What is hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is one of the most commonly found bone diseases in dogs. From its name this disease has to do with the hip. When a dog has hip dysplasia it means that the structure of the ball and socket joint of the hip is malfunctioning, the ball detaches itself from the socket so instead on sliding normally it grinds and causes friction.
What causes hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is mostly genetic and is inherited but can be triggered by environmental factors. These factors can include weight gain and lack of exercise. It is said that this disease hits large breed dogs more commonly rather than small breed dogs.
What symptoms to look for?
- Decreased range of motion in the hip joints.
- Enlarged shoulder muscle as the dog will tend to rely more on them than on rear legs.
- Decreased activity (including running, climbing stair, rising from sitting position etc.).
Dogs can show symptoms of hip dyspepsia as early as 4 months old. As soon as a dog starts showing any of these symptoms, you need to visit a vet to insure that the joints are looked after.
How to prevent hip dysplasia?
- Make sure that your dog eats a fully balanced meal especially when young to insure that the bones have what it needs to grow normally.
- Watch for your dog’s weight and make sure that they don’t gain any excess weight.
- Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise. Swimming can be very beneficial as it increases muscle mass without stressing the joint.
How can hip dysplasia be treated?
The treatment of any disease can vary from one dog to another and so the same applies here. There is a wide variety of treatment that is possible depending on the condition and severity of the disease. These treatments can include physical therapy, surgery, and sometimes a change in diet and exercise.
Written by Farah Khaled
Reviewed and approved by Dr. Galila Madbooly, Island Veterinary Clinic