Hip dysplasia (HD) is a serious developmental disease of locomotor system which mostly affects large breeds of dogs. Its genesis was influenced by both external influences and hereditary predispositions. This is why it is extremely important to pay utmost attention to the HD indications in the dog´s ancestors when selecting puppies for breeding.
The core problem of HD is a fault development and creation of the hip socket, femur head, joint envelope and capital ligament. While healthy dogs´ femur head falls firmly to the joint envelope and its movement is painless, dogs affected by HD suffer from so called laxity (loose joint) when the movement of the femur head in the envelope causes pain and subsequent degenerative conditions – mainly arthrosis. That all causes severe pain to the dog who becomes reluctant to move, has troubles getting up and walking up the stairs and relieves the pain by transferring weight to upper limbs.
There are many factors which determine whether the dog will suffer from HD. However the most important one is its genetic predisposition. It is highly probable that puppies of dogs which have positive HD indicators will probably also suffer from dysplasia. However, it is not impossible that this disease will afflict also puppies of dogs without symptoms. The progress of dysplasia can be partially affected by external influences. This is a matter of physical strain of the dog, quality of its food and its bodily constitution.
A dog can be afflicted by this disease even though it does not show any symptoms – only about a quarter of dogs which suffer from HD show observable problems. This means that the only reliable method to detect hip dysplasia is an X-ray examination which is regulated by Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) norms in the Czech Republic. The X-ray examination and its subsequent evaluation falls under the internal regulation of the Czech Veterinary Chamber (Komora veterinárních lékařů ČR – KVL ČR) about the method of evaluation of the dog´s hip dysplasia. The X-ray is done in a state of deep sedation or narcosis which allows for the dog to be fixed in the right position. While the X-ray itself can be done by any veterinary, its evaluation can be done only be a specialist authorized by the Orthopaedic Impairment Evaluators Club of the Czech Veterinary Chamber. This is why all the images must be well marked, e.g. with the dog´s testing number. A list of these specialists is available on the Czech Veterinary Chamber website.
A specialist can assess whether the dog has HD symptoms and to what level. According to the FCI regulation, the examination is assessed on the basis of the following scale:
- A – no symptoms
- B – marginal dysplasia
- C – slight dysplasia
- D – medium dysplasia
- E – heavy dysplasia
In the Czech Republic, an indication of the degree of dysplasia is used for each limb individually. According to the recording regulations of the Czech-Moravian Cane Corso Club, the minimum age of 18 months is required for a hip dysplasia evaluation. In all cases, dogs evaluated with FCI grade E are excluded from breeding, even when found only on one side.
Hip dysplasia cannot be cured completely, only the symptoms can be mitigated. Potential treatment – whether a surgery or a conservative treatment – depends on the degree of dysplasia and the age, weight, activity and symptoms of the dog. The conservative treatment includes reduction of strain and movement activity, weight reduction of obese dogs, joint nutrition and medication with painkillers with anti-inflammatory effect. If conservative treatment is unsuccessful, there is a possibility of surgery in some cases.
Article describing Heritability of Canine Hip Dysplasia in Cane Corso Italiano you can find HERE.
Segregation Analysis of Canine Hip Dysplasia in Cane Corso Italiano Dogs