Hip Dysplasia

Some dogs begin to show signs of hip dysplasia when they are as young as four months of age. Others develop it in conjunction with osteoarthritis as they age. In both cases, there are a few symptoms that owners should be familiar with. These symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the disease, the level of inflammation, the degree of looseness in the joint, and how long the dog has suffered from hip dysplasia.

Symptoms:

  • Decreased activity and range of motion
  • Difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs
  • Lameness in the hind end
  • Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait
  • Grating in the joint during movement
  • Loss of thigh muscle mass
  • Noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Common Causes: 

    Hip dysplasia is hereditary and is especially common in larger dogs, like the Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog. Factors such as excessive growth rate, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition can magnify this genetic predisposition.

    Preventative Measures:

    Proper weight management is critical. The excess weight on a dog stress the hip joints. During the stage of rapid growth, one must discourage puppies from jumping from heights or standing on their hind legs as it puts too much pressure on the joints. Swimming should be encouraged as it allows them to build muscle mass without overly stressing the joints. Including golden paste in their diet is essential as the turmeric helps reduce inflammation. Bone Meal is a good supplement to incorporate as the glucosamine and chondroitin present is beneficial for joint health. Marine collagen also strengthens the joints and ought to be added in their diet. Omega 3 has been proven to reduce inflammation and could help a dog with hip dysplasia.

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