dysplasia. The study showed that Newfoundlands and Leonbergers were the most common t develop the disease. Serious Hip Dysplasia was the most common in Newfoundlands in earlier years than any other dog breed that was tested.

In the conclusion of the study, the scientists were able to identify that if precautions were taken early in life, then the dogs were less likely to form severe cases of Hip Dysplasia. Although, these precautions were only seen to help within the first three months of the dogs life. While it is still good for the dog to exercise after the age of three months, it does not help prevent Hip Dysplasia.

References: Bensimoun, Claudia. “Environmental Factors Can Affect the Incidence of Hip Dysplasia.” USDAA - News & Events, USDAA, 11 Feb. 2013.

Link to Full Article: https://www.usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=2288

Link to Original Study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167587710002643?via%3Dihub

Reviewed By: Benjamin Graue, December 3, 2018