Top Ten Dog Breeds with Predisposition for Hip Dysplasia

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    Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the hip joint, where the ball and socket did not form equally. The result of this unfortunate disorder can be far-reaching and devastating for your dog, as well as for you, as the dog owner. The most severe cases result in partial or total paralysis of the hind legs of the affected dog. 

    While many may think that hip dysplasia in dogs and puppies is only to be found in large breeds, this is not necessarily the case. Since dysplasia can also be linked to inbreeding, it can be found in smaller breeds, particularly those where certain physical characteristics are more sought after. 

    German Shepherds

    This breed is well known for hip dysplasia and in some cases, it can be linked to inbreeding. As one of the most intelligent, trainable and obedient breeds, they are sought after by the military and police, as well as pet lovers. 

    They are popular show dogs and, as such, there is a very distinct requirement in the stance and coloring. It is these very specific requirements that have been linked to in-breeding in the past. Stricter controls have been put in place on breeders, which one hopes will curb the high incidence of Hip Dysplasia in these magnificent dogs.

    Great Dane

    This giant breed is well known for its almost horse-like appearance, but the sheer size of these magnificent dogs is also their downfall. There are various types, each one more beautiful than the next. 

    Despite their size, these gentle giants make wonderful pets, but they are, quite literally, too big for their own good. The average lifespan of the Great Dane is between eight and eleven years. Most of these majestic dogs suffer from cervical spine issues, along with hip dysplasia. 

    Rottweilers

    Rotties, as they’re affectionately known by those who love them, are one of the most misunderstood breeds. They are often used as guard dogs because of their intimidating appearance; however, they are very gentle-natured dogs and make wonderful pets. They are, unfortunately, also predisposed to hip dysplasia. Heavy set for their height, these rather goofy faced canines are sadly also quite prone to hip dysplasia. 

    Boxers

    Also quite a tall breed, these flat-faced beauties have also shown themselves as being prone to suffer from hip dysplasia. However, they have been inbred by humanity in a bid to achieve the “perfect” undershot jaw and the perfect narrow hips and deep chest. Unfortunately, this search for “perfection” has cost Boxers dearly and this has shown up in their tendency to have issues with their hips (and their respiration) in later life.

    Corgis

    The first of the smaller breeds on the list, these endearing little dogs, made famous by Queen Elizabeth II, also appear on the list of breeds predisposed to hip dysplasia. Like Dachshunds, they are bred to be “big dogs on short legs,” which has created issues with their lumbosacral area and has been known to result in hip dysplasia. Because of the unique shape of these short-legged little canines, they have been known to develop problems a little younger. 

    Pugs

    Like Boxers, these “snub-nosed” dogs are bred for their appearance and, the shorter their snout, the more appealing they become. Unfortunately, this has also led to inbreeding, resulting in hip dysplasia. Being aware of the high probability of this condition and taking preventative measures can go a long way towards ensuring that your little flat-nosed friend can stay happy and healthy for longer. 

    Bouvier des Flandres

    Another giant breed, these dogs have faded from popularity due to years of inbreeding, causing major health issues, such as elbow and hip dysplasia. A couple of decades ago, these dogs were immensely popular because they are hypoallergenic (like poodles), but after years of inbreeding, they eventually became undesirable as pets due to health problems. 

    Labrador and/or Retriever

    These gentle, kind and loving dogs, originally bred to “retrieve” hunters’ kills, have proven themselves to be among the very best pets of all time. Particularly the bitches, have such a reputation for being wonderful “nannies” to human babies and are, as a result, very popular as family pets. Over time, they have shown a predisposition for hip dysplasia, easily identified in the uneven gait of the “senior” dog. 

    French Bulldog

    Another of the smaller breeds, this very highly sought-after breed, has been badly inbred over time in a bid to create the “perfect” specimen. These puppies sell for thousands of dollars and are the “pets of the stars.” The resultant skeletal issues have become apparent in recent years. 

    Shih Tzus

    This breed is another of the “designer dog” breeds and, as a result, has suffered the consequences of inbreeding. One such consequence is a distinct predisposition to hip dysplasia. These unusual dogs make wonderful pets, but you will need to take precautions to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy for longer, from early in his life.