Hip dysplasia is a surprisingly common condition that can affect dogs across a wide range of breeds. Knowing the symptoms will help you notice the fact that something is wrong, and it will also allow you to get your pooch the necessary treatments right away.
Continue reading to learn the symptoms of hip dysplasia, as well as some of the common treatments available, and remember that working with your vet will be the key to giving your pet the help he needs.
What Is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects the skeletal system and it often affects larger breeds. However, it is also seen in smaller breeds too.
This disorder affects the ball and socket hip joint. A dog with hip dysplasia will have a hip joint that does not develop correctly. As a result, it grinds and rubs when it should instead be sliding comfortably and smoothly. Over time, the disorder causes a deterioration of the hip joint. Eventually, the function of the joint is lost.
What Are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia?
Dogs can develop hip dysplasia at a young age, with some canines showing symptoms when they are just a few months old. But dogs can also develop this condition later on, such as when they end up with osteoarthritis as seniors.
A few symptoms are associated with this disorder, but they could vary depending upon how much inflammation your dog is dealing with, how loose the joint is, and how severe the disorder is.
Generally, hip dysplasia could cause symptoms that include stiffness and pain. This could result in your dog having less range of motion and displaying a reduced ability to remain active. You might find that your dog has a narrower than normal stance, or his thigh muscles may lose mass. You might even notice that there is lameness in your dog’s hind end, or your dog is reluctant to run, climb stairs, jump, or even get up off the floor.
What Are the Treatments for Hip Dysplasia?
There are several treatment options for hip dysplasia. Your vet may recommend that your dog undergo a surgical procedure, but this will depend on your dog’s size and age, as well as the severity of the disorder. Options include a triple pelvic osteotomy, a juvenile public symphysiodesis, a total hip replacement, or a femoral head and neck excision.
Hip dysplasia can also be treated in other ways. Your vet can recommend specific exercises for your canine companion, and you may need to also put your pet on a diet to lose some excess weight. Setting up a warm and comfortable area to sleep can be helpful, and providing your pet with things like ramps to make it easier to get around can also be beneficial in reducing pain. Vets might even recommend massages and physical therapy, as well as supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, green-lipped mussels, MSM, and SAMe, as a few examples.
If your dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, rest assured that there are treatment options out there. Working with your vet will help you improve your dog’s condition.