hip dysplasia

How Can You Tell if Your Dog Has a Bad Hip?

dog is limping

Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition, often seen in large breed dogs. However, it can occur in all sizes of breeds as well. The hip joint functions as a ball and socket. In dogs with hip dysplasia, the ball and socket do not fit or develop properly, and they rub and grind instead of sliding smoothly. This results in deterioration over a period of time. And, if left without treatment may cause an eventual loss of function of the joint itself.

Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the more common skeletal disorders in dogs. CHD affects many dogs with varying degrees of symptoms from virtually unnoticeable to severe pain and lameness. It is a deformity of the hip that occurs with growth. During growth, both the ball (the head of the femur, or thighbone) and the socket in the pelvis or hip need to grow at the same rate. In hip dysplasia, this simultaneous growth does not occur. The result is a looseness of the joint. As the dog ages, his or her body will attempt to stabilize the loose hip joint resulting in either osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease.

Like many debilitating diseases, as CHD progresses, the hip joint degenerates. The result is pain and mobility issues. If left untreated, dogs may eventually be unable to use their hind legs and suffer a great deal of pain. However, most dogs with CHD are able to lead healthy, active lives when the disease is diagnosed early enough and proper treatment is given and maintained.

What are Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

Weakness and pain in the hind legs are the usual clinical signs of CHD. Your dog may appear wobbly and be reluctant to rise from a sitting or lying position. Some dogs will limp or be reluctant to climb stairs. These signs can be seen in puppies as early as a few months old but are most common in dogs one to two years of age. Dogs with mild hip dysplasia may develop minimal arthritis without clinical signs until they are older. In fact, although hip dysplasia begins in puppyhood, most dogs do not develop clinical signs until they are mature. It often takes years of gradual bone degeneration until a dog becomes symptomatic.

Common symptoms of hip dysplasia are:

  • Limping or one-sided walks induced by a stiffening of the hip joint
  • Swollen joints or sensitivity when touched
  • Movement that becomes slower and more limited
  • Popping or cracking signs coming from joints
  • “Bunny hopping,” or running with both hind legs moving in unison
  • Wobbling or a loss of balance
  • Swaying while walking or leaning in one direction over the other
  • Slow or difficult movement when sitting, lying down, or standing up
  • Lack of interest in going on walks
  • Reduction of muscle tissue in hind legs that can result in skinny hips

Is There a Way to Prevent Hip Dysplasia?

While there is no cure or way to prevent all cases of hip dysplasia, there are steps you can take to lessen the chance of developing CHD. Maintaining your dog’s health should start right away when your puppy is young. Feeding your dog a healthy and proportioned diet will help ensure proper bone and joint development. Also, providing regular and healthy levels of exercise can prevent obesity. Furthermore, obesity causes many other health problems in dogs. So limit giving table scraps and fatty foods to your pet. If you are thinking of adding a new dog to your family research the breed. Find a responsible and well-reviewed breeder that does appropriate health screenings.

What are Hip Dysplasia Treatment Options?

There is not a cure for CHD. However, there are many treatments that have proven to be effective in providing pain relief and slowing the progression of the disease. It is very important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. Making sure your dog stays at a healthy weight will minimize hip joint damage. And, regular exercise strengthens muscles and slows degeneration. However, over exertion can worsen conditions too. Therefore, make sure to consult with your veterinarian to formulate a plan that works for your pooch.

In the most extreme cases, surgery may be suggested by your vet. Your veterinarian can provide more information on whether and when they would recommend surgery and don’t be afraid to get two or three professional opinions.

NSAIDs and pain medications may be an option for dogs in pain. However, it is important to only give the smallest amount of pain medication for the shortest duration of time. This is because of the side effects that pain meds have on pets. Liver and kidney damage as well as digestive problems are common. These medications temporarily cover up symptoms to relieve pain but do not cure anything.

There are supplement products that can provide relief for CHD and work as a preventative in slowing the disease. Flexpet is an all-natural alternative to pain pills that does not have adverse side effects. Also, CBD products for dogs that can help to ease pet pain and help your dog relax.

How Flexpet Helps

  • Reduces pain and inflammation
  • Strengthens immunity and boosts physical energy
  • Packed with powerful all-natural anti-inflammatory ingredients
  • No harmful side effects
  • Recommended by veterinarians

Flexpet contains all-natural, human grade ingredients known to ease pain and inflammation. And, it is made in the USA.

Finding out your pet has hip dysplasia can seem frightening. No one wants to see their dog suffer, and visions of hefty vet or surgery bills may cause anxiety. However, it is important to remember: educate yourself, consult with your veterinarian, implement preventative treatments and maintain healthy lifestyle changes. Dy doing this your dog can live a long, happy, and healthy life by your side.

At Flexpet, we care about you and your pets. We want to help you keep them as healthy as possible. We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our joint supplement products and how they may help your dog or cat. If your dog has joint pain issues, we invite you to try Flexpet today and start your dog on the journey to playing like a pup again. Flexpet is so confident it is the best joint supplement for dogs and cats it comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. Our Flexpet joint care supplements have excellent reviews on social media. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.

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