Hip dysplasia in dogs is a serious and often debilitating issue. Certain larger dog breeds are more likely to develop this issue, including Labrador, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, St Bernard and Golden Retriever to name a few. There are signs to look out for that indicate it may be time for your dog to start a treatment plan.
The Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Hip dysplasia develops in young dogs as they grow. It’s even possible to notice the signs from as early as six weeks old. In many cases, dogs may not show signs until they are two years old. Each animal is different, and it’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s condition. Speak to your vet if you notice:
- Decreased activity
- Decreased ability to climb stairs or jump up
- Difficulty standing up in the morning
- Hopping with the hind legs
- Lameness in the hind legs
- Hip pain and sensitivity
- Grating detected during joint movements
- Back legs unusually close together
Genetic and environmental factors may play a part in your dog’s likelihood of developing hip dysplasia, including:
- Genetic susceptibility for hip looseness
- Rapid weight gain and untreated obesity
- Poor nutrition
- The size of their pelvic muscles
It’s possible to discover a puppy’s proneness for hip dysplasia early on. The PennHIP method is an innovative, non-invasive early screening method for arthritis and hip dysplasia, predicting which dogs will eventually develop the conditions from 16 weeks of age.
Treating Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
At Kedron Veterinary Clinic, we use radiography to obtain an accurate diagnosis of the internal bone and soft tissues. Once the condition has been discovered, there are multiple treatments available, including:
- K-Laser Therapy – wavelengths of laser light induce a photochemical reaction, increasing circulation, reducing inflammation and minimising pain
- Acupuncture – improves blood flow and increases the amount of metabolic waste a pet’s body can remove, alleviating pain and improving their range of motion
- Medication – anti-inflammatory and pain management medication can help reduce the symptoms and increase motion
The most important thing an owner can do to help slow down the condition is proactive weight management; the less weight placed on the joint, the slower it will wear away.
Speak to Our Vets about Your Dog’s Condition
If you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms in your pet, don’t hesitate to discuss treatment options with your Brisbane veterinary specialist, Kedron Veterinary Clinic. Call (07) 3857 1785 or contact us online.