It is proper and is mandated by The Kennel Club to prevent dogs diagnosed with hip medical problems from breeding. However, a puppy born from a healthy breeding is not completely immune to such diseases. Doctor Jaqueline Davidson, a clinical professor, explained that hip dysplasia in dogs is multifactorial. As such, there are many factors causing hip dysplasia and genetic factor is only one.
Hip dysplasia in dogs and prevalence
In 1935, hip dysplasia in dogs was recognised and is prevalent in large and giant breed dogs such as the German Shepherds, Great Dane and Mastiffs. It is one of the most common occurring orthopaedic conditions in dogs. Unfortunately, hip dysplasia in puppies is possible to develop.
Hip dysplasia is caused by joint laxity that results in abnormal development of the femoral and the acetabulum. In healthy dogs, the femur and the acetabulum socket should perfectly and securely be attached to fit within the socket. However, affected dogs begin to have subluxation, which means the separation of the two bones. Such looseness results in an abnormality and joint erosion with pain and arthritis that may follow.
Dog hip dysplasia symptoms
Is hip dysplasia painful for a dog? Sadly, yes, most especially in severe cases. As such, the earlier you identify such a disease, it may give your dog a boost in his battle with hip dysplasia. Symptoms are typically seen with osteoarthritis, which includes:
- Changes in dog’s gait
- Resisting or reluctance in movements that involve flexing and extending rear legs
- Runs in a ‘bunny hopping’ gait
- Shows stiffness when in motion and during exercise
- A decline in his level of activity
- Signs of pain (wincing) when touched
In extreme cases, symptoms include:
- Loss of significant muscle tone
- Needs assistance when getting up
Dog hip dysplasia home treatment
There are a variety of options in treating hip dysplasia in dogs. For mild cases, there are non-surgical approaches. The following are some helpful home remedies:
- Weight monitoring
Aim to reduce your dog’s weight. With a lean body, you have lessened the stress of his hips or joints. As such, you should follow a healthy diet rich in fibre and low in fat. Avoid giving him food scraps. When given free access to any food that he wants, it may grow too fast and has a high risk of obesity.Tip: Do not allow your dog or puppy to overeat to avoid obesity.
- Exercise limits
Your pooch should still be provided with exercise but ensure that there are no signs of discomfort or pain with his condition. The exercise should be moderate but regular to help strengthen the joints. Suggested exercises include:
- Light jogging
- Warm-up before the exercise and cool down after.
- Avoid extreme activities, especially on a hard surface.
- Massage Therapy
Begin with the simplest way of massaging in circular motions. Carefully massage your dog’s joint muscles for at least ten minutes a day. You should be sensitive to your dog’s response. When showing any signs of discomfort, be gentle or stop the massage.
- Anti-inflammatory medications
Aspirin is one medicine that can be given to dogs suffering from dysplasia. Buffered aspirin is recommended to be given with a meal. A consultation with your vet should be done for proper dosage. He may also prescribe further effective anti-inflammatory drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids.
- Providing foam beds
This may ease the pain of the commonly occurring stiffness in the morning when getting up. Ensure placing the bed in a clean area.
Dog hip dysplasia treatment
For severe cases requiring a surgical approach, there are several surgical procedures that include:
- Total Hip Replacement (THR)
THR is said to be the best surgical approach for dogs with hip dysplasia. It can fully eliminate degenerative joints and alleviate pains caused by hip dysplasia by replacing the entire joint with metal and plastic implants. However, this is a difficult procedure that requires an equipped and skilled veterinarian to perform the surgery. In addition, the dog subjected to this kind of surgery should be skeletally mature and should weigh 35 pounds at least.
- Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO)
FHO refers to the removal of the femoral head from the hip joint and forming a false joint along with the ligaments and muscles. It may not be a full recovery as having a normal hip, but it will lessen the pain caused by hip dysplasia. This procedure may be initiated on young and mature canines.
- Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO)
TPO is a procedure of selective cutting of the pelvic bone, realigning the femoral head and acetabulum by merely correcting the joint subluxation. This surgery is usually initiated in young dogs of at least 10 months of age that have yet to develop severely damaged joints.
Dog hip dysplasia surgery cost may vary around an average of £1,200 to £4300 depending on the procedure performed and pet insurance cover.
Were your questions answered? Read more pet health advice for more information.