Hip dysplasia tends to strike fear into dog owners because of the problems this condition can lead to. While hip dysplasia certainly can be problematic in dogs, it is treatable. With proper veterinary care, dogs with hip dysplasia are able to live completely fulfilling and normal lives if the condition is properly treated and managed. Below, let's more learn about this common condition in dogs.
What is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a disease in dogs that impacts the way the back hip joint functions. The hip joint is made of a ball and socket connection, relying on a tight fit between the top of the leg bone and the hip socket. When these two bones do not line up correctly, the socket can become worn. This can lead to pain and swelling, and arthritis can start to develop in the joint. Often, large breed dogs are more prone to this disease, such as Great Danes, Newfoundlands, and St. Bernards, but it is possible to have hip dysplasia in any dog. This is most commonly a degenerative disease, but can also form in dogs without any prior family history.
What are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?
Most commonly, owners report seeing their dogs limp or have an uneven gait. The dog may appear to do a "bunny hop" with his or her back legs instead of a normal stride. Your pet may appear unwilling to move, jump or run. During movement, you may notice a grinding or popping sensation in the hip area. Further, your pet may appear to have a narrow stance or even start to lose some muscle mass in the back legs.
How can a Veterinarian Help?
A veterinarian can both help diagnose and treat hip dysplasia in dogs. A vet will be able to first evaluate your dog and determine the severity of hip dysplasia your pet has. This may be completed through a combination of a physical evaluation, to feel how the joint and socket connect to one another, or with X-Rays taken at the animal hospital. Following the evaluation, your vet will create a treatment plan. This can be as simple as some additive vitamins and nutrients to help with discomfort, or physical exercise to keep the joint strong. In severe cases, your pet may have to undergo surgery to help create a tighter hip joint.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Our team at Clinton Hills Animal Clinic is passionate about caring for your pets. We believe that each pet is an individual, and do not prescribe to "one size fits all" treatment plans. Our team is caring, understanding, and knowledgeable and can help treat your pet's hip dysplasia. Our office is centrally located at 476 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11205. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call our office today at (718) 623-3999.