What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

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    What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

    When your dog’s hips move, they work like a ball and socket and because of this, one or both of your dog’s hips may be affected by hip dysplasia. This occurs when the ball and socket of the dog’s hips have not grown properly, resulting in a dysfunctional joint. They grind against one other rather than glide smoothly, causing a deterioration over time and eventual loss of function of the hip joint. As a result of the condition’s discomfort and reduced mobility, hip dysplasia can significantly impair your dog’s quality of life if left untreated.

    This painful disease is more frequent in big or large breed dogs, although smaller breeds are not immune to it. As a result of the condition, your dog’s quality of life can be significantly decreased if left untreated. Hip dysplasia causes discomfort and impairs your dog’s mobility. This issue is particularly tough for pet owners to deal with since it may be unpleasant to see an otherwise healthy dog suffer with the symptoms of hip dysplasia.

    What Causes Canine Hip Dysplasia?

    Among dogs, hip dysplasia is predominantly hereditary, with genetics playing a major role in its development. A variety of smaller breeds, including French bulldogs and pugs, may also be vulnerable to hip dysplasia, but it is more frequent in big breed dogs like mastiffs, St. Bernards, Rottweilers, retrievers, and bulldogs. 

    Untreated, this disease would certainly develop with age and damage both hips if left untreated in the early stages (bilateral). It’s possible for hip dysplasia to be worsened by other painful diseases, including osteoarthritis. An unhealthy weight and diet, rapid growth, and certain forms of activity can all contribute to the development of this disease. Overweight dogs are more likely to develop hip dysplasia because of the excessive tension placed on their joints. 

    To ensure your dog gets the correct amount of daily activity and the right nutrition for their age, size, and breed, it’s vital to visit your veterinarian.

    Photo Credit: gshepherds.com

    What are Clinical Signs of Canine Hip Dysplasia?

    Hip dysplasia symptoms vary from dog to dog, as they do with many other diseases. However, it may not become noticeable until the dog reaches its middle or senior years, despite the fact that it usually begins to develop when the puppy is five months of age. Pet parents should be on the lookout for the following signs as their puppy matures: 

    • Pain or discomfort during physical activity (or a reluctance to exercise, run, jump or climb stairs) 
    • Rear legs are rigid when walking
    • Anxiety or stiffness when jogging or getting up from a sitting 
    • Back legs and thighs lose muscular tone 
    • When he moves, his joints grate or grind
    • Rear leg lameness
    • Decreased range of motion
    • Running with a ‘bunny hop’ (lifting the hip when running)

    Can Canine Hip Dysplasia Be Prevented?

    Dogs are often born with the predisposition to develop hip dysplasia. To actually prevent this, breeders need to stop breeding dogs with the predisposition and doing proper health testing of all their dogs. Before getting a dog from a breeder, you should ensure that the dog and their parents have undergone the proper testing and been screened for the disease. You can also help prevent the disease by helping the skeletal system grow properly, providing essential supplements for joints and growth, giving dogs a proper diet, testing early for hip dysplasia and avoiding exercising young and at-risk dogs.

    How is Canine Hip Dysplasia Diagnosed?

    Vets usually check for hip dysplasia whenever a dog comes in for a checkup. Every six months or so, your veterinarian should do a physical exam to check on your dog’s physical health. In order to detect grinding noises, discomfort, or restricted range of motion, your vet may adjust your dog’s back legs. If hip dysplasia is suspected, your veterinarian may suggest blood tests that can detect inflammation as a result of joint illness.

    An extensive health and medical history will also be requested from your veterinarian, including a list of your dog’s symptoms and any injuries that may have resulted in the pain they are in. Finding out your pet’s ancestry can help you determine whether or not your dog is at risk for getting hip problems. When it comes to identifying the degree of hip dysplasia in your dog, standard x-rays may also be extremely helpful.

    What are Canine Hip Dysplasia Treatment Options?

    Photo Credit: Unknown

    Dogs with hip dysplasia have a variety of treatment choices, ranging from lifestyle modifications like nutrition and exercise to pain medications and surgery. There are actually three main surgeries to treat Canine Hip Dysplasia:

    Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)

    Surgery to repair a dog’s ball-and-socket joint is most often performed on puppies under 10 months of age. DPO and TPO treatments include severing the pelvic bone into pieces and rotating them to enhance ball-to-socket coverage and reduce hip laxity. Although the cost of surgery varies, for most dogs, both hips will cost around $3,000 to fix. 

    It will take many weeks for your dog to be able to enjoy leash walks again, and they will require frequent physical therapy in order to regain full mobility after these procedures are completed (although you may notice joint stability improve within as little as four weeks). Following surgery, the majority of dogs will recover in four to six weeks on average.

    Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)

    For both young and older dogs, FHO can be beneficial If they have hip dysplasia. FHO involves removing the femoral head (ball) and allowing their body to build a “false” joint. Despite the fact that FHO does not restore normal hip function, it can be an efficient way to manage pain in dogs. 

     There are a number of factors that influence the cost of FHO surgery including the size and age of your dog, as well as the severity of the problem. However, you should anticipate to pay between $1200 to $2,500, which includes pre-surgical bloodwork, the surgical procedure, anesthesia, post-surgical

    As a result of the procedure, your dog may need to stay in the hospital for a few hours to a few days, depending on their health. For at least 30 days after FHO surgery, your veterinarian will provide you detailed advice on how to care for your dog. However, you must restrict your dog from engaging in any vigorous physical activity during recovery. In most situations, your pup will be fully recovered within six weeks after surgery. Dogs may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory medicine daily for up to a month afterward, depending on the kind of surgery. In that case, these medicines may only be required on an irregular basis.Once they have fully recovered, they can return to their normal

    Total Hip Replacement (THR)

    The most successful surgical treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs is a total hip replacement. THR includes the use of plastic and metal implants to replace the whole hip joint, restoring hip function and alleviating most hip dysplasia-related pain.

    THR surgery also happens to be a radical and expensive choice and in most cases, this operation is recommended only if the dog is in a great deal of pain or is near to being completely immobile as a result.  In order for THR to be successful, your dog’s prosthetic components must be custom-made for them, and the surgery must be performed by a certified veterinary surgeon.

    When it comes to dogs, the cost of THR for hip dysplasia may range from $3,500 per hip to $7,000, depending on your dog’s condition and other criteria such as size, age On average, surgery can cost up to $14,000 for dogs that are afflicted on both sides of the body (which is frequent). The cost of the operation includes pre-surgical blood testing.

    In general, total hip replacement surgery takes two to three hours, and your dog may need to stay in the hospital for one to three days after the procedure. You should expect a 12-week recovery period in order to achieve thorough healing. However, even if your dog’s hip dysplasia affects both hips, surgery can only be performed one at a time, which allows for a three to six-month interval between treatments.

    Photo Credit: Fitzpatrick Referrals

    When your dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, vets understand that it may be a heartbreaking experience, as the disease is painful and can restrict mobility. Many dog owners are rightfully concerned about the financial strain that this disease can cause but there is still a chance, however, that your veterinarian will have the ability to propose an alternative or a combination of therapies that will help your dog recover and be in less pain.

    Your dog may also benefit from supplements to aid in the effort of alleviating pain as well as help with prevention. 

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