There are many questions owners ask when their dog is diagnosed with hip or elbow dysplasia.
What is it? Why do they have it? Are there warning signs? Can it be treated? How can I help ease the pain?
Hip or elbow dysplasia is an inherited condition. Essentially it is an improperly formed joint. It means that the joint is loose and the leg movement causes too much movement in the joint. This results in painful wear and tear as the bones rub together.
One of the symptoms is limping. Others include stiffness or soreness in the hip as the dog is getting up, hesitance to stand on the hind legs, exercise or even climb stairs. Bunny hopping is another indicator that something is wrong.
Your vet will be able to diagnose the condition through a physical examination, radiographs and manual tests on your dog. Once diagnosis is confirmed there are treatments available. This can range from surgical options where the affected joint is replaced to pain management, anti-inflammatories and joint supplements.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet and weight management program. If your dog is unable to exercise properly, any weight gain will put additional stress on the affected joints.
Your vet will advise on the appropriate exercise for your dog but as a general rule you should avoid jumping or running for long distances. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for this condition as there is no pressure put on the joints and it strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints. Quincy Dogs mobility harness is a ‘must have’ as it removes some of the weight of the dogs, allowing them to exercise for longer periods of time.
Other ways you can help your dog is to keep them out of damp, chilly weather, provide traction on slippery floors by laying carpet down. A carpeted ramp will help climb stairs or get in and out of the car. Finally a firm, orthopaedic bed for him to lay comfortably on.