Have Your Pet Tested for Dysplasia and Von Willebrand Disease

Von Willebrand Disease

Identifying a medical condition before an emergency situation arises can mean the difference between life and death for your pet. Similar to hemophilia in humans, von Willebrand disease can cause life-threatening bleeding. Many dogs who carry this disease in their genetic makeup go undetected until a minor surgery or small, superficial injury results in significant blood loss.

We offer testing for this disease, which is an inheritable trait in some breeds. As many as 50% of Dobermans are affected. Other commonly affected breeds include German shepherds, German shorthaired and wirehaired pointers, golden and Chesapeake Bay retrievers, Pembroke Welsh corgis, poodles, Scottish and Manchester terriers, and Shetland sheepdogs. If you have an at-risk breed, we recommend that you have your dog tested.

Certain animals may show no signs of this disease but are carriers of this genetic problem. If these dogs are allowed to reproduce, they can pass the disease on to their offspring. If you are a breeder, we strongly recommend testing for von Willebrand disease before breeding your dogs. Please call us to schedule this test.

Renal Dysplasia

Renal dysplasia is a disorder that affects the kidney's ability to develop normally. It is most commonly affects lhasa apsos, shih tzus, and soft-coated wheaten terriers. Dogs with renal dysplasia usually become clinically ill before 1 year of age.

Unfortunately, this genetic disease does not have a cure and many affected dogs will develop kidney failure. Management options for this disease are limited and generally expensive. While some dogs are only carriers of the disorder and have normal kidney function, they can still pass this trait onto their offspring.

If you’re a breeder, testing for renal dysplasia can greatly reduce the chances of breeding this inhered problem in your dogs. Please give us a call to schedule this test.

Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia (the abnormal development of the hip joints) begins when the hip joint in a young dog becomes unstable or loose. If this is left undiagnosed and untreated, the instability can cause abnormal wear of the hip cartilage and can ultimately progress into osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. Signs of this condition include pain, reluctance to get up or exercise, difficulty climbing stairs, a “bunny hopping” gait, lameness, and limping, especially after a period of inactivity or exercise.

Large and giant breeds of dogs are most commonly affected by hip dysplasia. However, smaller dogs can also be affected. While genetics often play a role in this disorder, young dogs that gain weight or grow too quickly, or get too much high-impact exercise are also at risk. Being overweight can aggravate hip dysplasia.

We can slow this condition by monitoring food intake and ensuring that you that your dog gets proper exercise as he or she ages. We can also screen your dog for hip dysplasia using one of two methods. One thing is certain, the earlier we can diagnose hip dysplasia, the better the outcome will be for your dog.

OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Certification:

We can X-ray your dog’s hips for hip dysplasia at 2 years of age. We will forward these radiographs to the OFA, where board-certified radiologists will evaluate and grade your dog’s hips for OFA certification. Correct positioning of your dog is essential for proper radiographic evaluation, so a general anesthetic is required to make the procedure less stressful for him or her.

PennHIP Method:

We can X-ray your dog’s hips using a PennHIP method for evaluating hip dysplasia in dogs, which can be performed much earlier (at 16 weeks of age) than OFA certifications. Requiring a general anesthetic, it involves X-raying your dog’s hips in 3 different positions to measure how loose the joints are and determine the presence or likelihood of osteoarthritis. If you are a breeder, consider using this test to help you select good breeding candidates at a younger age. If your dog competes athletically, consider using this technique to evaluate the future soundness of your dogs or puppies.

Please call us to discuss your dog’s risk of developing hip dysplasia, to schedule a screening, or to discuss treatment options.


This minimally invasive procedure allows us to see inside an animal’s body and take biopsies without surgical intervention

Surgical Services

We offer spaying, neutering, soft tissue, and orthopaedic surgery services at our veterinary hospital.


If you notice your pet has bare patches, lumps or bumps, or is scratching excessively, give us a call right away

Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital

#1 7644 Gaetz Avenue

Red Deer, AB T4P 2A8


Monday & Wednesday:
7:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday:
7:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Cedarwood Vet Hospital


Animal Emergency Hospital

Animal Emergency Hospital

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