Hip Dysplasia in Dogs Explained
The common misconception about bones and joints problem is that they could only be acquired through accident. The truth is, one of the most common joint problems among dogs isn’t normally caused by severe trauma.
Your dog can develop hip dysplasia without getting into an accident, making it a lot more unpredictable and dangerous than other bone problems.
What are the causes of hip dysplasia in dogs?
Hip dysplasia happens when the femur and pelvis don’t grow equally. This leads to the irregularity of the hips in which the joints could no longer function as a ball and socket easily.
Unfortunately, some breeds are more susceptible to hip dysplasia than others. Large frame dogs such as Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, and German Shepherds tend to be more vulnerable to joint problems.
Can small dogs get hip dysplasia?
Small dogs with irregular body frames could also develop hip dysplasia because of obesity. One of the best examples is Corgis. Because they tend to have small legs to support their large torsos, a slight increase in their normal weight could already cause problems to their joints’ development.
Lack of proper exercise, or the excess of it, could also cause hip dysplasia among puppies. Since they are still developing their skeletal structure, proper activities are needed to maximize their joints’ potentials.
Lastly, lack of essential nutrients needed for joint developments such as arthritis protection, joint lubrication, cartilage repair, and tendon elasticity can cause hip dysplasia. Some of these nutrients are Glucosamine, Yucca, Vitamin E, Omega 3, and Omega 6, which can be found in some hip and joint dog chews.
What are the signs of hip dysplasia in dogs?
Hip dysplasia can easily be spotted in dogs.
A dog with hip dysplasia would have difficulty standing up or climbing stairs. So if you see that it takes time for your dog to do these activities, you might want them to be checked.
They may also look like they’re limping while running, and they may do some sort of bunny-hopping while jumping.
You will also notice an irregularity in their muscle structure. Dogs with hip dysplasia mostly have thin thighs. To make up for this, they develop large shoulders.
When there is inflammation in the joints, your dogs will experience pain. This will cause great discomfort that will result in lethargy, a decrease in appetite, and unruly behavior.
How to prevent hip dysplasia in dogs
For large dogs, it will be very helpful to expose them to hip and joint supplements. This way, they would have the essential nutrients needed for the proper development of joints on the hips and other parts of their bodies.
You can also engage them in regular exercise which can promote elasticity and flexibility of joints.
For small dogs, it’s best that you prevent obesity by ensuring proper digestion. Digestive supplements enriched with probiotics for dogs are highly recommended. Not only do you get to decrease the rate of joint problems, but you can also make sure that their bodies will absorb all essential nutrients in the food. Thus, leading to a stronger immune system.
While hip dysplasia can be hereditary, it’s not really that impossible to prevent it. Remember that your attentiveness to your dogs’ bodies could dictate if they could live an active and healthy life.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard