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Hip dysplasia in dogs

Hip dysplasia in dogs, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Canine hip dysplasia or hip dysplasia in dogs is a degenerative joint disease which restricts and limits movement among dogs.

This type of disorder affects the hip joint of dogs. The hip joint is the bone structure that attaches the hind legs to the body. The hip joints comprise of ball and socket joints that help the dog walk normally.

Each leg has a set of ball and socket joints. Hip dysplasia can affect just one of the legs and this causes an abnormal gait and/or limping. The disease is caused due to laxity of connective tissues, ligaments and muscles around the joints.

Hip dysplasia is known to occur when the dog is young or during the growing stages. Hip dysplasia can be either genetic in nature or deformed during growing years. Certain large types of dogs or larger dog breeds are more susceptible to this type of health disorder.  Purebred dogs are also more prone to this disease. Breeds like German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Great Dane and Labrador Retriever are relatively more at risk in contracting hip dysplasia. Obese dogs are also more prone to this disease. Therefore, apart from genetics and malformation of joints, nutrition can also play an important role in the development of hip dysplasia. Excessive exercise can also contribute to such disorders. Too much exercise at a young age can also cause hip joint disorders. A degenerative joint disease hip can progress to other degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.

Hip dysplasia in dogs symptoms:
The key symptoms associated with hip dysplasia in dogs are:

  • Pain and discomfort during exercise
  • Walk with an altered gait or limp
  • Stiffness and pain after exercise

A complete physical exam, clinical signs and symptoms, x-ray and radiograph are common ways to diagnose the possibility of canine hip dysplasia. Loose joints can be felt by an expert veterinarian or the veterinarian can check for pain or lack of mobility in either of the legs. It is easy to diagnose the condition and many dogs intended for breeding are diagnosed for this condition irrespective of clinical symptoms. Such a diagnosis helps ascertain that hip dysplasia is not passed to the off spring.

Hip dysplasia can be treated with the help of medical and surgical treatments that help correct or manage this disorder. The common surgical treatments that help resolve hip dysplasia is:

  • Triple Pelvic Osteotomy
  • Total Hip Replacement in dogs and
  • Femoral Head and Neck Excision
  Submitted on June 1, 2010  

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