Veterinarians have begun to
address the heritability of this disease, and it is generally agreed that although in very rare
cases, the disease may be brought on by trauma, it is probably genetic. It has been well documented
in terriers (Yorkshire Terrier, Border Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Jack Russell Terriers, Wheaten
Terrier), and has been proven to be hereditary in some breeds. Bilateral cases (both hind legs
affected) are not considered to be the result of trauma, and are accepted to be hereditary.
In an effort to clarify the mode of inheritance, research is being conducted, and test breeding has been done.
Two affected individuals were bred, and all five resulting puppies were X-rayed monthly
to check for signs of LPD. At the seven month radiographic
examination, changes were noted in three of the puppies, and all three subsequently became lame. The two
remaining puppies had no radiographic changes through nine months of age, and remained sound until 16 months
when they were placed in homes.
This study indicates that either LPD has a multigenic (more than one gene) mode of inheritance in certain breeds, or that it is not completely expressed.
That is, an animal may have the affected genes, but not show signs
of the disease. Regardless of the exact mode of inheritance, statistical analysis of this and
other studies reveals that LPD has a high degree of heritability.
The Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) is a registry which examines X-rays of hips and
certifies that they
are normal. The address for the OFA is
2300 Nifong Boulevard
Another organization which also provides a similar service is the
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