Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Definition of Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a common, painful canine disorder that involves abnormal development and/or degeneration of one or both hip joints. The hips are ball-and-socket joints where the head of each femur (the long thigh bone) joins with a concave socket of the pelvic bone called the acetabulum. Dysplasia means abnormal development of tissues, bones, organs or other structures. The hip joints of dogs with hip dysplasia have a genetic predisposition to partially dislocate, or subluxate, which means that the head of the femur is too loose, causing abnormal mechanical forces across the hips, irregularly shaped bones, damaged cartilage, microscopic bone fractures and, in severe cases, degenerative joint disease. In young dogs, hip dysplasia usually is caused by conformational abnormalities that cause a poor fit between the head of the femur and the pelvic acetabulum, which in turn causes hip laxity. In older dogs, hip dysplasia typically comes from progressive degeneration and deterioration of bone and cartilage in the hip joint.
Genetics almost certainly influence the occurrence of hip dysplasia in dogs. However, the exact contribution of genetics to this disease is not well understood. Some combination of hereditary, nutritional and environmental factors leads to looseness, or laxity, of one or both hip joints in affected animals, which makes the joints unstable and accelerates the progressive degeneration of bone and cartilage. Puppies that are predisposed to developing hip dysplasia can be born with hips that look
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal disorders in dogs. Affected animals usually start out being mildly uncomfortable in one or both of their hind legs (unilateral versus bilateral hip dysplasia). Their discomfort progresses to pain, lameness, limping and abnormal rear movement as their condition worsens. Dogs with hip dysplasia eventually may have trouble standing up and be intolerant of long walks or prolonged exercise. Their hip joints may click when they rise
Hip dysplasia is a common degenerative disease that causes hind-end lameness and pain. It is probably caused by a combination of genetic, environmental and nutritional factors that contribute to hip joint laxity and deterioration. Diagnosing hip dysplasia is not particularly difficult, although a number of diseases cause similar signs and must be ruled out before a definitive diagnosis of dysplasia is made. When a dog is limping, painful and weak in one or both rear
While there is no cure for hip dysplasia, a number of surgical and non-surgical options are available to help alleviate a dog's pain and improve its quality of life. Surgery is usually reserved for severe cases, as the consequences of hip surgery can include pain and other debilitating symptoms that already are associated with the disorder. Left untreated, dysplasia will progress, the hip joint will continue to deteriorate and the dog’s symptoms will worsen and