Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

April 23, 2021 2 min read

Hip dysplasia affects around 15% of the dog population. This disease is caused by a deformity of the hip during growth. The ball and socket joint of the hip are not growing at equal rates during puppyhood, which causes them to roughly rub rather than smoothly function together. These joints eventually deteriorate and lose function. Hip dysplasia can be very painful for dogs, so it is the owner’s responsibility to be properly educated so they can make sure their sweet companion can still achieve great quality of life with this condition.

Causes:

  • Genetics: Usually larger breeds are more at risk (i.e. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Saint, Bernards, etc.)
  • Improper diet: Overfeeding a puppy so it will “grow big”
  • Imbalanced exercise: Too much or too little exercise
  • Obesity: Consult with your vet to know a healthy weight for your dog

 

Symptoms:

  • Weakness and pain in hind legs
  • Loss of muscle in hind-end (one or both legs)
  • Lameness in hind-end (one or both legs)
  • “Bunny hopping” gait (i.e. swaying)
  • Limping
  • Stiffness
  • Wobbly when trying to rise or walk
  • Reluctant to jump, run, or climb stairs

Diagnosis

  • Physical exam: Performed by veterinarian.
  • Blood work: Inflammation from diseases can show in blood count.
  • X-ray of hips: Can determine degree/severity of disease.

 

Treatmentsoptions can vary, but we like to look through a holistic lens and provide you with education on many different options such as home-therapies, surgical options and/or medicines. Below is a quick synopsis of the more common options available.

Lifestyle:

  • Weight loss
  • Monitored exercise
  • Proper nutrition
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture

Medicine:

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Nutritional supplements (i.e. NEM, Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
  • Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (injections)

Surgery:

  • Total hip replacement
  • Femoral head ostectomy (FHO)
  • Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)

Preventionis difficult in this condition due to genetic tendencies, but it is possible to reduce the risk. We’ve compiled a quick list of things to help guide you in reducing risk for your pup:

  • Feeding an age-appropriate diet for dog (especially during puppyhood)
  • Appropriate exercise
  • Daily supplements (Vitamin C & E, Perna)
  • Do not neuter too young (research suggests at one year of age)
  • If possible, make sure you are dealing with a breeder that is hip-health conscious. Check if dog’s lineage has certifications for Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program and Orthopedic Foundation of Animal certification.

To help your dog with management of pain from this condition, the Benefab® Canine Comfort Suit keeps joints, tendons, and ligaments supple and relaxed. The suit provides a supportive compression for anxiety and comfort. It helps harmonize bodily functions safely and naturally stimulating recovery time, promoting blood circulation, increasing oxygen flow, and ultimately reducing pain and stiffness. The material is also breathable with wicking qualities.



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