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Not So Hip Hip Dysplasia

By Jane Norris
Dogs, like humans, suffer from a wide variety of ailments. Some affect certain body parts. The hips are
an example of a region where humans and canines share difficulties. For canines, a common disorder of
the hips is hip dysplasia.

What is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is an abnormal development of the hip joint tissue. It fails to grow properly. As a result,
the femur bone does not fit into the hip socket. It is loose and unstable. This problem results in the
development of other medical issues such as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a crippling disease that will
seriously affect the quality of life of your animal.

The Causes
Hip Dysplasia is a disease with hereditary aspects. It is rarely found among small breeds, but it is
common among large breed dogs including:
* St. Bernard
* Newfoundland
* Rottweiller
* Great Dane
* Golden Retriever
* German Shepherd
Generally, the canine population affected most are purebreds.

Yet, this alone is not the only factor contributing to this health issue. Excessive weight is another
reason why dogs come down with hip dysplasia. The extra weight places unnecessary burden on the
femur bone-hip socket. This causes it to become looser.

One other possible cause of hip dysplasia relates to diet and exercise. One theory believes excessive
calcium may be a causal factor. Another approach notes the negative impact of over exercising a dog.
Still another considers the rapid growth of young dogs to contribute to the problem.

The symptoms vary according to the severity of the problem. The rear legs are sore and stiff. Usually,
you observe a change in gait. The dog may exhibit “bunny hopping.” The symptoms tend to be early in
the morning and following exercise. The canine may also have difficulty climbing stairs. Only a vet can
test to see if it is truly hip dysplasia or another type of rear leg problem. A thorough examination and X-
rays can help determine if hip dysplasia is the culprit.

Treatment will differ according to the level of the condition. In instances where the dog suffers from a
mild case of hip dysplasia, the Vet will probably recommend a course of neutraceuticals. This includes
pain relief from non-steroidal anti-inflammatories drugs (NSAID) as diverse as buffered aspirin and
carprofen. It helps your dog carry on with his or her life.

In addition, certain supplements will help slow down the process. These include oral supplements such
as glucosamine and chondroitin. Other possibilities include:
* Perna mussels
* Omega-3 fatty acids
* Duralactin
These are available over the counter. Injections are another possibility.

Reiki treatments, massage and other forms of alternative treatment may prove helpful for dogs
suffering the mild stages of hip dysplasia. In addition, a life style change may also be included in the vet’
s prescription for better management. You will have to watch the dog’s weight. Exercise will also have
to become supervised and restricted.
If the case is severe, the only treatment is surgery. The vet may replace your dog’s hip. Other surgical
options include:
* Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) – usually for dogs less than 10 months of age suffering from the
problem but lacking joint damage
* Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) – only performed on dogs between ages 10 to 16 weeks

Hip dysplasia is a common problem among may large breed canines. Excessive weight and calcium may
contribute to the problem. With hip dysplasia comes crippling osteoarthritis. Talk to a vet if your dog
exhibits any problems with his or her gait. It may not be a sign of age but an indication of hip dysplasia.

Article by Jane Norris, check out for
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