The dysplasia is a hereditary dog disease, but its symptoms can be alleviated with the right lifestyle, diet and treatment if detected early.
In medical terms, dysplasia means abnormal, pathological development. The bone ends that make up the joints and the cartilage surfaces that cover them fit together imprecisely. Depending on the type and degree of dysplasia, degenerative joint changes (arthrosis), joint sprain (subluxation), and cartilage wear may later develop as a result of an inadequate fit.
Appearance and spread of dysplasia
The dysplasia-type disorder was an unknown concept under natural living conditions (e.g.: jackal, dingo, wolf). And for example in the puli actively working alongside the shepherd a 100 years ago as well. Natural selection and the breeder’s pursuit of work performance created an adequate barrier to the spread of the disease.
However, in recent decades, the way and why of keeping and breeding dogs has changed.
“Pedigree” breeding, incompetent “breeding”, an environment that is too inhospitable for the breed and the needs of the dog, inappropriate feeding and limited space (kennel, flat, narrow yard) have led to a rapid and explosive spread of dysplasia.
The development of dysplasia
Dysplasia is an inherited developmental disorder, not an acquired disease. The recessive (latent) genes responsible for dysplasia are inherited before birth, but the disease cannot be detected immediately after birth. It usually occurs early in the life of puppies (4-6 months).
At the beginning of dysplasia (typically at the age of a few weeks), the synovial fluid increases. This is followed by the relaxation of the joint capsule and the entire joint at the age of a few months. The looser the joint, the more imprecise is the fit of the contacting joint surfaces during movement.
Improperly aligned joints are subjected to multiple forces under load, which makes them sprain more easily. These regular partial sprains initially result in arthritis, later cartilage wear, cartilage deposition (arthrosis), joint formula deformity, and muscle atrophy due to constant pain relief.
Depending on the degree of looseness of the joint and the predisposing factors (feeding, movement), the process damages the joint and leads to the development of bone lesions that can be detected by X-ray examination after months or years.
Symptoms of dysplasia and where it occurs
- Weakness of the back half of the body, limping, lameness
- The dog gets up with difficulty, does not like to move, gets tired quickly
- After a difficult start from rest, the joints “warm up” and the movement seems better
- When moving, it places its feet either too close or too far from the ground, with a characteristic “waddling” gait
- When running or jogging, the hind legs do not alternate but touch the ground at the same time. Like jumping a rabbit
- A clicking sound can be heard under the dog’s footsteps while walking
Regarding the forms of dysplasia, we distinguish
- Hip dysplasia – (most often this is simply called dysplasia),
- Elbow dysplasia – (its importance is increasing).
- Shoulder dysplasia – (this is currently even less known)
Grades of dysplasia
It is important to know that when we talk about a dog with dysplasia, we are making a distinction:
- From a breeding point of view, a dog with dysplasia (a dog that carries and inherits the disease, has an inadequate joint structure (can be confirmed by X-ray), but is asymptomatic and does not need medical treatment)
- A dog with clinical dysplasia (a dog that carries and inherits the disease, has an inappropriate joint structure (can also be confirmed by X-ray), has movement disorders due to the disease, is lame and needs treatment)
Grades of dysplasia is primarily a term that arises in relation to dysplasia in the breeder’s sense. In Europe, based on FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) recommendations, we distinguish five grades.
Screening typically takes place in two cases.
- Due to our dog’s movement disorder, when the veterinarian recommends dysplasia screening based on the locomotor examination.
- Preliminary screening for examining the dog’s hip joint, as well as the final dysplasia screening required for dog breeding.
The final certificate, which can also be registered in the pedigree, varies depending on the breed and the regulations of the specific breed club, but is typically 12-24 months old. The existence of a final screening certificate is a basic condition for ethical dog breeding.
Remember that elbow (forelimb) dysplasia is almost as common as hip dysplasia. Therefore, if we take our dog for a hip screening, we should also request a dysplasia screening for the elbow joint. In addition, two screenings can be performed in one appointment, and it involves less risk/cost than having to go back for a separate elbow screening later.
Alleviation of the development and course of dysplasia
One of the most important areas of puppy development is the proper development of bones and joints. This will later provide a healthy, strong skeleton for the internal organs and muscle mass. The developmental dynamics of the first 3 months are crucial for the later development of a stable skeleton and musculature.
Inappropriate feeding (excessive but low in bone-building material) from weaning (4-8 weeks of age), coupled with a poor environment and limited exercise space for the breed and exercise requirements of the dog, significantly increases the risk of dysplasia developing and the severity of its progression.
With this in mind, it is very important to feed puppies correctly and to provide them with the right amount and quality of physical and mental exercise. In truth, whatever the age of your dog, these are basic requirements for a healthy life.
