Diagnosis and treatment of hip dysplasia in dogs

Dog hip dysplasia usually occurs during developmental periods. Most dog owners have heard of this disease, but very few people know it deeply. The underlying sign is often seen as abnormally growing knuckles. The right hind leg muscle shows signs of atrophy.

This is a common medical condition in many breeds, also known as hip dysplasia. Causing a lot of inconveniences in life.


What is hip dysplasia in dogs?

Dog hip dysplasia is a disease caused by a mismatched joint development. The loose connection between the joints causes the dog’s limb bones to move more than usual. This leads to degeneration, inflammation, and pain in the puppy.

This is one of the most common bone problems in dogs. The risk of disease does not depend on sex. The causes are mostly congenital factors, genetic factors. Large breeds such as Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Labrador Retriever are most likely to get the disease. Meanwhile, small breeds of dogs are less susceptible to disease. They hardly show any sign of clinical illness.

The early signs of hip dysplasia in dogs usually start around 4 months old. There are also cases where these signs appear later. Your dog may develop arthritis when he enters chronic aging or degenerative cartilage and joints.

At what age is a dog with hip dysplasia?

Dog hip dysplasia usually occurs in the developing dog (4-24 months). Dogs are ill due to a mismatched development of the hip joint, which puts a heavy pressure on the top of the thighbone. Joint fluid is dry, bone cartilage is eroded. Dogs with chronic bursitis, weakening body, muscle atrophy phenomenon. Serious illness can interfere with your dog’s normal walking.

According to statistics, 1 out of 5 dogs will be born with the disease. The main cause is due to genetics, obesity or excessive exercise. Puppies of large breeds, inbred dogs are at high risk of disease.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia

Early stage: joint slack phenomenon.

Later stage: signs of osteoarthritis or arthritis.

Common signs

  1. The operating frequency is reduced.
  2. Having trouble standing up.
  3. Not like running and jumping, or climbing stairs.
  4. Limp sometimes or frequently, especially after being active.
  5. The walking posture with the pelvic bone swayed back and forth unusually.
  6. The hind limbs are bunched up unnaturally.
  7. Pain in the hip joint.
  8. Lack of joints can only appear in the early stages. This may be due to changes in the dog’s body caused by arthritis.
  9. Discomfort when moving the joint.
  10. Joint movements are no less flexible.
  11. Down muscles in the thighs.
  12. Muscle gain in the shoulder muscles due to the weight is mainly on the fore.

Causes of hip dysplasia

The main cause of hip dysplasia in dogs is genetic, so there are no drugs to prevent or prevent the disease. Besides, there are a number of other objective factors. You need to be sure to control your dog’s body weight, to minimize the pressure on his joints. This helps prevent them from pain in movement.

  • Fluid / loose hip joint.
  • Pelvic muscle structure.
  • Nutrition.
  • Sudden weight gain, obesity: often painful walking. Makes them very afraid to move, often lying in one place. Dogs that are sedentary, while still absorbing adequate nutrition are susceptible to obesity. When the dog is obese, more pressure is placed on the joints. Accelerates the abrasion layer of articular cartilage. Makes the dog worse.
  • Too much exercise: puppies in their developing stage are not yet perfect in their skeletal system. If you train your dog too much, it can damage his joints. Causes abnormal thigh development.
  • Genetics: If the parent dog carries the gene that causes the disease, the puppy is at high risk of becoming infected. Dog inbreeding or inbreeding. Purebred dogs are more susceptible to disease than hybrid dogs.

Diagnose your dog with hip dysplasia

To diagnose hip dysplasia in dogs, the veterinarian will first conduct a thorough physical examination of the dog, which will manipulate the joints from front to back to check for abnormalities. Through testing, an experienced doctor can detect which part of the bone is problematic. Include:

  1. Blood test and analysis of blood composition. The results of the blood analysis can help diagnose arthritis-related problems.
  2. Electrolyte test and urine test.
  3. Stretch the dog’s front and rear legs to test the reaction. Gently squeeze the foot at the same time.
  4. Extend elbows to the sides as far as possible. If the dog is uncomfortable or painful, the joint is abnormal.
  5. Observe that when the dog is walking, the dog is healthy with his hind legs moving normally.
  6. The elbows are not narrow or curved. The legs are symmetrical and balanced with the body axis.
  7. The final step is to take X-rays to check the condition.

