Hip dysplasia in dogs is a common concern. Some people lean towards natural or holistic therapy for treatments, and others opt for more traditional treatment options.
Hip Dysplasia is caused by the abnormal development of the hip. This condition creates instability in the joint. In severe cases, dislocation of the thigh bone is possible.
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The most common cause of hip dysplasia in dogs is genetics.
- THE GENE POOL
Dogs might not show signs of hip dysplasia, but they can still be carrying the gene, which can be passed on to the pup.
3. BIG DOGS
Hip Dysplasia tends to occur in large dog breeds.
4. FEMALE DOGS
Hip Dysplasia occurs more often in female dog breeds.
5. MALE DOGS
Males are not immune to hip dysplasia either, although it is less frequent.
6. FAST GROWING BREEDS
Hip Dysplasia is common in fast-growing breeds like:
- German Shepherds
- Labrador Retrievers
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
- American Staffordshire Terriers
7. SMALL BREEDS
Hip Dysplasia in small breed dogs can occur as young as four months old.
8. EARLY ONSET HIP DYSPLASIA
When a dog breed develops hip dysplasia as a puppy, it is called “early onset” hip dysplasia.
9. THEY GROW LIKE WEEDS
Breeds with fast-growth patterns, like Greyhounds, German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Borzois, and retrievers, are more susceptible to hip dysplasia.
“Late onset” hip dysplasia is usually caused by osteoarthritis in dogs.
11. POOR DIET
Hip dysplasia can be caused – among other things – by poor nutrition.
Hip dysplasia can be caused by poor muscle development.
13. REPETITIVE STRAIN
Sometimes, hip dysplasia results from repetitive strain injuries.
14. PACKING ON THE POUNDS
Dogs with weight issues can develop hip dysplasia more easily.
16. PELVIC INJURIES
Dogs who have experience pelvic injuries may be more susceptible to hip dysplasia.
17. WARNING SIGNS
Stiffness and pain when walking are warning signs of hip dysplasia in dogs.
If your dog used to exercise without problems, but suddenly develops an intolerance, he/she may be experiencing hip dysplasia.
19. WALK THIS WAY
You know your dog better than anybody else, so if you notice he/she suddenly develops an unusual gait, it could be a sign of hip dysplasia.
20. HELP ME UP!
If you notice your senior dog struggling to stand up smoothy, suspect hip dysplasia.
21. STAIRWAY TO HIP DYSPLASIA
If your normally limber dog suddenly has difficulty managing the stairs, you should suspect the onset of hip dysplasia.
If you notice a sudden clicking noise when your dog walks, he/she could be exhibiting signs of hip dysplasia.
23. SIT BOY!
The next time you offer a treat to your dog, watch how easily he sits and stands on command. Sometimes a reluctance to move might have to do with the development of hip dysplasia.
Lack of exercise, inability to climb, and difficulty moving positions prevent your dog’s muscles from working. As a result, the thigh muscles might begin to atrophy.
25. OFF-BALANCED LOAD
If your dog has hip dysplasia, he/she will tend to put more weight on the front legs. That added load will cause the front legs to thicken.
26. HIP DISTANCE
Something doesn’t look quite right with your dog? If you can’t identify the problem right away, have a look at your dog’s stance. Increased width between the hips could be caused by hip dysplasia.
If a physical exam doesn’t show hip dysplasia, the veterinarian may require a radiograph (x-ray).
Keeping your dog’s weight under control is one way to help prevent hip dysplasia.
Once hip dysplasia is established, your dog may require extensive physical therapy to improve mobility.
30. MASSAGE THERAPY
Canine massage is a good way to aid in your dog’s mobility once diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
31. CRANK UP THE HEAT
Heat packs are useful for dog’s with osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia.
32. BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Alternatively, dog’s will benefit from cold pack application to reduce any swelling.
33. RUNNING – THE SAFE WAY
Dog’s with hip dysplasia still need to get exercise, although it’s significantly harder. Hydrotherapy offers underwater treadmill exercise as a solution.
Diet modification with wholesome foods that are prepared at home can help ease, or possibly prevent, hip dysplasia in dogs.
35. PUPPY DIET
Specially formulated diets are a good option for puppies prone to hip dysplasia as they help regulate fast growth.
36. NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS
Natural supplements recommended by a healthcare professional may aide in reducing joint inflammation.
37. SLICK AS ICE
Ask your veterinarian about natural supplements that act as joint lubricators for your dog.
Dogs with hip dysplasia can also benefit from natural supplements designed to rebuild cartilage.
39. KEEP IT ON THE DOWN LOW
Exercise is important with all dogs, even dogs with hip dysplasia. However, the safest bet is low impact exercise.
40. LET’S MARATHON!
Or maybe not. All dogs are not made the same and some can withstand high intensity exercise, where others cannot. Too much exercise in dogs with low tolerance may hasten the development of hip dysplasia.
41. SOFT SURFACES
Dogs prone to hip dysplasia, or who have hip dysplasia, should be walked on soft surfaces like grassed or dirt trails.
Most dogs enjoy a good swim and it’s especially beneficial for dogs with hip dysplasia because of the zero-impact on joints.
43. THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE
One way to keep your dog mobile is to practice limited amounts of targeted exercise. For example, “sit” and “stand” are good choices. Start slowly and do not overwork the dog.
44. GOING UP?
Dogs with hip dysplasia will favour the front limbs, causing the rear to become weak and atrophied. One way to prevent or reverse this is to take your dog on short walks on an incline. Hiking trails are best.
45. DOWN THE PATH
What goes up must come down, but don’t worry…that downward incline helps your dog to equally work the front limbs for balanced muscle control.
46. SHAKE PAW?
A good way to practice balance control in a dog with hip dysplasia is to play the “shake paw” game. Alternate low-calorie treats with non-food rewards such as love and affection.
47. DOGGIE BEDS
Specialty orthopaedic mattresses are available for dogs with hip dysplasia.
48. PIN IT
Acupuncture is an excellent, natural way to relieve pain due to hip dysplasia.
49. GET TO IT RIGHT AWAY
An early diagnosis of hip dysplasia provides the best outcomes and treatment options.
Hip dysplasia in dogs was first identified in 1935.
51. THE DYNAMICS OF HIP DYSPLASIA
Hip dysplasia happens with the hip socket is too shallow or there is a deformity in the femur head.
52. PRIMARY CAUSE
The primary cause of hip dysplasia is subluxation, which is a partial dislocation of a joint.
Osteoarthritis is the second cause of hip dysplasia in dogs.
54. SPURS – NOT JUST FOR COWBOYS
Spurs are painful, bony projections that develop along the bone edge. Bone spurs are caused by the joint damage caused by osteoarthritis.
55. BONE SPUR STATS
In a study involving 5 different dog breeds, 60 out of 605 dogs had a greater frequency (54%) of bone spurs.
56. THAT’S NOT GRAVEL
If your dog has hip dysplasia, you may hear a grating noise as he/she walks. It might sound gritty, like sand being rubbed across a hard surface.
57. THE DOG WAS BORN WITH IT
Puppies born with hip dysplasia likely won’t show signs in the beginning, but as the puppy grows, you might notice structural abnormalities. Watch for swivelling hips from behind, a “bunny-hop” when the puppy jumps . If you suspect hip dysplasia, bring your puppy to the veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis.