What Every Dog Owner Should Know About Canine Hip Dysplasia

Have you ever wondered if your pup has a family history of dog hip problems? Does he show signs of pain or discomfort or reduction in mobility? If so, then your dog could be exhibiting early symptoms of dog hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia in dogs is a common condition normally attributed to a host of factors including hereditary causes, injuries, poor diet, and aging. Canine hip dysplasia can be quite painful to the dog and heartbreaking for the owner. Fortunately, your dog does not have to suffer the pain and discomfort of hip dysplasia anymore if you take immediate action to address the problem early enough. Let’s first look at what hip dysplasia among dogs is, what causes the condition, its symptoms, and treatment options.

What is hip dysplasia in dogs?

Dog hip dysplasia or canine hip dysplasia is a chronic and usually painful condition that affects the hip joint of a dog. Hip joints are basically made of two parts, the femur bone and the hip socket known as acetabulum. A healthy dog has a deep nicely rounded hip socket or acetabulum that can comfortably accommodate the femoral head to create a perfect hip ball and socket joint. The perfect fit of both bones is further supported by strong ligaments and smooth bone surfaces with a cartilage cushion and sufficient lubricant. The joint allows your dog to have fluid painless motion whenever it is in use.

In a dog suffering from hip dysplasia, the femoral head does not fit correctly into the acetabulum. The dog has a malformed hip joint. Most veterinarians are of the opinion that most dogs suffering from the condition were born with properly functioning hips but with gradual separation of the two bones in a process known as subluxation, the dogs end up with abnormally shaped hip joints. However, regardless of the cause, a dysplastic dog has a shallow hip socket or acetabulum which cannot hold the head of the femur bone perfectly. The femoral head cannot rest inside the hip socket but rather slides against the surface of the shallow hip socket. The two bones gradually grow apart since the ligaments are not strong enough to hold them together. Eventually, the dog develops a misaligned joint which makes it extremely painful to walk, run, or even rise up. Any form of physical movement makes the bone rub against each other causing hip joint pain.

Which dogs are prone to canine hip dysplasia?

Dog hip dysplasia can occur in any type of dog but certain breeds are more prone to the condition than others. For instance, large breeds of dogs are more susceptible to hip dysplasia than smaller breeds primarily because they exert heavier weight on their hip joints than small dogs do.

Recognizing symptoms of dog hip dysplasia

There are several ways of telling if your dog has canine hip dysplasia. A good place to start is checking your dog’s family history to determine if the condition is present in its bloodline. If you don’t have access to its family history, then look out for any observable symptoms or early signs of the condition. At an early age, the dog may show mild symptoms which will gradually worsen as it ages. Symptoms to look out for include the following:

  • Reluctance to physical activities the dog previously loved to engage in
  • Signs of pain or discomfort while exercising
  • Stiffening in the back legs
  • Developing a bunny hop while running
  • Signs of discomfort when rising from a sitting or prone position
  • Decrease in muscle tone especially in the back legs
  • Treatment options

Similar to other dog diseases and conditions, canine hip dysplasia can be treated if addressed early enough. A good vet will easily diagnose the condition by conducting an x-ray or visual observation. Treatment options include surgery and oral medication. Surgery is often a last resort in extreme cases but it can be quite expensive with costs ranging from $1,700 to $5,000 or more. A better and less expensive option is to use natural dog hip dysplasia remedies to cure the condition. Natural remedies provide relief and won’t expose your dog to unwanted side effects.

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