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What is Dog Hip Dysplasia?

What is Dog Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally. It is an inherited condition. Some dogs respond very well to non-surgical management through weight, exercise control and a hip brace. If your dog improves with treatment, it’s possible for them to live a long happy life.

Dog Hip Dysplasia Braces

Dog Hip Dysplasia Braces, Signs and Treatment

  • Orthodog Dog Hip Brace
    Original price £195.00 - Original price £195.00
    Original price
    £195.00 - £195.00
    Current price £195.00

    🟢 In stock, ready to ship Our Orthodog Hip Brace is excellent for dogs suffering from hip dysplasia, arthritis, hip pain and weakness. Pull the hip...

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  • Balto® Life - Dog Hip Dysplasia Brace
    Original price £158.00 - Original price £187.00
    Original price
    £158.00 - £187.00
    £158.00 - £187.00
    Current price £158.00

    🟢 In stock, ready to ship The Balto Life Dog Hip Dysplasia Brace is excellent for dogs suffering from hip dysplasia. It reduces pain while exercisi...

    View full details
  • Tailwindpets Dog Hip Brace
    Original price £149.99 - Original price £149.99
    Original price
    £149.99 - £149.99
    Current price £149.99

    The Tailwindpets hip brace for dogs is the perfect product that helps and supports your dogˈs hip for an improved quality of life. It stabilises an...

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What is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

The hip joint is a ‘ball and socket’ joint, this normally fits together perfectly to enable easy and smooth movement. However, when a dog has hip dysplasia their ball joint (head of the femur) and socket joint (socket of the pelvis) have developed incorrectly and don’t fit together as they should. It may be that the socket is too shallow or the ball is not fully formed or a combination of the two, meaning the joint is too loose. This in turn causes the joint to be unstable and move excessively, leading to pain, swelling and inevitably arthritis. Hip dysplasia can occur in any dog; however it is most commonly seen in larger, pedigree breeds such as Labradors, Rottweilers and German Shepherds although it can also affect smaller dog breeds such as Pugs and French Bulldogs.

Signs and symptoms of Hip Dysplasia

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs usually start while they are growing and can vary depending on severity of the condition. The most common signs of hip dysplasia in dogs are:

  • Being reluctant to exercise, or a wobbly or swaying gait
  • A bunny-hopping gait (using both hind legs together)
  • Stiffness, lameness or limping, particularly in the hind legs
  • Difficulty in getting up or lying down, as well as difficulty in going up or down stairs or jumping
  • Skinny hips, a sign of a lack of muscle and weakness in the hind quarters
  • Pain or sensitivity in the hip area
  • Audible clicking or popping sounds in the hip joint

What causes Hip Dysplasia in dogs?

There are a number of causes of hip dysplasia, these include rapid growth, excessive weight gain, poor nutrition and genetic factors.

The reason for most dogs developing hip dysplasia is due to inheriting the trait from one or both of their parents. It is seen much more commonly in pedigree dogs than in cross-breeds, although cross-breeds from pedigree parents are also at risk. Because of the known genetic link, it is possible to screen for hip dysplasia before two dogs are mated and is something which you should check for before buying a puppy.

Over-exercising or doing activities which cause strain on joints, such as repetitive jumping when your dog is young and developing, will also increase their chance of developing hip dysplasia. Similarly, dogs which are overweight while young or fast-growing dogs are at an increased risk.

What age does a dog get hip dysplasia?

Dogs with hip dysplasia usually begin showing symptoms while they are growing, anywhere between 5 and 12 months of age. Some dogs with a mild form of the condition, won’t show signs until they are much older however and have developed arthritis of the hips.

How can you help your dog around the house?

There are a number of ways in which you can help your dog manage their hip dysplasia on a day-to-day basis when at home.

  • Getting your dog some rubber anti-slip socks or boots will prevent your dog from slipping, giving them support and traction, especially on wooden or slippery floors.
  • Try not to give your dog a high bed that they need to climb into or out of. Similarly try to minimise going up and down stairs or jumping up on to the sofa too much.
  • If your dog needs stimulation but exercise is limited, then something like a snuffle mat can help to keep them mentally stimulated.

Treatment for Dog Hip Dysplasia

Treatment options very depending on the severity of the hip dysplasia and the level of pain your dog is experiencing from it. Sadly, once a dog has developed hip dysplasia, it cannot be reversed and so treatment and management is either surgical or non-surgical.

Non-surgical treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs includes:

  • Weight management – by keeping your dog slim and at a correct and healthy weight this reduces the strain on the affected joint(s)
  • Limiting the kind of activities your dog is doing – for example short, regular walks on the lead. Trying to minimise as much as possible the amount of jumping your dog does. For example, on and off the sofa, in and out of the car or up and down the stairs etc.
  • Supporting your dog with a brace such as the Orthodog Hip Brace. This brace holds your dog’s hips firmly together, giving your dog the support and confidence they need, in their every-day lives as well as when out for a walk.
  • Anti-inflammatories and painkillers can help to reduce the pain which your dog can experience with hip dysplasia.
  • Giving your dog a joint supplement such as YuMove, to help slow the progression of arthritis and reduce any joint pain resulting from this.
  • If your dog does require surgery for their hip dysplasia, then much of their ongoing care post-operatively involves the same treatment as outlined above; Limited and controlled exercise, weight management, use of a supportive brace, anti-inflammatory painkillers and joint supplements to help support healthy joints and mitigate the onset of arthritis.

Have questions about your dog and hip dysplasia?

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