Can dogs compete in shows if they have hip dysplasia?


16 January 2014

Hip dysplasia is a common condition which can have very variable severity. Obviously a dog with severe hip dysplasia who was lame wouldn't perform well in the show ring, but mild cases might do so. A dog with hip dysplasia that was severe enough to cause him pain as he ran up, would be lame, which would prevent him from being successful in the show ring.

When choosing a dog, I would always recommend that prospective owners do so on the basis of his health status and that of his parents; many hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia can be screened for. Ideally breeders should concentrate on using parent dogs who are healthy; this isn't always necessarily the same as choosing dogs that are successful in the show ring."

Hip out of place

A painful condition that frightens many dog owners, hip dysplasia occurs when there is insufficient stability to keep the head (ball) of the femur within the socket of the hip joint, and causes mobility issues of varying severity.

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Hip replacements are possible and may be recommended if a dog is disabled, but many dogs merely need the condition managed rather than having to undergo surgery.

It is commonly seen in large and giant breeds, such as Labradors, Mastiffs, and Golden Retrievers, but can also be seen in smaller breeds too. Many dogs with the disease live relatively normal and healthy lives.