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What's the actual evidence? Why do people blame exercise for canine joint disease?

17 Nov 2023
RVC Clinical Theatre 1

The fact that most canine joint problems were caused by humans is an uncomfortable truth. We spent 15,000 years moulding dogs to our ideal standards. The price they paid was the gradual accumulation of harmful genes. These include genes which code for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, and knee ligament injuries. The truth that eradicating harmful genetic traits is only possible if society makes significant sacrifices is unpopular. The easiest way to deal with uncomfortable truths is to create alternative (false) realities. One of the most popular false realities is the myth that very restricted exercise during skeletal development lessens the impact of developmental joint diseases. We will discuss the actual evidence linking exercise and canine joint disease.

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