Canine Hip Dysplasia – Some Interesting Facts!

Hip dysplasia in dogs has until recently been deemed as a pre-determined and genetic condition. But what is hip dysplasia and how does it occur?

The canine hip operates on a ball and socket joint. This is the reason that your dog can lie on his back and open his hips out fully to either side of his body. Take a look at your dog’s front legs in comparison to the back ones for confirmation of this.

The front legs operate on a lever system and it is impossible to pull a dog’s front leg out to the side without injuring him. Hips are different and have a lot more rotation in the joint. Hip dysplasia is when the ball and socket does not work properly and this can be for a number of different reasons.

The ball might not have developed into the socket area properly, the area where the joint meets may not work fluidly or old age may have caused a breakdown of joint fluid and cartilage within the joint leaving pain and inflammation.

What are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia?

Symptoms of hip dysplasia can appear gradually as stiffness and painful joints or become apparent on one specific occasion. This is often seen as a general injury but further investigation shows very specific hip dysplasia below the surface.

To properly diagnose the condition the dog will need an X-ray which gives the veterinarian a chance to view joint function and dysfunction.

My Dog Has Hip Dysplasia

If your own dog is susceptible to the condition there are a few things you can do. If he is diagnosed and in pain the veterinarian will prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Exercise will need to be changed and limited to shorter and more frequent walks to build muscle without wearing out the joint or causing the dog stiffness and pain. So trash the one-hour walks and take your dog out for two 30 minute walks if you can.

Supplementation and diet is absolutely crucial when treating hip dysplasia. Over the last few years, many holistic veterinarians have deemed the condition preventable with the correct diet and supplements. Suitable supplements include:

  • Green-lipped muscle
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Vitamin C and E
  • A daily multivitamin
  • Fish oil

The idea with supplementation is to protect the joints from wear and tear and keep the cartilage strong. This can help with the majority of cases, prevent the condition developing and even put the severely affected dog back onto his paws with view to removing the need for veterinary drugs altogether.

The only exception is the dog that is born with genetic deformities of the joints. This dog may need specific help or even major surgery to live a happy life. That said, supplements will help him too.

Hip dysplasia in dogs it seems is not in most cases a pre-determined condition, but one which in the majority we have quite a lot of control over, which is positive news for all of us.

Canine Hip Dysplasia – Some Interesting Facts! By Sally Gutteridge
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