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What is a dog’s hip dysplasia? : Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatments

sad dog with dog's hip dysplasia -

Dog’s hip dysplasia can turn a dog’s life into hell. Simply it means the displacement of the hip. It can limit your dog’s life in one place. Every dog owner may be heard about this disease but may not have an idea about how it is happening. Let’s get to know about the dog’s hip dysplasia.

How do dogs get hip dysplasia?

Dog’s hip dysplasia is a condition that happens because the hip joint gets degraded over time. That’s why many older dogs suffer from hip dysplasia and this causes so much pain for the dog.

The dog hip is a complex ball linked with a socket joint. In here the femoral head is linked inside of a deep hip socket.

The correct anatomy and physiology of the joint have less chance of pain and failure later in the dog’s life. Because the correct anatomy has a rounded femoral head correctly set into a deep hip socket held firmly in place by tight ligaments.

dog's hip dysplasia stages anatomy and this is show healthy bone structure
Healthy hip structure

Unfortunately when this ligament became too loose, then it causes the dogs to get hip dysplasia. At this stage, the cartilage between the femoral head and the hip socket is worn out. So it becomes more painful when the bone’s surface gets in contact.

Healthy hip bone structure: The femoral head is tightly connected with the deep hip socket.

Moderate hip dysplasia: In this case, the hip socket becomes less deep, therefore the ligaments between the femoral head and hip socket get loosen.

Severe hip dysplasia: The hip socket becomes more shallow, therefore it is couldn’t keep the ligaments between the femoral head more.

dog's hip dysplasia moderate stage and severe stage
The bone structure of the moderate and severe hip dysplasia

What is hip dysplasia caused by?

Some peoples think hip dysplasia is caused by genes. But this is not entirely a genetic disease. But the large breed dogs are prone to have hip dysplasia than other dog breeds.

However, recent experiments tell that environmental factors during puppy development also affect hip dysplasia than genetics.

If your dog is obese and inactive then there is a potential risk for hip dysplasia. Most of the puppies are fed too much food in their puppyhood. Within the first six months, they are growing fast. So this going to be a key factor that most pet dogs are overweight in their puppyhood. If puppies were kept according to ideal BMI value, active, and slow-growing they will never become obese.

Also, they never became obese and sedentary as adults. This would be far less symptomatic in hip dysplasia. Being overweight when the period of bones development will be a major cause for later hip dysplasia.

Excessive jumping in puppy time can also be a reason for a dog’s hip dysplasia. Playing is good exercise for dogs, but not excessive jumping. Besides if they were on a slippery surface in the first three months or use stairs, then it is also can a reason for a dog’s hip dysplasia in the later stage. So support your buddy if you have stairs in the home in the first three months.

 excessive jumping cause dog's hip dysplasia
Dog jumping

What are the first signs of hip dysplasia in dogs?

If you notice that your dog licking its hip area or back legs regularly, then be alert. This could be the first sign of hip dysplasia. So start to examine it carefully. If there are no wounds or any abnormalities on the surface then the reason may be inner pain. Because they couldn’t express it with words. Then put attention to your dog’s walking. In addition, a “pop” sound that occurs when they are waking up also be a sign of hip dysplasia.

Furthermore, if you notice abnormal walking, limited movements, stiffness, and like to being in the same place and no activeness then it must be the first sign of hip dysplasia.

Every abnormal walking is not maybe hip dysplasia. Because there will be more reasons but it is better to take your dog to the vet for further examination. So physical examination can confirm the disease.

slippery floors causes dog's hip dysplasia

How hip dysplasia diagnosed in dogs?

This is depends on what you consider as a “diagnosis”? Also, what do you intend to do?

There are two methods to diagnosed hip dysplasia before it shows symptoms. They are OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) protocol or PennHIP. These examine the puppies at a young age (16 weeks old) to later risk of dog’s hip dysplasia.

Hip laxity examinations for dogs

The main indication of hip dysplasia is hip laxity. So the early detection of hip laxity is very important because it will help vets to slow down the implementation of disease. Also, they can plan and schedule the treatments process as well.

