Hip Dysplasia in dogs
Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition resulting from an improperly formed hip joint. It is the failure of the hip joints to develop and, because the joint is loose, the dog's leg bone moves around too much, causing pain. Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal diseases in dogs. It is common in many dog breeds, particularly the larger ones. However, that does not mean that smaller breeds are safe and will not be stricken with hip dysplasia. For example, pugs and French bulldogs are prone to suffer from this condition but are less likely to show clinical signs.
Except for genetic factors, there are also some environmental factors that influence the development of the hip dysplasia: rapid weight gain and obesity, nutritional factors, pelvic-muscle mass. Maintaining an appropriate plan of nutrition may help decrease the chances of your pet developing this disorder.
In some mild cases dogs suffering from hip dysplasia show no symptoms at all, but if your dog seems sore in the hips when getting up, if it doesn't want to exercise or is reluctant to run or jump, if it is not walking normally, and it is rather limping, you must take it to the vet for check-ups. Some other symptoms are: loss of muscle mass in thigh muscles, narrow stance in the hind limbs, decreased range of motion in the hip joints, joint looseness or laxity…
Hip dysplasia often begins while a dog is still young and physically immature. Hip dysplasia can begin to develop in puppies that are five months old and worsen as they age. Sometimes, there are no signs of dysplasia until the dog’s later years, but in the most cases when the dog is in its middle years and is suffering from hip dysplasia, you cannot not notice it.
Because hip dysplasia is a genetic disorder, there are no medications to prevent it, but these days there are many joint supplements, surgical and other options (healthy diet, moderate daily exercise, massage, physical therapy) which can help manage the condition.
There are several ways to diagnose hip dysplasia, with X-rays often being the first step, but your veterinarian will probably perform a complete physical exam on your dog, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel, a urinalysis and a manual test on your dog's hips.
There are several surgical options, including a complete hip replacement.
Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint, a “ball and socket” joint, forms improperly. As a dog grows, both the ball and socket need to grow at similar rates. Hip dysplasia, or an abnormal growth development of the hip, happens when the ball and socket don’t grow at an equal rate, resulting in the two not fitting together properly. This causes the hip(s) to become loose or "out of place," causing lameness, pain, and secondary arthritis.
IMPORTANT! Because hip dysplasia is a hereditary disorder, dogs with hip dysplasia should not be used for breeding. Various radiographic procedures are used to diagnose and grade hip dysplasia.
World Dog Finder team