Hip dysplasia is the most general cause of rear-end lameness in canines, and is suitable to the structure of the hip joint. In the healthy dog there is a broad pelvis with a curved cup into which the ball of the femur fits solidly. The ligaments and fine musculature hold the ball in place while allowing free action of the femur. Canine hip dysplasia (HD) is reason when the femoral head does not fit correctly in the hip socket, causing volatility of the joint. Over time, this malformation can cause degenerative joint disease (DJD) which causes improved pain and calmness. Surgery can help to correct the trouble, but can be costly and stressful for dog and family. Genetics play the main role in whether or not a dog will increase hip dysplasia. Other factors include environmental (including weight and nutrition) and below what conditions the puppy is raised, also training methods and rearing follow. Even dogs with usual hips can create dysplastic puppies.
Breeders can have their breeding supply x-rayed by their vets, with the x-rays sent to either the OFA (The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals), the GDC (Institute for Genetic Disease Control), or, in Canada, the OVC (Ontario Veterinary College). All three of these bodies preserve open registries on hip health in experienced dogs.