Dogs have been one of the most favorite and beloved pets because of their loyalty. We love keeping them as pets but fear any pain or disease that may attack our beloved pet. Dog owners are concerned about some diseases that their pets are likely to have. One of such common diseases in dogs is hip dysplasia. It occurs mostly in giant breeds of dogs, but small breeds may also suffer from this disease. There is a ball and socket joint in the hip of the dog responsible for the smooth movement of legs. In hip dysplasia, this joint is not developed correctly, and the hip joint does not fit properly, hence does not work smoothly and develops friction. The result is a degradation of bones over time, and the dog suffers a miserable condition during the walk.
Does your dog have hip dysplasia?
Hip Dysplasia affects a dog at any age. There are some apparent symptoms of this disease by which you can evaluate whether your dog has Hip Dysplasia or not. It is important to know what causes hip dysplasia in dogs to help reduce the symptoms. Signs of this disease are different in young and adult dogs.
In younger dogs:
- Reduced activity and laziness
- Limping in legs
- Walking by putting weight on front limbs
- Hopping like a bunny
- Enlargement of shoulder muscles due to excessive work
- Difficulty in rising up
In adult dogs:
- Weakness and thinning of the muscles of back legs
- Difficulty while running or climbing up
- Stiffening and pain in muscles
When these symptoms appear, immediately call your dog’s veterinarian.
Diagnosis involves a physical checkup by the hand of a veterinarian. He examines the joint by his hand and checks the joint’s looseness and sees how much the joint has deteriorated. The doctor also asks about the life history of the dog. A blood test may also be necessary because of inflammation caused by a smashed joint. Then, the veterinary doctor checks the severity of the disorder by x-ray examination. This method is used for both young and old dogs. By looking at radiographs, the doctor prescribes the treatment.
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease, transferred from parent dogs to puppies. The condition is present more in large and giant dogs like German Shepherd, Great Dane and Saint Barnard. But it is also present in small dogs. Some of the inherited genes contain factors for under-development of the hip joint, and so the joint is unadequately fitted, resulting in distortion and grinding of the joint.
Various other factors also contribute to this disease. These include an excessive and imbalanced dog growth, which leads to the formation of unequal bones at the joint. Some wrong exercises can also lead to hip dysplasia. Being overweight also worsens the symptoms of the disease.
Immediate treatment of this disease is crucial to get your dog out of pain. As it is a hereditary disease, medication is not very successful. You have to opt for various methods for your dog.
Reduce the body weight: Adopt several strategies to reduce the weight of the dog. This will remove an extra load from the dog’s hip and help set-off the joint.
A balanced diet and pain-relieving medicines: A good diet for your dog aids in the healing process. During this process of recovery, dogs are given pain-killers to get rid of the pain.
Physical therapy: Veteran prescribes some appropriate therapies. These physical exercises are very useful in the treatment of this disease.
In some cases the only treatment of this disorder is the surgery of either a part of joint or joint as a whole. If your dog’s joint is not ruptured to a great extent, surgery is more manageable and safer. There are further three options in case of surgery.
It stands for Double or triple pelvic osteotomy. This surgery is performed in dogs less than ten months old. In this method, the joint is reshaped by cutting the edges of bones to fit them properly in joint.
Femoral head ostectomy (FHO) is a strategy which can be used for both mature and young dogs. In this technique, the “ball” of the hip joint, known as “Femoral Head”, is cut off. This method does not help achieve the normal condition of joint, but it eliminates the intolerable pain associated with this disorder.
This method is called Total hip replacement. It restores the joint into its normal condition, and it involves a complete transplant of the hip joint of a diseased dog. The distorted joint of the dog is replaced by an artificial joint of plastic or metal by surgical method. It eliminates all the discomforts related to this disease, and the dog becomes able to enjoy a pain free life.
Prevention of this disease:
In this disease a patient dog suffers unbearable pain and discomfort in most physical activities.. To reduce the risk of this disorder, it is necessary to take some precautionary measures, including a good diet, frequent checkup and proper exercises in the correct way. Weight management, proper diet, regular exercising and regular check ups with a veterinarian are some ways that may help prevent the disease.