It is recommended that you consult a specialist as soon as possible if you notice any musculoskeletal problems in your dog during growth or at any stage of their life. If the doctor diagnoses dysplasia, the solutions to be used will vary depending on the severity and progression. Please consult the examining doctor for more information.
Treatment of dysplasia
Whatever dysplasia rating our pet has received, it will greatly improve its condition if:
- Body weight is maintained at the ideal level for the breed, with the help of an appropriately modified dysplastic diet, and a satisfactory exercise programme .
However, it is important to avoid overloading the puppy when moving it, i.e. if it gets tired, do not force the movement. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle is not good either, because the normal development of the gluteal muscles and hip joints requires adequate movement.
- We give him a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory and analgesic supplement rich in natural anti-cartilage substances, such as K9 InuFlex® or K9 FullFlex™.
In the case of a breeder with a mild dysplasia, it is good to know that this is not a particularly bad thing. It may even make your dog a breeding recommendation for the breed and allow it to live out its life without symptoms.
In the majority of cases of moderate dysplasia detected early, further worsening of the disease detected at a young age can be reduced. Symptoms can be alleviated with a variety of medications or nutritional supplements, as well as an appropriately modified diet and exercise programme.
Even in cases of severe dysplasia, there are various traditional (modern surgical procedures) and alternative (golden ball implantation (GBI)) solutions that greatly improve the condition of our pet.
One of the most important things we can do to avoid dysplasia is prevention.
Food supplement rich in anti-cartilage wear substances, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and chondroitin sulfate.
K9 FullFlex™ contains, in addition to the immune-boosting medicinal mushrooms (K9 Immunity™) contained in it, a large amount of high-quality natural substances specifically designed to regenerate and keep joints (connective tissues, cartilage and joints) healthy.
Areas of application
- For large, fast-growing dog breeds, from a young age, to nourish and protect the bones, cartilage, and tendons, and to improve the general ability to move.
- To alleviate the effects of increased physical stress on the joints and connective tissues of racing and working dogs.
- For breeders, for the healthy development of the skeletal system (maintenance) of the individuals that most closely carry the breed traits.
- In aging dogs, to preserve the elasticity and strength of the connective tissues. To delay natural wear and tear, and to preserve the dogs’ mobility.
- For the additional treatment of injury and inflammation of connective tissues (bones, cartilage, joints, etc.), as well as various orthopedic surgical interventions, to shorten the regeneration period and to reduce pain.
- Inappropriate housing and feeding, diseases due to ageing or diseases specific to the breed (arthritis, osteoarthritis, various types of dysplasia, etc.) prevention, treatment and alleviation of symptoms.
Main ingredients of K9 FullFlex™ (4000 mg chewable tablet)
It helps to maintain the health of joints, cartilages and tendons, helping them to regenerate and preventing further damage by maintaining and lubricating them.
A compound used to replace calcium, which is essential for the health of bones and joints. This breast relieves inflammation.
Chondroitin sulphate is a major constituent of cartilage tissue due to its excellent water-binding capacity. Its water-binding capacity ensures the mechanical-elastic properties of cartilage.
(with Beta 1.3-1.6 glucan content)
An immune-boosting ingredient containing medicinal mushrooms concentrates that, in addition to its general immune-boosting effects, accelerates the rebuilding process and provides the body with protection to prevent cartilage wear and tear.
Thanks to its antioxidant action, it helps protect cells and supports the immune system. It slows down the ageing of cells, helps protect the body’s connective tissue fibres, inhibits wrinkling and preserves the skin’s water content. Its production decreases with age and external supplementation is recommended.
Protein obtained from hydrolyzed eggshell membrane (ESM)
If either, it is one of the key active ingredients in K9 FullFlex™. It is produced by hydrolysis from a thin rubbery membrane on the inner wall of the eggshell for improved bioavailability. This protein solution has unique properties that make it one of the most important ingredients in the product, responsible for healthy joints. Among other things, the high ESM content (100 mg per wafer) distinguishes K9 FullFlex™ from similar products.
Turmeric’s natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it a popular ingredient in joint care products, but its antioxidant content and immune-boosting effects are not negligible.
|Boswellia serrata extract
It is a natural NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) pain reliever. It acts on the same receptors as morphine, making it an immediate, long-lasting and powerful pain reliever. And it’s completely safe!
Bovine (milk) immune protein concentrate Colostrum
It can help reduce joint inflammation and muscle stiffness.
As well as
Calcium propionate, linseed, glycerin, lecithin, arrowroot, rosemary extract, vegetable oils and flavoring.
Contains eggs and milk!