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May 2, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Does Your Dog Suffer From Hip Dysplasia?

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

Hip Dysplasia is a very serious disease, and it can be disheartening to watch your beloved pet go through it. I hope the tips below help to provide the best care and comfort for your pet during this time.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip Dysplasia is a malformed hip socket causing an improperly formed hip joint, where the joint should be a "snug fit". Hip Dysplasia is where the joint is "loosely" fit into the socket, causing movement that results in wearing down the joint and hip socket. This can cause severe pain in your dog, and can develop into arthritis or other serious issues.

How Does My Dog Get Hip Dysplasia?

Hip Dysplasia is most often hereditary, however a dog's lifestyle can play a role in this disease: an overweight dog, over-exercising at a very young age prior to a dog reaching full body growth (jogging with a puppy under 1 years old is a big no-no), as well as any type of physical trauma to the hip area.

How Will I Know If My Dog Has Hip Dysplasia?

Unfortunately, dogs can be very clever in disguising their pain until it worsens. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Stiffness and Soreness in the hip area when getting up
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Stands Up On Their Hind Legs
  • Reluctance to Climb Stairs
  • Limping
  • Bunny-Hopping (both back legs are moving together)

A visit to your vet will determine the onset of this disease. They will perform a physical exam, radiographs (x-ray), and a manual test on your dog's hips. If evaluation by your vet is done at a young age and nothing is showing up, a repeat of the evaluation will be needed as the dog ages.

What Is The Most Common Age When A Dog Develops Hip Dysplasia?

Usually the problem appears by the time the dog is 18 months old, however Hip Dysplasia can start to develop as young as 5 months old.

Breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia, commonly found in larger breed dogs such as:

Hip Dysplasia can occur in spaniels, pugs and cats as well (Siamese).

Providing Treatment

Typically, Hip Dysplasia is a genetic problem of which there is no cure. Here are some options that a pet parent can look into:

  • Surgical Options (Cost varies $1,200 - $6,000) - Complete Hip Replacement, and does not guarantee 100% relief
  • Massage Therapy
  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Pain relief and anti-inflammatories
  • Visit Vetionx for more information on Homeopathic Medicine

Providing Basic Needs For A Dog with Hip Dysplasia

  • A healthy diet is a MUST, as is having your dog maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise - can help strengthen the muscles around the joints
    • "Easy does it" walks (15-20 minutes twice a day)
    • Swim Therapy
  • Supplements for joints
  • Providing a Warm and Dry area for sleeping (heated water bottle or "rice bags" can provide comfort)
  • Therapeutic Bed
  • Providing a Ramp for easy up and down areas (for vehicles and steps)

Please consider all options for treatment as there is no one exact remedy for all dogs. Each dog can be at different levels of severity.


PetMD - Hip Dysplasia

Wiki - Canine Hip Dysplasia

Pet Surgery - Canine Hip Dysplasia

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