Hip dysplasia in dogs is a medical condition that can cause your pet to suffer from extreme pain, preventing it from enjoying life in beautiful Tampa Bay. If you are the owner of a dog with this condition, it is important that you understand what pain it causes and learn about ways to help your furry friend.
A common gait that occurs with hip dysplasia is “bunny hopping.” Have your dog sit, then throw its favorite toy. Watch from behind; when starting, if your dog hops on both back legs evenly, there is a good chance hip dysplasia is present.
Understanding Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
This condition exists both in humans and dogs. Dysplasia means abnormal development. Therefore, dogs are born with hip dysplasia. Often, clinical symptoms don’t develop until later years as the dysplasia leads to osteoarthritis. Unlike normal hips, dogs who suffer from this condition present a malformation in their hip socket. This malformation often shows as a loose caput, or misshapen caput and acetabulum. Because the femur bone that joins to the hip does not have a good fit in the acetabulum with hip dysplasia, the weight of your dog is carried by the cartilaginous part.
As a result, the joint becomes inflamed and pain settles in. Reactions to this genetic trait are various, but usually involve joint degradation and inflammation caused by abnormal wear and tear. Hip dysplasia in dogs varies from a mild condition to something that can truly be crippling for the animal.
Research shows that hip dysplasia in dogs is a genetic condition, however new observations tend to indicate the environment in which a puppy grows may also be an important influence on the development of the issue. On almost all dogs, the problem will appear by the time your pet reaches 18 months, and can be diagnosed with X-rays and other hip scoring tests.
There are two main approaches to treating hip dysplasia in dogs: non-surgical methods and surgical interventions. Consulting with a veterinarian is the best way to establish a plan of action for your pooch in pain.
In most cases you will be presented with the option to control the condition through non-surgical methods that often include:
- Establishing a healthy weight is often the most important aspect of helping a dog suffering from arthritis-type pain.
- Changing your pet’s food to one approved for arthritis diets, such as Hill’s® Prescription Diet® j/d® Pet Nutrition.
- Offering exercise opportunities, which is crucial to stimulate the growth of cartilage.
- Medication that acts as pain and discomfort relievers, as well as reduces the inflammations.
- Massages and therapies to ease the pain.
- Natural joint supplements such as high-quality fish oil, glucosamine, or chondroitin with MSM.
When non-surgical methods are not effective in controlling hip dysplasia pain in dogs, doctors turn to surgical intervention in order to provide your pet with a better quality of life. Some options include:
- Different types of hip modification reshaping, replacing, or removing the head of the femur, and rotating the pelvis.
- Hip replacement is a highly successful option in severe cases. Replacing the faulty joins usually restore moderate mobility, but explantation of the prosthetic is a risk, especially in large overactive dogs.
After such invasive surgeries, it is necessary that recovering pets receive proper rehabilitation and care.
About Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center
At the K9 Rehabilitation Center of Tampa Bay, we offer a variety of services to ensure all the pets of the area receive the care they deserve. Our staff is available to help you find the best way to provide relief to your furry friend. We will also discuss with you ways you can personally help from handling your recovering pet to practicing exercise.
Our center opened in 2004 inside Central Animal Hospital. Dog owners of Tampa who feel concern regarding the health and comfort of their pets should visit us. Hip dysplasia in dogs is a condition that can be crippling if not taken care of. However, our staff promises to provide every suffering pooch with solutions to help them recover.