Hip Dysplasia (HD) in dogs is a hereditary disease with a high prevalence worldwide. Portuguese breeds are also affected, stressing on the Centre Region Estrela Mountain Dog (EMD). Dogs may not show clinical signs or became completely disabled. There are 2 medical approaches: radiographic diagnosis of HD and breeding only free HD dogs, to avoid the transmission of genes to the offspring; surgical treatment of dogs that show clinical signs. These medical approaches have been used worldwide and the results can be said to be below expectations. The company Hugo Brancal - Serviços Veterinários Sociedade Unipessoal known as Clínica Veterinária da Covilhã (CVC), has encountered this reality in its region, centre of Portugal, especially with animals of the EMD breed.
This project together with the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro has the main aim of improve Veterinary services of CVC, aiming to acquire and develop skills in the early diagnosis (3 months using ultrasound) and preventive management of HD. The research structure is based on 4 experimental and industrial research activities: a) Use the rabbit model to experimental induction and reversion of HD; b) Use dog cadavers to study by ultrasound, radiography and tomography the location of the contrasted joint fluid (an early sign of HD); c) Use ultrasound and radiography in live dogs with 3 months to detect early signs of HD; d) Select dogs with signs of HD (joint laxity) between 3 and 4 months of age and for preventive HD management using a specific hip stabilizing device.
Relatively, the idealized research structure is based on the success of the initial medical approach, which is done to this disease in human medicine, based on its early diagnosis and treatment, with preservation of the entire bone and joint structures.
HUGO BRANCAL – SERVIÇOS VETERINÁRIOS, SOCIEDADE UNIPESSOAL LDA.