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Companion Animal Practice
Hip dysplasia in dogs: treatment options and decision making
  1. Sandra Corr

    Sandra Corr graduated from Glasgow in 1985, and spent six years in small animal and equine practice. She subsequently worked at the University of Zimbabwe as a lecturer in small animal surgery for two years, before returning to the UK to undertake a PhD in gait analysis at the Roslin Institute and a residency in orthopaedics at Glasgow. She is currently a lecturer in small animal surgery at the Royal Veterinary College. She is a European specialist in small animal surgery.

Abstract

HIP dysplasia remains a common orthopaedic disease of dogs despite many years of selective breeding based on early detection of affected animals through the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club (BVA/KC) Hip Dysplasia Scheme. While selective breeding can alter an animal's genes, factors such as diet, bodyweight and exercise have a major influence on the phenotypic expression of an individual's genotype. For example, labrador retrievers fed 25 per cent less than littermates fed ad libitum have been found to have a lower frequency and severity of hip dysplasia and subsequent osteoarthritis. Although controversial, it has been suggested that as few as 24 per cent of young dogs with severe radiographic signs of hip dysplasia will actually develop clinically significant hip disease if managed appropriately. This can make it difficult to determine whether an individual dog should be managed conservatively or surgically and, if the latter, when the most appropriate time is to perform that surgery. This article reviews the current literature on the treatment of dogs with hip dysplasia and discusses the indications for surgical management of the condition.

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