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Hip Dysplasia is defined by medterms online as "The abnormal formation of the hip joint in which the ball at the top of the thighbone (the femoral head) is not stable within the socket (the acetabulum)."
Hip dysplasia is described by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals as being genetic. This means that developing hip dysplasia has more to do with genetics than environmental factors such as repeated jumping, diet, exercise, etc. While these factors do contribute to the severity of dysplasia, it was probably already present due to genetic factors and aggravated by environmental factors.
However, large breed dogs are more at risk for hip dysplasia because of their weight and the wear and tear placed on their joints. Hip dysplasia can be verified by radiographs taken by a a veterinarian. To receive an assigned/searchable OFA number, this must be done at 24 months of age or later. Prelim testing can be done earlier than this through the OFA, but will not receive an assigned/searchable number.
While Rhodesian Ridgebacks are commonly tested for hip dysplasia, according to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (at the time this is being written) only 4.6% of Ridgebacks tested are dysplastic.
This advice is given solely as a means of educating individuals; all vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and general medicine should be discussed with a licensed Veterinarian before administering.
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