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Congenital orthopedic conditions are medical conditions that are hereditary or present at birth. The following are subsets of various congenital canine orthopedic conditions:

Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia is a disorder most commonly affecting medium to large breed dogs. The term hip dysplasia refers to laxity, or looseness, of the hip joint. This laxity will allow subluxation, or partial dislocation, of the hip joint as the dog walks and bears weight on the hind limbs. This partial dislocation leads to abnormal wear of the cartilage and inflammation of the synovium, the lining of the joint capsule, due to stretching. This in turn results in the development of hip arthritis at a relatively young age. The severity of the looseness of the joint can vary significantly as can the speed at which arthritis develops within the joint.

Patellar Luxations

Patellar luxations occur when an animal’s kneecap jumps out of groove from the femur, resulting in the locking up of the leg.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)

Osteochondritis is a disorder in growing bone where cartilage between bony areas becomes thickened and fails to grow into bone. Causes of Osteochondritis include genetic factors, trauma, and nutrition. Signs of this abnormal bone growth usually appear as lameness and are more common in fast growing, larger breed puppies.

Angular Limb and Growth Deformities

Angular limb deformities are abnormally shaped or bent limbs resulting from abnormal growth of the bones. Angular limb and growth deformities are most prevalent in the forearm, but can also be seen in the lower part of the hind leg.


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