Treatment of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Margarita FolkPosted by

Canine hip dysplasia in dogs is a very common degenerative disease, having said that it does not always affect all dogs. However there can also be many misconceptions regarding this disease, some that are known and some that are not.

A young dog who has an abnormal development of the hip joint will always suffer from hip dysplasia, this does not necessarily mean that it will be bilateral, affect both the left and right side. It happens because of the laxity of the muscles, connective tissue and ligaments that would normally support the joint.

The majority of dysplastic dogs are born with normal hips, although in some due to genetic and other factors, the tissues surrounding the joint can develop abnormally as the puppy starts to grow. The changes that this causes are that the bones actually move instead of being held in place.

This will cause the joint capsule and ligament between the two bones to stretch; this adds further instability to the joint. Once this happens the surface of the two bones will lose contact with each other. The separation of these two bones within the joint is known as subluxation, the results of these problems, are what are associated with this disease.

A lot of dogs who suffer from this disease are primarily the large and giant breeds, although it can be found in medium sized breeds and very rarely in the smaller breeds. The breeds who have a higher incidence of hip dysplasia are, Golden Retrievers, Labrador, German shepherd, Saint Bernards, Great Danes and Rottweilers.

Treatment for hip dysplasia can vary between several surgical procedures, although this also depends on the age and severity of joint degeneration. A lot also depends on the dog's age and health before any surgery.

Triple Pelvic Osteotomy; (TPO) is normally a procedure that is used for young dogs under 10 months of age, these will have had radiographs which shows severe hip laxity, at this young age they will not have developed damage to the joints. This is major surgery and expensive but is very successful.

A total replacement of the hip is often advised for a dog that has degenerative joint disease due to chronic hip dysplasia. This type of surgery involves removing the existing joint and replacing it with prosthesis. The dog must be skeletally mature and weighing at least 20 pounds, there is no maximum size limit, if both hips have to be replaced then usually a three month rest period is advised between the surgeries.

Medically hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis has been improved over the years with the introduction of new supplements and drugs. Hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited disease therefore no products on the market can prevent the development. If you start by giving your dog a proper diet, exercise, supplements and pain relief, this may help to decrease the progress of the joint disease.

Weight management and exercise for your dog from an early age can help to prevent many diseases, although sometimes as stated hip dysplasia can be genetic. Those of you who are thinking of acquiring a puppy can always ask the breeder about hip dysplasia of the chosen breed.

Source by Kelly Marshall