Canine hip dysplasia is a painful genetically inherited disease that affects one in four dogs. As in humans, the hip bone is made of a ball and socket. Hip dysplasia in dogs is a combination of many factors that are both genetic as well as environmental. Canine skeletal hip dysplasia is basically a lack of proper development in the hip joints. This condition is also gradually deteriorating and leads to the eventual loss of hip joint function.
Hip dysplasia in dogs is more common than originally thought. This disease affects both male and female dogs equally. It was once thought that larger pure breed dogs such as Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, German Shepherds and Border Collies to be affected the most. However, a recent study done by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, found that large as well as small mixed breed dogs were likely to suffer as well. This study, involving more than 80,000 dogs determined that all dogs can suffer from hip dysplasia.
Dogs who suffer from this disease have problems with basic activities such as sitting down or getting up, running up or down stairs and walking, etc. They may also experience pain when lying or sitting down in the same position. Pressure on the hip joints results in inflammation and pain that affects the dog’s life in every aspect.
Hip Dysplasia manifests itself while the dog is still a puppy and has not matured physically. Early cases have been detected in dogs as young as three to four months old. However, older dogs may also develop this problem as well. Hip Dysplasia may also occur due to other symptoms such as arthritis or the deterioration of joint cartilage.
Dog’s who exhibit symptoms of pain due to hip dysplasia should be treated by a veterinary professional immediately. Surgery or some form of treatment is required in extreme cases. Only a veterinarian will be able to make a proper assessment and take x-rays when needed. Some cases may even require surgery while others may be treated with medication.
The problems and pains as well as medical costs associated with canine hip dysplasia can often times be prevented. Weight control is one good way to help prevent canine hip dysplasia. All dogs should be fed a well balanced diet. Avoid giving the dog table scraps. Walk the dog regularly as well. Good exercise will also help prevent weight gain. It is also very important to provide a proper pet resting place. Look for a good quality dog bed that will actually support the dogs weight. There are many dog beds on the market that simply do not do the job. These beds do not support the dogs weight. Orthopedic or memory foam dog beds made from high density foam work best. High density foam dog beds are designed to support weight and eliminates pressure on the hip joint. Sites such as Amazon.com sell a variety of pet related products including high density memory foam dog beds.
Canine hip dysplasia can be prevented. In extreme cases, it can also be treated with surgery. This disease affects more dogs than originally thought. However, proper pet care can help detriment it’s onset Exercise the dog on a regular basis and control it’s food intake. Also, provide a proper resting, such as a high density orthopedic dog bed that support’s the dog’s weight. Lastly, a healthy, happy dog will live a longer life with fewer trips to the vet.
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