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    Hip Dysplasia in Dogs - Sudden Hip Pain

    Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    Noticing sudden hip discomfort or pain in your pup can be a very scary and confusing experience. After all, you want your pets to live a long and happy life. A condition known as hip dysplasia is a common cause of hip discomfort and other problems in canines. Keep reading to learn more about this condition and what you can do to prevent it.

    What Is Hip Dysplasia? 

    Canine hip dysplasia can be a serious condition that’s unpleasant for your canine friend. You might have heard of dog hip pain, and you might even suspect your pet is suffering from it. However, do you know what hip dysplasia in dogs actually is?

    Dysplasia in dogs is most often a problem reserved for large breeds. It can occur in smaller breeds as well, but larger sized canines are more susceptible. This is because of their skeletal structure and build. 

    A canine’s joint functions similarly to a human’s - with a ball and a socket. In a healthy joint, these two pieces will glide smoothly and function without problems or pain. If the joint's ball and socket begin to grind and rub together, the joint can begin to break down. Over time, this can cause a great amount of pain and the loss of the joint’s functionality.

    Signs and Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    It’s wise to keep an eye on your pup’s hips and joints, especially if they’re a large or giant breed. Since hip dysplasia is a common health issue in dogs, you should consider insurance for dogs to help protect you against unforeseen events and expenses. 

    Signs of hip dysplasia in dogs can occur at virtually any point in the canine’s life. Some puppies may even show signs when they’re young. For others, the issue may only appear late in life. Additionally, the severity of hip problems in dogs may vary from mild to severe. 

    Hip dysplasia in dogs symptoms include:

    • A noticeable decrease in its range of function 
    • Pain in the hips or joints 
    • Stiffness in the legs 
    • A decrease in activity and desire to exercise 
    • Walking, limping, or hopping like a bunny 
    • Growth in shoulder muscle in response to compensation for the hind legs working less 

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    Hip Dysplasia Prevention

    Hip displacement in dogs can require serious treatments like surgery and medication. As a loving dog owner, you’ll want to know the signs of illnesses in dogs and how to prevent them. 

    The bad news is that this condition isn’t always preventable. Sometimes the canine skeletal structure might be built in such a manner that this problem is unavoidable. For others, the problem might be genetic. 

    The good news is that you can take some preventative measures to ease the onset of this condition. Exercising with your dog, such as retrieving toys or hiking with your dog, can go a long way. Additionally, carefully monitor his diet to ensure they don’t become overweight. Obesity in dogs can contribute to joint problems and should be avoided. 

    Get to know your pup’s breed and its common health issues. If hip problems are a common issue, then let your vet know. You and the vet can closely monitor them together.

    How Is Hip Dysplasia Diagnosed in Dogs?

    Hip dysplasia can be diagnosed through a few methods: 

    • Physical examination 
    • Radiograph or X-ray
    • Close monitoring with your vet 

    In a physical examination, the vet will work with your pup’s back legs to check for any grinding of the joints or reduced movement. This is the first and most logical step for your vet to take if you suspect there are hip problems. If your pet is in pain, it’ll probably let the vet know once its legs are moved. 

    It’s imperative to give a full history of your pup’s health to your vet. If you change vets or move, be sure to find a trusted professional in your area. Brief that vet on your pet’s history and your concerns. Close monitoring, together with your vet, can help you to spot signs of hip discomfort early. Therefore, the dog’s life expectancy can be improved. 

    The final and most important method with which to diagnose hip dysfunction is with an x-ray or radiograph. By getting a picture of what’s going on in the joints, the vet can understand the severity of the prognosis and build a treatment plan. 

    Treatments for hip dysplasia 

    Hip dysplasia surgery for dogs may be necessary for severe cases. In the most severe case, your canine friend might need a total hip replacement. Puppies might require a double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO), which can help to improve the function of the ball and socket joints. In older canines, a femoral head osteotomy (FHO) surgery can give it relief by reducing discomfort in the joint.

    Don’t panic because not every canine with this condition will need surgery. There may be steps you can take to help prevent a major medical intervention. Your vet may recommend the following for hip dysplasia dog treatment

    • Physical therapy to reduce pain and increase joint function
    • Weight loss programs to help take the pressure off joints 
    • Medications to calm the joint and provide pain relief 

    Caring for Your Pet with Hip Dysplasia 

    While the signs, symptoms, and treatments of this condition might sound intense, your canine friend can still enjoy an active and happy life. As a pet owner, you need to be aware of the signs and ensure your pup gets treatment if it begins to express discomfort in its legs or joints.  

    Some minor lifestyle adjustments like putting it on a diet or incorporating physical therapy exercise can have a dramatically positive impact on your pet’s quality of life. Many canines continue to live normal and happy lives despite their hip dysplasia diagnosis.