Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) in humans is a common condition that is associated with hip pain, functional limitations, and secondary osteoarthritis (OA). Surgical treatment of DDH has improved in the last decade, allowing excellent outcomes at short- and mid-term follow-up. Still, the etiology, mechanobiology, and pathology underlying this disease are not well understood. A pre-clinical animal model of DDH could help advance the field with a deeper understanding of specific pathways that initiate hip joint degeneration secondary to abnormal biomechanics. An animal model would also facilitate different interventional treatments that could be tested in a rigorous and controlled environment. The dog model exhibits several important characteristics that make it valuable as a pre-clinical animal model for human DDH. Dogs are naturally prone to develop canine hip dysplasia (CHD), which is treated in a similar manner as in humans. Comparable to human DDH, CHD is considered a pre-OA disease; if left untreated it will progress to OA. However, progression to OA is significantly faster in dogs than humans, with progression to OA within 1–2 years of age, associated with their shorter life span compared to humans. Animal studies could potentially reveal the underlying biochemical pathway(s), which can inform refined treatment modalities and provide opportunities for new treatment and prevention targets. Herein, we review the similarities and differences between the two species and outline the argument supporting CHD as an appropriate pre-clinical model of human DDH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1807-1817
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • canine hip dysplasia
  • human hip dysplasia
  • mechanobiology
  • osteoarthritis
  • pre-clinical animal model


Dive into the research topics of 'Canine hip dysplasia: A natural animal model for human developmental dysplasia of the hip'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this