Hip dysplasia is more commonly found in larger breed dogs, German shepherds for example are more at risk. This is an age-related malformation that occurs when the hip joints’ ball and socket segments do not link properly. Normal hip joints offer a smooth motion whereas with hip dysplasia there is grinding and grating that result in painful movements and other mobility issues.
If it is your first time owning a German shepherd for a pet, get an X-ray taken to become familiar with what the hip structure looks like. The first time your dog starts to limp or you notice they can’t keep up with you as easily on walks as before it is critical you get them examined by an experienced veterinary surgeon. The first goal after diagnosis is to slow down the development of arthritis.
Veterinary surgeon’s top tips to alleviating hip dysplasia symptoms
In treating hip dysplasia veterinary surgeons advise that early identification and detection offer the best chance of managing the condition. At present there is no cure for hip dysplasia. The best thing you can do for your dog is to help alleviate as much of the pain and discomfort as possible. Here’s how you can ease some of the symptoms:
- Low impact exercises
Some great exercises to try include swimming. Can’t get to a pool? A slow walk on a leash will do nicely too.
- Manage your dog’s weight
Keeping your dog’s weight down will avoid putting extra strain on hip joints. Exercise can help with this too.
- Provide extra comfort when the temperatures drop
Extra bedding or a dog coat can provide relief from arthritic pain during colder weather.
- Minimise risk of falling
Create a safer home environment by placing rugs over slippery floor surfaces. Use ramps available instead of stairs.
In some cases surgical procedures can be effective. If you have a dog that is highly susceptible to developing hip dysplasia, seek a consultation with a knowledgeable veterinary surgeon. At South Eastern Animal Hospital we have qualified specialists to provide a comprehensive examination, accurate diagnosis and the best possible course of treatment.