Hip dysplasia (a kind of displacement of the hip joint) is a painful condition that can greatly impact a dog or puppy’s quality of life. It can occur due to genetic predisposition, injury or as a result of other health conditions. While not entirely preventable, the likelihood of your dog developing hip dysplasia is lessened by observing the following:
Choose your puppy or dog from a reputable breeder Genetic predisposition plays a huge part in whether or not your dog gets hip dysplasia. Good breeders will opt to not breed dogs that develop the condition. Therefore, adopting your pup from a reputable breeder greatly diminishes the chance that the dog will develop hip dysplasia. Give your pup the right diet Both overfeeding and underfeeding can promote hip dysplasia in dogs. If your dog should become overweight or obese, it will place additional strain on his or her joints. Likewise, malnourishment can lead to joint degeneration. It’s therefore important to give your pup a high-quality diet in appropriate amounts. Always follow the diet recommended by your vet. Ensure your dog gets enough exercise Exercise helps to prevent weight gain and increase muscle mass. It also helps in strengthening the ligaments and tendons supporting the hip and other joints. Plenty of appropriate exercise (as long as it’s injury free) is key to preventing hip dysplasia. Give supplements when recommended by a vet Osteoarthritis can lead to the breakdown of cartilage and thereby foster hip dysplasia. Giving your dog supplements, in particular glucosamine, can be an effective way of combatting the negative effects of osteoarthritis. Implement injury prevention strategies Injuries to the hip and pelvis put your dog at an increased risk for developing hip dysplasia. Accidents do happen, but you decrease the probabilities of them occurring by implementing the following injury prevention strategies: • Cover hard surface flooring in your home with rugs or mats. This provides better traction for your pooch’s paws and will help prevent slips. • Minimize jumping. Don’t let your dog jump on and off high furniture and avoid it during play. • Play “catch” low to the ground. Throwing Frisbees, balls and other such toys and letting your dogs catch them in mid-air can be hard on their joints due to the impact made when they land. Instead, throw toys closer to the ground, thereby helping to curtail joint degeneration. • Keep your dog leashed or contained when outdoors. Doing so will lessen the possibility of procuring injuries due to falls, car accidents and fights with other animals. If you think your dog has hip dysplasia If your pooch limps, has troubles climbing stairs, exhibits difficulty with jumping or has reduced levels of activity, or if you hear a clicking sound coming from his hip joint, be sure to visit a reputable animal hospital like Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital to consult with a vet. Our walk-in clinic in Toronto is open seven days a week to best serve you and your canine companion.