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Canine Hip Dysplasia (HD)

Canine Hip Dysplasia (HD), often called Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), or Osteoarthritis
Hip dysplasia is a multifactorial abnormal development of the coxofemoral joint in large dogs that is characterized by joint laxity and subsequent degenerative joint disease. Excessive growth, exercise, nutrition, and hereditary factors affect the occurrence of hip dysplasia. The pathophysiologic basis for hip dysplasia is a disparity between hip joint muscle mass and rapid bone development. As a result, coxofemoral joint laxity or instability develops and subsequently leads to degenerative joint changes, eg, acetabular bone sclerosis, osteophytosis, thickened femoral neck, joint capsule fibrosis, and subluxation or luxation of the femoral head.
Clinical signs are variable and do not always correlate with radiographic abnormalities. Lameness may be mild, moderate, or severe, and is pronounced after exercise. A “bunny-hopping” gait is sometimes evident. Joint laxity (Ortolani sign), reduced range of motion, and crepitation and pain during full extension and flexion may be present. Radiography is useful in delineating the degree of arthritis and planning of medical and surgical treatments. Standard ventrodorsal views of sedated or anesthetized animals can be graded by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, or stress radiographs performed and joint laxity measured (Penn Hip).
Treatments are both medical and surgical. Mild cases or nonsurgical candidates (due to health or owner constraints) may benefit from weight reduction, restriction of exercise on hard surfaces, controlled physical therapy to strengthen and maintain muscle tone, anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, aspirin, corticosteroids, NSAID), and possibly joint fluid modifiers. Surgical treatments are also available.s

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