We love our dogs and hate to see them suffer. That is why we do everything in our power to prevent them from suffering any types of injury. However, every dog breeds have their own deformative abnormalities and tend to develop different inherent complications.
Sometimes, dogs develop inconsistencies in their skeletal structure, which then leads to a multitude of symptoms and pain. Since hip dysplasia is a genetic condition, there is no certain cure for it, and most dogs will live the entirety of their lives with hip dysplasia.
There is, however, a surgical solution for hip dysplasia, but very few dogs undergo surgery. This is mainly because hip dysplasia is a gradually progressing condition. The development of hip dysplasia slowly begins to worsen and affects your dog’s quality of life as it gets older.
By the time symptoms of hip dysplasia becomes more evident, dogs are no longer in the physical shape to undergo surgery. Hence, surgery is only possible if the condition have been diagnosed at an earlier stage.
What is Hip Dysplasia and How it is Caused?
Hip dysplasia in dogs is more common than it should be, and the generational breeding of dogs can be blamed for it. To understand hip dysplasia, you have to understand the complexities and the skeletal framework of the hip joint.
The hip joint, or, the ball and socket joint allows for a full range of motion in the dog. The name, “ball and socket” involves a part of the dog’s joint, that connects to its hind legs. The ball refers to the curvature of one part of the joint, and the socket refers to the other part of the adjoining indentation, in which the “ball” is supposed to fit perfectly, for a healthy hip joint.
The hip joint is responsible for providing mobility to the hind legs. To put it into further perspective, the “ball” in the ball and socket hip joint is actually, the end of the thigh bone, or the femoral head that connects to the hip socket, which is the connective bone.
Thus, a dog that does not develop hip dysplasia, does not face any problems rotating its hips. Unfortunately, many dog breeds are victims of the development of hip dysplasia, which is more or less, the abnormal growth of the skeletal structures or bones that make up the hip joint.
The hip joint needs to be perfectly aligned and correspond to the rest of the dog’s skeletal frame for there to be no signs of hip dysplasia. However, hip dysplasia in your dog is a sign of misalignment in the hip joint. Furthermore, it can also be indicative of a degenerative condition related to your dog’s hip joint.
Anomalies in the hip joint will often lead to a number of symptoms in a dog. Dogs with hip dysplasia will often display signs of pain and discomfort in how they walk. Since putting pressure on their rear limbs causes pain, they begin to show lameness in their stride by overcompensating their front leg when they walk.
Moreover, dogs are incredible creatures when it comes to hiding pain. Dogs with hip dysplasia will not express their pain and make it instantly evident to their owners. Therefore, you need to keep track of their subtle behavior changes, such as reluctance to walk or jump over the couch. Moreover, the general tiredness and laziness is also a sign.
If inactivity due to hip dysplasia continues in dogs, then this can put your dog at an even greater risk because it could ultimately lead to the loss of muscle mass. Having muscular tissue on the joints helps dogs alleviate stress from their weak joints. Moreover, inactivity can also result in weight gain, which is detrimental to the dog’s joint health.
Two Primary Causes of Hip Dysplasia
Hereditary – influenced by environmental factors. It is a skeletal issue mostly in larger dog breeds such as German Shepherds and Labradors. Over 15% of all canines suffer from hip dysplasia.
Degeneration – weakening of joints which is caused by the weight of the dog, lack of exercise, muscle mass, and hormones.
Breeds Prone to Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a common condition, especially in the mastiff line of breeds. Since they have such a large size, the dog’s joints are put under a hefty weight that begins to damage and weaken as time progresses. This weakening of the joints can also lead to hip dysplasia when a large breed dog begins to age.
Along with that, breeds that are generally considered as larger dogs also tend to be more vulnerable to hip dysplasia such as Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and other dogs that weigh about twenty pounds or more.
How to Prevent Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
To begin with the preventative measures, it is important to note that genetic abnormalities are not preventable and will inevitably happen. However, by the health of certain things, it is always possible to slow down the onset of the condition, and allow your dog to spend the majority of its life in comfort and satisfaction.
