What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?
Canine Hip Dysplasia is a disease in which the malformation of the hip joint causes rubbing and grinding of the ball and socket rather than smooth gliding. This failure of the hip joints to develop normally means that the ball portion and its socket do not meet one another properly, causing, in more severe cases, limping, lameness, and extreme pain.
What causes Canine Hip Dysplasia?
There are two primary causes of Canine Hip Dysplasia: genetics and diet. Large and Giant breeds are much more likely to develop the disease than smaller breeds. When present in smaller breeds, clinical symptoms are rarely more than mild. In some instances, the disease can be caused by severe osteoarthritis. In this case, it is usually not just the hip that is affected, but other joints as well.
Studies have shown that diet also plays a major role in the development of Canine Hip Dysplasia. Large breed dogs that are subject to the disease, should be fed a diet specially formulated for large breed growth as puppies to prevent deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals. Further precautions can be taken in the form of supplements that give adequate amounts of the nutrients vital to the growth and development of bones and cartilage before joint destruction occurs.
Signs and Symptoms
Commonly, Hip Dysplasia begins when the dog is young and in the early stages of maturity. Early onset can appear around four months of age but is not as common as later onset cases. Symptoms include:
- Decreased Activity
- Difficulty Rising
- Reluctance to run, jump, or climb stairs
- Standing with rear legs unnaturally close together
- Loss of muscle mass in thigh muscles
- Unnatural gait or favoring of either rear leg
Treatment and Prevention
In severe cases of Hip Dysplasia, surgical Treatment may be necessary. There are several surgical procedures available depending on the age and the severity of the joint degeneration.
- Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO)
- Total Hip Replacement
- Femoral Head and Neck Excision
- Pectineal Myectomy
The most effective form of treatment for Canine Hip Dysplasia is prevention. Take every necessary precaution before the disease disables your best friend. (Not all cases of Canine Hip Dysplasia can be prevented, but the severity and symptoms may be significantly reduced).
Supplements can greatly benefit your dog in the prevention and management of Hip Dysplasia. The most important ingredients for cartilage, joint, and bone health are:
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Both of these are vital building blocks and necessary for the production of cartilage.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a natural sulfur-containing compound produced by kelp in the ocean. MSM is an antioxidant, cell rejuvenator, and joint healer. It enhances the structural integrity of connective tissue and helps reduce scar tissue by altering cross-linkages which contribute to scar formation. MSM has been reported as having powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties, blocking the pain receptors in certain nerve fibers before the pain impulse reaches the brain.
- Vitamin C is recommended by some veterinarians for puppies or young dogs as well as older dogs because the vitamin is vital for the optimal development of muscles and bones at an early age, and it’s required in higher amounts for older dogs to remain healthy.
- Vitamin E supports connective tissues by maintaining the elasticity of muscles and by minimizing the loss of mobility in joints. The connective tissues make up a big part of your dog’s body and play a critical role in their health.
(It is important to note that no amount of consumed nutrients will correct structural damage to a dog's joints. If there are calcium deposits, scar tissue, cartilage tears, and dissolution, or contour changes to the bones at the joint surfaces from long-term abnormal forces being applied, these abnormalities will remain present and will continue to affect the animal regardless of nutritional intake. Although you cannot reverse these changes, you can still supplement your dog's diet to help with pain management and help prevent further damage.)
Supplements like LIVELY PETS brand Hip and Joint & Skin and Coat that are high in these vitamins and minerals can be a great asset in preventing and treating Canine Hip Dysplasia as well as other common conditions that frequent our best friend's aging years. With ingredients that promote both healthy joint and bone formation as well as healthy skin and a shiny coat, dogs everywhere are thanking their owners for a happier, healthier life.
Another good idea for dogs that suffer from painful hip dysplasia is to get them a high-quality orthopedic dog bed. These dog beds are made specifically for larger breed dogs that frequently suffer from bone or joint conditions. Allowing your dog to rest better, will allow him to heal better and faster. And while we ourselves do not offer an orthopedic dog bed, we did, however, try one out and loved it. You can look in our "Recommended Products" section or just click here.