Hip dysplasia in dogs can limit activity and cause long-term pain for our canine friends. This condition starts developing during puppyhood and is often attributed to inherited genetic conditions. The experienced rehabilitation and orthopedic veterinarians at West Park Animal Hospital serve dog owners in the Cleveland, Ohio area with options for the management and treatment of canine hip dysplasia.
What Is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?
Hip dysplasia in dogs describes a condition in which the ball and socket structures of the canine hip joint do not develop into a proper fit. This creates an insecurity, or laxity, in an area that usually operates with a tighter fit. The subsequent looseness between the head of the thighbone, or femur, and the pelvic socket area contributes to progressive changes in the joint, including the formation of bone spurs, the development of scar tissue, and cartilage degradation. This leads to inflammation of osteoarthritis.
Genetic factors that impact hip dysplasia in dogs are being studied, and while these genetic mutations are complex, continuing research may yield greater understanding and new treatment options in the future. Our caring team at West Park Animal Hospital stays up to date with current veterinary research on hip dysplasia.
How Is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs Diagnosed?
West Park Animal Hospital veterinarians provide puppy care and continue examining juvenile dogs for any signs of hip dysplasia. Identifying the condition, or its potential, can provide dog owners with options for how the dog is exercised and fed to help minimize or control symptoms. Here are some symptoms that owners may notice, regardless of the dog’s age:
- Less activity, lying down more often
- Stiffness in the back legs, less range of motion
- Hesitant when asked to climb stairs or jump into the car
- Decrease in thigh muscle and increase in shoulder muscle mass
- Lameness or limping in the rear legs
- Obvious pain
If you notice any of these symptoms, our veterinary team will thoroughly check your dog using gait analysis, a thorough exam, and manual manipulation. If we’re not familiar with the dog, we’ll also go over their medical history to determine if injuries or accidents may play a part in the current symptoms. If hip dysplasia is suspected, an X-ray will likely be required. To get the best possible images, light sedation will be used.
How Is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs Managed?
There are several methods veterinarians use to manage hip dysplasia in dogs. West Park Animal Hospital veterinarians may recommend a healthy diet and weight for your dog, as this may help reduce pain from pressure placed on the joint. There may also be recommendations about exercise routines, including what kind of exercise and how much exercise should be given every day.
In some cases, physical therapy, including underwater treadmill therapy, may be advised to help your pet reach and maintain a healthy level of exercise. This may ultimately help manage the inflammation and pain of hip dysplasia.
Medications may be prescribed as part of pain management for your pet, as well. Choices include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, corticosteroids, and joint supplements.
Surgery is another option for some dogs. Canines of any age may undergo a femoral head ostectomy, which removes the head of the femur. Your dog’s body will then create a false joint for movement with less pain. While this option doesn’t completely restore normal hip function, it helps manage pain and allows the dog to walk and move.
The veterinary team at West Park Animal Hospital can advise you on whether a femoral head ostectomy will help your dog. We can share insights based on our long experience performing this procedure and caring for dogs with hip dysplasia. In some cases, we may refer for a total hip replacement.
Seek Orthopedic Care for Hip Dysplasia in Cleveland, OH
West Park Animal Hospital treats hip dysplasia in dogs in the Cleveland, Ohio area, including West Park, North Olmsted, Berea, Rocky River, Lakewood, and Fairview Park. Let our experienced doctors and veterinary team members help manage hip dysplasia in your dog. Contact us today.
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