Keep Your Dog’s Skeletal System Healthy
Keeping your dogs’ skeletal system healthy is the best thing you can do for your dog, regardless of whether they are prone to hip dysplasia or not. Looking after your dog’s bones involves taking good care of their diet.
The nourishment and strengthening of the bones come from nutrition. Hence, providing your dogs the right type of nutrition can help your dog absorb enough calcium and nutrients for a healthy skeletal system.
Moreover, the skeletal system is not all bones, it is also the tissues and ligaments that hold the bones and the joints together. It is adamant that you give your dog sufficient diet and exercise so that they do not lack the essential elements for their joint health. Moreover, exercise also allows keeping their weight in check.
Avoid Over-Exercising Puppies
Puppies, in comparison to full-grown dogs have softer limbs and bones. Over-exercising the puppies makes them vulnerable to injuries and damages. So do not let their restlessness and energy to play for hours fool you.
Puppies will very easily overwork and injure themselves because of their excitement. Keep a certain time limit for their playtime and bring them to a safe space once that time is over. Any injury or strain due to running can translate into something horrible.
Keep Your Dog on a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can go a long way you want to keep your dog under a safe weight, and away from risk. Hip dysplasia in dogs has no cure, but a consistent and healthy diet is very close to a cure, in terms of your dog’s quality of life.
Test Early for Hip Dysplasia
If you have opted to get one of the large breeds, then do not wait for the symptoms to develop, and get it tested for hip dysplasia. An early diagnosis is your best chance for preventing hip dysplasia. If a veterinarian suspects any complications earlier, then your dog will be a perfect candidate for total hip replacement or any other surgery solution.
Start Your Dog on Natural Supplements for Joint Health
Natural supplements are another alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs or surgical treatments. Joint supplements can be instrumental for the betterment of developing hip issues. Supplements work best when you prescribe them in conjunction with other methods.
Hip Dysplasia Treatment Options
You can find many treatment options for hip dysplasia along the lines of natural and holistic supplements and a wide range of therapies that help prevent dogs hip dysplasia side effects. Much of these options focus mainly on pain relief.
Natural supplements such as chondroitin, turmeric, green-lipped muscles are all excellent choices for joint health. Before the invention of pharmaceutical medicine, people resorted to natural and herbal treatments for pain relief, and anecdotal evidence suggests that they have worked for dogs as well.
Moreover, they do not even have lasting side effects that you should worry about. However, it is ill-advised to feed your dog natural supplements without informing the veterinarian. Some of them are very potent and may counter-react with other medicines, or treatments of your dog.
Physical therapy is crucial for the dog to recover from the stiff joints. It immobilizes the dog’s joints and helps them regain its range of motion.
There are different surgical options depending on the dog’s hip dysplasia severity. Your vet can better guide you on what is the best surgical step to take according to the X-rays and medical tests.
Our Final Thoughts
Hip dysplasia is a complicated issue to deal with, fortunately, it is not fatal for your canine. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight, and looking after its muscle mass can prevent some of the obstacles that this condition can present in your dog’s life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prevent my dog from getting hip dysplasia?
it is important to note that genetic abnormalities are not preventable and will inevitably happen. However, by the health of certain things, it is always possible to slow down the onset of the condition, such as controlling its weight, providing a healthy diet, supplementation and therapies.
Can you reverse hip dysplasia in dogs?
Reversing the condition is an unlikely scenario. However, at an earlier stage of the condition, some surgical procedures can c0me close to a reversal.
Can jumping cause hip dysplasia in dogs?
Puppies will very easily overwork, jump and injure themselves because of their excitement. Keep a certain time limit for their playtime and bring them to a safe space once that time is over. Any injury or strain due to running can translate into something horrible.
What dog breeds are prone to hip dysplasia?
breeds that are generally considered as larger dogs also tend to be more vulnerable to hip dysplasia such as Golden retrievers, labradors, and other dogs that weigh about twenty pounds or more.