Hip and Elbow dysplasia


Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal diseases in dogs and affects millions of dogs worldwide. As the disease progresses, a dog's hip joints degenerate, causing increased pain and mobility issues for the dog. If left untreated, a dog will eventually be unable to use his/her hind legs and suffer extreme pain. However, the vast majority of dogs with hip dysplasia can lead full and active lives if the disease is diagnosed early enough and proper treatment is given and maintained.
The condition is caused due to failure of the hip ball (head of femur) to fit properly into the hip socket (acetabulum). The ball may be loose and this results in excessive rubbing and eventually osteoarthritis of the joints, which eventually leading to loss of function in the hip joints.

Hip dysplasia is caused by a number of genetic and environmental factors.
Some dogs can be born with hip dysplasia (often referred to as early onset hip dysplasia). From an inheritance perspective, it is a complex disorder with multiple genes involved. Therefore, it is not something easily eradicated from a particular breed or lineage.
Dogs can also develop the disease in later years with the onset of arthritic conditions (often referred to as later onset hip dysplasia).
Environmental factors can also cause hip dysplasia. These can include: rapid weight gain and obesity, nutritional factors, poor hind limb muscle development, pelvic injuries, or repetitive strain injuries.

Early onset cases of hip dysplasia usually develop after four months of age. In young dogs, there is a laxity or joint looseness that develops as the dog grows. For later onset cases, the cause is usually due to a form of arthritis called osteoarthritis, which causes the joint cartilage to deteriorate.

Responsible breeders have their breeding dogs X-rayed for HD and these X-rays are then graded by a qualified radiologist. Every breeder must be able to use own discretion to breed or not with certain grading.
Genetics, bloodlines, breeding or inheritance is not the only cause of HD. Environmental factors sometimes play a bigger role than anything else. This includes the wrong diet, too little or too much. Obesity. Excessive exercise or rough playing at too early age. Slippery floors. Incorrect handling of a puppy when picked up and put down.
Elbow dysplasia is a defect of the growth process of the elbow joint. Clinical signs of ED can start as early as from 4 months of age. Dogs with ED may or may not show lameness or any other form of discomfort in the front leg. The elbow might even be swollen and painful on touch.
Responsible breeder also has their breeding dogs X-rayed for ED, the same as for HD.

 

PRA-prcd and EIC


PRA has several different forms, but progressive rod cone degeneration ( PRA-prcd) is the most common in Labradors. The age at which clinical signs of PRA-prcd become noticeable varies. Some experts believe that signs are visible by physical examination between 3 and 6 years of age.
In PRA-prcd, retinal receptor cells responsible for vision develop and function normally in early life, but at some point in mid to later life they degenerate and die. These receptor cells are two types: rods and cones. The rods are responsible for vision in low light levels and they die first. Thus affected dogs initially have difficulty seeing in dim light. Eventually the cones, which are more important for detail, movement and color vision, will follow. The dog gradually loses vision in bright light too, until becoming completely blind.
EIC (Exercise-induced collapse) is a recently recognized disorder of increasing significance in Labradors.
Dogs with EIC (Affected) develop muscle weakness, in coordination and life-threatening collapse after just a few minutes of intense or strenuous exercise. This collapse can range from dragging of the hind legs to complete collapse. Affected dogs can tolerate mild to moderate exercise, but just for 5 to 20 minutes of strenuous activity can induce weakness or collapse.
Signs to look for include:
Weakness after 5-15 minutes of strenuous exercise
Lack of coordination
Dragging of rear legs
Dazed, confused appearance
Collapse
Staggering, falling to one side, or difficulty maintaining balance is common during recovery
There are DNA testing available in South Africa for PRA-prcd and EIC and a breeder should not have any excuse for breeding affected puppies.
Table 1: Possible breeding scenarios for PRA-prcd and EIC

 

Parent 2 genotype

 

 

Parent 1 genotype

Clear

Carrier

Affected

Clear

All Clear

50% Clear

50% Carrier

All carriers

Carrier

50% Clear

50% Carrier

25% Affected

25% Clear

50% Carrier

50% Carrier

50% Affected

Affected

All Carrier

50% Carrier

50% Affected

All Affected

 

 

 

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