By Gayle Kaye

Hip Dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket and in its more severe form, it can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal diseases seen in dogs and it is one of the most studied veterinary conditions in dogs, and the most common single cause of arthritis of the hips.

Hip Dysplasia is a polygenetic trait (as opposed to being a simple dominant or recessive gene) and it is thought to be hereditary. However, it can be affected by environmental factors. Though it can be found in many different species (including humans), it is most commonly associated with dogs. It is very common in certain dog breeds, especially some of the larger, bigger boned breeds.

Thankfully it appears to have a low incidence in Collies. Per the Orthopedic Foundation for Animal’s website, the incidence of Hip Dysplasia in Collies is 2.8%, which is very low compared to other breeds. Granted, not many Collie breeders check their breeding stock (but they should!). Only 3,197 Collies have been evaluated. Compare that to Siberian Huskeys who also have a low incidence of HD. 18,763 Siberians have been evaluated with only 2.5 being dysplastic. The problem is........all it can take is one popular sire with bad hips, and before you know it, HD can become spred throughout the breed. Some breeders routinely check their breeding stock and my hats go off to them!!

Diagnosing hip dysplasia is done by taking X-rays.  In order to get accurate views using X-rays, it requires manipulation of the hip joint into certain positions, in order to reveal their condition on an X-ray. X-rays are usually done using sedation, but OFA will accept x-rays done without sedation.

There are two systems for categorizing Hip Dysplasia.  Both organizations have their fans and their detractors but both have been used successfully for years in helping to diagnose and categorize hip dysplasia.

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