X-rays are indispensable for identifying imaging problems. The signs or causes of hip dysplasia such as spinal degeneration, elbow inflammation or other osteoarthritis must also be observed based on imaging.

Sometimes the dog will be in great pain during the scan, the doctor will have to fix it. This is required in order to complete the test steps. If the dog is stressed or aggressive, he will be given a sedative (like Propofol). Barbiturates work to reduce cognitive levels in the short term. So it does not affect the dog’s health.

In order for the assessment to be more accurate, you should also provide your veterinarian with documentation of the dog’s medical history. Or early signs of illness, records of an accident or trauma in the past that can affect the dog’s condition. Information regarding the dog’s parents is also very helpful and essential.

Treatment of hip dysplasia in dogs

With large breeds, you should establish a suitable diet to control your body weight. Your veterinarian may also prescribe additional anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize swelling and inflammation in the joints. Add to that pain relievers to soothe the pain brought by the disease. Consult with your veterinarian for an exercise regimen. Walking and jogging in moderation can help strengthen the muscles around the joint to become stronger.

The frequency and pace will depend on the dog’s specific health condition. Usually 2 times a day, 20 minutes each. Take care not to let your dog jump or run long. If possible, try swimming exercises, this is a great exercise to help improve the muscle condition around the joints.

In the vast majority of cases, owners can opt for surgery to correct hip dysplasia in dogs. In young dogs suffering from an abnormal joint structure, femoral head osteotomy (FHO) is a procedure that removes bone cartilage between the joints. This option is recommended for dogs with severe arthritis, hip dislocation, or in situations where the condition does not allow another type of surgery to be performed.

For dogs with mild hip dysplasia, it is important to lose weight at home. If your dog does not feel pain, you can give him some moderate exercise. Thereby controlling the dog’s weight. Helps slow the progression of the disease.

Some non-stimulant dog pain relievers can be used. When using the drug, follow the instructions of your doctor. Note the drugs must not harm the liver, not affect the hormones of the dog.

Drug treatment can take a long time. Combining additional trace elements is good for bones. Work to promote regeneration of joint cartilage and bones under cartilage. When using, consult an expert.

Swimming is a good form of moderate exercise for your dog. Helps reduce joint cartilage wear. Supporting the treatment of hip dysplasia in dogs effectively. Dogs with serious illness should go swimming once every 2 days for 1-1.5 hours each time.

Triple osteotomy

This is done by cutting the bone in 3 positions around the hip joint. Then align and rotate the bones to match them with joint cartilage position. Thanks to that, the joints can still function normally without worrying about loose joints, or causing pain when moving. This procedure should only be performed in dogs without arthritis and in younger dogs.

As with humans, a total hip replacement (THR) can be performed in dogs as well. Joints will be replaced with articular cartilage and sheaths. They are made from plastic and stainless steel. It is fixed to the pelvis and femur in place of the diseased joint.

This procedure can save your dog from suffering many years of pain after surgery. However, it is recommended for those who have not responded to other treatment options. Because THR surgery for hip dysplasia in dogs is an extremely specialized process.

Prevent hip dysplasia in dogs

Dog hip dysplasia is caused by genetic and objective environmental causes. The best way to prevent and reduce disease incidence is to select screening varieties. Choose to breed individuals with a healthy bone structure. While this does not guarantee that the newborn will not carry the disease, the incidence of this disease will be lowest.

For owners, you need to take your dog to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. At the same time, as soon as possible, follow up to detect unusual symptoms of the dog. Maintain proper nutrition and exercise so that their health is always in the best state.

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