The main reason for hip laxity is still under investigation. Still couldn’t point out what is the exact reason for hip laxity and why? However, there will be many reasons that can cause hip laxity, such as an inheritance from genes, Wrong body mass, excessive body weight, high amount of synovial fluid in the hip joint, hormonal influence, the skeletal structure of the hind limbs, etc.

So early laxity examination for dogs will definitely help to prevent the dog’s hip dysplasia from becoming moderate and severe. Besides, it is cost-effective than the later treatments of hip dysplasia.

Do all dogs with hip dysplasia need surgery?

It depends on the severity of the disease. If the disease is found at a very early stage then it can be controlled becoming severe. Also, surgery is recommended when the dog is in so much pain or incapable of moving. The surgery type will also decide by your vet according to the dog’s age, size, and disease condition. Also when treating a dog’s hip dysplasia via surgery there are three surgical options available.

What are the best treatments for hip dysplasia?

According to the severity of the hip condition, three types of surgical options are available

Double or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO)

Triple pelvic osteotomy is done for puppies less than 6 – 16 month-old. To ensure that your puppy needs a TPO, first need to do a radiograph.

It is recommended when the hip laxity becomes severe but does not develop to damage the hip joint.

The treatment entails fracturing the pelvic bones and readjusting the femoral head and acetabulum to restore the weight-bearing surface area and prevent femoral head subluxation. Also sometimes this could be recommended for both hips.

This is a big procedure that is expensive, but it has had a high success rate on animals that match the standards. After four weeks of surgery, an x-ray will be performed.

After doing the surgery strict cage rest required 1 – 2 months.

How much is double or triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) surgery cost?

The average cost for this surgery can be $3000 – $3500.

Femoral head ostectomy (FHO)

Femoral head ostectomy (FHO) can suggest both young and adult dogs. This reduces the pain and discomfort happen by hip dysplasia. The FHO surgery proceeds by cutting off the femoral head, or “ball,” of the hip joint. This is results in creating a “false” joint that helps to remove the discomfort of hip dysplasia.

After the FHO the affected leg strat to function normally but there will be less range of motion of the leg.

Also after the surgery, it is recommended to avoid physical activities for at least one month. Dogs are not allowed to jump, run, or playing within this period.

How much is femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery cost?

The average cost for this surgery can be $1500 – $2500.

Total hip replacement surgery(THR)

Total hip replacement surgery is the most successful and effective surgery for a dog’s hip dysplasia. In here do the total hip joint replacement using metal or plastic implants? Also, the total hip replacement gives a lifetime warranty. The implants have 15 – 20 years lifetime which is similar to a dog’s lifetime.

Furthermore, the total hip replacement for both sides couldn’t conduct at once. The 12-week minimum gap is required from the first surgery to perform surgery for the other hip.

Not only large dog breeds but also small dogs and cats can have total hip replacement surgery without any doubt. After the surgery, the dog needs to follow strict activity restrictions. After that dog can gradually become active. The total recovery period can be 10 weeks.

Every surgery has some complications and some may be serious. The major complications of total hip replacements are

  • hip luxation
  • fracture of the femur
  • fracture of the acetabulum
  • Infections

But don’t worry the complication rate is less than 5%.

How much does total hip surgery cost?

For one hip the cost will be $3500 – $7000

For both sides, the cost will be $7000 – $14500

Is there are home made treatments for dog’s hip dysplasia?

A big No… There are no curable homemade treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs. Once they are clinically proven for hip dysplasia your vet will prescribe some pain killers to reduce the pain. Indeed the further degeneration of the joint can slow down by giving glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.

What should you do to avoid dog’s hip dysplasia?

  • Provide plenty of exercise to your dog
  • Maintain correct BMI value
  • Never give excess foods to increase the growth , provide correct portion
  • Keep your buddy active always
  • Never give excersises before 15 month old. (No problem with short walking routing)
  • Give a warm space to sleep
  • Fed it high quality nutitients foods
  • Don’t put them in slippery floor or avoid them climbing stairs.

Hope you get a full knowledge of the dog’s hip dysplasia. Be happy with your buddy!!

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