Large breed puppies older than 16 weeks can be tested for Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). The PennHIP method is the most effective hip screening tool for dogs.
All dogs can benefit from PennHIP testing as it provides information that can allow for early intervention to prevent or lessen the severity of CHD or Osteoarthritis (OA) in the later stages of life.
What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?
Canine Hip Dysplasia or CHD occurs when a dog’s ball-and-socket portion of the hip joint has an abnormality. When the acetabulum (socket) does not adequately cover the ball region of the joint, it causes instability or a loosely fitted hip joint. In the long run, this laxity leads to progressive cartilage loss and unnatural wearing of the joint thus resulting in arthritis (joint inflammation).
Causes of Hip Dysplasia
Although primarily a genetic condition, the progression of CHD can be affected by several factors such as nutritional intake/diet, activity levels and body weight.
How do I know if my dog has CHD?
Depending on the severity of the disease and arthritis, your dog may show varying signs of joint pain.
More common symptoms include:
– Decreased activity levels
– Difficulty rising, running or climbing stairs
– Expressing pain when palpated around hip area
– Deterioration of thigh muscle mass