Hip dysplasia is a genetic degenerative joint disease that affects the hip joints of dogs during their developmental stages. The hip joints, which are the ball and socket joints, are affected by an abnormal growth and malformation. When hip dysplasia occurs, the ball and socket cannot develop properly and grind painfully against each other instead of sliding smoothly. As they get older, it can cause arthritis and affect dogs' movements and mobility, leading to a loss of function of these joints.
Interestingly enough, the signs of hip dysplasia are divided into 2 major forms, each displaying different symptoms: juvenile and mature.
Juvenile signs that are clear indicators:
- Bunny-hopping gait
- Lameness in back legs (one or both)
- Difficulty getting up and reluctance to move
- Shifting weight to front legs
- Struggling to exercise for long periods
Mature signs to look out for:
RISK FACTORS FOR HIP DYSPLASIA IN DOGS
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition and usually affects large breeds, but medium and small breeds can also experience this uncomfortable and painful disease. Other predisposing factors include:
- Excessive growth rate
- Exercise that puts too much pressure on their hips
- Being overweight or obese
- Unhealthy diet with not enough essential nutrients
DOG BREEDS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING HIP DYSPLASIA
Below are dog breeds that are more susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.
Poor breeding, genetic predisposition, as well as having a larger frame can affect weight distribution, putting large breeds such as these at risk:
Medium-sized breeds, such as Boxers, can also run the risk of mobility issues. They can be affected at any age, so be sure to monitor their activities as they grow. Medium breeds at risk of hip dysplasia include:
These breeds are susceptible to a variety of physical conditions thanks to selective breeding. Make sure that breeders are responsible and reputable for these specific breeds. Poor breeding can greatly affect their health and physical well-being. Small breeds at risk of hip dysplasia include:
TREATING CANINE HIP DYSPLASIA
It is important to check with your vet to get recommended treatment for your dog. In order to avoid any surgery, it is advised to get them on a treatment plan as early as possible. Your vet would prescribe specific medication, such as anti-inflammatories and joint supplements. CDB oil has also been found to be an effective treatment for this condition. Consulting a canine physiotherapist would also greatly benefit your pup.
Hip dysplasia can be managed with a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in omega fatty acids. Weight loss may not completely get rid of the pain, but it will make a noticeable difference and reduce stress on the joints. Gentle exercise, such as short walks and swimming, will also help improve muscle tone and alleviate wear and tear on the joint.