Ever heard of hip dysplasia among dogs? Don’t worry, we got your back. We’ll share with you everything you should know about this problem.
Although it is a very common problem among canines, especially in larger dog breeds, not many understand this condition. And unfortunately, lots of dog owners don’t realize that dogs can develop this disorder just like humans.
Hip dysplasia, as the name suggests, is basically a disorder in the hip joint. This happens due to different genetic and environmental triggers and it seems to attack larger dog breeds more than others. In addition to this fact, we have lots of interesting things to share about this disorder. Just continue reading.
1. This disorder commonly attacks larger dog breeds.
While hip dysplasia does not seem to attack a specific gender more than the other, it is quite common among giant canine breeds. It’s even at higher risk for large breed puppies that grow up too fast because rapid growth can add more strain on the joints and bones. As a result, a dog has higher chances of developing musculoskeletal problems.
2. Certain dog breeds have a genetic predisposition for this disorder.
As we said, giant dog breeds are quite likely to develop this problem than smaller dog breeds. However, there are certain breeds that are more likely to have hip dysplasia due to inheritance or genetics. Among these breeds are German Shepherds, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernards, and Labrador Retrievers.
3. Hip dysplasia usually shows while the pooch is still immature and young.
Early onset is quite common for hip dysplasia in canines. It usually starts during the growth stage, particularly during 6 to 18 months. Though there are cases of late onset, they’re rare. And they typically develop because of osteoarthritis, a common form of joint inflammation among dogs, which is characterized by joint deterioration.
4. Younger dogs that develop hip dysplasia normally don’t experience pain.
This disorder usually causes the femur bone’s head to slide out of its place in the hip joint. In most cases, canines only feel pain once the bone becomes out of place. As soon as it happens, puppies usually cry or whine in pain.
5. Hip dysplasia may become severe due to nutritional factors.
Over the years, research found that a link may form between excessive intake of calcium and protein with hip dysplasia. For example, certain commercial dog food can help large dog breeds to grow faster, which triggers skeletal problems, such as hip dysplasia. That is the reason why experts suggest purchasing or buying dog food that is formulated for your dog’s size and breed.
6. Diagnosis begins with x-rays and other physical examinations.
As mentioned above, hip dysplasia can often be tricky because canines don’t usually exhibit any signs and symptoms, not until the bone becomes out of place. Then again, due to repeated luxation, arthritis and inflammation in the joint will happen. To be sure, diagnosis is required. It often begins with a physical examination, wherein your dog’s x-rays and symptoms are assessed to confirm and verify any joint damage.
7. Adult dogs with hip dysplasia usually show symptoms of rear end weakness.
We mentioned that there are rare instances when adult dogs are diagnosed with hip dysplasia. When a canine has such disorder, it can eventually develop into osteoarthritis, which may eventually result in more symptoms, including rear end weakness. This normally happens in obese or overweight pooches.
8. Treatment varies, but it can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Regardless of whether your dog needs surgery or not, it will depend on his size, age, and the severity of the disorder. If in the event that surgery is not recommended, outpatient physiotherapy may be done to improve a dog’s joint use. The goal is to basically decrease the stiffness among the joints and maintain muscle strength.
9. Swimming can help dogs with hip dysplasia.
If your pooch does not require surgery, he can still perform exercises to further boost his mobility and strengthen those muscles that support his joint. Swimming is one excellent option. This exercise may be low impact, but it sure does a pretty great job at building muscle strength without damaging the joint.
10. It is advised not to breed dogs that suffer hip dysplasia.
Since hip dysplasia can be inherited, it is vital that dogs who have this condition should not be bred. That way, you can keep the disorder from spreading. If your dog comes from a family that is carrying the disease, you should speak to your vet right away. He or she can give you useful tips to slow or prevent its progression.
Now, if you suspect your canine has hip dysplasia, put your canine buddy in a dog cage and take him to the vet right away. Your vet will then perform tests that are necessary to confirm the diagnosis. He or she may even recommend a course of treatment.