One side of a debate versus another can be a most uncomfortable position and one that can seem personal even when it is not. Differences of opinion should be a pathway to a better understanding or a highway to the truth but, often are not and that seems to often happen when discussion areas of pet care or pet health, more precisely when discussing canine hip dysplasia.
Such a situation could exist or has the opportunity to exist between the principals of a particular discussion in the Cornell Chronicle and the sermons of a miniscule web site known to a very few as
Build A Better Dog. Carly Hodes penned a most interesting article that appeared in the Cornell Chronicle under the title of “New site helps predict dog breeds' hip/elbow health”.
In the article, Carly cites the words of Dr. Rory Todhunter who is quoted with this statement:
“When people breed cattle, pigs, poultry and plants, they do so based on the same statistical methodology we’re using. Gathering and using genetic information this way will benefit breeds in the long run. This tool puts us one step closer to making healthier individuals.”
What I believe Dr. Todhunter failed to take into consideration is subsequent health and livlihood of the animal. Those animals that are included in the species of cattle, pigs, and poultry are, when they reach maturity, eaten and the soundness of their skeletal structure becomes irrelevant and is not measured nor studied for practical reasons.
If genetics is truly the vehicle that controls and affects hip dysplasia, then the last 80 years of breeding has shown that very little improvement has been accomplished and ergo, little improvement is to be expected in the future.
There is only nutrition and supplementation left in the tool box to work on this frustrating and devastating problem.