Hip Dysplasia

Family Pets Hospital: (410) 529-7297

Owings Mills Animal & Bird Hospital: (410) 363-0393

VCA Animal Hospital at Centre Park: (410) 955-9077

VCA North Rockville Animal Hospital: (301) 340-9292

We want you to be aware that many large breeds of dogs, typically those over fifty (50) pounds in adulthood, are subject to hip dysplasia, a disease of both man and animals where the hip joint develops improperly. Heredity assumes a role in the development of hip dysplasia. As with any other inherited defect, having a polymeric mode of inheritance, the expression of the hip dysplasia is subject to modification by a variety of environmental factors. Other contributing factors may include hormones, retrovirus, mycoplasma, diet, and exercise.

As stated in your LIMITED HEALTH GUARANTEE, your puppy is guaranteed against hip dysplasia for a period of one year from the puppy's date of purchase. This disorder generally, but not always, occurs within the first year from the date of birth. If this is the case, genetics is the key factor. The genetic cause can sometimes be traced back three, four or even five generations; hence it is difficult to diagnose. Even dogs with excellent hip joints may have offspring in whom the frequency of hip dysplasia varies 21% or more. Thus, even though the parents of the puppies we sell have normal hips, it is the nature of the problem that occasionally a puppy will show signs of hip dysplasia.

Some dogs that have hip dysplasia will show signs at a very young age, before the arthritis sets in. For them, a commonly used surgical procedure is available to prevent its onset. For many canines the symptoms will not be obvious until severe arthritis has developed. To ensure that your puppy does not experience hip dysplasia, it is important that puppies get the proper amount of exercise and diet. Dogs, especially large breeds, must not be overfed. Large breeds should remain on the small side until at least one to one and a half years of age. Studies have shown that when dogs are overfed during the growing years, the incidence of hip dysplasia and other bone abnormalities increase. To insure that your puppy is getting the proper amount of food, follow the feeding instructions listed on the packages of food. Exercise along with fresh air and sunlight is essential for both muscle and bone growth, make sure your puppy receives a moderate amount each day. Avoid crating the puppy for long periods each day.

A very small percentage of the puppies we, or anyone else, sells will develop hip dysplasia. Do not believe anyone who sells you a large dog if they tell you that the puppies will never have hip dysplasia. To try to prevent hip dysplasia, we report all incidences to the breeders. Be aware that surgery is generally the only way to correct this condition. Should your puppy develop hip dysplasia, Just Puppies will refund the purchase price only of the puppy. Should surgery or medications be your options, be aware that Just Puppies would not bear any of these expenses.

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