Tuesday, March 28, 2023

How To Avoid Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

Can Dog Hip Dysplasia Heal On Its Own

Can You Prevent Hip Dysplasia In Dogs? | Dr. Wooten Answers…

No, canine hip dysplasia cannot heal on its own. Once the dogs hip joint becomes dysplastic, it cannot go back into a normal hip. However, treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs can be successful, and the dogs quality of life is kept to an optimal level.

Hip dysplasia is a common orthopedic condition. Large breed dogs and giant breed dogs such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Saint Bernards have a genetic predisposition to hip dysplasia. This condition occurs when the hips ball and socket joint structures grow at different rates resulting in joint laxity and osteoarthritis.

The clinical signs of hip dysplasia are limping or lameness, decreased range of motion, muscle mass loss, and a characteristic bunny hop gait .

The development of hip dysplasia can occur early onset when the young dog is only six months of age. Once diagnosed, a prompt and adequate treatment plan is required for effective management.

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At What Age Do Dogs Develop Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia in dogs usually appears during the growth period . Dogs suffer from misalignment of the hip joint, which places heavy pressure on the femoral head. Joint fluid dries up, cartilage wears away. The dog suffers from chronic synovitis, the body gradually weakens, there is muscle atrophy. Serious illnesses can interfere with your dogs normal walking.

According to statistics, 1 out of every 5 dogs born will be affected by this disease. This is mainly due to genetics, obesity or excessive exercise. Puppies belonging to large dog breeds, inbreeding dogs have a high risk of disease.

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Signs Of Hip Dysplasia

Signs of hip dysplasia vary in dogs. Some affected dogs will begin showing symptoms of hip dysplasia as puppies, while others may not have any symptoms until their senior years when secondary osteoarthritis develops. Still, others may not show signs of hip dysplasia at all.

Signs of hip dysplasia in dogs can include:

  • Lameness, particularly after exercise
  • Loss of muscle mass in the dogs hips and hind legs
  • An abnormal swinging or bunny hopping gait
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Difficulty getting up or using stairs

Many other conditions can cause similar clinical signs, so your dog will need to see a veterinarian in order to diagnose hip dysplasia. Your veterinarian will perform a full physical examination, often including a gait evaluation and palpating the joints to assess the range of motion. Your veterinarian will likely recommend radiographs , which are the most common diagnostic test for canine hip dysplasia.

How Can I Strengthen My Dogs Hips

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

You can strengthen your dogs hips by practicing regular walking or moderate running. In general, vets recommend frequent yet short sessions of up to 20 minutes. However, you should consult precisely how much exercise your dog needs per day.

Low-impact, high-resistance exercises strengthen the hips as well. The perfect example of such an exercise is swimming it builds muscle mass to support the ball and socket joint without burdening the hips. The underwater treadmill is a helpful hydrotherapy form too.

Sit-stands are also excellent for managing hip dysplasia in dogs. Sit-stands are easy to practice just use treats to make your dog sit and stand. The motion opens and closes the hip joints, thus keeping them well-lubricated.

Finally, it is also helpful to invest time and effort into agility training. Navigating obstacles and tunnels on a flat surface will strengthen the dogs hip joints. Plus, agility training is mentally stimulating and keeps the brain sharp.

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Choosing A Breeder Who Caters To The Hip Health Of The Dogs They Breed

The genetic make-up of a dog plays a huge role in the development of hip dysplasia. A breeds prevalence for the hip dysplasia gene is important to consider actually one of the most impactful preventative measures.

If possible, prospective dog owners are advised to check three or four generations of dogs before their favorite pick. This will ensure that there are no carriers of the gene in the bloodline.

Evidence of good hip health is one of the things to check for. And, in this respect, ensure that the dogs lineage has both a Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program certification and an Orthopedic Foundation for Animals certification.

Both of these certifications are good markers for good hip health.

Natural Ways To Manage Canine Hip Dysplasia

Prevention and support are the key approaches to naturally manage your dogs hip dysplasia. And exercise and diet are at the top of the list.

