Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Hip dysplasia in dogs is a condition where the ball and socket joints of your dog’s hip joint are malformed, causing pain and inflammation. Canine hip dysplasia can develop at any age, though it most commonly occurs between six months of age to four years old. The cause of Hip Dysplasia is not fully understood, however, some risk factors that increase the chances for dogs developing Hip Dysplasia, including obesity and diet at an early developmental age. While large breed dogs such as German Shepherds, Labradors, Newfoundlands are more at risk, short-backed breeds like Dachshunds and Pugs are more also increasingly developing hip dysplasia. All dog breeds are at risk from potentially developing hip dysplasia.
A genetic disorder passed from a parent to its pups causes dogs with hip dysplasia, but not all puppies who carry the gene go on to develop dysplasia. Other factors contributing to hip dysplasia in dogs normally occur when a puppy is growing. Evidence suggests that poor diet, too much exercising of young dogs, your dog running on slippery surfaces or climbing stairs at an early age can contribute to the onset.
By giving young puppies too much of the wrong food, this can cause excessive weight being placed on under developed legs without strong enough muscle mass to support the weight. This causes strain on the hip socket and can develop into issues later in the dog’s life.
Tips on how to prevent Canine Hip Dysplasia in your dog
Steps you can take to prevent hip dysplasia from developing in a dog.
- Providing the right type and balance of food and ensure that puppies don’t over exercise or run on slippery surfaces can help to lessen the risk
- They have shown early neutering of young dogs up to 6 months old to cause dysplasia, in the large breed dogs
- Early detection is very important, as early intervention may allow for successful treatment which could prevent it from becoming chronic arthritis.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs
The early signs of hip dysplasia in affected dog’s hips are that they will have an unusual gait in their back legs, or walk with a limp. An affected dog may show issues when trying to stand up or lie back down or resort to “bunny hopping”. They may show pain when the hip joints are manipulated, although some dogs don’t display any signs of discomfort and just go on living their daily lives until the condition develops into arthritis. This has more obvious symptoms, such as showing difficulty walking and having painful joints.
The Dog Breeds that are most impacted by Hip Dysplasia
Old English Sheepdogs
Prevention and screening
Like amost health-related conditions, prevention is better than the cure, and hip dysplasia is no different in that respect.
Prevention of hip dysplasia can be helped by not letting your dog jump out of high places, being careful with the excess amount of weight they carry and avoiding running on slippery surfaces. Hip dysplasia screening can be arranged by talking to your vet or by having an x-ray taken to assess if any problems exist in your pet’s joints.
In some instances an audible clicking noise may be a good enough sign that all is not well with your pet and at this point a visit to your local vet should be a priority.
What happens if hip dysplasia is left untreated in dogs?
If warning signs of hip dysplasia are acted upon early when diagnosing dysplasia in your dog, the condition can be managed and may not get as bad in the long term. However, if left to deteriorate without treatment, eventually your dog will start to experience a lot of pain in their hip joints and back legs and this causes them difficulty when trying to walk.
An abnormal formation of the ball-and-socket joint (hip causes hip dysplasia) and is most common in middle-aged and older dogs.
The two types of Hip Dysplasia are Acetabular and Femoral, with the femoral type being more common. When your dog has hip dysplasia, they experience pain when walking or running due to an uneven amount of pressure placed on their joints from bone.
When left untreated hip dysplasia normally results in arthritis, which is really painful for dogs and needs to be dealt with.
The most common treatment of Hip Dysplasia in dogs is pain relief medication such as NSAIDs, but arthritis cannot be cured by drugs alone, in some cases this requires a variety of other treatments (see below).
Dysplasia causes inflammation of the hip joint and can eventually lead to arthritis.
The best way to prevent hip dysplasia from occurring is by taking your dog for regular checkups and also make sure they are in a healthy weight range of their ideal bodyweight as obesity can contribute towards the development of dogs with Hip Dysplasia. The following symptoms should be checked: limping, stiffness or reluctance to go for walks at normal speeds, reluctance to climb stairs or jump up and down.
Our dogs can’t speak to us so we need to pay the utmost attention to any signs, changes in their behaviour or symptoms as these can be indicators that something may not be right.
Affected dogs with hip dysplasia are normally treated with NSAIDs and other joint supplements to help relieve the pain associated with arthritis caused by Hip Dysplasia.
Hip Scoring for Dogs in the UK
Hip scoring is a process that assesses the quality of the hip joint. These scores are taken from X-rays of the hips and are marked on a score of 0 - 6 in the UK with lower scores ranging from 0 to 3 being accepted as normal and higher scores from 4 to 6 indicating issues with the dogs hips with a marking score of 6 highlighting seriously damaged hip joints.
X-rays are taken of the dog normally while it is anaesthetised and then sent off to a panel who scores the X-rays. These are then considered against the normal reported scores for the same breed to determine the extent of the problem for the dog in question.
What is the best treatment for canine hip dysplasia?
Treatment options for the many dogs that develop hip dysplasia are varied and depend mainly on the extent of the damage caused to the joints. Most dogs will receive non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) as a pain reliever and these are also used to lower inflammation, reduce any swelling in the joint area and help your dog maintain mobility in its hind legs.
Many types of surgical operations can be provided, such as the screwing of bones together when necessary. Other types of surgery such as juvenile pubic symphysiodesis can be carried out on young dogs.
The most common form of treatment in extreme cases is surgery, which can involve removing part or all of the damaged hip joint with total hip replacement by an artificial prosthetic. The success rate for this type of operation varies depending on the extent of damage, this can mean that many dogs can have relatively normal lives thereafter. Recently, use has been made of stem cells when performing such operations so they may be less invasive than before while at the same time being more successful in terms other reduced recovery times, for example compared to traditional surgery techniques used previously.
What about alternative medicine treatments
CBD is a great natural alternative to traditional pain relief medications. Our canine friends are more sensitive than humans and therefore require a lower dose of CBD to achieve the same effect. As hip dysplasia and arthritis both involve inflammation, Incr-edibles CBD Oil for Dogs is an ideal natural option to use given its anti-inflammatory properties.
Although CBD will not repair the issues brought about by the aforementioned conditions in dogs there is plenty anecdotal evidence to suggest that it may well offer pain relief when used on dogs with either condition.
If you would like to consider using CBD products for your dog we would always advise that you consider talking this over with your vet especially if your dog is already on medication that has been prescribed by them. If you do, please advise your vet that the CBD products you intend using are THC-Free and have been specially formulated for easy, accurate dosing. We provide graduated pipettes as standard with each bottle of our CBD Oil for Dogs and we have third party lab tests to show both the make up of the CBD used and the exact amount used in each bottle.