Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Jana Mathia
Gazette Reporter 

Canine hip dysplasia and other complex matters


July 5, 2018 | View PDF

It seems the natural tendency and desire of the populace to find quick, simple answers and fixes to problems. Things are just so much easier when the answer is cut and dry and to the point. However, sometimes we can over-simplify things and forget there are often multiple factors to an issue that negate having one simple answer.

When the family's German Shepherd was walking as though lame one day, the question of hip dysplasia came up. These big dogs with the unique gait are known for having a predisposition to this issue. To solve it, breeders have worked to develop stock with good hips to eliminate the problem. Which is a good step, but it still does not fix the problem.

According to a local vet, hip dysplasia is a form of arthritis, usually from large breed dogs growing faster than the circulatory system can keep up so not everything gets the proper blood flow during development. So despite all the breeders’ best efforts, one of their litter could still develop the ailment. It is not just a matter of genetics, but also nutrition and environment.

There are now large breed puppy foods developed to help the dogs grow at a healthy rate and receive the nutrition their bodies need to function properly throughout life. And there is also the plain truth that everyone, or every dog, is going to have different experiences that can affect development.

It would be great to find one simple answer to bar against anyone's dog having to suffer debilitating issues, but there is not only one avenue which leads to that outcome; there are many.

Many of the problems we as individuals or society face have multiple facets. Until we acknowledge and address all those avenues, the overarching problem will not ultimately be solved.

Sometimes it is simple ignorant bliss that keeps us from seeing these other considerations. Other times it is arrogance, pride and pig-headedness.

But if we are to deal with problems that pop up in our lives, we have to look at the whole issue and all the factors that bleed into it―even if we don't want to. Then, with that understanding, we are better able to solve or prevent problems. And also to do so in a peaceable manner.

As for the dog, it turned out he just tweaked his hip running around and was walking fine the next day. Apparently a little patience and not jumping to worst-case scenarios also helps avoid disasters.


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