Dogs age and get injuries, just as humans do. Dogs moving at a slower pace may be early signs of arthritis in dogs. But dogs barely moving because they are in so much pain, is a bigger problem. A visit to the veterinarian is required to find out if your dog has hip dysplasia. What is Hip Dysplasia in dogs? We have the answers you want to know.
Unfortunately, hip and elbow dysplasia are the most common skeletal diseases in dogs. The good news is your dog can still live an active life. Here is what you need to know about hip and elbow dysplasia.
What is hip dysplasia?
Our dog's hips are built similar to our own hips. Just as we have a ball and socket joint for our hips, so do our dogs. Ideally, the thigh bones fit snuggly into the hips with ligaments and cartilage to cushion the connection and make it move smoothly. When hip dysplasia happens, the ball and socket of the hip joints have an abnormal growth with insufficient coverage, which makes the joints become loose and unstable. Often, with looser joints, shifting happens and the proper positions fall out of place. This can cause long-term joint issues as well as scar tissue around the joints. Bone spurs can develop, and the pain associated with this increases over time. Your dog may have early signs of this, but you will notice more as they age and time takes a larger toll on their mobility.
Here is an illustration of hip dysplasia in dogs as this disease takes hold:
What is the cause of hip dysplasia?
Unfortunately, some dogs will get dog hip dysplasia because it is an inherited skeletal disease. Canine hip dysplasia occurs when the dog's joints are not developed quite right. The biggest factor is genetics. However, rapid weight gain and obesity can force the issue to the point the joints are giving out and you may notice the symptoms more. While weight gain is not the cause of hip dysplasia, it is a reason you might see the signs. So if you are looking for the main cause of hip dysplasia, look no further than the ancestry of your dog. Obviously, we cannot change the ancestry.
What are the symptoms of hip or elbow dysplasia?
While symptoms vary, some things to look for include:
- Obvious pain or limping
- Decreased range of motion in hips and rear legs
- Audible clicking sound when walking
- Slowing down when they had not been slow before
- Reluctance to being active such as climbing stairs or jumping up
Is there a way to prevent hip dysplasia?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it from happening. It is an inherited joint disease and it can impact a dog as young as age 1. Larger dogs are most susceptible due to their size. If a dog already has the skeletal disease, you may not know until they age and the symptoms become more prevalent. Weight gain and age can make mobility more painful and will grow into a concern requiring a veterinary office visit. It is recommended to protect your dog's joints early with the addition of a high-quality joint supplement. Protect your dog's joints by adding high levels of ingredients such as glucosamine for dogs, chondroitin for dogs, and other ingredients that promote joint health and improve normal cartilage development.
Which dog breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia?
Every dog is different. However, some breeds are more susceptible to this illness. These are usually larger breed dogs. Because of their size, hip dysplasia has more common occurrences in these dog breeds:
- German Shepherds
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
It is important that if you have one of these breed dogs, you keep in mind their mobility as they age. Because they are larger in size, their weight and amount of activity impact their joints as they age. Be sure to keep your dogs at their optimum weight. Also, consider introducing a joint supplement, such as Glyde® Mobility Chews for dogs, for the best joint supplement with all-natural ingredients to protect your dog's joints as they age.
My dog has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, what now?
Your veterinarian will offer the treatment plan which is best for your dog. Here are some treatment options:
- Pain relief through an anti-inflammatory.
- Rest to help prevent further pain and swelling.
- For some, surgery may be required.
- For others, using a mobility supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin can help.
Unfortunately, there is also no way to reverse the effects of hip or elbow dysplasia. A plan of treatment is required. While you may consider prescribed medication, remember just as in humans, pain medication may not be a good long-term solution.
Consider using all-natural supplements to help improve mobility and protect your dog's joints, such as Glyde® Mobility Chews.
Can diet or exercise help my dog with hip dysplasia?
Your veterinarian may recommend your dog lose weight as a first effort to alleviate painful symptoms. This will not cure the issue, but it may make it so your dog can move easier. It is always important to have your dog on a healthy diet, especially if it is a large breed dog. Talk to your veterinarian about a good exercise and diet routine, if weight gain is an issue. Simple steps might be adding a casual 20-minute walk into your dog’s routine as well as adding a joint supplement to reduce swelling of the joints and pain.
What sort of joint supplement would you recommend?
Parnell Living Science is the makers of Glyde Mobility Chews, a natural joint supplement with strong scientific backing to combat joint pain. The ingredients contain a unique combination of green-lipped mussel, glucosamine, and chondroitin to promote healthy joints. Green-lipped mussel (GLM) contains beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, glycosaminoglycans, and antioxidants. Combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, GLM (one of the best sources of Omega can help decrease pain and preserve joint function. Glyde Mobility Chews is the only joint supplement with proven levels of these key ingredients to help maintain youthful mobility throughout your dog’s life.
What else can I do to ease my dog’s pain?
Simply think of what might help you if you had joint pain, and the tips are about the same for your dog. Here are a few ideas:
- Massage your dog’s joints and muscles
- Add a joint supplement to help with swelling
- Keep your dog out of cold weather
- Provide a firm, orthopedic bed for your dog
- Add rugs and/or carpet areas for your dog to walk and lay on to prevent your dog from slipping on floors
- Continue moderate exercise to help keep up their mobility
Be sure to discuss what is best for your dog with your veterinarian. While it is hard to detect what might be the mobility issues you are seeing in your dog, it is always good to visit your veterinarian with any concerns.
Arthritis in dogs is also a joint disease. Take the arthritis quiz by clicking on the link below.
Of course, we love our fur-babies and want nothing but the best for them. As with anything, if you see obvious behavior changes, call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment.
Pets & WebMd, "Hip Dysplasia in Dogs"
WikiHow Pets, "3 Ways to Manage and Treat Hip Dysplasia in Dogs"
WikiHow Pets, “Deal with Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs”
VetDepot, "Hip and Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs"