Causes and Symptoms of Dog Hip Problems
As a dog owner, you should always be aware of your dog’s health condition at all times. You need to know if your dog is suffering from any mobility problems such as arthritis and dog hip dysplasia. There are generally many conditions that can affect your dog’s bones and joints. The most common conditions include osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia in dogs.
You are probably aware of osteoarthritis in humans but the condition affects dogs too. It is a degenerative condition that is more common among older dogs due to years of joint wear and tear. In dogs, osteoarthritis affects different joints in the body including shoulder, back, knee, elbow, and more commonly the hip joint. The condition can be extremely painful and even limit the dog’s physical movement.
Dog hip dysplasia
Dog hip dysplasia, which is also referred to as canine hip dysplasia is one of the most common joint problems in dogs. The condition is more prevalent among large dog breeds such as Saint Bernard, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Mastiffs, and Labrador Retriever just to mention a few. Small breeds can be affected too although in rare circumstances.
Causes of dog hip dysplasia
A hip joint is made of two major parts, the femoral head that looks like a ball and the hip socket. A dysplastic dog has an improperly formed hip joint in which the head of the femur bone does not fit properly into the hip socket resulting in abrasion and pain whenever the dog makes physical movements.
Dog hip dysplasia is caused by an interaction of both genetic and environmental factors. It’s mainly due to hereditary causes which is why it is important to determine if your dog has a history of the condition in its parentage. The misaligned hip joint can be further aggravated by poor weight control among large breeds. An obese dog is likely to exert excessive weight on a poorly formed hip joint leading to further damage to the joint.
The onset of canine hip dysplasia usually occurs while the dog is still young but there are cases where a dog becomes dysplastic later in life due to osteoarthritis or degeneration of joint cartilage due to age.
Symptoms of hip joint problems in dogs
Most dogs will usually develop the problem at an early age of between 4 and 9 months. Common symptoms of a problematic hip joint include stiffness, pain, limping, difficulties in getting up or climbing stairs, developing a wobbly gait, and loss of interest in physical activities the dog used to enjoy.
As the hip joint condition progresses, the dog begins to show signs of pain and discomfort while walking, running, getting up and develops limited hip motion. If the problem is not addressed in time, your dog loses its ability to move as the crippling condition takes its toll on the dog’s hip joint.
A dog with dysplasia will probably have lived with the condition since it was just a few months old and has not only developed resistance to mild pain but learned to live with the condition too. Such dogs will hardly show signs of pain or discomfort but you can tell they are uncomfortable by their sudden or abnormal movements when getting up, sitting, walking, or climbing objects. The symptoms will normally depend on the level of joint looseness, joint inflammation, and the extent of damage to the hip joint.
Diagnosis of dog hip dysplasia
A good veterinarian will tell if your dog has hip joint problems by physical examination, X-ray, and other diagnostic procedures such as urinalysis and blood sample examination. Joint inflammation can be noted in a blood count test too. The vet will also need to look at your dog’s family history to determine if the condition runs in its bloodline. Treatment can be through surgery or medication. However, home therapies for dog hip problems using organic supplements are highly recommended. Click here to buy this awesome product for your dog(s).