Hip Dysplasia in Highland Park, IL

Hip dysplasia is a condition that occurs during the growth stage in dogs. It results in the loosening of the hip joint, which causes dysfunction and pain.

As the dog grows, the cartilage and bone of the hip begin to wear down. Over time, this causes arthritis, muscle atrophy, and limited mobility.

The cause of hip dysplasia is multifactorial.  It can be hereditary in large and giant breed dogs, abnormal confirmation, and environmental factors can have influence as well. Environmental factors that can cause development of hip dysplasia in predisposed breeds can be rapid weight gain and excessive nutritional intake.

Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs and Puppies

Although hip dysplasia in dogs may sometimes go undetected, common signs include:

  • Chronic or occasional lameness
  • Limping with no previous trauma or injury
  • Cracking and popping sounds from joints
  • “Bunny hopping” when running
  • Having trouble standing
  • Abnormal sitting positions
  • Having trouble getting on and off furniture, going upstairs, or jumping into cars
  • Usually observed in the first 4-12 months of age:
    • Exercise intolerance
    • Running with both hind limbs together
    • Difficulty lying down or sitting
    • Lameness after exercise
  • Older dogs may just present with degenerative joint disease and may never develop clinical signs even with severe degenerative joint disease

Dogs can be very stoic and may not show all or any of these clinical symptoms. However, this condition is very painful, regardless of whether your dog has symptoms.

Which Breeds Are Prone to Canine Hip Dysplasia?

German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers are the commonly affected breeds, but any large and giant breed dogs are at risk for canine hip dysplasia.

If you have a large or giant-breed dog, set up monthly checkups between 8 weeks and 10 months of age to help determine if surgical options are needed.

How Do You Treat Dog Hip Dysplasia?

Early diagnosis of the disease can decrease or even prevent the long-term arthritis that is caused by hip dysplasia in dogs. There are several options for treating canine hip dysplasia, including a few surgical options as well as managing the condition through medications.

Your veterinarian will consider many factors before recommending the proper treatment for your dog. Your pet should have a complete orthopedic evaluation before determining if surgery or medical management is right for you.

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