What Are Early Signs Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?
Hip dysplasia is an abnormality characterized by the inability of the thigh bone to fit with the pelvis as expected. The ball and socket are supposed to slide smoothly into each other but with hip dysplasia, they rub and grind instead thereby causing wear and tear thus leading to a loss of function of the joint itself eventually.
Hip dysplasia usually damages the cartilage and even the tissue that holds and supports these bones in the joint. It is characterized by pain and issues, ranging from an unstable joint to dislocation (a terminology used to describe a situation where the bone slides out of place in the joint).
Hip dysplasia in dogs occurs mostly in big dogs however smaller dogs have been known to have it too. It is a very painful condition that can reduce both the life expectancy and the quality of life of the dog.
What causes hip dysplasia?
In dogs with hip dysplasia, the top of the femur either does not line up properly with the curved socket in the pelvis or the socket is not deep enough to hold the femoral head in place. Most dogs who have hip dysplasia were born with the condition.
Signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia
The signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia usually include severe pain in the hip, limping when walking, unstable hip joint, unequal leg lengths.
Hip dysplasia diagnosis
X-rays, ultrasound, and CT scans are some of the tests that can confirm a diagnosis in dogs who are older than 6 months. The objective of these tests is to enable the vet doctor to see inside the hip joint, identify the abnormality and signs of damage.
Complications associated with hip dysplasia
If hip dysplasia is not treated, it can cause painful long-term problems, including hip labral tear, osteoarthritis, dislocated joint and unstable joint.
Hip dysplasia in dogs prevention
Screening of breeding dogs for the disease is the best way that breeders can prevent hereditary hip dysplasia for the disease. The objective of this is to determine the condition of their dogs’ hips, ensuring that they only breed dogs with hip joints rated normal grade or higher.
Hip dysplasia in dogs treatment
Treatment for hip dysplasia involves a couple of options ranging from managing pain and protecting the hip joint from further damage, braces for young dogs, physical therapy, and surgery. The vet doctor usually tailors the treatment to meet the dog’s specific needs. The treatment options include
Braces: For dogs under 6 months old, vet doctors may use a brace or harness to hold the joint in place while the child grows.
Physical therapy: Exercises and physical therapy can go a long way to strengthen the joint and improve flexibility around the joint.
Surgery: In many cases, vet doctors repair the hip joint with operations such as arthroscopy (a minimally invasive procedure to repair a torn labrum, the layer of cartilage around the hip socket); periacetabular osteotomy (a procedure designed to reposition the femur into the hip socket); or, total hip replacement (restoration of the hip with an artificial joint).
The cost of treating hip dysplasia in dogs varies, but it typically ranges between $1,000 and $10,000.
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