Changing The Concept Of Canine Hip Dysplasia

I am excited to share a small series of articles and some very interesting information with you on Hip Dysplasia and how much it has to do with genetics and/or diet.

The following article will kick off this series:



by Dr. Wendell O. Belfield

It may interest breeders and fanciers of the larger breeds of dogs,that the winds of time are changing the concept of canine hip dysplasia (CHD). In the May, 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, were two papers discussing a new outlook on CHD. 

The first paper, “Onset of epiphyseal mineralization and growth plate closure in radiographically normal and dysplastic Labrador Retrievers,” was a collaboration of seven researchers/educators at the veterinary schoool at Cornell University. The results of this study is as follows. “There were 26 radiographically normal left and right hip joints. Onset of mineralization of the proximal femoral epipysis and of the right proximal tibial epiphysis was significantly later in dysplastic than in radiographically normal puppies. The left femoral capital growth plates closed significantly later in dysplastic than radiographically normal joints, but other differences in growth plate closure were not detected.” “Clinical Implications — Endochondral ossification may be abnormal in dogs with CHD. The disease appears to affect multiple joints, even though it is most evident clinically in the hip joint.”

The second paper was presented by Jens Sejer Madsen, Ph.D., D.V.M. from the Small Animal Hospital, Department of Clinical Studies, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

“Mechanical strength of the joint capsule is related to its collagen content and composition. In children with congenital hip joint dislocation, the collagen composition of the joint capsule has been shown to be abnormal. Thus, it is reasonable to hypothesize that laxity of the hip joint in dogs may be related to the collagen composition of the capsule. To test this hypothesis, a study was performed on 19 mature dogs (14 with radiographic evidence of CHD) and 10 Greyhounds (9 with radiographically normal hip joint conformation). Joint capsules were harvested from all dogs, and the ration of type-III:I collagen in each capsule was calculated. The mean ratio was significantly higher in dogs from breeds with a high prevalence of hip dysplasia (1:0.161) than in Greyhounds (1:0.100; P=0.005); however, within each group of dogs, there was no difference in ratio between dogs with normal and dysplastic hips. A high collagen type-III:I ratio indicates a weak joint capsule, because strength requires type-I collagen. Therefore, results of the study support the hypothesis that a change in collagen composition may contribute to hip joint laxity in dogs with a predisposition to CHD.”    Read the entire article HERE


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