Bone and Joint Diseases

In this ever-changing world we live in, any number of bone disorders can come up. This Guide To Recognizing Bone Diseases may prove beneficial in getting that limp that has suddenly appeared properly diagnosed. Some of the more common ones affecting Spinoni are listed below.

Canine Hip Displaysia (CHD)

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a common problem in nearly all breeds of dogs. It is a joint disease that can be painful and often crippling. The diagnosis of canine hip dysplasia requires a complete physical and neurological examination. Radiographs are necessary to confirm the presence of hip dysplasia. Founded in 1966, OFA-CHIC is a service organization providing certification in hips as well as elbows. In recent years, the OFA has also expanded into areas such as heart certification, thyroid certification, and patellar luxation certification.

Just how important is positioning in obtaining an accurate evaluation from the OFA method? Strict radiographic techniques and positioning guidelines have been published to avoid misleading results. This study shows just how important it can be to have the hips properly positioned.

An alternative to the OFA evaluation process for hips is the PennHip system. Developed by Dr. Gail Smith of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and licensed in 1994, the PennHip system evaluates hip laxity in the canine. Unlike OFA which requires a dog to be 2 years of age, PennHip evaluations can be done as early as 16 weeks.

Any time there is more than one method for evaluating or diagnosing a disorder, there is inevitably some controversy as to which method is best. Fred Lanting, canine consultant and author, promotes the PennHIP extraction method and recommends its use over OFA. Drs. Keller and Corley, Diplomates of A.V.C.R. and principal radiologists of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, detail research studies and scientific literature that support their position that PennHIP stress radiography is still an inconclusive method for reliable testing and evaluation for hip dysplasia.

Similarly, dogs can also be affected by, and evaluated for, Elbow Dysplasia.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis (OA), a.k.a. Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), can either be primary or secondary. When primary, it is typically due to the wear and tear of age on the joints of older dogs. Often, though, it is secondary, in which case it is not a disease in and of itself but is a degenerative condition caused by other joint problems, such as hip dysplasia or osteochondritis.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) is a disease of the cartilage that affects the joints in a dog’s body. In a dog with OCD, the cartilage is damaged or grows abnormally and does not cushion and protect the underlying bone. OCD potentially has a genetic link.

Panostestis (Pano)

Another bone disease that can affect large and giant breed dogs is Panosteitis, a.k.a. Pano, which is characterized by bone proliferation and remodeling. Pano is an orthopedic puzzlement; one that is self-limiting and after it runs its course there are very few long-term side effects or need for further treatment. Pano potentially has a genetic link.

If your think your dog may have one or more of these conditions:

Please talk to your vet, and because these conditions are believed to have a genetic link, be very sure to keep your breeder in the loop as well.