Our four-legged friends are often more like family than just pets. They become our companions and bring joy and comfort to us through different seasons in our lives. And when they begin to suffer, it can be heart-wrenching. At East Valley Animal Hospital in Gilbert, Arizona, one of the painful conditions we see frequently is hip dysplasia in dogs.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

Hip dysplasia is a very common skeletal disorder found in dogs, where the ball and socket joint that connects the leg to the hip fails to develop properly. As a result, instead of sliding smoothly in the socket, the joint rubs and grinds. Over time, the rubbing causes a deterioration of the joint itself and an eventual loss of function.

Canine hip dysplasia is related to a number of factors, including genetics, diet, exercise, and rate of growth. The effects of hip dysplasia often begin while a dog is young and their skeletal system is still developing. And the disease is seen more frequently in large breed dogs such as St. Bernards, Great Danes, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers.

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

If you own a large breed dog, it’s especially important to be aware of how your dog may be compensating if he is suffering from hip dysplasia. According to PetMD, these are common signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs:

  • Decreased activity
  • Decreased ability to climb stairs or jump
  • Difficulty standing up
  • Bunny-hopping or swaying gait
  • Episodes or persistence of hind leg lameness
  • Hip pain and sensitivity

If your canine is showing any of these symptoms, we encourage you to bring your pooch in for an examination.

Treatment Options for Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

While it’s difficult to watch your beloved pet go through pain, the good news is, there are treatment options for hip dysplasia in dogs. If your dog has a few extra unnecessary pounds, putting him on a weight reduction plan will help relieve stress on his joints. In addition, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, joint fluid modifiers, and surgery are all options we can discuss with you. And together, we can determine what is best for your pup. Along with the treatment options mentioned previously, we are excited to also offer our clients at East Valley Animal Hospital a cutting-edge therapy called Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP). PRP is a minimally invasive procedure that uses your dog’s own cells to heal and regenerate damaged tissue.

At East Valley Animal Hospital, located in Gilbert, we are passionate about offering our clients the best care with the latest in technology. If your furry friend is suffering from hip dysplasia or any other condition, bring them in to see us today. We care about you, and we care about your four-legged best friend and companion!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/14/2018) – EMR – (flickr)