If your dog has hip dysplasia (HD), you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure they feel better. But what is hip dysplasia in dogs? What causes it, and how can you treat it? We’ve got all the answers right here!
Why is Hip Dysplasia Important?
Hip dysplasia is very important to your dog’s life. If your dog has hip dysplasia, he or she will likely be in pain for much of the day, which can affect his or her quality of life. It also increases the likelihood that your dog will develop arthritis later in life. This painful condition is something that you should pay close attention to if you notice any symptoms of it in your dog at all!
What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?
The cause of hip dysplasia in dogs is not completely understood, but genetic susceptibility and environmental factors are known to play a role.
- Genetic factors: Dogs with genetically determined joint laxity are at increased risk for developing osteoarthritis, especially if they also have excessive weight gain and/or do not exercise adequately. However, these changes are not inevitable; the underlying genetic traits may be expressed or masked depending on how an individual dog grows up and lives its life.
- Environmental factors: Some of the most important environmental factors include excessive weight gain during puppyhood, inadequate nutrition during growth periods (when bones are growing), injury to the hips from jumping off tables or other high places (particularly when combined with heavy body weight), inadequate exercise leading to overweight status in adulthood, and poorly constructed hips inherited from parents with hip dysplasia due to congenital joint laxity (inherited joint laxity).
How is Hip Dysplasia Diagnosed in Dogs?
- Your veterinarian will examine your dog and do a thorough physical exam.
- Your veterinarian may recommend X-rays to get a better understanding of the shape and position of your dog’s hip socket. The vet can also observe the presence of any arthritis in the hip socket as well as signs that suggest degenerative joint disease. An x-ray can help your vet determine if there is an abnormal slip in the hip joint, too much laxity within the joint structure, or dislocation of one side over another (luxation).
- Blood work: If clinical signs are severe, blood tests may be recommended to check for other underlying conditions such as kidney disease or thyroid disease.
- Ultrasound or CT scan: If X-rays don’t give enough information about your pet’s joint health then further imaging tests like ultrasound can provide additional insight into what’s happening inside those joints.
What Can You Do to Prevent Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?
- Exercise your dog. While you can’t really prevent hip dysplasia, you can reduce the risk of its development by keeping your dog active and fit. A healthy body helps to keep joints strong, flexible, and free of disease—all good things when it comes to preventing hip dysplasia. Additionally, a fit body helps to increase muscle strength and endurance in your dog’s hips.
- Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Overweight dogs have more difficulty moving around than their thinner counterparts, which puts more stress on the hips when they do move around. It also makes it easier for them to gain excess fat around their hindquarters if they’re not active enough, which increases the risk of hip dysplasia even further!
- Keep your dog from growing too fast or too large over time (for example: when he reaches sexual maturity). Large dogs are more likely than smaller ones to be at high risk for developing hip dysplasia due to their size; therefore, it’s important not only for them not to grow too quickly but also that owners control how much food they eat each day so as not to put additional pressure on their growing bones/joints during this critical time period.
How is Hip Dysplasia Treated in Dogs?
Talk to your vet about the best treatment for your dog. If you have a young puppy with hip dysplasia, or if your adult dog has recently been diagnosed with the condition, surgery may not be necessary. Your vet may suggest a combination of medical management using anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids, along with physical therapy to help strengthen and stretch out your pet’s muscles.
Physical therapy is a good option for many dogs with hip dysplasia that can help them walk more comfortably. Physical therapy involves stretching muscles around the affected joint in order to loosen up tightness that may cause pain when moving around.
If medications and physical therapy aren’t enough on their own, surgery might be necessary for advanced cases of dogs who still experience pain despite their symptoms being managed through medication or alternative therapies such as acupuncture (which has shown great results). However, this isn’t always necessary—the choice lies in whether it’s worth risking an expensive operation when there are other options available that might work just as well!
Medication and Supplements for Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Massage is also a good option for dogs with hip dysplasia because it increases blood flow to the area and releases endorphins. This can help decrease pain and inflammation. If you’re planning on giving your dog massages regularly, you should consult with your vet first because some dogs may be more sensitive than others.
It’s important to remember that although these treatments are helpful, they won’t cure your dog’s condition completely. Your vet will likely recommend weight loss if they notice that it has become overweight or obese as this might be contributing to the discomfort and pain caused by the disorder itself – so don’t forget about this step!
Treating Hip Dysplasia in Young Dogs
If your dog is young and its hip dysplasia has not progressed too far yet, there are several options for treatment.
- Medication: There are many medications that can help relieve the pain associated with this condition. If you’re using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it’s important to monitor your dog’s weight to make sure they are not losing too much weight while taking these medications. Remember that these medications do not heal the hips; they merely alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by them.
- Supplements: Some supplements may help relieve symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs as well. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been shown to reduce inflammation in joints like those affected by arthritis, which is one symptom of canine hip dysplasia (along with pain). Omega fatty acids are also thought to be helpful because they’re known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
- Physical therapy: If your veterinarian thinks physical therapy could benefit your dog, consult with a local therapist who specializes in canine rehabilitation services or even hire one yourself! The goal here would be to get your pet used to walking without putting too much strain on their legs, so it will gradually become stronger over time — which could ultimately delay or prevent surgery from being needed at all!
How Do You Care for a Dog with Hip Dysplasia?
- Keep your dog active. Dogs with hip dysplasia should be kept as active as possible, especially when young. This can help prevent associated arthritis and will also ensure that your dog has a longer life span.
- Keep your dog’s weight in check. Overweight dogs are more likely to develop hip dysplasia than those who are not overweight, so make sure to keep track of what they eat and how much they exercise so that you know if their condition is improving or worsening over time!
- Make sure your pet gets enough sleep every night too because this will help them feel less stressed out about things like work or school during the day, which could otherwise lead them down a bad path where they become depressed because they don’t feel like themselves anymore because of how tired all these other things make them feel (aka being tired). If anything else comes up during this process, please contact us immediately so we can help out however possible.
It’s important to remember that even if your dog has hip dysplasia, you can try some treatment options and make them feel as comfortable as possible. If you’re not sure what will work best for you or your pet, talk with your veterinarian about their experience treating dogs with this condition. They may be able to recommend some supplements or medication that could help manage pain and inflammation in dogs with hip dysplasia.