Orthopedic disease is a condition that commonly affects your pets’ skeletal system, joints, and muscles. If left untreated, this disease can cause discomfort, pain, and decreased mobility, preventing your furry friend from living happily and healthily. It also happens because of genetics, breed, conformation, and weight. 

While feeling distressed about this condition may be understandable, you can prevent the development of orthopedic disease through regular exercise, a healthy diet, and routinely consulting a professional veterinarian. You must also educate yourself about the factors contributing to this condition. 

If you’re serious about keeping your furbaby’s best health and becoming a responsible pet owner, this article will explain the risk factors and breed predispositions of orthopedic disease. 

What Body Condition Puts Your Pet at Risk?

Obese pets are more likely to develop various health conditions like arthritis, cardiovascular dysfunction, and cancer. You can help your pet recover from their orthopedic illness and prevent further damage through proper weight management. 

Professional veterinarians recommend caloric intake and rehabilitation guidelines based on your pet’s current orthopedic function. Also, remember to discuss your furbaby’s body condition and weight management progress during wellness visits. 

Can Genetics and Body Conformation Increase the Risk of Orthopedic Disease?

Genetics will determine the likelihood of your pet developing orthopedic disease, with specific genes and DNA regions linked to joint disease. While veterinarians can also associate physical characteristics with this condition, they still need more research to identify the responsible genes. Fur parents can help predict their pets’ risk by getting a family history of orthopedic disease. 

Is There a Correlation between Age, Sex, and Alteration Status?

Research on orthopedic disease correlation between sex, alteration status, and age is difficult because of confounding factors.

While research is available to determine the ideal age to spay or neuter your furry companion based on breed and risk of orthopedic disease and cancer, remember there’s no universal answer.

You can find the best time to spay or neuter your pet by consulting a reputable veterinarian. 

What Large Active Dog Breeds Can Suffer from Cranial Cruciate Rupture?

Cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR) is a significant cause of rear leg lameness in dogs. Factors that increase the risk of CCLR include breed, weight, gender, spaying or neutering, and age. 

This common knee injury typically affects active large dog breeds like Labrador retrievers, Rottweilers, Newfoundlands, Staffordshire Terriers, and Mastiffs. Your pet will also likely suffer from this condition if you have an Akita Inu and St. Bernard. 

What Small Dog Breeds Can Experience a Luxating Patella?

A luxating patella occurs when a dog’s knee cap misaligns and can cause intermittent hind limb skipping, lameness, or locking up of the leg. Veterinarians commonly associate it with joint or limb structure abnormalities.

This knee condition is common in small dog breeds like chihuahuas, Boston terriers, toy poodles, Yorkies, and Pomeranians.

What Medium to Large Breeds Can Suffer from Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is an orthopedic disease where the hip joint grows incorrectly during puppyhood, resulting in a loose joint which can lead to degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis. Medium to large breeds like Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, and St. Bernard are prone to contracting this disorder.

What Medium to Large Breeds Breeds Can Experience Elbow Dysplasia?

Canine elbow dysplasia is a condition where multiple developmental abnormalities occur in the elbow joint, causing pain, lameness, and arthritis. Veterinarians likely see this in large to giant-breed dogs like Labrador retrievers, Bernese Mountain dogs, German Shepherds, Golden retrievers, and Rottweilers.

What Chondrodystrophic Dogs Can Experience Intervertebral Disc Disease?

Intervertebral Disc Disease is common in chondrodystrophic dogs with short legs and long backs, including breeds like Dachshunds, Corgis, Beagles, Basset Hounds, and Shih Tzus.


No pet deserves to suffer from orthopedic diseases because they can be uncomfortable and painful and prevent furbabies from living happily. Pet owners can minimize or prevent this condition by considering the breed, observing proper weight management, spaying or neutering furbabies, and consulting professional veterinarians. 

If you need to consult a professional veterinarian in Birmingham, AL, about your pet’s orthopedic disease, visit Birmingham Animal Hospital + Resort! Our expert team provides high-quality veterinary care to help your furbaby live the happy and healthy life they deserve. Schedule an appointment now!

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