4AC004A55FF2833E949E8978780E957BHip Dysplasia in a Groodle (Golden Retriever X Standard Poodle)

Rocco came to see me at 12 weeks and was adorable. He was a fit well and very happy puppy. On physical examination I noted that Rocco had a slick in his Left hip that could indicate laxity in the joint.

Hip Dyspasia is a disease predominantly of large breed dogs that is inherited. The hip joint in dogs, similar to people, is made up of a ball and socket joint. In hip dysplastic dogs the ball is flattened and less round and the socket is also flattened and less round. The result is the joint is subject to dislocation.

This is Rocco at his farewell when he moved to Melbourne. No wonder he looked glum.

This is Rocco at his farewell when he moved to Melbourne. No wonder he looked glum.

I radiographed Rocco and they showed beyond doubt that there was increased laxity in one hip. This conformation will more likely result in a dysplastic hip and hence develop chronic osteoarthritis.

A new surgical technique developed in the United States involves changing the growth of the pelvis by fusing the pubic symphyseal growth plate. In turn this causes the pelvis to flatten out and therefore increase the coverage of the femoral head (ball) by the acetaulum (socket).

A CT scan below indicates the process of change over 6 months as the symphesis is fused in a research paper. The pelvis flattens out and the result is increase coverage of the femoral head by the acetabulum.

The surgery must be performed before 16 weeks of age to ensure the best result. Rocco had surgery at 14 weeks of age and the pubic symphaseal growth plate was fused with an electrocautery unit. He recovered brilliantly and was running around the next day.
Only time will tell if the surgery is a success and he retains perfect hip joints as he becomes an older dog.

There are several predisposing factors that can increase the likelihood of getting hip dysplasia.

  • The first I have already mentioned is genetics. If you are buying a large breed dog make sure that you ensure the sire and dam (mum and dad) of the pup have had their hips checked. There is a national program to check this and there are breed averages that ensure we do not breed from dogs that have affected joints.
  • Secondly dogs should be kept lean and exercise only moderately until they are fully grown.
  • Finally it has been shown that dogs on slippery floors are more predisposed to getting disease. If you can avoid slippery surfaces by placing rugs and towels down it will be beneficial.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to make an appointment to discuss anything in this case study.

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