Many who have heard of pet hip dysplasia think that it is a condition of only certain breeds, particularly German Shepherds. While that particular breed is well known for hip dysplasia, the condition is not limited to German Shepherds. Hip dysplasia can occur in any breed, leading to significant pain, limited mobility, and reduced quality of life.
Pet Hip Dysplasia Defined
Hip dysplasia is most often seen in larger dogs. Dogs have four critical joints that have to work seamlessly for full mobility. When the ball and joint of the shoulders and hips of a dog develop correctly, all is good. However, when the development is not correct or the angle is off, it can create a grinding effect in the joint that results in degenerative damage. Eventually, the joint stops working entirely, and the dog loses mobility altogether in the affected joint.
The causes of hip dysplasia can be hereditary or nutritional. Some breeds are simply prone to hip dysplasia due to hundreds of years of breeding. Great Danes, the aforementioned German Shepherds, Labradors, and huge St. Bernards all frequently experience hip problems as they get older. Weight gain, insufficient exercise, and poor nutrition all contribute to pet hip dysplasia. Obesity contributes to many joint problems including hip dysplasia. Regardless of your dog’s breed, managing his or her weight should be a top priority.
Symptoms of Pet Hip Dysplasia
If your pet is having a hard time moving, your pet may be suffering from hip dysplasia. As the condition worsens, running becomes impossible. As the condition develops further, your pet will have serious difficulty standing up, walking up and down stairs, and jumping to higher levels such as onto the bed or couch. If your pet is suffering from hip dysplasia, he or she will be visibly favoring some legs over the others and may begin skipping or hopping.
Diagnosis and Treatment in San Diego
Because it is an internal injury, pet hip dysplasia is hard to confirm without a trained eye. At Tierrasanta Veterinary Hospital in San Diego, we will examine your dog carefully and confirm accurately what is going on. If hip dysplasia is occurring, we will develop a treatment plan to slow its progression and prolong your dog’s mobility and comfort. Simple things like weight loss, physical rehab, medication for anti-inflammation, and exercise limitations can all help significantly. For more information on pet hip dysplasia or to schedule an appointment, call us at (858) 292-6116.