If you have a breed thats prone to hip dysplasia, then feeding joint supportive supplements throughout his life will help prevent the progress of this disease. And fortunately, several of these are foods that can be added to your dogs diet as treats and chews.

Here are things you can start doing for your dog from puppyhood through to his senior years.

  • Weight Control And Diet
  • Alternative Treatments
  • Read Also: Symptoms Of Hip Out Of Alignment

    Can A Dog Live Comfortably With Hip Dysplasia

    Yes, dogs can live comfortably with hip dysplasia. However, dog owners need to provide proper care to ensure maximum comfort.

    When it comes to hip dysplasia, proper care includes several aspects such as diet, exercise, body weight management, regular use of joint supplements, and pain management when necessary.

    Treatment For Young Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

    How To Treat Hip Dysplasia In Dogs Without Surgery? | Dr. Wooten Answers…

    Young dogs between 10-18 weeks old suspected of having hip laxity can undergo a juvenile pubic symphysiodesis . A JPS is a minimally invasive surgery in which the growth plate at the bottom of the pelvis is mechanically closed. This stops the lower hip bones from growing, leading to better coverage of the femoral head and less looseness in the joint. This procedure consistently results in pain-free, normal hip function, but early diagnosis and imaging are critical.

    Another surgical option available for dogs younger than 12 months is a triple pelvic osteotomy . During this surgery, the bones of the pelvis are cut and repositioned to improve joint function and reduce or eliminate joint laxity. This procedure must be performed before dogs have evidence of osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, as these changes are not reversible, and the surgery may not be effective.

    The best surgical treatment option for treating hip dysplasia in dogs older than one year is a total hip replacement . This procedure replaces the entire dysplastic and arthritic joint with artificial implants. Afterward, the hip has improved function, and pain associated with hip dysplasia is eliminated.

    If a case of hip dysplasia is mild, or surgery is not an option, there are many less invasive treatment protocols. These protocols will be continued life-long, as they wont cure the problem but only manage pain and discomfort. Non-surgical treatment can include a combination of:

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    Hip Dysplasia In Basset Hounds

    People usually never think about the problem of hip dysplasia in Basset Hounds because a common misconception is that smaller dogs never suffer from hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, this is not true.


    Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.


    • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
    • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
    • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
    • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
    • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
    • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched


    Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. Plasia is the Greek word for molding, so its easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding. Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.



    Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

    These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.


    Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

    Choose A Responsible Breeder

    Perhaps the most important way to prevent having a dog with hip dysplasia is by choosing a responsible breeder. Since hip dysplasia is most often linked back to genetics, choosing a puppy with parents free of the condition is the best way to prevent the issue in itself. A responsible breeder will always offer medical paperwork clearing each parent of hereditary conditions, as well as offering a clean bill of health for the puppy. Though choosing a puppy with a cheap price tag may be tempting, it can result in devastating conditions down the line.

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    Ways To Prevent Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

    Is your dog at increased risk of hip dysplasia? Hip dysplasia is a serious orthopedic condition that can affect your dog as they get older.

    In most cases, hip dysplasia is an inherited condition. However, there are some steps you can take to prevent severe disease.

    In this article, Ill discuss what you need to know about preventing hip dysplasia and helping your dog live a more comfortable life.

    Treatment Options For Hip Dysplasia

    Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

    Depending on your dogs age and health, surgery might be a viable option. The three most common surgical procedures for hip dysplasia are double or triple osteotomy , femoral head osteotomy , and performing a total hip replacement. If surgery isnt recommended, your vet will prescribe treatments like physical therapy, joint fluid modifiers, anti-inflammatory medications, and joint supplements. Your vet may also recommend weight reduction and restricted exercise, particularly on hard-surface floors.

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    What Is The Cost Of Hip Dysplasia Surgery In Dogs

    Averaged out, pet owners should expect expenses at a bare minimum of $1,700, this number can rabidly climb to well over $4,500 depending on the severity of the hip dysplasia. Your vet will help you find the right option for you, your dog, and your budget should your canine companion require hip dysplasia surgery.

