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Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition, often seen in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well. To understand how the condition works, owners first must understand the basic anatomy of the hip joint.

The hip joint functions as a ball and socket. In dogs with hip dysplasia, the ball and socket do not fit or develop properly, and they rub and grind instead of sliding smoothly. This results in deterioration over time and an eventual loss of function of the joint itself.  

American Kennel Club


Ichthyosis is a very rare skin condition in dogs that is the result of a recessive genetic mutation. The mutation prevents the outer layer of skin from developing properly. Affected skin is rough and covered with thick, greasy flakes that stick to the hair.


Panosteitis is a painful inflammation of the outer surface or shaft of one or more long bones of the legs. It is sometimes called growing pains. This may occur in more than one bone at a time or may move around, causing a shifting lameness that goes from one bone or leg to another. It is a fairly common condition of long bones in the large breeds of young dogs The disease causes severe lameness which is usually self-limiting and leaves no permanent damage.

Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL)

NCL are a class of inherited neurological disorders that have been diagnosed in dogs, humans, cats, sheep, goats, cynomolgus monkeys, cattle, horses, and lovebirds. This almost always inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. The OFA has breed specific information. For American Bulldogs they state: 

Mental changes: Physical symptoms may appear to worsen during times of stress. Affected dogs do not indicate they are in any pain as coordination decreases.

Changes in gait and posture: Initially, uncoordinated movement in the rear is noted. As the disease progresses, affected dogs develop a wide-based stance starting in rear, and eventually involving all four legs. Affected dogs may exhibit muscle twitching, especially when sleeping. The dogs remain well-muscled through the course of the disease.


Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation is one of the most common orthopedic conditions in dogs. Usually found in small breeds, this condition has been on the rise in large breeds over the last 10 years. In half of all cases it affects both knees, potentially causing severe discomfort and loss of function. Because there is evidence showing this condition is at least partly genetic, dogs diagnosed with it should not be bred.

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1 in 5 dogs will suffer from arthritis in their lifetime, primarily in their senior years. Osteoarthritis is the most common form, though arthritis can come in many forms. Bones and joints moving against each other coarsely due to damaged cartilage, causes stiffness and limits movement. 

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