Dog hip dysplasia, or canine hip dysplasia as it is more frequently called, is a bone disease that happens more often in larger dogs like the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Retriever and Dalmation although it can strike any breed.
This developmental orthopedic disease happens when the hip socket is not well developed and the ball and socket of the hip joint just don’t fit together correctly. The muscles around the hip joint don’t develop as well as they should and the result is that there is much more stress on the joint than it can handle. This causes excess friction and destruction of the tissue, resulting in painful and often crippling arthritis.
Unfortunately, dogs don’t complain much and they can go along for years with this pain without really showing any symptoms until the arthritis is very far along.However, symptoms can start to appear as early as 4 months along and the sooner the better since early treatment can save heartache later on.
Symptoms of dog hip dysplasia include stiffness in the back legs, difficulty getting up, , not wanting to go upstairs or jump, and generally not wanting to run and play like usual. The only way to tell for sure is to get your Vet to take some x-rays, as well as to give your dog a physical exam to see if this is indeed what your dog is suffering from.
If caught early enough, surgery – called a triple pelvic ostectomy – often has a good outcome, particularly if it is performed before arthritis sets in. Once the joint has become arthritic, the chances for success are greatly reduced. In extreme cases, a total hip replacement usually works pretty well, although the surgery itself has some risks.
Canine hip dysplasia is passed on genetically. If a dog that has it is bred, there is a chance that some of the puppies will have this. If two dogs with hip dysplasia are bred together, that liklihood is greatly increased. Although most breeders make a good attempt to not breed dogs with dysphasia, this is easier said than done, because not all dogs show that they have it until they are rather old.
Since dog hip dysplasia is a genetic problem, buying your dog from a reputable breeder will give you some protection from it. Good breeders try to prevent the disease by not breeding dogs that have it. You can check the pedigree of your dog to see whether they have been certified with the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals. In addition, obesity as well as feeding your puppy a food that is over supplemented can add to the onset of this disease.
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