Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

The more I think of this subject the more amazed I become. Here we veterinarians have about 24 institutes of higher learning all with teachers teaching genetics that offer degrees in Veterinary Medicine. Also there are college level professors of some of the greatest human institutions of learning who apparently lived with genetics and many of whom must have had a dog of their own with Hip Dysplasia and no one I have heard of suggested that a problem that started with a reported dominate trait in a German Shepard dog spread as through the wind to all breeds of dogs. Unbelievable. I, too am in that designation of ridiculous ignorance.
Archeologists claim there were dogs in Mexico born without hair 6,000 years ago. Some interested parties went to Mexico and combing the villages found 10 hairless specimens and the result was a new bred. That's how a genetic trait spreads and not like some bacterial or virus disease. I want to shout it for all to hear and to cry over. I think of the sadness of veterinarians who had to euthanize so many thousands of cases of dogs in such pain that living with it was asking too much.
I recall one dog brought in for euthanasia and I asked if I might perform surgery as an experiment at my expense. The owners were willing. I went to work as a carpenter with hammer and wood chisel and removed the heads of the two femurs from both hind legs. I recall helping that huge St Bernard to his feet as he recovered from the anesthesia and that dog walked better with his back legs after that brutal surgery than before surgery. He lived out a normal life and when his end came the owners permitted me to perform a post mortum. That dog had two opposing flattened bony areas covered with cartilage with what appeared to me to be joint fluid.
It was as I have said elsewhere one breed that seemed not to be susceptible to Hip Dysplasia until years after all other dogs had had it reported and that was the Greyhound. The reason to me was that the breeders were for years only interested in breeding fast dogs and believed to do that the pregnant bitches had to be run while pregnant for the puppies to be fast. The exercise of running while pregnant flushed the toxic substances from their systems without affecting their puppies as the other breeds failed to do.
I believe we in my profession should be ashamed and immediately identify the substance(s) responsible. When that answer is found we will be ahead of the human medical people who may be permitting non-exercising pregnant humans to be bearing babies who will be born to suffer one or more of the problems without answers such as Autism.
In the veterinary field there are breeding programs to eliminate the problem which in actuality are programs to produce individuals resistant to the causative agent.

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