Health - Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is the most common cause of rear-end lameness in canines.
In the healthy dog there is a broad pelvis with a rounded cup into which the ball of the femur fits solidly (Ball and Socket). The ligaments and good musculature hold the ball in place while allowing free motion of the femur. Canine hip dysplasia is caused when the femoral head does not fit properly in the hip socket, causing instability of the joint.
Over time, this malformation can cause degenerative joint disease which causes increased pain and immobility. Surgery can help to correct the problem.
Genetics play the largest role in whether or not a dog will develop hip dysplasia. Other factors include environmental (including weight and nutrition) and under what conditions the puppy is raised. Even dogs with normal hips can produce dysplastic puppies.