Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Symptoms

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Symptoms, Treatment Options & Prevention

dog hips on stairs looking out window.

If you are a dog owner, it is important to be aware of hip dysplasia and the symptoms associated with this potentially debilitating condition. Large and Giant breed dog owners are typically aware of this condition as it is a common concern with these breeds. However, did you know that hip dysplasia can be found in any size dog? Here we will take a look at what hip dysplasia is, the treatment options available, and some preventive measures you can take to help keep your pup healthy. So read on for all you need to know about hip dysplasia in dogs!

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a debilitating condition that affects the hip joints of dogs. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint where the head of the thighbone (femur) fits into the socket (acetabulum). When the hip joint does not develop correctly the dog develops hip dysplasia. This can lead to pain, lameness, and arthritis.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that is transferred by hereditary. Other factors include rapid growth rates where in larger breed dogs the bones develop too quickly and can cause malformation that leads to hip dysplasia. Other triggers include environmental factors such as nutrition and exercise or injury.

This condition is most common in large breed dogs but can affect any size or breed of dog. Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to developing hip dysplasia than others. These breeds include the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Rottweiler, and Mastiff.

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia

  • Decreased activity
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty getting up after resting
  • Reduced or difficulty running, jumping, climbing, stairs
  • Lameness in the back legs
  • Loss of thigh muscle mass
  • Increased shoulder muscles as a result of compensation for the lacking hind end
  • Pain, stiffness, or limping

How is Hip Dysplasia Diagnosed?

During regular checkups, your vet will examine your dog and sometimes find this condition just based on the range of motion, looseness of joints and/or any grinding of the joints that may be present. Hip dysplasia is usually diagnosed and confirmed by x-ray. Your veterinarian will take radiographs of your dog’s hips and pelvis to look for signs of hip dysplasia. They may also take radiographs of your dog’s hind legs to look for signs of arthritis.

How is Hip Dysplasia Treated?

There is no cure for hip dysplasia but there are treatments available to help improve your dog’s quality of life. Treatment options include weight management, exercise restriction, anti-inflammatory medications, pain medications, joint supplements, good nutrition and as a last resort, surgery.

Weight management is often recommended for dogs with hip dysplasia as obesity can worsen the condition. When choosing pet food for your dog, it is best to check with your veterinarian to make sure you feed a product that will support your specific pup’s needs. Specialty foods for larger breeds will are designed to ensure that the puppy does not develop too quickly. By allowing their joints to develop without excessive strain that can reduce future issues with the skeletal system. Holistic Health Extension® has many nutritional choices for all dog sizes, breeds, and life stages.

Exercise restrictions may also be recommended to prevent further damage to the joints. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce inflammation and pain while joint supplements can help improve joint health. Adding Health Extension® Joint Mobility to your pups diet will provide your pup with optimum joint mobility support from the beginning.  Enriched with Glucosamine and Chondroitin, the key ingredients for healthy hips and joints. Additionally, OptiMSM, is an ultra-pure and high quality MSM supplement to help support joints, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues.

Preventing Hip Dysplasia

Preventing hip dysplasia from developing in the first place is relative to how it occurred in the first place. Genetically predisposed conditions are not preventable. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your dog’s risk and severity:

  • Feed a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Avoid rapid weight gain
  • Provide adequate exercise
  • Avoid excessive exercise during periods of rapid growth between puppy to adult stages
  • Maintain a healthy weight

In summary, hip dysplasia is a condition that can affect dogs of all breeds and sizes but is most commonly seen in large and giant breeds. The condition is caused by a malformation of the hip joint and can lead to pain and arthritis as the dog ages. While there is no cure for hip dysplasia, there are treatment options available that can help improve your dog’s quality of life. These include weight management, joint supplements, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and surgery. You can also take steps to reduce your dog’s risk of developing hip dysplasia by feeding them a high-quality diet, providing them with plenty of exercise, and avoiding injuries to their hips and joints. If you have any concerns about hip dysplasia, speak with your veterinarian prior to getting a new puppy.

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