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Hip Dysplasia in Dogs


                                          Understanding and Preventing Canine Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Canine hip dysplasia is a problem caused by an abnormal laxity between the ball of the leg bone - the femur and the pelvis, or hip.  As a result, the joint does not have a tight fit,  instead the ball part of the femur moves around, in and out of the cup of the pelvic bone.  With this movement of the pelvic socket, there is an impact between the ball and the cup causing pain, there is wearing away of the cartilage and bone, and arthritis  develops in time.  It is possible for canine hip dysplasia to occur in just one hip or in both hips. 

  • Problems Associated with Dogs Hip Dysplasia

Many problems are associated with canine hip dysplasia.  For starters, it causes severe pain in the dog and reduced mobility.  As a result, your dog will have difficulty in climbing stairs, getting up, squatting, and getting into the car.  The pain and immobility often causes the dog to become irritable and depressed. 

The irritability can cause a strain on the relationship you have with your pet.  The relationship also becomes stressed by the fact that the pet needs to be carried and lifted often. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to take steps to reduce the severity of the developing canine hip dysplasia.

  • Risk Factors for Canine Hip Dysplasia

Certain dogs are more prone to developing canine hip dysplasia.  Large dogs such as German Shepherds, St. Bernards, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Rottweilers are more apt to the disorder.  Improper nutrition can also lead to the problem.  Hip dysplasia has a genetic cause and is passed on in family lines. 

  • Preventing Canine Hip Dysplasia

The first step toward preventing canine hip dysplasia is to stop breeding pets that have the disorder.  When purchasing a new puppy, try to find one that has no history of the disease in the parents and grand parents. Ask if the parents and grandparents have been tested for this disease. Next, you need to prevent your pet from becoming overweight especially as a young pup.  The best way to do this is to feed your pet properly and help it get plenty of exercise.

Your pet’s diet plays a large role in whether or not it develops hip dysplasia.  Major dog food manufacturers even market puppy food that are specifically formulated to assist in preventing large dogs from developing dysplasia.  The food is created for puppies because research has shown that certain breeds are less likely to develop the problem if they are lightweight as puppies. Dr Mark recommends Sasha Blend and Glucosamine tabs as a supplement to food intake as Hip Dysplasia prevention.

It is also necessary to encourage your dog to get exercise in moderation.  This means you should provide your dog with opportunities to get exercise, but it should not be pushed to perform physical feats that are challenging.  For example, they should never be pushed to jump high or to run long distances.  This is particularly important for pets that are predisposed to hip dysplasia.  Since hip dysplasia begins developing when your dog is just a puppy, it is necessary to begin taking preventative measures at a young age.