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Dogs and canine hip dysplasia

Yesterday a press release was available to those writers in the pet industry. The release brings about some very important news for dog parents that love their dogs regardless of any health or emotional issues that the dogs may have.

Q is just as likely as any other dog to develop canine hip dysplasia.
Kent Stoneburner

One issue that is hard for pet parents to witness is hip dysplasia. There are just so many issues that they have to face when their four-legged companion is afflicted with this painful abnormality. You see, when a dog has hip dysplasia, it means that they have an abnormal formation in their hip socket. It the abnormality is bad enough, it could cause the dog to be crippled, lame or to develop painful arthritis in his or her joints. What the experts are discovering is that this disease is much worse than previously thought.

Canine hip dysplasia can be inherited as well as environmental. The cause of canine hip dysplasia is basically a lack of proper development in the hip joints. After time, the condition gradually deteriorates; leading to the eventual loss of the hip joint function.

It is known to affect one in four dogs; more common than originally thought to be. It affects both male and female canines equally. Originally, experts thought that canine hip dysplasia only affected larger pure breed dogs like Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, German Shepherds and Border Collies. Now they know that that is not true. A recent study conducted by the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association revealed that small mixed breed dogs were as likely to suffer as large pure breed dogs from this disease. In fact, the study involved more than 80,000 dogs was a determinant that all dogs are equally likely to suffer from hip dysplasia at any age.

It is unfortunate, but the dogs that do suffer from this disease have issues with basic activities like sitting down, getting up from a prone position, running up or down the stairs, or even walking, to name a few. Just as with humans, if the dog sits or lies in the same position for too long, they experience pain. Pressure on the hip joints results in inflammation and pain which affects the dog’s life in every aspect.

Dogs old and young can manifest symptoms of canine hip dysplasia. There have been cases manifested in puppies as young as three to four months of age and older dogs develop the issue as well. Sometimes hip dysplasia will rear its ugly head due to other symptoms such as arthritis or joint cartilage deterioration.

If your canine displays pain symptoms due to hip dysplasia, you should seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible. The type of treatment will vary with the degree of pain and the resulting life degradation. In mild cases, the dog may just receive medication. In extreme cases, surgery will most likely be the viable option. Only the veterinary expert will be able to determine this though after a thorough examination and x-rays have been taken.

There are a few highly trained professionals out there that may be able to help the dog with stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy is a costly procedure (ranging from $5,000 or more), but it may be well worth the investment, especially if the dog is young and otherwise healthy. Danada Veterinary Hospital has performed several of these procedures without incident. In fact, the dogs have shown improvement in walking in about 48 hours and within two weeks, dramatic changes have occurred where the dog no longer feels pain and can run again.

Fortunately the pain, problems, and medical costs associated with canine hip dysplasia can oftentimes be prevented. One way is to monitor your pet’s weight; feeding him or her a well-balanced diet. Avoid fatty table scraps. Exercising the dog on a regular basis also helps to prevent the onset of symptoms. If the dog exercises, it will help maintain its weight as well.

As a pet parent, you should know that the dog’s sleeping situation needs to be monitored to prevent symptoms of hip dysplasia, too. A proper resting place for your canine is very important. Although it may be slightly more costly up front, in the end, it could save you a bundle!

Look for a good quality dog bed; one capable of supporting the size and weight of your dog. Although there are many pet bed manufacturers with products in the market, many are not qualified to properly support a dog’s weight. There are some out there made with orthopedic or memory foam; high density foam tends to work best in this situation because they eliminate pressure from your dog’s hip joints. Research sites such as to find one right for your dog.

Canine hip dysplasia is awful for your pet and awful for you, but knowing that it can be prevented is helpful. If you get your dog when it is older and it has already manifested signs, know that surgery can treat this disease – and not all are as costly as stem cell therapy.

The disease affects all dogs of all ages and sizes; more so than originally thought. Proper care up front, however, can be a detriment to it developing further. Remember, proper diet, proper exercise and proper rest on a proper surface can help your dog to live long, healthy and happy with you!

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