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Dog Hip Dysplasia Treatment and Facts

What is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

The incidence of Hip Dysplasia in dog breeds varies greatly with breed. This article will touch on dog hip dysplasia treatment and facts and provide a list of breeds and their susceptibility to canine hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia is a congenital (hereditary) disease, which means it is passed on from parents to offspring. This disease affects the hip joint-the point where the hind legs are connected to the body through a ball and socket joint. The femoral head (leg bone) is shaped like a ball and can be inserted into the hip socket located on the pelvis. In a healthy dog, the ball and socket shape perfectly matches, and a tough ligament holds the two bones together. However, in the case of hip dysplasia, the structure of the joint may be abnormal and/or muscles and ligaments may be underdeveloped. This causes the two bones to lose contact and separate in a process called subluxation. Essentially, the femoral head (ball) cannot be placed correctly in the acetabulum (socket), and in some cases, it may actually pop out.

severe canine hip dysplasia
X-ray of severe canine hip dysplasia

What are the Causes of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

The American Academy of Veterinary Medicine explains that the two main causes of canine hip dysplasia are genetics and nutrition. Although genetics determines whether a dog will develop hip dysplasia, nutritional studies have shown that dogs eating foods high in calcium and/or calories also plays a role in the development of the disease.

This disease may affect any dog, but it is most common in large and giant dogs. Some of the breeds most prone to hip dysplasia include the GSD, Golden Retriever and Great Dane. Certain breeds, such as Greyhounds and Russian Wolfhounds, have a lower risk of hip dysplasia. Although there is no guarantee that dogs whose parents have hip dysplasia will develop this disease, the chances are much higher. If there is no carrier of this disease in the dog’s bloodline, then his risk of developing Dysplasia will be greatly reduced. This is a major reason to get a puppy from a reputable breeder who will thoroughly check for congenital diseases (such as hip dysplasia) among others. Although genetics is the main factor in determining the risk of hip dysplasia in dogs, adequate nutrition can affect the likelihood of high-risk dogs developing this disease. Dogs who are genetically susceptible to hip dysplasia also have a greater chance of developing dysplasia if they exercise excessively at an early age.

What are Dog Hip Dysplasia Symptoms?

If your dog is unwilling to lift from a sitting or lying position, it may be the first clue that he/she has hip dysplasia. This phenomenon can be seen in puppies that are only a few months old, but is most common in dogs at around 2 years old.

In older dogs, symptoms of hip dysplasia are usually associated with the development of intra-articular osteoarthritis. In addition to the physical signs shown in puppies, elderly dogs with hip dysplasia have reduced hip range of motion and look very stiff when trying to get up and move around.

If your dog shows signs of hip dysplasia, it will look similar to the signs of arthritis-joint pain, difficulty in moving, and stiffness throughout the body. In general, his hind legs will be lame and weak. It can occur in one or both hip joints.

Generally, dogs are very good at hiding/holding pain so being observant of any changes in your dogs ability to maintain their normal level of activity should be noted.

hip dysplasia old dog

What is the Treatment for Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

Non-Surgical Treatments

Although there is no cure for hip dysplasia without surgery, you can relieve many of its symptoms. The most important way to start is by watching your dog’s weight. Extra weight increases the pain associated with hip dysplasia. Therefore, your dog should be placed in low-calorie diet to maintain an ideal weight.

  • Leash walking on soft surfaces and walking on treadmills are also effective. Just remember to follow your dog’s pace. Don’t push it!
  • Make your dog’s sleeping area warmer and more comfortable. Orthopedic beds are available for your dog.
  • Prevent your dog from jumping off furniture or going up and down stairs.
  • Supplements can also help reduce symptoms related to hip dysplasia. Glucosamine and chondroitin are two commonly available supplements that have been shown to be effective for arthritis pain in dogs. You can read more about medications for degenerative arthritis in dogs at the Veterinary Partner.

dysplasic comfortable bed

Surgical Treatments

For dogs with chronic hip dysplasia and degenerative joint disease, the best surgical option is a total hip replacement.

Triple pelvic incision (TPO) is a form of surgery usually used for dogs younger than 10 months old but without signs of hip dysplasia or degeneration. TPO involves breaking the pelvic bones and realigning them correctly. This type of surgery is expensive, but it can be very effective.

A newer, less invasive option is “Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis, which involves fusing the hip bone to allow it to develop normally. Read more about the surgical treatments for canine hip dysplasia at the Veterinary Orthopedic Center.

Which Breeds are More Likely to Develop Hip Dysplasia?

