Hip Dysplasia

QMy question is on hip dysplasia. I’m currently seeking a Chow pup for my mother. This will be her fourth Chow. Our last one, the one I was most familiar with, died of old age (14) back in 1985. My folks always said she had hip dysplasia. It didn’t seem to bother her. She walked with a little bit of a wag in her butt. I grew up under the impression that dysplasia only barred dogs from shows because they walked funny. I’ve now read your web pages…how wrong I was!

Well, here is the question, how do I tell if a puppy has dysplasia? It seems that there are varying degrees of the affliction…my late dog on one hand that had a ‘cute’ wag to her stride, to dogs that need hip surgery. A puppy I checked out in San Jose yesterday had that ‘cute’ bounce in her butt that my dog had. This set off alarms in my mind and I didn’t buy the dog. The dog wasn’t crippled, and I’m not interested in showing the dog, but I don’t want to get attached to a dog that must be put away. Are there some easy tests to check a chow’s hips out?

AIt can be very difficult to notice in a puppy. Many times dysplasia happens during the time they are growing up. It is caused due to a malformed hip joint that results in the head of the femur bone not fitting perfectly into the hip socket. Often it will lead to pain, lameness, and arthritis. However, the good news is that this condition, though congenital, can be treated by surgery. The earlier it is done the stronger recovery with your Chow Chow.

The quickest and most common way to spot it is to look at their walk from behind. You can tell the difference between good stride and one that is off or limping. If the parent dogs are dysplastic then it can invariably lead to puppies with the same problem. When looking to adopt or acquire a puppy, inquire about the parents conditions and medical history, look for signs that might lead to future problems. Another option is to find a good veterinarian that has worked with Chow Chows and has a solid understanding about hip dysplasia. When you find a pup that you are interested in, get a trail period from the owners. Then take the pup to your local veterinarian to have him or her checked out.

Resources on Hip Dysplasia

For more information and help be sure to check the Health Discussion forums where you can seek input from the community.

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