Canine Hip Dysplasia

The common term for a condition affecting a dog’s hips is Canine Hip Dysplasia. This is a common inherited condition. It happens when the hip joint doesn't develop properly or doesn't fit into  the socket normally.  This can lead to pain and discomfort, and may eventually cause your dog to suffer severe mobility issues and effects quality of life

What Is The Cause Of Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia in dogs is caused by a number of reasons, the first of which is hereditary. Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition that affects breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds Rottweilers and many more large and giant breed dogs.  Excessive growth rate, over exercise, a poor or imbalanced diet, and other factors can amplify this hereditary susceptibility.

More breeds are becoming effected by the this condition including crossbreeds, small breeds and more recently "doodles"

What are the signs / symptoms my dog has Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia symptoms can develop in dogs as young as four months old. Others acquire symptoms later on in life and inevitably we see osteoarthritis in all cases eventually. There are  indications that owners should be aware of at all ages. The severity of the condition, the level of inflammation, the degree of laxity in the joint, and the length of time the dog has had the condition can all affect the symptoms.

Symptoms include;

  • Reduced activity
  • Change is posture
  • Difficulty or apprehension jumping, running, or stair climbing
  • Using the front legs to 'heave' themselves up from a sitting or laying position
  • Swaying of the hips while walking
  • Difficulty toileting
  • Slimmer back legs / loss of muscle
  • Licking of joints
  • Limping / Stiffness
  • Changes to behaviour

Treating a dog with Hip Dysplasia

There are lots of treatment options available from surgery and medication, to complimentary therapies like hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture and laser treatment. Your Vet will advise you on the best course of treatment for your dog, but we always find that earlier intervention improves the long term out look

Conservative Management for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

Diet and exercise modification is crucial to manage the condition at home. There are lots of ways an owner can help by changing just a few things around the home to ensure the dog avoids slips, trips and flare ups of the condition

Check out this link for tip to manage the home environment for a dog with hip dysplasia

Did you know 63% of all dogs are overweight? The extra load on the joints can be a major factor in the progression of the disease


Surgical Treatment for Canine Hip Dysplasia

Surgical options can include;

Femoral head and neck excision - where the head of the socket it completely removed. This takes away the contact from the ball to the socket, greatly reducing the pain of bone on bone and arthritis. The body then forms a fibrous false joint of tissue to support the joint .

Total hip replacement - the 'gold standard' of procedures to completely replace the joint, similar to that the humans receive

Prior to 18 weeks of age, dogs can have a joint-saving procedure called juvenile pubic symphysiodesis. Dogs younger than 10 months can have a procedure called a triple pelvic osteotomy



June is Canine Hip Dysplasia Awareness Month

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