The detection of canine hip dysplasia often varies on the amount of background knowledge you have of dysplasia and dog arthritis in general. Detection Of Canine Hip Dysplasia is relatively the same in puppies and fully grown dogs. Overall, your dog or puppy will have increased issues getting up, especially after prolonged laying or exercise and you may notice a change in posture and how your dog walks.
- Tests to eliminate other possible reasons for the change in your dog.
- Veterinary Detections (physical and neurological exam and x-rays).
- Final Results are determined by the vet. Some dogs will need anti-inflammatory and pain medications and other will need surgery and post-operative treatment.
Detecting early signs of hip dysplasia in your dog can be difficult as signs and symptoms don’t usually show until the condition is moderate to severe.
Typically when hip dysplasia symptoms begin, your dog will have worse days and seem perfectly fine and willing to play, and jump, and beg for treats the next. This is the number one sign that something is physically wrong with your dog, especially if you have noticed consistent off days. Typically, and especially in puppies—dogs don’t have off days. They’re built to run and anytime your dog shows trouble getting up after laying or general discomfort in their legs should be taken seriously.
To begin, if you have a puppy that’s showing signs of dysplasia you should immediately bring your dog to your vet, especially if you don’t know anything about the parents or bought them in a puppy store. You should not be running the dog on hard surfaces for long periods of time or do any repetitively damaging or stressful activities to their legs while they are developing.
If you have been allowing your puppy to eat out of a bowl of food whenever they want, you should be careful not to overfeed. Studies have linked a large number of hip dysplasia diagnosed dogs to an over-growth spurt caused by excessive nutrition in puppies dog food and is made worse by giving additional growth supplements.
Most puppy foods have 25% more fat and carbohydrates then typical adult doggy food. Instead of a daily feeding of puppy food, a regimen of three times (morning, lunch, and dinner) a day should be started. Typically, thyroid issues in puppies are not prevalent, but can have some of the same symptoms of hip dysplasia and can be very dangerous to change their diet, so please consult your vet before making any large changes to your puppy’s diet if signs of dysplasia are occurring.
As hip dysplasia continues to affect your dog, their hips will gradually become more and more inflamed and damaged and a change in the dogs walk (or gait) will worsen, including their trouble getting up every morning (instead of some mornings), and if this hasn’t already, should ring a definite alarm that something is wrong with your puppy. Once hip dysplasia has become mild, puppies will whine and show an obvious discomfort toward their hips.
When the unfortunate event occurs that you think your puppy has hip dysplasia, the veterinary is first going to run a complete physical and neurological examination of the dog. Afterward, if no diagnosis has been found, a number of x-rays of your dog’s hips will be taken and observed by doctors.
The majority of adult dogs that begin showing signs of hip dysplasia have had abnormalities in their joints for a long time, and just now have symptoms become severe enough to be noticed. Unfortunately, these are usually the worst cases because the degeneration of tissues and promotion of abnormal growth of your dog’s hips has probably already reached a point where surgery is necessary to keep the dog from reaching a point of debilitating arthritis.
Vitamins and Supplements
If you haven’t been giving your dog additional vitamins and supplements, it is a great idea to do so. Vitamins and supplements that promote joint laxity and other beneficial minerals are important. Just like humans, dogs can be lacking certain vitamins and minerals. Introducing and maintaining extra vitamins not offered in typical dog food can drastically increase the health over your dog on both a short and long-term basis. Vitamins and supplements also have very little negative side effects, after reaching adulthood.
If a dog experiences itching, diarrhea or vomiting decrease the number of supplements given, and if the problems continue it may be necessary to get your dog checked for food allergies or thyroid issues.
Exercise Options For Hip Dysplasia
Exercise is also very important. Older dogs need to continue a daily exercise regimen or deterioration of the bones and muscles will significantly increase. Just like humans, if you remain inactive for long periods of time your body will be negatively affected and muscle mass will disappear.
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Medical Journals and Studies
- Hip Dysplasia: Clinical Signs and Physical Examination Findings
(SUP: Volume 47, Issue 4, July 2017, Pages 769-775)
View Abstract »
- Diagnosis, genetic control and preventive management of canine hip dysplasia: A review
View Abstract »
- Advances in diagnosing canine hip dysplasia
View Abstract »