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Housing- and exercise-related risk factors associated with the development of hip dysplasia as determined by radiographic evaluation in a prospective cohort of Newfoundlands, Labrador Retrievers, Leonbergers, and Irish Wolfhounds in Norway

Randi I. Krontveit DVM1, Ane Nødtvedt DVM, PhD2, Bente K. Sævik DVM, PhD3, Erik Ropstad DVM, PhD4, and Cathrine Trangerud DVM, PhD5
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  • 1 Department of Companion Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.
  • | 2 Department of Companion Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.
  • | 3 Department of Companion Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.
  • | 4 Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.
  • | 5 Department of Companion Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

Objective—To identify housing- and exercise-related risk factors associated with the development of hip dysplasia (HD) as determined by radiographic evaluation in Newfoundlands, Labrador Retrievers, Leonbergers, and Irish Wolfhounds in Norway.

Animals—501 client-owned dogs from 103 litters.

Procedures—Dogs were assessed from birth until official radiographic screening for HD at 12 (Labrador Retriever [n = 133] and Irish Wolfhound [63]) or 18 (Newfoundland [125] and Leonberger [180]) months of age. Information regarding housing and exercise conditions during the preweaning and postweaning periods was obtained with questionnaires. Multivariable random effects logistic regression models were used to identify housing- and exercise-related risk factors associated with the development of radiographically detectable HD.

Results—Puppies walking on stairs from birth to 3 months of age had an increased risk of developing HD. Factors associated with a decreased risk of developing HD included off-leash exercise from birth to 3 months of age, birth during the spring and summer, and birth on a farm. Significant clustering of dogs with HD was detected within litters.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that puppies ≤ 3 months old should not be allowed access to stairs, but should be allowed outdoor exercise on soft ground in moderately rough terrain to decrease the risk for developing radiographically detectable HD. These findings could be used as practical recommendations for the prevention of HD in Newfoundlands, Labrador Retrievers, Leonbergers, and Irish Wolfhounds.

Contributor Notes

Supported by grant No. 140541/110 from the Norwegian Research Council, the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, and the Norwegian Kennel Club.

The authors thank Professor Jorunn Grøndalen, Professor Lars Moe, and Dr. Astrid Indrebø for assistance with initiation of the study and Professor Eystein Skjerve for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Krontveit (randi.krontveit@nvh.no).