Causes and Affects of Dog Hip Dysplasia
Commonly found among the larger breeds of dogs, Hip Dysplasia is an ailment affecting the hip joints. It is most prominent in pure breed dogs, such as Great Dane, Labrador, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. There are other breeds that suffer with hip dysplasia not mentioned here of course.
Until recently, not much was known about Hip Dysplasia. The most important thing to look at is the hip joint. In dogs, it is caused by the malformation of the hip. This ailment usually occurs when the dog is at a young age, while they are still growing and bones are forming. The hip, a ball and socket joint, ends up growing crooked, causing the back legs to be affected. The ligaments, muscles and connective tissues of the hip become lax, thus causing the hip to grow unnaturally.
When a dog is born, they usually have normal hips, but over time develop this lax muscle. Genetics plays a large role in this defect. As the bones grow apart, the capsule holding the bones together become strained and stretched, as opposed to growing towards each other as they should. This adds more problems to the joint as the two bones, pelvis and femur, get separated from each other. Therefore, the bones are no longer in alignment and put pressure on the nerves, which cause many of the symptoms of Hip Dysplasia.
Here are some of the signs of Hip Dysplasia.
Dogs feel pain after exercise and during a usual day's activity. They find it hard to stand on their hind feet in the early morning from stiffness. They tend to stop walking and sit down often. Very stiff hind legs. You can tell as they run, how they try not to put pressure on their back legs. Over time, dogs find it hard to stand up without assistance.
Things that can help Hip Dysplasia.
Try to keep your dog at a slim weight. An overweight dog will find it much more difficult to get around with added pounds. Most genetic cases can't be helped, but you can make it easier on your pet. There are some products on the market that are specifically for hip issues. There are even wheelchairs for dogs with this ailment. Another option is the "Helping Hands" from Mikki which enables the handler to take weight off of their dogs hind legs while still allowing the front legs to operate normally. This allows exercising and increased circulation.
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