Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)

Canine Hip Dysplasia is a condition first reported in the 1930’s and was declared a genetic issue do the increased and overwhelming presence in certain large-breed bloodlines. Since then, and with advances in technologies, medical doctors have been actively pursuing the cure for hip dysplasia, making it the most studied canine issue in the world.

Unfortunately, the cure is just as foggy as the issue itself, although advances in technology, specifically for surgeries, have drastically improved. Having long been assumed a hereditary issue passed down by genetics, just recently have doctors begun to study the  additional effects of the dogs environment and unique physical and neurological health issues that may help the development of canine hip dysplasia in dogs.

Most studies focus on either genetics, the environmental factors as puppies (specifically ones that sit in a confined kennel as a baby), or the nutrition and diet regimen dogs are on as puppies.

The difficulty to both catch and cure the condition before damage to your dog's hips has been done is the primary reason for such a large amount of scientific study. There usually won't be any visible signs of hip dysplasia until the damage is severe enough for the dog to shows physical signs of pain and discomfort.  Meaning that most dogs that develop canine hip dysplasia won't show visible symptoms until degeneration of the tendon and muscle tissue in the hips is mild to severe.

X-rays as a young dog are the only way to discover abnormalities in the growth and development of the hips but isn’t a typical practice–even for breeds prone to hip dysplasia and won't guarantee that your dog won't develop dysplasia or arthritis later in life.

If you have have a dog breed prone to hip dysplasia it is usually a good idea to get your dogs x-rayed as a puppy, especially if you do not know anything about the parents of the puppy.

Clinical Diagnosis Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)Canine Hip Dysplasia is one of the most studied conditions in dogs. The condition is very common in certain large breed types, documented to occur at a rate of 50 percent or more in the largest of breeds and bloodlines plagued with the issue. Labradors, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Saint Bernards and Spaniels all have long histories of developing canine hip dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is certainly multidimensional, different symptoms are more visible from dog to dog, some dogs experience pain from hip dysplasia their entire lives, even as a puppy, and become much more use to the pain then a dog that developed hip dysplasia later in life. So, the diagnosis of hip dysplasia for each dog varies, as does the treatment for canine hip dysplasia.

Treatment of Canine Hip Dysplasia

Treatment of canine hip dysplasia varies a lot depending on the breed, age and the overall health of your dog. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medicines can be used to reduce the pain enough for your dog to live a comfortable life. In other cases, intensive surgery is the only way to save a dog from debilitating pain and arthritis. Canine Hip Dysplasia surgery procedures are usually expensive and no surgery is guaranteed, issues may reoccur or even worsen during the healing process. However, advancements have increased the success rate of these surgeries and countless dogs have successfully recovered and lived long, happy, active lives.

Signs of Canine Hip Dysplasia

Signs of canine hip dysplasia range from dog to dog. However, a general decrease in activity and increase in laying, trouble getting up and a general pain and discomfort in the hips are all shear signs your dog might be developing hip dysplasia. Most cases begin before the first 18 months of a dog's life and can occur as early as five months. There is a debate whether or not increased vaccinations as a puppy has increased CHD reports in puppies. Other studies have proven generic puppy foods (packed with protein and fibers) and over-eating as early as two weeks of age, drastically increase the chance of your dog developing hip dysplasia.

Prevention Methods For Canine Hip Dysplasia

Prevention of hip dysplasia must start at a very early age, hip dysplasia prone breeds should be put on specific diet regimens as a puppy and into doggy adulthood. It is important not to overfeed your puppy, thinking they will become big and strong. Dogs with too much proteins and fibers in the first months of development grow too quickly and the overall bone development and final structure are jeopardized. Additionally, excessive exercise on hard surfaces as a puppy can lead to damaging the development of the hip joints. Studies on nutritional benefits for large breed puppies have pointed to a very early connection with overfeeding and hip dysplasia. It has been shown that overeating even within the first two weeks of life can significantly affect the outcome of a puppy’s hip growth. A proper died of Vitamin C as a puppy and into adulthood is crucial and has also significantly helped dogs diagnosed with hip dysplasia already.

More and more dog owners are learning the benefits of supplements and better brand puppy dog food. Supplemental regimens can drastically increase your dog's health. Fish oils, vitamin C, Zinc, and Fibers are all great additions to your dogs daily diet.

The clinical diagnosis of canine hip dysplasia is based on specific guidelines and physical tests of the dog at hand. First, a physical examination is conducted by your vet to determine the severity of the degeneration and other possible reasons for the increased physical issues. Next, radiographic x-rays are taken and examined to properly indicate what treatment should be taken (anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery).

Canine hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition that is extremely hard on your dog and family. Unfortunately, there isn’t a true cure for hip dysplasia, just treatments to keep your dog living a healthy and active life.

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