Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Hip dysplasia in dogs is a condition where the ball and socket joint of the femur with the pelvic bone has a malformation. This causes the joint to rub and grind against each other due to the ball and socket portions not meeting one another. In its severe form, this condition can cause lameness and arthritis. It is then, a genetic disorder and one of the most studied diseases by veterinarians. Hip dysplasia is also the most common cause of arthritis on the hips.
What causes hip dysplasia in Dogs?
The ball and socket joint at the hips is formed by the ball, which is in the head of the femur and the socket is located on the pelvis. The area where both bones touch is other is the articular surface, which contains spongy cartilage to make it smooth and cushioned. The abnormal joint structure in dogs with hip dysplasia causes a separation known as subluxation. The articular surfaces change in size and shape and the bones lose contact with each other.
It is agreed that the development of this disease has to do with genetic pre-disposition but it is also influenced by environmental factors. Obesity and rapid weight gain are also considered a cause of hip dysplasia in dogs.
What are the symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs?
The symptoms are those that you observe from arthritis. The condition can affect dogs of any age. In severe cases, puppies can start showing symptoms of the disease as young as five months. These puppies might start feeling pain and discomfort during walking. The condition will only get worse to the point of not letting the puppy walk.
Please note that the symptoms of hip dysplasia are not easily seen. Some dogs might be coping with pain for years and have learned to live with it. ake your pup to the vet whenever you observe any of the symptoms discussed above.
What can I do if my dog has hip dysplasia?
The veterinarian will decide if your dog needs surgery to correct the deformity. This will depend on factors such as size, age, and function. Physiotherapy can help maintain muscle integrity and decrease joint stiffness. Very importantly, control your dog´s weight. Once you have taken him to the vet, he will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs plus pain medications.
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