The following list comes from data compiled by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals OFA.org – history of dog breeds with canine hip dysplasia from 1974-2019.

BreedRank #Evaluations #Excellent %Dysplastic %
AFFENPINSCHER494365.018.8
AFGHAN HOUND1557,37330.25.8
AIREDALE TERRIER1056,7577.411.6
AKBASH DOG11158323.311.0
AKITA8617,76519.513.5
ALASKAN MALAMUTE10115,19617.311.9
AMERICAN BULLDOG192,2634.735.6
AMERICAN BULLY131345.239.6
AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG1231,1979.99.4
AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER319736.622.8
AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER243,6902.826.4
AMERICAN WATER SPANIEL13287611.58.0
ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD1182,44818.49.9
AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG624,8095.316.7
AUSTRALIAN KELPIE1301619.38.1
AUSTRALIAN LABRADOODLE797919.914.3
AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD14940,76417.46.1
AUSTRALIAN TERRIER1712046.43.9
BARBET8722213.113.5
BASENJI1753,23723.63.4
BASSET HOUND14234.039.3
BEAGLE551,2102.817.8
BEARDED COLLIE1475,01017.56.2
BEAUCERON10665418.711.6
BELGIAN LAEKENOIS15913516.35.2
BELGIAN MALINOIS1584,09220.75.3
BELGIAN SHEEPDOG1784,64333.03.1
BELGIAN TERVUREN1766,95126.93.4
BERGER PICARD573479.217.3
BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG6824,25214.816.3
BICHON FRISE1344,38212.07.7
BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND7782210.815.1
BLACK RUSSIAN TERRIER109475.240.8
BLOODHOUND253,2992.926.3
BOERBOEL113157.340.0
BORDER COLLIE11315,58014.710.5
BORDER TERRIER1723,46521.43.8
BORZOI18590230.72.0
BOSTON TERRIER1073959.611.6
BOUVIER DES FLANDRES759,2326.815.5
BOXER956,5523.812.3
BOYKIN SPANIEL224,7894.029.1
BRACCO ITALIANO9413731.412.4
BRIARD822,84113.414.0
BRITTANY8021,2399.914.2
BRUSSELS GRIFFON6145.751.0
BULL TERRIER13511910.97.6
BULLDOG21,074.370.5
BULLMASTIFF276,6694.025.7
CAIRN TERRIER1161475.410.2
CANAAN18154617.02.6
CANE CORSO181,8118.137.3
CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI322,8973.322.2
CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL788,9414.214.3
CENTRAL ASIAN SHEPHERD3411011.821.8
CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVER4514,91913.719.8
CHINESE CRESTED19410733.6.0
CHINESE SHAR-PEI6910,6059.215.9
CHINOOK6095910.917.0
CHOW CHOW365,9607.721.2
CLUMBER SPANIEL91,1883.743.3
COCKER SPANIEL14115,17311.36.8
COLLIE1803,55632.02.9
COTON DE TULEAR1191,1149.09.5
CURLY-COATED RETRIEVER711,3258.915.7
DACHSHUND15018217.06.0
DALMATIAN1674,37512.44.3
DOBERMAN PINSCHER14518,68518.46.5
DOGO ARGENTINO162853.537.9
DOGUE DE BORDEAUX47161.158.2
DUTCH SHEPHERD12950913.88.3
ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL1548,09919.55.8
ENGLISH SETTER7012,06811.315.8
ENGLISH SHEPHERD3568910.421.6
ENGLISH SPRINGER SPANIEL9117,7909.812.8
ENTLEBUCHER644675.816.5
EPAGNEUL BRETON562997.017.4
EURASIER17719231.83.1
FIELD SPANIEL581,33410.317.2
FILA BRASILEIRO177346.337.9
FINNISH LAPPHUND1243449.39.3
FINNISH SPITZ14634316.96.4
FLAT-COATED RETRIEVER1696,67721.74.0
FRENCH BULLDOG212,3472.630.8
FRENCH SPANIEL12124419.39.4
GERMAN PINSCHER19053819.11.5
GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG40128,6454.420.5
GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER17019,32727.43.9
GERMAN WIREHAIRED POINTER1254,92717.59.0
GIANT SCHNAUZER525,00710.718.1
GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER23293.726.6
GOLDEN RETRIEVER44160,8274.919.8
GORDON SETTER486,7029.619.1
GREAT DANE9015,93112.112.8
