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Canine Hip Dysplasia

Learn about Canine Hip Dysplasia and the treatment options available.

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What is Canine Hip Dysplasia and How Is It Caused?

Canine Hip Dysplasia is a condition that affects the hip joint in dogs. It typically occurs due to a combination of genetic factors and environmental influences. The condition is characterized by a malformation of the hip joint, where the ball and socket components do not fit together properly. This leads to instability and abnormal wear and tear on the joint surfaces. Over time, this can result in pain, lameness, and the development of arthritis.

In some cases, Canine Hip Dysplasia can be detected at an early age through physical examinations and X-rays. However, symptoms may not appear until later in life. These symptoms can include difficulty rising or jumping, a noticeable change in gait, reluctance to exercise, and decreased range of motion in the hips.

How Is Canine Hip Dysplasia Treated?

Treatment for Canine Hip Dysplasia aims to manage pain, improve mobility, and slow down the progression of joint degeneration. Non-surgical approaches include pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or weight management to reduce stress on the joints.

In more severe cases or when non-surgical treatments would be ineffective, surgical options may be considered. Surgical procedures that aim to stabilize the joint are a femoral head excision or a total hip replacement.

What is a Femoral Head Excision Surgery?

Femoral Head Excision, also known as Femoral Head Ostectomy, is a surgical procedure performed to treat Canine Hip Dysplasia and other conditions that cause chronic hip pain and instability in dogs.

During a Femoral Head Excision, the femoral head (the ball-shaped end of the thigh bone) is removed. This eliminates the painful bone-on-bone contact that occurs when the hip joint is misaligned or damaged. Without the femoral head, the surrounding muscles, scar tissue, and ligaments gradually form a false joint, providing stability and reducing discomfort.

A Femoral Head Excision surgery is typically considered in cases where other treatment options are not feasible or the animal is not a good candidate for a total hip replacement.

What is a Total Hip Replacement?

A total hip replacement (THR) is a surgical procedure performed on dogs to address severe hip dysplasia, arthritis, or other hip conditions causing chronic pain and dysfunction. It involves replacing the entire hip joint with prosthetic components that mimic the natural structure and movement of a healthy hip joint.

A total hip replacement provides long-term pain relief and improved quality of life for pets. However, it is a complex procedure, and it may not be suitable for all cases.

FAQs You Might Have

Here are some frequently asked questions about Canine Hip Dysplasia.

What are the signs and symptoms of Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Dog with Canine Hip Dysplasia may exhibit a range of symptoms, including difficulty or reluctance to exercise, lameness or limping (especially in the hind legs), decreased range of motion in the hips, difficulty rising or climbing stairs, and a bunny-hopping gait. In severe cases, joint stiffness, muscle atrophy, and pain may be present.

Is Canine Hip Dysplasia a hereditary condition?

Yes, Canine Hip Dysplasia can have a genetic component and is often considered an inherited condition. It can be passed down from parents to offspring, particularly in certain breeds. However, environmental factors such as excessive growth rate, improper nutrition, obesity, and inappropriate exercise can also influence the development and progression of Canine Hip Dysplasia.

How is Canine Hip Dysplasia diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Canine Hip Dysplasia typically involves a combination of physical examination, evaluation of medical history, and diagnostic imaging. X-rays are commonly used to assess the hip joint and confirm the presence and severity of dysplasia.

Can Canine Hip Dysplasia be diagnosed in young animals?

Yes, Canine Hip Dysplasia can be diagnosed in young animals, although it may be more challenging to detect at an early age. X-ray evaluations for Canine Hip Dysplasia are typically performed on animals around 1-2 years of age when the hip joint has reached skeletal maturity.

What are the treatment options for Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Treatment for Canine Hip Dysplasia can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual animal. It may involve a combination of conservative management and surgery. Conservative management often includes weight management, exercise modification, physical therapy, pain management, and joint supplements. Surgical options may include Femoral Head Excision or Total Hip Replacement.

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