Dysplasia, author S. Dorogova
Svetlana Dorogova – President of the National Club of Breeds Dogue de Bordeaux, owner of the Dorsdorf kennel (Moscow), expert dog expert of the RKF.
Since 1993 I have been breeding large, heavy breeds – mastiffs. And over the years, I have been disturbed by the problem of hip dysplasia in dogs. I heard a lot about this disease, but came up against it when I began to breed Molossians.
During my trips abroad I talked a lot about dysplasia with leading breeders and experts. Of greatest interest to me was the opinion of breeders from Germany and the Netherlands about this problem, since a mandatory test for dysplasia was introduced in these countries a long time ago. Since I am not a medical doctor by training, I asked them questions that interested me as a mastiff breeder.
When I was in Germany, I had the good fortune to talk with the leading bullmastiff breeder, owner of the Frankenthal kennel, Klaus Arnold. This breeder has tremendous experience as a breeder and dogs of his breeding are known all over the world. They have the titles of World Champions and Kraft exhibitions in England, so the opinion of this specialist is very authoritative for me. During the conversation, I was able to find out that dogs older than 1 year old pass the dysplasia test, ideally – in 1.5-2 years old, when the dog is in good physical condition, its skeleton is fully formed, the muscles are strong, but its joints are not yet affected age-related changes. The dog must be prepared for the test (how is it prepared, – did not say, this is a secret). I think they give some nutrition.
So, the age of passing the test is clarified. The next question that worried me was whether it was possible to guarantee that the puppy would be free from dysplasia if his parents had a dysplasia test and had grade A dysplasia (grade A is the absence of dysplasia). The answer was harsh and unequivocal: Mr. Klaus Arnold said that not only guarantee, but even hope is not worth it. Even if your dog’s ancestors in 4 generations are free from dysplasia, they can still have a severe form of dysplasia (grade D or G), because this disease is hereditary and can be transmitted even through 14 generations of animals.
My third question is whether the puppy’s growing conditions influence the degree of his dysplasia, the answer was concise – of course, yes. Very affected and growing conditions and nutrition.
I asked Mr. Klaus Arnold what he would do if a puppy purchased from his kennel showed a severe degree of dysplasia and the owners of this dog would like to reimburse their expenses for acquiring the puppy. “No way. They just were not lucky. A puppy is like a lottery ticket. Whether you are lucky or not, you can find out only after he grows up. My disease is not guilty, nature is so arranged. And only insurance companies give guarantees,” he answered me.
I discussed the problem of dysplasia with many specialists and heard different opinions, but now I want to reproduce my conversation with the famous expert from the Netherlands, Bas Bosch. Bas Bosch is a very famous and respected specialist. He told me that when a mandatory dysplasia test was introduced in the Netherlands, many experts were at a loss to find out the test results, as some dogs that did not visually show any movement problems, had excellent anatomical structure and won large exhibitions showed poor the results of x-ray studies, up to the extreme degrees of dysplasia, and vice versa, some dogs with obvious problems in the anatomical structure of the hind limbs and movements turned out to be free of display zii.
Given the above, I want to remind some fans to comment on a ring like: “Look! What a dysplasia dog!”. Your eyes are not an x-ray machine, and you are not a veterinarian to give such conclusions.
Therefore, taking this opportunity, I turn to such unfortunate commentators: “Please refrain from rash statements to anyone.”
There are very few veterinarians who can read an x-ray and give an opinion on the degree of dysplasia. They learn this on purpose, practice for a long time, and only then get a license to give an opinion on the degree of dysplasia.
Now I want to tell a couple of stories that I have witnessed and which, I hope, will be instructive for some dog owners and veterinarians.
So, the first story. People bought a puppy of a rare breed, very expensive. The puppy was 30 days old. Everything was fine until the puppy was 4.5 months old and he began to have age-related problems with movements. Owners of the puppy appeared at the breeder with an x-ray (4-month-old !!!) of the puppy and informed him that, according to the conclusion of the “smart” doctor from the “such” clinic, the puppy had dysplasia. The doctor told the owners that problems will worsen with age, the puppy will stop walking, and will scream in pain.