GREAT PYRENEES1206,71814.79.5
GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG533,77115.218.0
GREYHOUND18337935.62.4
HARRIER763698.115.4
HAVANA SILK DOG652201.416.4
HAVANESE1225,36510.49.4
HOVAWART15123426.96.0
HYBRID503,98610.018.7
IBIZAN HOUND18649935.31.8
ICELANDIC SHEEPDOG5471413.417.8
IRISH RED & WHITE SETTER16643533.14.4
IRISH SETTER9912,5409.812.0
IRISH WATER SPANIEL1041,59118.911.8
IRISH WOLFHOUND1622,42126.74.7
ITALIAN GREYHOUND19336753.1.0
KEESHOND1445,5029.56.6
KERRY BLUE TERRIER1571,74113.25.7
KOMONDOR891,05912.213.0
KUVASZ511,95015.718.6
LABRADOR RETRIEVER100277,64719.511.9
LAGOTTO ROMAGNOLO304908.022.9
LARGE MUNSTERLANDER11711919.310.1
LEONBERGER812,49720.714.1
LHASA APSO14285714.86.8
LLEWELLIN SETTER381017.920.8
LOUISIANA CATAHOULA LEOPARD4677713.919.2
LOWCHEN17413916.53.6
MAINE COON CAT281,2914.425.2
MALTESE1121323.010.6
MAREMMA SHEEPDOG6113810.916.7
MASTIFF3912,7458.120.7
MINI AMERICAN/MINI AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD1433,63420.16.7
MINIATURE PINSCHER19114038.61.4
MINIATURE SCHNAUZER18912217.21.6
MUDI16511127.04.5
MUNSTERLANDER9326020.412.7
NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF52263.151.8
NEDERLANDSE KOOIKERHONDJE16112426.64.8
NEWFOUNDLAND2617,9649.125.8
NORFOLK TERRIER20376.334.8
NORTH AMERICAN SHEPHERD15234016.55.9
NORWEGIAN BUHUND12629111.38.6
NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND434,2967.920.1
NORWICH TERRIER831,4206.313.7
NOVA SCOTIA DUCK TOLLING RET.1532,90220.05.8
OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG4711,78912.419.2
OLDE ENGLISH BULLDOGGE31431.465.7
OTTERHOUND85281.748.7
PARSON RUSSELL TERRIER16812223.84.1
PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI4213,8963.220.2
PERRO DE PRESA CANARIO152603.838.8
PETIT BASSET GRIFFON VENDEEN988104.112.0
PHARAOH HOUND18258415.42.6
POINTER1371,99615.27.3
POLISH LOWLAND SHEEPDOG636349.916.7
POMERANIAN671847.616.3
POODLE10231,13812.611.9
PORTUGUESE PODENGO PEQUENO18717132.71.8
PORTUGUESE WATER DOG9210,12915.312.8
PUDELPOINTER10365116.011.8
PUG1861.171.7
PULI1141,88517.210.5
PUMI13318016.77.8
PYRENEAN SHEPHERD732166.915.7
RAT TERRIER17967016.73.0
RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK16413,80023.94.6
ROTTWEILER37102,2728.521.2
SALUKI18828941.51.7
SAMOYED10918,17411.411.2
SCHIPPERKE1385389.17.1
SHETLAND SHEEPDOG16324,14627.74.7
SHIBA INU1394,11318.76.9
SHIH TZU338412.022.1
SHILOH SHEPHERD411,3158.920.2
SIBERIAN HUSKY18420,17434.32.2
SMALL MUNSTERLANDER13625619.97.4
SMOOTH FOX TERRIER844867.813.6
SOFT COATED WHEATEN TERRIER1607,05517.65.1
SPANISH WATER DOG292589.725.2
SPINONE ITALIANO741,60918.815.5
ST. BERNARD72,5464.149.2
STABYHOUN881738.713.3
STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER728753.215.7
STANDARD SCHNAUZER1284,9338.98.4
SUSSEX SPANIEL123251.539.7
SWEDISH VALLHUND1103935.311.2
TIBETAN MASTIFF661,1928.116.4
TIBETAN SPANIEL973906.212.1
TIBETAN TERRIER1564,57131.35.8
TOY AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD17321625.53.7
VIZSLA14017,08917.96.8
WEIMARANER12713,55221.98.6
WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL1082,57417.411.3
WELSH TERRIER851476.813.6
WEST HIGHLAND WHITE TERRIER966084.112.2
WHIPPET19220436.81.0
WHITE SHEPHERD5917412.617.2
WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON1312,86522.18.1
WIREHAIRED VIZSLA11524010.810.4
YORKSHIRE TERRIER14821026.76.2

Source:OFA.org – history of dog breeds with canine hip dysplasia from 1974-2019.

 

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