Understanding Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

This type of disease directly affects the hip joints of dogs, which is the bone structure that attaches the dog’s body to the hind legs. The hips joints are ball and socket joints that rotate freely to allow dogs to walk normally. There are two ball and socket joints present both in animals and humans, one for each leg. If these two joints don’t match in shape and in form, or if one of them is grows abnormally, limping will occur. This is one the symptoms of hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia normally occurs during a young dog’s growing stages. Hip dysplasia may affect both the left and right hips, causing intense discomfort to your pet. The disease usually develops due to the laxity of the ligaments, connective tissues, and muscles around the joints.

Hip dysplasia is mostly regarded as a genetic disease. However, there are many dogs that are born with normal hip joints but eventually acquire the disease growing up. There are some factors that cause the soft tissues around the hip joints to grow peculiarly. When bones develop too far apart from each other, the bones become unstable. These are just a few of the reasons why hip dysplasia occurs.

Generally speaking, dogs of larger breeds are the ones that are most prone to this disease. It may possibly occur with medium-sized dogs too. However, this disease is quite rare with the smaller dog breeds. Purebreds are also more prone to this disease than crosses. The types of dogs that are likely to have hip dysplasia are Saint Bernard, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and Rottweiler.

Loose hip joints are the main precursor of this disease. When the hip joints are far away from each other, they suffer erosion and intense wear and tear. This condition of the joints usually leads to arthritis, a disease characterized by pain and swelling. Arthritis is one of the end effects of this disease.

Genetics is the main reason veterinarians point to as far as the cause of the disease is concerned. A certain study has proved that when a parent dog has hip dysplasia, there is a very high chance that its offspring will have the same problem too. The offspring may either be affected or merely carriers of the disease.

However, most experts agree that genetics is just a small part of the cause. There are other factors that contribute to the development of the disease, and one of them is nutrition. Obese dogs are more prone to this disease than those that are optimally fed. Therefore, pet owners should be very careful when feeding their pets as they are putting them at risk of obesity, which in itself has many complications.

There are many ways in which hip dysplasia may be treated. Surgery is one of the leading treatment procedures although a series of therapy treatments may also be required. This disease may cause great discomfort to pets if not treated accordingly. If your vet had diagnosed this disease in your dog, you have to heed the health expert’s instructions and make sure that your pet receives proper care and medication, so that the disease will not progress.

More about Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

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How To Prevent Canine Hip Dysplasia Canine Hip Dysplasia Treatment