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Clinic Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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Phone Numbers:
651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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Canine Hip Dysplasia
(Orthopedic Foundation for Animals Certification) bullet bullet bullet bullet bullet

Hip dysplasia is characterized by loose, unstable hip joints. It is a genetic disease even though environmental effects, nutrition and exercise can delay the onset of the physical signs. This disease causes weakness or lameness in the rear quarters and eventually leads to painful arthritis. During the degenerative process, the cartilage that lines the hip joint is damaged, as a result of abnormal forces on the cartilage from the deformed hip socket. The cartilage becomes thinner and stiffer thus losing its ability to handle the daily movement or bearing of weight.

Factors that contribute to hip dysplasia are:

Genetic inheritance
Overfeeding high protein dog food with high calories
Excess calcium
Prolonged inactivity
Prolonged intense activity

Symptoms of hip dysplasia are:

Rear limb lameness after exercise
Stiffness upon rising or climbing uphill
(Bunny hop gait) Waddling rear limb gate
Using front legs only and dragging rear end to get up
A painful reaction to rear leg extension (short stride)
Tendency to tilt hips down if pressure is applied to rump
Reluctance to jump, exercise or climb stairs

Radiographs are necessary to confirm the diagnosis and evaluate the severity of canine hip dysplasia. To take OFA x-rays, correct positioning and technique is important. For optimal results, your dog will be sedated for this procedure.

Management of the condition consists of exercise restriction, body weight management and symptomatic pain management with analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Treatment depends on age of the dog, severity of the problem or financial considerations. CVS offers various medications to help relieve your dog’s discomfort and restore their mobility.

To prevent this problem, it is important to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder who has had their dogs OFA certified.

The standardized evaluation for hip dysplasia is:

Excellent is considered desirable
Good is considered acceptable
Fair is considered tolerable
They are considered normal and will receive OFA numbers.
If they’re mild, moderate or severe, they are dysplastic.

Dogs must be 24 months or older to have the OFA x-rays certified. For the OFA number to be recorded on the AKC registration form, the dog’s tattoo or microchip number must be placed on the x-ray.



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