PennHIP and Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: What You Need to KnowLangley Animal Clinic
As a pet owner, “canine hip dysplasia” are three words you don’t want to hear from your veterinarian. Unfortunately, it is one of the most common orthopedic challenges in dogs. But thanks to advancements in veterinary medicine, early diagnosis and treatment options are available, helping your furry friend lead a happier and healthier life. When it comes to this common condition, knowledge is power. Read on to learn what you need to know about hip dysplasia in dogs.
One of the most common causes of hip dysplasia in dogs is genetics. While this condition may be prevalent in all canines, large breeds like Grate Danes, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds are more predisposed for developing the disease. There is also evidence to suggest that diets too high in calcium and calories can play a role in the promotion of hip dysplasia.
Signs of hip dysplasia can appear in puppies as early as four months old. However, older dogs can develop symptoms as they age, resulting in osteoarthritis. Depending on the severity of the conditions, the symptoms may vary. Here are some of the indicators to watch out for:
- Bunny hopping (running with both back legs moving in unison)
- Difficulty running, jumping, or climbing stairs
- Loss of muscle mass in the hind legs
- Reluctance to exercise
- Reduced energy levels
- Weakness in the hind legs
If you notice any of the above symptoms, make sure to contact an animal clinic to get a proper diagnosis.
If your dog is showing signs of hip problems, you will need to inform your veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet will perform a complete physical exam, assessing the joints for pain, grinding, and range of motion.
If they suspect your dog has hip dysplasia, they may X-ray the area or use a radiographic technique called PennHIP. This effective diagnostic method of testing consists of three separate radiographs, providing a distraction view, a compression view, and a hip-extended view.
Once the veterinarian has made a diagnosis, they will create a treatment plan. Depending on the severity of the condition, the treatment options will differ.
For mild hip dysplasia, a change in diet and an exercise routine may be all that is required to manage the symptoms. Many vets also suggest over-the-counter joint supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. In more severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery for advanced conditions.
No pet owner wants their beloved furry companion to suffer. If you notice any symptoms of hip dysplasia, reach out to Langley Animal Hospital. With an effective diagnostic strategy and a comprehensive treatment plan, you can help prevent progression, allowing your dog to lead a full, active life.