How to recognize and treat dog hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is a condition that many dog owners fear. This orthopaedic disease causes the abnormal formation of the hip which then causes looseness in the joint, and results in cartilage damage.
It strikes dogs of all ages, often as young as two years of age, causing severe, early onset arthritis that can make the dog’s movement difficult and painful.
Dog Hip Dysplasia Symptoms
If your dog develops hip dysplasia the first signal may be a drop in energy levels. The dog will have difficulty standing and may display signs of lameness in the back legs. Things like climbing stairs will become a challenge and even rising from a lying position will be difficult.
The dog will limp and hobble after a walk or other physical activity, and may even whine in pain.
If your dog shows any of these signs, regardless of age, get him to a vet for an X-ray as soon as possible.
Dog Hip Dysplasia: Which dogs are at risk?
Dysplasia is an inherited disease, so if one, or both, of the parents had the problem, it is highly likely that it will be passed on to their offspring. However, not all dogs with hip dysplasia display symptoms, so it can be difficult to identify.
Large breed dogs are more at risk, and pure breeds are more likely than mixed breeds to get the disease.
There are environmental factor as well, including obesity, and a poor diet, especially one overly high in protein (such as cat food).
Research also suggests that accelerated growth in puppies, often achieved by feeding supplements, is a major contributor.
Dog Hip Dysplasia Treatment
There are a number of ways to treat dysplasia. Non-invasive treatments include weight loss, medication, physical therapy, and exercise routines to work the hips.
However, if the disease is particularly severe, surgery may be required. Obviously, such surgery has a better chance of success if they problem is addressed early.
It is therefore imperative to speak to your vet as soon as you suspect that your dog may have hip dysplasia. The only way to know for sure whether this is the case, is for X-rays and tests to be done.
Your vet can then make a diagnosis as to the extent of the dog hip dysplasia, and recommend the best course of action.