Canine Hip Dysplasia: An Overview

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Hip dysplasia in dogs is a very common yet damaging skeletal ailment, especially in large dog breeds. Examples of commonly afflicted breeds include Great Danes, Boxers, Golden Retrievers and St. Bernards. Although smaller breeds may be affected, this condition is pretty common with large breeds since their muscles and bones exert extra effort. There are a lot of things that we need to know about this condition, given the fact that we need to understand the whole thing before finding a way in how to treat it. With that said, here are some of the things that you must know:


Hip Dysplasia in dogs is defined as a condition of the hip joint wherein there is looseness in the joint. This can occur especially if the femoral head and the socket do not exactly fit, causing a number of problems.  The looseness of the joint will gradually lead to osteoarthritis, which will ultimately lead to osteoarthritis.

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What causes it and when is it likely to happen?

There are a number of ways wherein a dog can contact hip dysplasia, one of which includes hereditary and genetic factors. If one of the dog’s ancestors had the disease, there is a chance that it will experience the same fate as well. Another cause is developmental, which occurs either in the womb of the mother or during the early stages of the dog’s life. If some sort or injury happens or if the dog grows abnormally, then it may be bound to happen. As for the timeframe, each case is different; meaning the effects of the ailment might come into fruiting as early as four months to five years. However, if the disease develops early, then there is a big chance that it will get worse.

Is there any way to prevent it?

Since injuries may cause hip dysplasia in dogs, it is best to take good care of your dog, especially when it is still a puppy since the bones are still developing. Having a hip injury in the early stages of its life can make hip dysplasia likely. If it is genetically acquired, then there is no way to prevent it.

How do you treat a dog with dysplasia?

There is actually no shortcut or direct cure for dysplasia in dogs, the best thing you can do is to lessen its effects and manage the symptoms to at least make life bearable for your pooch. Although there are surgical options (like total hip replacement), you can just feed your dog a proper diet, maintain a normal weight, exercise (just enough to strengthen the hips) and glucosamine joint supplements in order to ease the pain.

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a very serious ailment. The condition may bring in lameness and cause your pooch to have arthritis, which is pretty painful. Though it may be a hassle, it is important to maintain an anti-arthritic routine and one that promotes joint muscle growth, just to help your dog out. Rearing a pet is a long term commitment, so make sure to be able to stand up to it.

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