Hip Dysplasia generally starts to show up around mid- late age for dogs. But in severe cases, puppies may show signs as early as 5-10 months of age. It is important that at-risk large breed puppies are given controlled exercise . This means you need to limit high-impact games while they are growing rapidly. Diet also plays a crucial role: If your at-risk puppy is eating commercial dog food, do not give them an added calcium supplement. It is recommended that they eat a special large-breed diet during their first year and that they eat the recommended amount so as not to become overweight. Growing too quickly and adding too much weight can impact their little joints.
As mentioned above: Purebred dogs are also "high-risk". When choosing a purebred puppy, purchase pups that are the offspring of OFA or PennHip certified parents. If the parents are not certified, choose from 2nd or 3rd little parent dogs that have no mobility issues. Ask the breeder for a reference list of people who have bought puppies from them and contact those references! Do not purchase a puppy if parents are not available to be inspected by a 3rd party expert.
For more information, please read these links and do your own research! Knowledge is power:
- When Your Dog Has Hip Dysplasia, by Hines, Ron DVM PhD: http://www.2ndchance.info/hipdysplasiadog.htm
- Canine Hip Dysplasia, by American College of Veterinarian Surgeons: https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/canine-hip-dysplasia
- Hip Dysplasia, by ASPCA: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/hip-dysplasia
- Hip Dysplasia in Dogs, by VCA Animal Hospitals: http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/hip-dysplasia-in-dogs/783