What is dysplasia in dogs?

Hip or elbow dysplasia in the Spanish water dog is a consequence or disease, bone, manifested months after the birth of the dog and is a consequence not only of genetic but also environmental factors.

After four or five months, in severe cases, the first symptoms may appear. It is a degenerative disease that occurs by poorly forming the hip joints and dog’s elbows. It is therefore advisable to carry out preventive plaques at 6 months of age to see the development of both joints and then to perform the official hip and elbow plates at 12 months of age, being evaluated by a competent body such as AVEPA, AMVAC or directly with the RSCE (Royal Canine Society of Spain). The plaques should not be done by any veterinarian but by a professional specialist in the matter (from the UBBADAT hatchery of Spanish water dogs we strongly recommend the making of these plaques by an official veterinarian of the RCEPPA – Royal Club of the German Shepherd Dog -, which are the most valued professionals and experts in this field) for later from the veterinary clinic to process said plaques through the competent official body that is chosen. Making the plaques at any veterinarian and not officially processing them for evaluation is not doing things right. To say that a dog is free without that official diagnosis is not a professional attitude on the part of a breeder.

Hip dysplasia has different degrees depending on its severity:
– Grade A: Total absence of dysplasia / Free
– Grade B: Joints almost normal / Near Normal
– Grade C: Mild symptoms of dysplasia / Still allowed
– Grade D: Moderate symptoms of dysplasia / Dysplasia 
*prohibited for breeding
– Grade E: Severe symptoms of dysplasia / Severe dysplasia 
*prohibited for breeding

In elbow dysplasia there are also degrees that are evaluated by numbers. The degree 0 being the total absence of it. 

Bella de Ubbadat - Hip and elbow dysplasia in the Spanish water dog

Bella de Ubbadat – HD AA – ED OO


The good results and our breeding policy in this regard

When considering good results in the certificates of health of some players we consider that the hips are A or B and elbows 0. “The hips of degree C in a player, in my opinion, should never be used to unless we know the index of dysplasia of their parents and grandparents and the crossing is performed with another copy with hips A. ” In the Spanish water dog, there are no official studies of dysplasia index of hips or elbows – as in other races such as the German Shepherd – this means that official radiographs have not begun to be performed until very recently and now which are being started by many breeders, many still only evaluate the degree of hip dysplasia, forgetting the elbows.

From our opinion and breeding ethics, the UBBADAT hatchery performs plaques of hip and elbow dysplasia to all its breeding specimens. And if we make a cross with an external stallion we try as far as possible to know its degree of dysplasia (although sometimes it is impossible because many stallions do not have it done) and cross these stallions always with our free bitches A of hips and 0 of elbows to minimize the risk for our future puppies.

«Most of the efforts in diagnosis and prevention are made in hip dysplasia. It is necessary to do the same with elbow dysplasia in the Spanish water dog»


First symptoms of dysplasia

The most immediate consequences are manifested in signs in the form of lameness, difficulty of the animal to sit or reincorporate to get up, in short, difficulties of movement. The development of the movements of his normal life complicates him and it is very expensive things as simple as the simple fact of climbing stairs. As I mentioned earlier, the most extreme cases usually appear as early as four months. If your puppy goes beyond four months and does normal life does not mean that your dog will get rid of the consequences of dysplasia of hips and elbows. Until the first year of life, at the very least, symptoms may appear that the joints have not reached optimal formation to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Elbow dysplasia in the Spanish water dog

Elbow dysplasia in the Spanish water dog

Reasons that lead to dysplasia of hips and elbows

The reasons why a Spanish water dog can be affected by dysplasia are originated both genetic, inherited from their parents, and environmental, caused by a way of life and inappropriate customs.

1. Genetically. Genetic inheritance will largely determine whether or not your puppy will be dysplastic. There are several or many genes that determine whether or not a dog will be dysplastic, which makes it very difficult to diagnose it in the future. Whenever you go and buy a puppy, take care that the parents are free of dysplasia with official certificates and that these certificates come from reliable and serious organisms. With this measure you will reduce to less than half the probability that your puppy will in the future be a dysplastic dog. Also choose a serious breeder looking for reliable recommendations.

A specimen gets its certificate “free of dysplasia” when once it has already fully developed growth, which is considered in the Spanish water dog from 12 months, are x-rayed hips and elbows and these X-rays they evaluate a group of professionals and they qualify with a graduation either by letters or numbers. These indices will give an evaluation of the health of the specimen in question.

2. Environmentally. The way of life that a dog has influences a lot in his health. All the circumstances surrounding a dog can favor or harm your dog. For example, they are slippery, poor diet, overweight, excessive exercise, especially during growth, unnatural gestures for a dog such as climbing stairs etc … are habits that harm the health of your joints.

Hips dysplasia in the Spanish water dog

Hips dysplasia in the Spanish water dog


Prevent dysplasia

If you plan to purchase a puppy of Spanish water and minimize the possibility that it dysplastic in the future and therefore this aspect becomes a healthy dog ​​should start from a series of questions that you should consider. During puppy growth it avoids overexertion. A puppy from two to six months of age does not need more than ten minutes of exercise during his walk and from six to the year also do not exceed it beyond walks of thirty to forty-five minutes. Food, healthy and suitable to the race according to your age and your energy needs will greatly determine your health. Being overweight should be avoided at all costs since this is a great enemy of good health of the joints throughout life and especially in times of development and growth. Avoiding sliding floors where the animal slips constantly or improper exercises such as continuous jumping is ideal for avoiding dysplasia of hips and elbows in our dogs.

Spanish Water Dog Puppy UBBADAT Kennel

Spanish Water Dog Puppy UBBADAT Kennel

David Colmenero,
Spanish Water Dog Breeder,

Comments are closed.