How to combat developmental causes of arthritis…
- If buying from a breeder, choose one who supports breeding schemes to eliminate these genetically driven developmental problems.
- Contact the breeder if you find your dog has a developmental defect so that they can address their breeding programme.
- Feed wisely and follow your vet’s advice. Do not over-feed but choose a diet that is designed for your dog’s age group. Listen to your vet and act if they suggest your dog has gained too much weight.
- Exercise your dog with consideration. Don’t ask your young dog to exercise like a fully trained athletic equivalent. Don’t allow your young dog to run/play on slippery floors. Don’t encourage your young dog to do countless stair climbs.
- Act on your vet’s advice which is likely to involve X-rays, and may lead to surgery.
Common Causes of Developmental Osteoarthritis…
Developmental causes include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and osteochondrosis dissecans. (There is belief that cruciate ligament disease later in life is due to poor development.)
Hip dysplasia, can be due to laxity of the joint capsule, so the ball and socket joint is able to be loose not snug, causing it to move freely, bashing around as it does so. This creates the classic shallow socket, and irregular ball joint. Or it can be due to incongruence where the ball develops into not the perfect shape match for the socket.
Elbow dysplasia is due to incongruence where one of the 3 bones that meet to make the elbow is irregular so there is not a perfect fit.
Osteochondrosis dissecans is a developmental abnormality within the cartilage of the joint. This is linked to the dog’s genetics and their diet during their early years.