If you are a dog owner you have probably heard about hip dysplasia. This is a serious condition that greatly affects a dog’s quality of life. Some dog breeds like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Labradors, Bernese Mountain Dog are more susceptible to hip dysplasia. However, every dog can suffer from this condition. Hip dysplasia can even develop in puppies as early as four months of age.
What Is Hip Dysplasia?
To understand hip dysplasia, we first need to understand how healthy hips work. The hips are basically comprised of two parts, sockets and ball. In a normal, healthy joint, socket and ball fit together perfectly, enabling easy and painless movement.
However, in certain cases, the hip joint grows into an abnormal shape and the ball and socket don’t fit together properly. This is called hip dysplasia, a condition that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and arthritis.
Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia In Puppies?
Dogs with hip dysplasia will show the first symptoms while they are still puppies.
These are the most common symptoms:
- Painful hips
- The dog has difficulty jumping or coming down the stairs
- Weak muscles in hips and the back legs
- The dog has no interest in walks
- Difficulty lying down or getting up
- Running with both back legs moving together
Hip dysplasia can’t be cured. However, we can manage the symptoms so the dog will continue to have a good quality of life. The vet will first try with some of the treatments below. If your dog responds well to the treatment, the vet will advise you to continue the same treatment at home.
- Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- Special exercise
- Weight control
However, some dogs won’t respond well to the treatment, and pain in their hips can become unbearable. In these cases, the vet will perform surgery.
Hip Dysplasia Prevention
Since puppies inherit hip dysplasia from their parents, the only way to prevent this condition is responsible breeding. Dogs need to be tested before mating to check if their hips are healthy.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can puppies have hip dysplasia?
Yes, puppies can have hip dysplasia. The first symptoms of this painful condition can occur as early as the fourth month of age.
Should I let my puppy climb stairs?
No, keep your puppy away from the stairs. His joints are not yet fully developed and overexertion can cause long-term damage.
How much is hip dysplasia surgery for a dog?
The cost for hip dysplasia depends on the severity of the case, the dog’s age, size, and overall health. Generally, the surgery is somewhere between $3500 and $7000.