If you have a large breed dog, then chances are your Reisterstown veterinarian has already warned you about the risks of hip dysplasia. While hip dysplasia can occur in all breeds, regardless of size, larger dogs like German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and retrievers seem to be the most commonly affected and the ones your local veterinary will want to regularly inspect for the condition.
What Is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is an inherited skeletal condition that results when the hip joint is improperly formed or deteriorates over time. The hip joint becomes loose and thereby causes the attached leg to move around abnormally. This causes pain and more wear and tear, which further exacerbates the condition.
How Can I Tell if a Dog Has Hip Dysplasia?
Some dogs can hide their pain very well. Because of this, it's recommended that older dogs have their hips examined with care by a veterinarian during their annual check-up. For more sensitive dogs and those dogs with more pronounced hip dysplasia, owners may notice them being hesitant to stand on their hind legs, climb stairs, or exercise in general. Any limping or bunny-hopping should result in a visit to the veterinarian.
At What Age Does Hip Dysplasia Develop?
Every dog is different, but in most cases hip dysplasia won't become noticeable until dogs enter their middle to later years, which is why veterinarians generally add a hip test for older dogs on their annual visit. In some cases, dogs may begin to develop hip dysplasia as young as four months of age.
What Procedures Are Used to Diagnose Hip Dysplasia?
A physical examination of your dog's hips and the mobility of his joints is the first step to determining whether or not your dog has dip dysplasia. If your veterinarian determines there might be signs of the condition, it's recommended that your dog receive radiographs and other manual tests.
What Do I Do if My Dog Has Dysplasia?
Currently, there are no products that can prevent the development of hip dysplasia. However, there are things that can help manage the condition and reduce the pain it causes. Your veterinary and animal care team will determine the best route for your dog on an individual basis, but generally, a non-invasive treatment plan for hip dysplasia will include a combination of a healthy diet that maintains a normal weight, joint supplements, massage, physical therapy, and pain-relieving medication. For very serious cases, your Reisterstown veterinarian may recommend a surgical option to be performed at an animal hospital. There are several different types of surgical options available, with the most radical being the option for a full hip replacement.
Here at TLC for Pets, we provide treatment for hip dysplasia. Give us a call at 410-833-1717 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment for your pet.