What Can Oaks North Animal Hospital Do for Hip Dysplasia?
Is your large-breed dog limping? Does he seem to be experiencing pain, especially in his hind legs? Is he less active? Hip dysplasia is a common condition, particularly among larger dogs. Here’s what you need to know and what our San Antonio veterinary team can do about this condition:
What Is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is the abnormal development of the hip joints. As a puppy grows into an adult dog, his skeleton also grows in size. In a healthy hip joint, the ball of the leg bone fits securely into the socket of the hips. This creates a strong joint and allows the bones to move smoothly.
However, in dogs with hip dysplasia, the ball and socket grow unevenly. This means the ball may slip out of place when your dog walks. Hip dysplasia can be painful and make a dog more vulnerable to injuries and arthritis.
What Are the Signs of Hip Dysplasia?
Dogs may not cry out in pain with this condition. Instead, you may notice the impact on your pet’s mobility and activity. Some potential warning signs include:
- Limping, especially in the back legs
- Difficulty rising up or lying down
- Struggling to go up stairs, sometimes ‘bunny hopping’ up
- Difficulty jumping onto a couch or truck bed
- Hips swiveling when the dog walks
- Overall stiffness and reduced activity
How Can Hip Dysplasia be Treated?
Once hip dysplasia is diagnosed, you may be looking at surgical options for treatment. Sometimes, surgery is only done on one hip. Other times, both are operated on. Which surgical choice is right for your dog depends on many factors, including:
- The severity of the hip dysplasia
- The dog's age
- Your pet’s general health
- The presence of other conditions such as arthritis
- Your budget
- How the pet has recovered from previous surgeries
Surgery isn’t the only option and it isn’t the right choice for every situation. Nonsurgical treatments are often similar to those for pet arthritis. These could include:
- Physical therapy to increase range of motion
- Exercises to build strength
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications
- Veterinary massages
- Nutritional supplements to rebuild cartilage and support joint health
- Modifications in the home like a different doggie bed, ramps at the front steps, etc.
Contact Us for San Antonio Veterinary Services
Is your pet showing some of the signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia? Do you suspect he may have another condition that makes walking painful? Give us a call at Oaks North Animal Hospital today to schedule an appointment. Our experienced team wants to help your pet feel more comfortable and enjoy an active life.