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So, I want to understand more about this disease. I will do some researching myself, which means my questions might already be somewhat answered by the time I read all of your replies, but I want your thoughts on it too.

1. How much of HD is due to genetics vs other factors?
2. What are the other factors that contribute to dogs' chances of developing HD? I know diet is a major one.
3. Is there a particular age by which most dogs who are genetically prone to HD start developing symptoms? If so, is this why breeders often guarantee hips/elbows up to a certain age?

Ok, enough questions for now.
 

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* I don't know whether there is a number on the genetic contribution to HD.

* Diet and environment play an important role. I believe that the attention to diet starts with prenatal care for the mother. Obviously you have no control over that if you are buying a puppy. Our vet is a bit paranoid on the subject and has always advised us against unusual stress and strain on young bones and muscles. Limit fast acceleration, fast stops, sharp turns, etc. He might be overly cautious but we've pretty much followed his lead.

* We normally x-ray hips and elbows at age two. However there are many people that will do preliminary studies on puppies that are much younger. So there are indeed preliminary indicators that will show up in younger dogs.

Well, that's my two cents - I'm sure there are many folks on the board that can offer better answers.

 

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This is just my .02
Which is worth just that

HD is the malformation of the hip joint. This is genetic.

What that malformation can do is create arthritis in the joint and this can be made worse by many enviormental factors.

I'm sure you'll get more .02's
 

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Originally Posted By: HBHSo, I want to understand more about this disease. I will do some researching myself, which means my questions might already be somewhat answered by the time I read all of your replies, but I want your thoughts on it too.

1. How much of HD is due to genetics vs other factors?
2. What are the other factors that contribute to dogs' chances of developing HD? I know diet is a major one.
3. Is there a particular age by which most dogs who are genetically prone to HD start developing symptoms? If so, is this why breeders often guarantee hips/elbows up to a certain age?

Ok, enough questions for now.
My .02?

HD is a malformed hip joint (as Barb E. stated)It is only genetic and is exasberated by other factors. A dog with good hips is going to remain a dog with good hips despite outside influences.

The second question is much debated. They say too much stress on growing joints or growing to rapidly can contribute to HD. As well as obesity. High protein and calcium levels in the diet are also thought to contribute.

There is no particular age in which the dog will show signs. Some will never have symptoms and their hips look like a train wreck. Others only have slightly malformed hips and are in debilitating pain. You never know.
 

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A little more here...

I have understood that HD in BOTH hips is genetic...however if a dog develops it in just ONE hip, it was environmental.


edit: this is not to say that if a dog has it in both hips, it wasn't also possibly environmental.
 

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Aaron - But that doesn't explain the dogs that have one very shallow "cup" and the other that isn't.

I don't buy the one hip theory.
 

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Originally Posted By: ardavis324A little more here...

I have understood that HD in BOTH hips is genetic...however if a dog develops it in just ONE hip, it was environmental.


edit: this is not to say that if a dog has it in both hips, it wasn't also possibly environmental.
It depends if you're talking radiographically or clinically. A dog can have shallow socks, but the arthritis and pain can be in only one side, in that case the odds are that the origin is genetic. Or both hips can look OK in X-rays with arthritis in one, then the cause is most probably environmental.
 

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Originally Posted By: ardavis324A little more here...

I have understood that HD in BOTH hips is genetic...however if a dog develops it in just ONE hip, it was environmental.
Completely false.

HD is genetic. It can occur in one hip or both, and is still genetic. Environment cannot cause a malformation of a joint.

What environmental factors can impact is the severity and age of onset of symptoms.
 

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When we got our previous, GSD, Sarge, he was given to us by a policeman who bred him and was the last in the litter. He had given him to another policeman friend of his but his grown Lab had jumped on the puppy and injured him pretty badly on one side of his rear hip. Therefore, he never really liked other dogs as long as he lived. He loved people and never met a stranger but was never friendly to another dog. That right hip was always bad. It would go out of joint. We had it x-rayed several times. The vet that we had at the time was the vet for the county police dogs and he felt at some point he would have to have surgery but he learned to run without putting pressure on that side. Arthritis set in and we had it replaced when he was 7. The orthopedic surgeon said that it was the worst hip he had ever seen and he looked like an injury rather than a genetic problem. His other hip was fine. We did find out later though that the county drug dog who was from German started this line of dogs and was the great grandfather of our pup. He did have to finally be put out of service because of a bad hip.
 

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HD is a very complicated problem.

First let's start that HD is Polygenetic, so the match up of mutiple genes has a lot more variables then say the color gene.

Let say that sire A and Dam A if we actually knew the number had a 25% chance of producing bad hips. Now that doesn't mean that 25% of the litter is going to have HD. It would mean that if bred only to each other, that 25% of the total of pups produced over the breeding life time of sire A and Dam A.

So litter one could have pups that all have good hips, all passed OFA or SV at age of certification. Now say that Sire A and Dam A were bred a second time and one pup had hips that didn't pass OFA.

Good breeder try their best to match up bloodlines that have good hip scores and look at the the parent/grandparents and sibblings of each generation. But that is no guarantee that the pups will have good hips.

I think proper nutrition, keeping pups fit and not forcing excercise on hard surface and not a lot of jumping can help hips that might be genetically prone to slight HD. With Severe HD IMHO you could put the pup in a bubble so to speak and the problem will be there.

Then throw in the actual dog, you can look at Xrays of two dogs and they look pretty close to the same Dog A is running around and maybe doing some Agility, Dog B is limping all the time. There are so many things that go into this.

I am just as concerned about Elbows as hips. Dogs use their front ends to move also.
 

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I'm with the 'it's genetic' crowd. And that diet (over feeding and a fat puppy) and lack of exercise for a young pup can make it show up in a pup with the genetics (and high impact or repetitive/hard surfaces can do the same). But it's the GENETICS that is the cause.

It seems to be not just the bone malformation but also the LAXITY in the joints (also genetic) that contribute. As in all dogs with HD have lax hips BUT not all dogs with lax hips end up with HD
.

You find these sites yet?

http://www.showdogsupersite.com/hips.html

http://www.gsdhelpline.com/causeofhd.htm

http://www.thepetcenter.com/xra/hd.html

I PERSONALLY have found that it's some breeders that aren't all the way on board with the 'genetic' basis for the condition. I feel that it's easier on their breeding program to BLAME the puppy owner for over exercising, or somehow saying the puppy was injured in their new home, than really take a look at their dogs and their program and maybe discover they have a problem and need to possibly go a different direction in their program.

While on this site we've had new puppy owners come in asking for advice because their breeder told them to NOT allow their puppies to do stairs AT ALL for the first year. And while they can pick up a puppy for the first month or so, who can continue this with an 80 pound pup? So if their puppy does do stairs (which is an absolutely NORMAL thing for all breeds to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ) and later shows up with hip problems, the breeder can blame the stairs (
) and not take a good look at the real problem (the sire and dam!!! )
 

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Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
Originally Posted By: ardavis324A little more here...

I have understood that HD in BOTH hips is genetic...however if a dog develops it in just ONE hip, it was environmental.
Completely false.

HD is genetic. It can occur in one hip or both, and is still genetic. Environment cannot cause a malformation of a joint.

What environmental factors can impact is the severity and age of onset of symptoms.
Thank you.. I obviously did not know this, and now I do.
 
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