Early Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia is a commonplace orthopedic condition in dogs. However, it has negative outcomes on the dog’s lifestyle. Typically, large and giant breeds suffer from it. But all dogs and cats could become a victim of hip dysplasia regardless of their size variations.

Briefly, the abnormal growth and development of the hip joint cause hip dysplasia. A synchronized ball and socket joint formulates the hip. The femur head acts as the ball while the pelvic bone or acetabulum is the socket. 

Naturally, the femur head tightly fits inside the acetabulum. Hip dysplasia destabilizes this immaculate setup. So, the dog suffers from an unsound ball socket fit.

Consequently, the ball moves in and out of the socket resulting in cartilage impairment and acute arthritis in puppies even as young as one year.

What prompts hip dysplasia in dogs?

Multiple factors play roles in hip dysplasia development, including genetics. Large dogs like Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, Saint Bernard, and German Shepherd Dog show hereditary signs of hip dysplasia. Immoderate physical growth, improper exercise, excessive weight, and an imbalanced diet accelerate genetic proclivity.

Related information: Suitable dog beds for hip dysplasia

Large puppies have unique nutritional needs and require special large-breed formulas. These diets dial down their unhealthy physical growth. So, the skeletal disorders could be pushed at bay. Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and other joint concerns led to these foods. They curtail the dog’s growth to allow healthy bone and joint development by reducing outstanding strains.

Nutritional imbalance leads to hip dysplasia. Also, excessive or inadequate exercise has a role as well. Obesity stresses your puppy’s joints only to deteriorate existing conditions. Therefore, the vet can recommend the best dog diet for hip dysplasia and exercise requirements to maintain the dog’s good shape.

What are the early signs of hip dysplasia in dogs?

You can obviously mark the traditional physical postures in dogs one to two years of age. But hip dysplasia can creep in among months-old puppies too. The later stages of life expose the level of hip degeneration outwardly. Hip dysplasia can coexist alongside osteoarthritis and other bone-related malfunctions. The symptoms range from —

  • Reduced activity.
  • Diminished motion.
  • Glaring lameness in the hind side.
  • Troubled or reluctant rising, jumping, running, stretching, and climbing staircases.
  • Noticeable loss of thigh muscle and increase in shoulder muscles to compensate for thigh muscle.
  • Limping or stiffness.
  • Visible pain.
  • Joint laxity or grating during movement.
  • Narrow stance.
  • Soreness or stiffness while rising.
  • Dislocation of the hip joint.

How to diagnose hip dysplasia in dogs?

The vet budges their hind legs to examine their hip joint and its looseness on regular checkups. He explores the signs of reduced motion, pain, and grinding. Moreover, blood tests reveal the inflammation and the true state of the hip joint.

The vet could suggest X-ray tests on suspicion. It determines a definitive diagnosis of the puppy’s hips.

Besides, you must tell any abnormal gait or movement from your observation. Stories of previous injuries and accidents give the vet a great leeway into the overall physical condition.

What exercise suits dogs with hip dysplasia?

A good exercise program mainly comes from your veterinarian. Simple walks and moderate jogging strengthen the joint muscles. Typically, 20-minute walks are the way to go. Let the dog lead the path.

Long distances, jumping, and running could further destabilize his hip joint. However, swimming is the best exercise for dogs with hip dysplasia. It can mend the muscles surrounding the joints.

What is a proper diet for dogs with hip dysplasia?

Bodyweight is critical to the wear and tear of a dog’s hip. Obesity strains the hip joints. So, a healthy diet goes a long way for a large dog breed. You and your vet can work together to form an appropriate eating habit for the puppy. Ideal physical weight can effectively curb the onslaught of hip dysplasia.

What is the home treatment for canine hip dysplasia?

Multiple home treatment methods can decelerate the onset of the disease. Top home remedies for hip dysplasia include —

  • Apply a warm water bottle to the affected area for 15 minutes twice every day.
  • Gently rub or massage the hip joints in a circular motion for ten minutes without inflicting pain.
  • Protect the puppy from damp, chilly climates.
  • Slippery floors give them a hard time. Carpeted ramps, staircases, and floors help them gain traction.
  • A firm and orthopedic bed deliver plenty of comforts.

Hip dysplasia treatment & surgeries

Multiple hip dysplasia treatment approaches are mainstream. However, the severity of the disease often dictates the medical course. Non-surgical treatments offer —

  • Physical therapy
  • Joint supplements
  • Weight appropriation
  • Joint fluid modifiers
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 
  • Exercise to stimulate cartilage growth and reduce degeneration

Advanced hip dysplasia requires you to think beyond non-surgical methods. Surgical options vary based on the symptoms and age of the puppy.

  • Femoral head osteotomy (FHO) can help dogs with superior pain management. but it does not restore normal function of the hip.
  • Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO) applies to dogs below 10 months. It reestablishes joint stability and encourages normal joint development.
  • Total hip replacement (THR) replaces the original hip with artificial components to restore normal hip functions. It has the highest rate of success. 

Hip dysplasia treatment costs

Surgical procedures bring you a hefty bill. FHO, DPO/TPO, and JPS range from $1,000 to $3,000 per hip. These procedures suit dogs with muscle loss. If your dog is in need of a total hip replacement, costs can range from $3,500 to $7,000 per hip. 

Other alternative treatments include acupuncture, class 4 laser therapy, and stem cell replacement.

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