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Nutrition & Health

Hip Dysplasia Statistics

May 7, 2010 by · 23 Comments 

I’ve talked to a few people over time and on more than one occasion a person has told me they decided against getting a German Shepherd because of the potential for hip dysplasia. I’ve had other people tell me they will only own a mixed bred dog so they can avoid this genetic disease. There is no evidence to indicate a mixed breed dog has a lower incidence of hip dysplasia than a purebred dog (see the AKC website for more data). It is a fallacy. If a parent carried the gene a mixed breed dog is as likely to have problems as a purebred dog. Additionally, ethical breeders are very careful to monitor their programs and remove breeding stock found to produce puppies with genetic problems, something that is very unlikely in a mixed breed dog.

If you go to the OFA, Orthopedic Foundation for Animalshttp://www.offa.org/index.html you will find the following table (we copied the top 100 breeds, we suggest you go to the site for the full, most up to date list). You are going to have to scroll down to number 40 on the list to find German Shepherds. That’s right, 39 other breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia than German Shepherds. The column headings are “breed of dog”, “rank”, “number of evaluations”,”percent excellent”, and “percent dysplastic”. Take a close look almost 98,000 German Shepherds were tested to get the statistics in the table.

BULLDOG 1 467 0.2 73.2
PUG 2 390 0.0 63.8
DOGUE DE BORDEAUX 3 341 0.6 56.0
OTTERHOUND 4 349 0.3 52.1
NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF 5 149 2.0 48.3
ST. BERNARD 6 2036 4.2 46.7
CLUMBER SPANIEL 7 777 2.4 45.7
BLACK RUSSIAN TERRIER 8 323 3.4 43.0
SUSSEX SPANIEL 9 241 0.8 41.5
CANE CORSO 10 589 6.6 40.6
ARGENTINE DOGO 11 178 3.4 39.3
BASSET HOUND 12 195 0.0 37.4
BOYKIN SPANIEL 13 2531 1.8 34.8
NORFOLK TERRIER 14 234 0.0 34.2
PERRO DE PRESA CANARIO 15 160 4.4 33.8
AMERICAN BULLDOG 16 1598 4.9 33.1
FRENCH BULLDOG 17 691 1.3 32.6
GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER 18 120 0.8 30.0
FILA BRASILEIRO 19 588 7.5 29.6
BLOODHOUND 20 2649 2.6 26.1
AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER 21 2708 2.3 25.7
NEWFOUNDLAND 22 13955 8.0 25.3
BULLMASTIFF 23 5065 3.8 24.5
MAINE COON CAT 24 1024 4.2 24.1
ENGLISH SHEPHERD 25 268 8.2 23.9
AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER 26 663 5.6 23.5
LOUISIANA CATAHOULA LEOPARD 27 469 9.6 23.0
CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVER 28 11786 12.0 20.8
SHILOH SHEPHERD 29 570 8.6 20.4
ROTTWEILER 30 90125 8.1 20.3
HYBRID 31 872 8.3 20.1
GOLDEN RETRIEVER 32 124251 3.9 19.9
CHOW CHOW 33 5070 7.0 19.6
GORDON SETTER 34 5732 8.3 19.5
NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND 35 3625 7.1 19.5
MASTIFF 36 9893 7.8 19.4
SHIH TZU 37 604 2.0 19.4
GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG 38 2229 11.8 19.1
CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI 39 1538 3.4 19.1
GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG 40 97930 3.8 19.1
FIELD SPANIEL 41 854 7.1 18.7
OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG 42 10271 11.4 18.7
KUVASZ 43 1659 13.3 18.4
PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI 44 9890 3.2 18.3
GIANT SCHNAUZER 45 4124 9.7 18.1
CHINOOK 46 500 8.4 18.0
BEAGLE 47 748 2.5 17.8
STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER 48 493 1.8 17.6
ENTLEBUCHER 49 262 3.8 17.2
ENGLISH SETTER 50 9549 9.9 16.5
POLISH LOWLAND SHEEPDOG 51 423 7.3 16.1
BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG 52 14801 12.8 16.0
AFFENPINSCHER 53 242 3.7 15.7
SPINONE ITALIANO 54 978 16.8 15.5
AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG 55 3032 4.4 15.3
CURLY-COATED RETRIEVER 56 1058 7.8 15.3
BOUVIER DES FLANDRES 57 7612 5.8 15.1
BRITTANY 58 16819 8.3 14.9
BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND 59 649 9.9 14.9
BEAUCERON 60 307 13.7 14.7
BRIARD 61 2178 12.9 14.5
HARRIER 62 290 8.6 14.5
ICELANDIC SHEEPDOG 63 146 10.3 14.4
LEONBERGER 64 1379 19.9 14.1
TIBETAN MASTIFF 65 782 7.5 13.9
NORWICH TERRIER 66 499 7.2 13.6
BOSTON TERRIER 67 156 5.8 13.5
CHINESE SHAR-PEI 68 9254 9.0 13.4
ENGLISH SPRINGER SPANIEL 69 13407 8.4 13.3
PUDELPOINTER 70 355 13.8 13.2
FINNISH LAPPHUND 71 107 10.3 13.1
PORTUGUESE WATER DOG 72 6699 13.1 13.0
AKITA 73 15539 18.5 13.0
POODLE 74 20239 11.3 12.3
SMOOTH FOX TERRIER 75 279 7.9 12.2
KOMONDOR 76 929 11.7 12.2
WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL 77 1719 14.8 12.2
CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL 78 5131 4.2 12.1
IRISH SETTER 79 10671 8.7 12.1
IRISH WATER SPANIEL 80 1186 17.4 12.0
GREAT DANE 81 11287 11.5 12.0
LABRADOR RETRIEVER 82 208931 17.6 12.0
ALASKAN MALAMUTE 83 13211 16.6 11.5
AIREDALE TERRIER 84 5465 7.2 11.4
PETIT BASSET GRIFFONS VENDEEN 85 617 3.4 11.3
SAMOYED 86 14935 10.1 11.1
BOXER 87 4878 3.4 11.1
SMALL MUNSTERLANDER 88 118 11.9 11.0
BORDER COLLIE 89 9226 12.4 10.9
SWEDISH VALLHUND 90 151 4.0 10.6
WEST HIGHLAND WHITE TERRIER 91 171 1.2 10.5
NORWEGIAN BUHUND 92 146 7.5 10.3
ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD 93 1567 18.3 10.2
PULI 94 1679 16.2 10.1
HAVANESE 95 2168 8.9 9.9
AKBASH DOG 96 514 22.8 9.3
GREAT PYRENEES 97 5548 13.9 9.2
GERMAN WIREHAIRED POINTER 98 3729 16.4 9.1
AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG 99 922 7.7 9.1
COTON DE TULEAR 100 547 9.5 9.0
STANDARD SCHNAUZER