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    Treatments For Dog Hip Dysplasia

    There is no cure for hip dysplasia in dogs. However, there are many treatments that have proven to be effective in providing pain relief in older dogs and preventing further damage in puppies. The most basic treatments are also the most important: maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.


    Ensure that your dog stays at a healthy weight to minimize damage to its hip joints. Regular exercise will strengthen the muscles and prevent degeneration. Exercise is especially important for young dogs and puppies.

    Remember, however, that excessive exercise can actually cause muscle and joint damage, so consult with a veterinarian to create a plan that works for your canine pal.


    In extreme cases, surgery may be the best option for your pup. Dog hip dysplasia surgery can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per hip on average. Your veterinarian can provide more information on whether and when surgery is recommended.

    Orthopedic Braces

    If your dog or puppy is not a candidate for surgery, there are many non-invasive, conservative management options. Dog hip braces, such as Ortho Dogs Hip Hound Brace, provide support and stability to minimize pressure on dog joints and allow for post-surgical healing or pain-free exercise. Braces come in all sizes so you can find one that is perfect for your pet and allows for maximum support.

    Medication, Supplements, and Therapies

    How Vets Diagnose Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

    Hip Dysplasia in Dogs! (Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention)

    Whenever a dog comes in for an examination your vet will check for signs that point to hip dysplasia. During your dogs regular physical exams, your veterinarian will check on their physical health and the condition of all your dog’s joints. Your vet may move your dogs hind legs to identify any grinding sounds, signs of pain, or reduced range of motion. If your vet suspects that your dog may have hip dysplasia, they might recommend blood tests that can indicate inflammation as a result of the disease.

    Your vet will ask you questions in order to get a complete health and medical history for your dog, including a rundown of specific symptoms, and any injuries that may have caused them. Knowing your pets lineage can offer insights into your dog’s likelihood of developing hip dysplasia. Standard x-rays can also be very helpful in diagnosing the severity of your dog’s hip dysplasia, and to chart a course of action for treatment.

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    What Are My Dog’s Hip Dysplasia Surgery Options

    When it comes to the surgical treatment of hip dysplasia in dogs, there are 3 main surgical options available:

    Femoral Head Ostectomy

    FHO can benefit both young and mature dogs. This type of surgery entails removing the femoral head of the hip joint, allowing the body to create a false joint, which decreases the discomfort related to hip dysplasia. Dog’s undergoing FHO are unlikely to see the return of normal hip function however, it can be an effective method of managing pain.

    Your pup’s size and age, as well as the severity of your dog’s hip dysplasia, will all affect the price of FHO surgery. You can expect to pay from $1,200 to $2,500 or more, including pre-surgical bloodwork, procedure, anesthesia, post-surgical care, and medications.

    After the surgery, your dog could be required to remain in the hospital for anywhere between several hours and several days, depending on their health, and other factors. Your veterinary surgeon will provide you with specific instructions for caring for your dog after FHO surgery, but you will need to prevent your dog from doing any strenuous physical activity for at least 30 days. In most cases, you can expect your pup to completely recover about six weeks following the operation. Once fully recovered they can resume regular physical activity.

    Double or triple pelvic osteotomy

    Total Hip Replacement

    What Does Hip Dysplasia Look Like

    Since the damage is taking its course within the hip joint, how are pet owners supposed to know that something is wrong to be able to treat it? Fortunately, dogs utilize their body language and vocalization to let their owners know something is up.

    Signs of hip dysplasia can appear at any stage of the condition. Typically they appear around one to two years of age, but they can show as early as three months or even never show at all. Many dogs have severe arthritis but still run, jump, and play as any other pup would.

    Lets take a glimpse at some of the common symptoms of canine hip dysplasia:

    Dont let your dog fool you. They may display signs of hip dysplasia for a period of time, then stop for a while. This doesnt mean that the condition improved or went away. Instead, the dogs body naturally produces fibrous tissues to stabilize the condition and temporarily fix the issue.

    If your dog exhibits any symptoms related to hip dysplasia, contact your veterinarian. Earlier intervention is always best when it comes to your pups health.

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