If you have a dog, you’ve likely heard the term hip dysplasia before. This is a fairly common condition, one that is particularly prevalent in larger pooches. It is unfortunately very painful for our canine companions, and can severely impact their quality of life. A Spring Hill, TN vet discusses hip dysplasia below.
Hip dysplasia is a bone/joint condition, one that affects Fido’s hip socket. Like ours, dogs’ hip sockets are in a ball-and-socket formation. With hip dysplasia, the bones don’t fit together properly. That causes them to grind against each other, which will eventually damage your furry friend’s bones.
There are several potential factors that can cause Fido to develop hip dysplasia. Genetics is at the top of the list. As mentioned above, large breeds are particularly susceptible. However, weight, nutrition, and activities can also play roles.
It’s important to note the warning signs of hip dysplasia. Fido may become less active and playful, and his range of motion may become limited. Other warning signs include trouble getting up or down, jumping, climbing, or running; stiffness; limping; and/or weakness. You may also notice reduced muscle mass in your pet’s back end. This may be accompanied by increased muscle mass in the front, as pups with hip issues often put more of their weight on their shoulders. If you notice any of these things, contact your vet right away.
There are treatments available for hip dysplasia. Mild cases may be treated through medication, laser therapy, weight management, and a specific exercise regimen. For more severe cases, there are surgical options, including total hip replacement. Your vet can discuss these options with you after evaluating your furry pal.
Hip dysplasia isn’t really preventable, as there is a genetic component. However, there are things you can do to minimize the risk, or at least delay its onset. Proper nutrition is crucial here. This should start in puppyhood, as nutritional imbalances at that stage can lead to trouble later. It’s also important to keep Fido active, and to keep him at a healthy weight. If you know or suspect that your four-legged friend may be at risk, be sure to have him screened regularly. Ask your vet for more information.
Do you know or suspect that your canine pal has hip dysplasia? Contact us, your Spring Hill, TN animal clinic, today!