Treatment for hip dysplasia varies on the case at hand. Some dogs will never need surgery but may require anti-inflammatory medications like Rimadyl, Etogesic or Deramaxx later in their later years while others will require surgery depending on the age and severity of the case. Varying impacts and severity of hip dysplasia make it hard to determine what proper steps to take for your dog, especially if symptoms are mild and many options can be taken to either reduce the pain or surgically prevent the issue from developing. Some dogs can live relatively happy lives just by taking anti-inflammatory drugs and introducing supplemental regimens of important vitamins and minerals your dog needs. The expense of surgery also usually plays an influence on the viable options that can be performed on a dog.
There are a variety of medications given to dogs with hip dysplasia. Much like humans, anti-inflammatory medication is the primary drug given to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with the joints. Pills and shots are the two main methods for medicating dogs with hip dysplasia. Rimadyl, Etogesic, and Rimadyl, Etogesic, Deramaxx are some of the most common anti-inflammatory medications given to dogs. It is never ok to give a dog human pain reducers like ibuprofen or aspirin.
There are several different methods of surgery depending on your dog’s age, health and overall severity of the issue. The types of surgery operations are broken into two groups. The Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) and Canine Pubic Symphysiodesis (CPS) are both surgeries typically used very early in a dog’s life when hip dysplasia has been diagnosed but no damage to the hip joints are present. For dogs already diagnosed with hip dysplasia, there are two types of surgeries available to relieve most, if not all of your dog’s pain. The total hip replacement has been the primary surgery used for dogs over 50 pounds with mild to severe signs of hip dysplasia. If the total hip replacement surgery is not viable, the Femoral Head Osteotomy is primarily used. However, results vary on dogs over 50 pounds. Typically, dogs that undergo this surgery are primarily fit, well-muscled dogs due to the intensive healing process.
Juvenile Public Symphysiodesis (JPS) is the surgery used for puppies between 2 and 4 months of age that have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia but have no physical signs of degeneration yet. Advancements in medicine and surgical procedures in the last years to defend against hip dysplasia have proved to benefit the success rate of this surgery. JPS is now a relatively simple, but costly procedure. However, the puppies must be refrained from running and jumping for at least four weeks after surgery which can be quite a task. Re-evaluation usually occurs around three months after surgery by another radiographic test. During a JPS surgery, two pelvic bones are fused together, allowing the rest of the hip and resulting in a tighter, more accurate hip ball-in-socket. Early diagnosis is crucial for this surgery to be viable, usually between 16-20 weeks of age before any damage to the joints has occurred.
For young dogs, a Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) is used. The procedures involve surgically breaking and realigning much of the hips ball-and-socket joint structure. Note, this is an intensive surgery with high expenses but has proven successful for many puppies. During a TPO surgery, three bone cuts are made to free the acetabular component (socket) from the pelvis. The actebulum is then rotated and a bone plate is applied to maintain the new position of the ball-in-socket. This surgery allows for correct joint congruity and stops friction and grinding of the ball-in-socket.
In older dogs, a Total Hip Replacement is typically used as a very promising option to getting your dog back to a healthy condition. The surgery replaces the deformed joints with a prosthetic hip joint. Most dogs that go under this type of surgery recover well, however, it is relatively costly and requires extended periods of rest and recuperation but add on years of healthy, active life for your dog. Total hip replacement is the primary surgical operation for dogs over 50 pounds and has a remarkable 95% success rate in dogs and is the only surgery that returns complete normal hip-joint function after severe arthritis has set in. This surgery is very intensive, and highly trained surgeons are required to perform that operation — making it relatively expensive.
Typically, for dogs under 50 pounds, a Femoral Head Excision/Ostectomy is the surgery of choice, however, it has been performed on dogs over 50 pounds with varying results. During a femoral head excision, the femoral head (or the ball of the ball-in-socket) is removed, allowing the femur to freely float. As scar tissue forms from the moving femur, it hardens and creates a false-joint (a pseudoarthrosis). This is a last resort procedure, due to intense post-op recovery. Dogs to undergo this surgery are typically well muscled, fit dogs that can handle the recovery period without further injuring themselves. Best results have been seen in dogs 50 pounds or less, and results vary in dogs which weigh more or are out of shape.
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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)
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