It is almost impossible to predict that your dog will develop hip dysplasia or already has hip dysplasia until the symptoms are severe enough to be noticed through physical limitations unless you are aware of the issue and run regular x-rays on your dog. Dogs unwilling to run and play as much as they usually do, trouble getting up from laying, sensitivity to the hips or a change in their stance or walk can be clear signs of developing or worsening hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, hip dysplasia is a degenerative cycle that causes more and more un-comfort and will eventually lead to crippling pain and can eventually leave your dog not being able to walk at all.
During the early stages and development of hip dysplasia, signs can be relatively minimal. Typically, the first signs of arthritic behavior are your dog having increased difficulty getting up after long exercise or sleep. Additionally, the pain and discomfort quickly wear off once your dog is up and moving. This is the number one reason to bring your dog to the vet. Dogs, especially ones with great health records and boisterous personalities should never be soar on a regular basis. As symptoms develop, your dog may become uneasy with children or strangers petting them because of the pain. A change in the stance and walk will be obvious and as more time passes you will notice your dog spending more time laying down and increased pain in their hips.
Radiographs are used to diagnosis Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) but results may not be present until your dog has fully matured. Additionally, affected dogs of CHD show clinical signs much differently. Some dogs manifest problems of Canine Hip Dysplasia before six months of age, others won’t show signs until well into adulthood but the damage could still be occurring. Fortunately, research and advancements in technology have increased the success rate of surgical procedures greatly in the past 10 years. Total hip replacement and stem cell regrowth are two of the newest options for dogs diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
- Noticeable decrease in activity
- Difficulty getting up after laying
- Strange posture (gait) when walking
- Calluses and sores from excessive laying and inactivity
It is important that other conditions like Cauda Equina Syndrome (lower back issues) and ligament tears are not the actual culprits of your dog's pain. However, these conditions are much less prevalent compared to Canine Hip Dysplasia and symptoms are usually on the extreme side and appear and worsen rapidly. It is always so important to bring your dog into the vet on the first indication that something might be wrong. Catching hip dysplasia early is the key to returning your dog to full health.
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