Hip dysplasia is a developmental subluxation or malformation that affects many dogs. This chronic, painful condition involves the malformation of the ball of a dog’s hip joint, which doesn’t fit perfectly with the adjoining socket. It could happen to either one or both hips and causes excruciating pain and discomfort during exercise or changing positions. The only way out is usually via surgical correction.
Causes of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Hip dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket rub and grind against each other. This leads to a total breakdown of the area over time as well as the loss of the function of the affected hip joint.
This condition is generally hereditary, and genetics has been identified as the leading cause of abnormal development in dogs. Hip dysplasia is usually seen in large breed dogs such as St. Bernards, bulldogs, Rottweilers, mastiffs, and retrievers.
However, a small number of smaller dog breeds—such as pugs and French bulldogs – may also be highly susceptible to the condition.
If hip dysplasia is left untreated, especially during the early stages, the condition worsens with age and may affect both hips. This abnormal development can also be heightened by osteoarthritis—in senior dogs and other painful conditions.
Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Arthritis and hip dysplasia generally share the same symptoms. This includes:
- Bunny hopping
- Reluctance to climb stairs
- Persistent or intermittent lameness
- Moving very slowly from one point to the other
- Stiffness when rising or running from resting positions
- Stiff back legs when working
Hip dysplasia can be incredibly painful and debilitating. Other signs you should watch out for include:
- Disinterest in playing excitedly
- A grating or grinding sound when the pooch moves their hips.
Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia
When you take your dog in for a physical examination, your vet checks their overall health as well as the conditions of all your canine’s joints. The vet moves all legs in order to pick out grating sounds, signs of pain, etc.
If the vet suspects that your canine friend may have this condition, they may recommend blood tests. This is to find any inflammation due to joint disease.
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs Treatment
Anti-inflammatory medications are usually administered in order to control pain. Underwater treadmill sessions, cold laser, and heat are possible treatment options that a dog with hip dysplasia can undergo.
It is also vital to maintain the weight of your pooch in order to manage their pain, as it is with arthritis. If the joints’ structural damage is too much, hip replacement surgery may be necessary.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy has been used to treat hip dysplasia in dogs, and the results were astonishing. The stem cells could regenerate the cartilage at the dog’s hip joints. And this restored the dog’s ability to walk again.
How to Prevent Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Not every case of hip dysplasia can be effectively prevented. But you can take some significant steps to reduce the risk of this debilitating condition, especially when the dog is still very young.
Start by ensuring your pooch’s skeletal system is top-notch by feeding your canine friend an appropriate diet. Your dog will have super-healthy joint and bone development. These can help minimize or prevent the excessive growth that results in the disease.
And as your dog starts growing, make sure you make time for enough exercise that prevents obesity. Obesity significantly contributes to hip dysplasia and other health problems.
Lastly, research the dog breed of your choice before taking them in. Look for and work with a responsible breeder that takes health screenings—such as radiographs for hip dysplasia, etc.
Hip dysplasia is a debilitating condition that can affect any dog, irrespective of age, breed, or size. It can be treated using lasers, prescribed medication, etc.
But what is the cost of treating hip dysplasia in dogs? Well, the cost differs—based on the animal clinic, the severity of your pet condition, etc. But not to worry, at Safari Veterinary Care Center we offer you the best services at unbeatable rates.