Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia is a condition associated with hip sockets abnormal formation. In its severe form hip dysplasia can result in painful hip arthritis as well as crippling lameness. This type of condition is the result of polygenic genetic traits and is affected by different factors which are related to the environment the dog is in.

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Some of the most common symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs are soreness after getting up from a resting position, not willing to exercise, bunny hopping, while running legs moving together instead of alternative swing motion, lameness, not being able to get up on its rear legs, climb stairs, hip joint dislocation, unable to jump up, subluxation and reduction in hip area muscle mass.

By performing X-ray (radiographs) symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs can be traced but in few dogs radiographic features do not show up till they are 2 years old. So X-rays may not be the option to use for knowing symptoms of dysplasia in dogs for some breeds in which the problems starts by the age of 7 to 8 months.

Few of the other symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs which you should know about are moderate lameness which all of a sudden worsens, while walking dogs with back problems along with hip dysplasia sometimes scuff toenails, their gait is uncoordinated and their rear limbs are weak.

Conditions Replicating Hip Dysplasia Symptoms
There are several conditions with symptoms which are very similar to those for hip dysplasia and at the time of diagnosis these should be kept in mind:

  • Ligament tears (cranial cruciate)
  • Arthritic conditions (for rear limbs)
  • Lower back problems (syndrome – cauda equine)
  • Osteochondritis dissecans

Diagnosis of Hip Dysplasia
Diagnosis is done using hip scoring as well as through X-rays. The X-ray diagnosis also involves analyzing how the dog moves to find why the problem has occurred. The spine and legs are checked as the soft tissues in these areas could get affected by hip dysplasia and would help to confirm existence of problem.

Treatment of Hip Dysplaisa
It is a inherited and degenerative disease and therefore treatment involves regular review of existing symptoms to cure the problem. Treatment could in the form of medication if the problem is minor and can be controlled with medicines, however, in serious conditions surgery may be required. The surgery could be of two types, one where the joint is reshaped for improving movement and reduce pain and the other where damaged hip is totally replaced.

1. Non surgical Treatment: In non surgical treatment there are three parts, exercises, weight control and medication. This kind of treatment makes use of anti-inflammatory drugs and nutritional supplements to improve the condition in dogs. If you prefer a natural treatment instead of traditional pain medication, NuJoint Joint Supplements offer support for dogs suffering with Dysplasia NuJoint helps reduce pain and inflammation in the joints.

2. Surgical Treatment: It includes femoral head ostectomy where head of femur is removed. Another option is hip replacement which gives the highest success rate and an artificial hip is used to replace the original one.

A Final Note

Hip dysplasia is a common problem in dogs and sometimes it is hard to diagnose the problem as the dog may have been affected since young age and is now used to pain. So knowing the symptoms is important for proper diagnosis as well as treatment of hip dysplasia.

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