Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

by | Jul 8, 2021

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

What is hip dysplasia in Dogs?

Hip dysplasia is the medical term for when a dog’s hip socket does not fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone (femur). This can result in either partial or total hip luxation, meaning the dislocation of the hip. Hip dysplasia is hereditary, but it is exacerbated by factors such as excessive growth rate, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition.

What age does hip dysplasia occur in dogs?

Early signs of hip dysplasia, such as joint laxity (or looseness of the hips) are visible in patients as young as 4 months old thanks to tests such as Barden’s sign and the Ortolani test. Some dogs have an audible “clunk” as they walk which is caused by dislocation of the head of the femur from the socket in the pelvis. Later on, dogs with hip dysplasia develop arthritis which is characterised radiographically.

What does hip dysplasia in dogs look like?

CIinical signs include:

  • difficulty walking
  • reluctance to exercise
  • bunny hopping
  • inability to rise
  • lameness after rest (especially when that rest is after exercise).

What are the first signs of hip dysplasia in dogs?

Early signs of hip dysplasia include a reluctance to exercise and bunny hopping gait.

How does a dog with hip dysplasia sit?

Dogs with hip dysplasia tend to sit gingerly and be very slow to rise. They are usually very stiff on ambulation through the hip region.

Can hip dysplasia in dogs be cured?

Hip dysplasia cannot be reversed once it happens. There are several medical factors that can make it easier for dogs to live with hip dysplasia, such as:

  • avoidance of obesity in the patient
  • use of anti-inflammatory medications
  • appropriate exercise
  • cartilage protectants like shark cartilage, rose hips, etc.

In patients where conservative management is ineffective, there are surgical options which can be either classified as preventative or salvage procedures.

Is hip dysplasia in dogs painful

Some patients with hip dysplasia, characterised by radiographic changes, show no clinical signs, whereas some are extremely debilitated and struggle to even walk.

How can I treat my dog’s hip dysplasia at home?

The first step to treating your dog’s hip dysplasia at home is to confirm the diagnosis of hip dysplasia because clinical signs can be similar to other knee problems, such as cruciate ligament ruptures, and spinal diseases. This generally requires a visit to a veterinarian who will perform both a physical examination and often radiographs.

Once hip dysplasia is confirmed, the most important part of conservative management at home is weight loss Avoid reducing high-impact activities like ball chasing and playing roughly with other dogs. Cartilage protective medications including shark cartilage, glycoaminoglycans and rose hips can be helpful as can cartrophen injections. Pain relief, prescribed by your veterinarian can also be very helpful.

How much is hip dysplasia surgery for dogs?

The cost of hip dysplasia surgery varies, as there are different kinds of hip dysplasia surgery, including preventative procedures like the juvenile pubic symphysiodesis, triple pelvic osteotomy and double pelvic osteotomy, as well as salvage procedures including femoral head and neck ostectomy and total hip replacement surgery.

Additional cost variances include:

  • location
  • experience of the surgeon
  • whether the patient stays overnight at the hospital after surgery or not

What is the best over the counter anti inflammatory for dogs?

There are no over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for dogs. They cannot be given human anti-inflammatory medications because they lead to a high risk of kidney failure and gastrointestinal upset. Dog-specific anti-inflammatory medications should be purchased from a licensed veterinarian.

Is there a brace for dogs with hip dysplasia?

There is not a brace for dogs that is specifically for treating hip dysplasia. However, a sling may be helpful to support dogs either experiencing severe hip dysplasia or in the postoperative period.