Many humans will be very familiar with hip osteoarthritis due to either development issues or trauma. The hip is a versatile joint that provides much of the power of the hind limb whilst having the biggest range of motion of any joint in the body. Painful osteoarthritis can be particularly difficult to adjust to.
In dogs the picture is the same with the developmental condition hip dysplasia (www.hipdysplasia.ie) being the biggest cause of premature and late osteoarthritis of the hip. Other conditions such as Legg Perthes disease, fractures, immune mediated arthritis, dislocation and ischaemic necrosis lead to debilitating hip pain.
Inheritance of the hip dysplasia and legg perthes disease is a problem. Although hip dysplasia is a polygenic condition and therefore cannot be completely controlled or eliminated, it has be proven that controlled breeding programs that do not breed from dogs that have either hip dysplasia or hips that re not within the right range for good hips will signifcantly reduce its incidence.
Such programs such as BVA /KC or OFA or the more sensitive Pennhip are well established systems.