 

Ethical breeders have worked very hard to improve this statistic and save our beautiful breed from this disease. It still does occur. You need to have extensive discussions with your breeder before you buy a puppy.

You also need to know nutrition, exercise and activity levels can cause hip dysplasia in a genetically health dog so it is important to review how you work with your puppy and get guidance from experienced trainers and vets.

 If the worst occurs and your dog is diagnosed with dysplasia you can take action to address the situation. In the most severe cases there is hip replacement. Frequently you can keep you pet happy and comfortable with appropriate exercise and weight control,  limiting jumping and limiting exercises requiring your dog to support itself on its back feet alone.  Always talk to a vet and if possible consult with an orthopedic veterinarian.

 We recently interviewed an orthopedic vet. The quote to replace a hip in a health 5 year old dog in good physical condition was $6,800. The surgeon indicated that newer materials exist than had been used in the past and they were seeing the hips last 13 years or more. If you are considering the surgery and have pet health insurance, do not assume the surgery will be covered. Some policies exclude genetic issues and hip dysplasia is considered genetic by most pet insurance companies.

We hope this “thumbnail sketch” helps you in making decisions regarding the purchase of a German Shepherd. There are no guarantees and even very ethical breeders may have a puppy with hip problems in a litter. Do your homework and make an educated decision on a breeder. Watch your puppy’s nutrition, weight, and exercise program carefully and you will minimize the chances of your pet having hip dysplasia. If diagnosed with the problem, consult your vet and a specialist and control the weight, exercise and activity of your dog.

Comments

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