Hip dysplasia is a skeletal condition that occurs as a result of the inability of the ball and socket joint to fit or develop properly. This causes rubbing and grinding of this joint as opposed to the ball and socket sliding smoothly. It causes the joint to deteriorate over time and can lead to an eventual loss of function of the joint itself. It is most frequently seen in large dogs even though it can also occur in smaller dogs.
Causes of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Hip dysplasia is hereditary and is commonly found in larger dogs like the Labrador Retriever, Great Dane, Saint Bernard, and German Shepherd Dog. Several factors ranging from excessive growth rate, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition can amplify this genetic predisposition.
Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
There are signs and symptoms that dogs with hip dysplasia exhibit such as decreased activity, decreased range of motion, difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs, lameness in the hind end, loss of thigh muscle mass, noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end, pain, stiffness or limping.
Hip dysplasia in dogs prevention
It is suggested to begin joint supplements sooner for risky dogs as three months of age to ensure good joint health and protect the cartilage of the same. Screening of breeding dogs for the disease is also recommended.
Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
The veterinarian is very likely to manipulate the hind leg of your dog to test the looseness of the joint and to check for any grinding, pain, or reduced range of motion.
Blood tests might also be run because inflammation due to joint disease can be indicated in the complete blood count. However, a definitive diagnosis usually comes with a radiograph or X-ray of your dog’s hips to determine the degree and severity of the hip dysplasia, which will help determine the finest treatment for your dog.
Hip dysplasia in dogs treatment
Treatment options for hip dysplasia in dogs range from lifestyle modifications to surgery. For mild hip dysplasia, or if your dog is not a candidate for surgery for financial reasons, your veterinarian may recommend a non-surgical approach.
Your vet may suggest the following: stem cell treatment, weight reduction to take the stress off of the hips, joint fluid modifiers, exercise restriction especially on hard surfaces, physical therapy, joint supplements, and anti-inflammatory medications.
Stem cell therapy can be used in treating hip dysplasia, repairing ligament, bone, and spinal cord injuries, etc.
There are several factors to deliberate before choosing a surgical option. In many cases, dogs that undergo surgical intervention can return to normal function. Dogs that are skeletally mature and have increased joint pain and limited mobility usually undergo total hip replacements and femoral head osteotomies.
Cost of treating hip dysplasia in dogs
The cost of surgery varies tremendously and is based on many factors, such as procedure type, location, dog’s age, size, breed, and pre-existing conditions.
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