It is common knowledge among dog owners and breeders that genetics plays an important role in the development of dog arthritis. Hence, if you are on the lookout for a purebred dog, there are certain guidelines you need to follow in order to save you and your future pet a lifetime of trouble with dog arthritis.
The tips that I will share will help you get dogs that are not susceptible to orthopedic problems and give you a feel for how to check for other breed problems. However, there are other factors to consider as well – like the dog’s general health and personality, as well as your lifestyle requirements. Also note that I am talking about pure bred dogs. Mixed breed dogs can get all or none of the problems of each breed! Here are my tips:
Elbow dysplasia is essentially the abnormal growth of parts of the elbow. Although the growth occurs during puppyhood, the symptoms may not show up until later in life. Dogs affected by elbow dysplasia often suffer from lameness, swelling and arthritis.
Veterinarians believe elbow dysplasia is genetic, and the ailment tends to affect larger breed dogs such as Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Labradors. Signs of the condition may begin appearing between five and 12 months of age.
Elbow dysplasia can manifest itself in a number of ways, including:
- Fragmented Coronoid Process – this occurs when a small wedge of bone from the ulna (the long bone in the foreleg) at the bottom of the elbow fails to fuse with the ulna.
- Ununited Aconeal Process – this occurs when a small wedge of bone at the top of the ulna fails to fuse during growth.
- Osteochondritis of the Elbow – this occurs when cartilage fragments become loose from the elbow and float around in the joint.
- Elbow Joint Incongruity – when the surface of the joint becomes bumpy, instead of smooth, causing friction around the cartilage.
The abnormal growth of your dog’s hips, or hip dysplasia‚ will often lead to dog arthritis in later years. This condition is widespread in dogs of larger breeds such as Rottweilers, Great Danes and German Shepherds and is best treated when they are young because there is no cure for arthritis once it has taken hold.