Hip Dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket which causes the ball on the head of the femur to slip out of its socket and eventually wear down the cartilage between the bones. Severe hip dysplasia is a painful occurrence of crippling lameness where bone rubs against bone, painful arthritis of the joints forms, and/or the ball of the femur constantly dislocates causing little or no support in which to hold up the rear of the dog. There are mild to severe cases of hip dyplasia. Hip dysplasia can be aggrevated by environmental factors.
This is a picture of a Labrador puppy with hip dysplasia on both hips. This is known as bilateral hip dysplasia. Notice the ball is still round and smooth as it should be, but the hip socket itself is shallow. Because of the increased hip movement in and out of the socket, the cartilage may wear down and/or the bone may start to fragment causing severe pain.
This is a picture of Zorro, a 6 year old male American Alsatian from the Schwarz Kennels. Notice that the socket encloses and surrounds the ball on the femur. The ball is round and smooth. The hip should have a large range of movement and ability to rotate, but should completely stay inside the socket without much slippage. This is an example of excellent hips.
Vallecito Alsatians will place hip x-rays of each breeding dog on their respective pages. Go to the Alsatian Page to get to them and make your own judgments.
If your puppy exhibits ANY symptoms of hip dysplasia, please email us right away.