Hip Dysplasia article-common sense.
Hip Dysplasia is a very sad thing. Yes, some puppies are predisposed to Hip Dysplasia; even when a litter's sire and dam are tested clear, it can arise. It is extremely sad to see a very young puppy who has bad hips from the start of life. But many environmental issues can induce hip problems as well. One main issue is surface and that is what I want to talk about.
Of course it goes without saying that only dogs with good hips should ever be intentionally bred. Sneaking a dog into a breeding program with bad hips but other great attributes is inexcusable. It is a very sad life for a dog who has to live with severe hip dysplasia.
I see a lot of litters slipping and sliding around. With the ability to video new litters and share with the world I view a great number of litter videos and pics. The first thing I notice is surface. Just imagine for a moment, a litter of wolf puppies in the wild. As they pile on their mother to nurse; their little feet pushing and propelling them to the best spot to feed, they have traction. With their tiny little feet and nails they are able to push themselves forward while building their little muscles.
So now consider a litter of puppies in a slippery kiddie pool, wood flooring, linoleum, tarp or tile trying to get closer to feed. If you watch them they look like little swimmers. They cannot get any traction; their little joints are being impacted instead of building and using their muscles. They move far less with more movement because there is not traction.
As the puppies grow they slide around when on the same slippery surface. Falling spread eagle style as they attempt to maneuver over the perilous surface. I shudder when I see it and wish that more breeders and new puppy owners would focus on surface.
Injuries can occur in very young puppies as they try to manipulate a slippery terrain. Damage done at a young age can be debilitating as a dog grows and may plague them in later years. It is a common sense approach that is needed. If you understand that muscle, ligaments and tendons protect joints; it just makes sense that our dogs need muscle mass for joint protection. Just like we do. No muscle? Then your joints are just an accident waiting to happen.
Puppies need traction - the adhesive friction of a body on some surface.
Dogs can manipulate slippery surfaces much better with an ample amount of muscle. The less muscle a dog has the more prone they are going to be for joint injury, just like us. Keep your dogs on a surface with traction as much as possible. Build those muscles to protect their joints. And for those who are raising litters, do you have sufficient traction for those babies? They need it, slipping around is not cute when you know what is happening to their little joints.
This of course leads to another subject of breeding dogs with poor muscle; but I'll save that for another blog.