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Siberian husky pups born 12th sept 2012

Hip Scoring


Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a polygenic trait. That is, more than one gene controls the inheritance. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint; the ball is the head of the femur and the socket is the acetabulum of the pelvis. In a dysplastic hip, the head of the femur fits loosely into a poorly developed, shallow acetabulum. Joint instability occurs as muscle development lags behind the rate of skeletal growth. As the stress of weight bearing exceeds the strength limits of the supporting connective tissue and muscle, the joint becomes loose and unstable. This allows for free play of the femoral head in the acetabulum, which promotes abnormal wear and tear.

Hip Dysplasia showing progressive increase in joint space and joint wear.

Normal Hips

Moderate Dysplasia

Severe Dysplasia


In this example of a dog with normal hips notice that the Femoral heads fit tightly into well-formed sockets.

In this example these loose hips are partly out of their sockets and the Femoral heads are beginning to flatten.

Severe dysplasia with degenerative arthritis. Note bilateral subluxations and bone spurs on the Femoral heads and rims of the sockets.

dog hip displasia

Normal Hip

Feeding a very high-calorie diet to growing dogs can exacerbate a predisposition to hip dysplasia, because the rapid weight gain places increased stress on the hips. Being overweight supports the genetic potential for hip dysplasia, as well as other skeletal diseases. Another factor that can bring on the symptoms of hip dysplasia is inappropriate exercise during the period of rapid bone growth.
Dogs with hip dysplasia are born with hips that appear normal but progressively undergo structural changes. The age of onset is 4 to 12 months. Affected puppies may show pain in the hip, walk with a limp or a swaying gait, bunny hop when running and experience difficulty in the hindquarters when getting up. Pressing on the rump can cause the pelvis to drop. With the puppy on its back, the rear legs may not extend into the frog-leg position without causing pain.

Preventing excessive weight gain in puppy hood and keeping the puppy from placing undue stress on the hips will delay the onset of hip dysplasia in many dogs with a genetic predisposition. It may also lead to a less severe form of the disease. Puppies at risk for hip dysplasia should be fed a calorie-controlled diet.
Preventing hip dysplasia in a bloodline is based on selective breeding practices. Hip dysplasia is a moderately heritable condition. It is twice as common among littermates having one dysplastic parent. Experience shows that repeated selection of normal dogs for breeding stock significantly reduces the incidence of hip dysplasia in susceptible bloodlines.

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Origins of the Siberian Husky plus our Sibe's
Origins of the Alaskan Malamute plus our Mal's
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Hip Displasia