WHAT IS HIP DYSPLASIA?
Hip Dysplasia is where the hip joint does not develop correctly and this causes a loose hip confirmation. It is the most common joint disorder seen in dogs. Because of this loose hip confirmation the hip joint moves around to much causing pain and discomfort. The pain is associated with wear and tear, which develops into osteoarthritis of the hip joint.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia is diagnosed through physical examinations and radiographs. The PennHIP method is a series of radiographs used to evaluate the integrity of the hip joint. These radiographs can be performed on dogs as young as 16 weeks of age.
THE PENNHIP METHOD
This method incorporates a series of radiographs (x-rays) to measure a dog’s hip joint laxity (degree of looseness). These x-rays then help veterinarian determine the possibility of hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. This then assists the veterinarian to determine the best course of prevention or treatment for your dog.
Dogs between the ages of 16 weeks and 21 weeks can undergo a procedure called Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS), which is a preventative surgery for hip dysplasia. Although we do not perform this surgery here it is important to understand it and know it’s available, especially if you purchase a puppy that could possibly develop the disease.
We always recommend researching the breed of dog you are looking to buy so you understand the possible diseases they could be faced with. Many pet owners that have large older dogs wish they understood hip dysplasia better so they could have taken preventative measures early in their dog’s life.
CAN ALL DOGS DEVELOP HIP DYSPLASIA?
Hip dysplasia can be seen in all breeds of dogs but more commonly in larger dogs. Larger breeds include Bulldogs, Labradors, Great Dane, Golden Retrievers, German shepherd’s and Rottweiler’s. Large breed cats can also develop hip dysplasia these include the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cats.
SYMPTOMS OF HIP DYSPLASIA
- Difficulty to rise from lying down
- Decreased activity levels
- Lameness in the hind legs
- Pain on touch
- Hind legs are not in coordination with the front legs
IF YOUR SUSPECT HIP DYSPLASIA IN YOUR DOG
- Seek veterinary assistance so you can implement changes to their lifestyle and diet to slow the progression of osteoarthritis of the hip joint.
- If you have just bought a puppy that you suspect could develop the condition, seek veterinary treatment early ideally before 16 weeks of age.