Many breeders of English Labradoodles sell beautiful puppies, but it is becoming increasingly harder to know which breeder to buy a dog. Finding poorly bred puppies is all too common, leading to health complications later in life.
When looking for a new English Labrador puppy, you should look for a parent that has been thoroughly tested for this condition.
This article explains everything you need to know about the elbow and hip dysplasia, what tests to look for and why English Labradors, in particular, should be tested. Let’s get started.
What are elbow and hip dysplasia?
Elbow and hip dysplasia are common orthopedic problems in English Labradors and other large or giant breed dogs. Both conditions are usually inherited but can be caused by poor nutrition, overweight, or lack of exercise.
Elbow dysplasia is the abnormal development of the cartilage and bone of the elbow. This can cause the elbow to slip or slip out of the socket, leading to abnormal development of the elbow joint, resulting in a lifetime of elbow pain, inflammation, and arthritis.
This condition is caused by one of three problems:
Medial coronoid process fragment of the elbow (bone fragments in the joint).
Osteochondritis of the medial humeral condyle (development of unnecessarily thick cartilage).
Disunion of the auxiliary process (the other method does not fuse with the ulna).
Dogs with elbow dysplasia may have no outward signs, but the disease can be so severe that they cannot bear any weight on the leg. There are many treatment options to help reduce pain and inflammation if your dog develops elbow dysplasia, but you may not notice it for some time.
A dog suffers from hip dysplasia when the pelvic socket is not deep enough for the ball of the thigh bone to stay in place.
Since the hip joint is a ball and socket joint, a shallow hip joint causes the ball and socket to continually slip in place, resulting in looseness and instability. The friction of the femur against the pelvis as it enters the pelvic cavity causes arthritis. This arthritis can be excruciating.
Dogs with hip dysplasia have difficulty walking normally. This can put extra pressure on the knees and ankles, leading to even more significant orthopedic problems. While there are treatments to alleviate the pain, nothing can reverse the disease. Fortunately, there are other solutions to make this condition less painful for your pup, such as unique beds and pillows for sleeping.
What are elbow and hip dysplasia testing?
Your English Labrador can be screened for elbow and hip dysplasia to see if he has the potential to develop either condition. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and your veterinarian can use hip x-rays to help determine if your dog is susceptible to hip dysplasia.
English Labradors with hip or elbow dysplasia should not be used as breeding dogs, as these genetic diseases, which are passed from parent to offspring, are
How are elbow and hip dysplasia evaluated?
For a dog to be tested for elbow and hip dysplasia, it must be examined by a veterinarian. Not all veterinarians test for this condition. So call your veterinarian to make sure they can test your English Labrador for elbow and hip dysplasia.
Please note that your dog needs to be sedated to show perfect x-rays. Exceptional views of the hips and elbows must be taken, and to take these x-rays, your dog must be perfectly still.
Once taken, the x-rays will be sent to licensed radiologists for review. The radiologist may take a few weeks to review the x-rays and give you the results.
Hip Dysplasia Testing
Dogs under two years of age can only have a preliminary examination. They can only receive full certification once they are two years old. When your dog reaches 2, you may take him to the veterinarian for a complete certification test.
Hips will score excellent, good, average, borderline, mild, moderate, and severe. Those who score excellent, reasonable, or fair are certified by OFA and receive a certification number.
Elbow Dysplasia Screening
Screening for elbow dysplasia is done the same way as screening for hip dysplasia: 4 different elbow x-rays are presented to a radiologist. As with hip dysplasia, dogs cannot be fully certified until they are two years old. Elbow dysplasia is classified as normal or abnormal, and abnormal elbow dysplasia is divided into three different grades:
Grade 1: minimal changes
Grade 2: a proliferation of 2 to 5 mm.
Grade 3: severe degenerative joint disease in which the proliferation is greater than 5 mm.
Only those with a standard elbow will pass certification and should be used for breeding.
Why should English Labradors be tested for elbow and hip dysplasia?
Screening for elbow and hip dysplasia ensures that breeding parents do not have characteristics that predispose them to hip or elbow dysplasia. If the parents have these undesirable characteristics, your new English Labrador puppy could also have these characteristics, resulting in hip or elbow dysplasia.
When looking for a breeder for your new puppy, remember to ask for a genetic test to ensure that the puppy you receive will be healthy and happy.
Why should I look for English Labrador puppies from parents who have been tested?
Finding a puppy whose parents are OFA certified for elbow and hip dysplasia is best. This will ensure that your new English Labrador puppy has good genetics.
If you buy a puppy from a breeder who has not tested for elbow and hip dysplasia, your dog may have one of these diseases. These diseases can lead to expensive vet visits and surgeries to keep your English Labrador free of pain.
When looking for a new English Labrador puppy, ensure the breeder has done everything possible to breed only dogs with the best genetics. Ensure the parents’ elbows and hips have been tested by the OFA and have had excellent results.