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Canine Hip Dysplasia.

Canine Hip Dysplasia, CHD is a skeletal developmental defect in dogs. A high incidence occurs in larger, rapidly growing dogs or larger working/sporting breeds. The disorder is the result of the upper portion (ball) of the hind legs not fitting properly into the socket of the hip. Dogs are not born with CHD but as they grow laxity of muscles and ligaments around the joint in combination with the poor fitness produces excess movement. The instability within the joint itself allows the hipbone to pull apart in growth (subluxation). A general misconception is that dysplasia is a form of arthritis that affects the hips. Rather severe osteoarthritis is a secondary result of hip dysplasia. It occurs when the bones rub together resulting in irregular bone growth and wear causing osteoarthritis.

It is believed, although no substantial proof is given, that CHD is inherited. And many feel it is not influenced by diet or caloric intake, but rather is a factor of the animal's overall weight and rapid growth.

Although it cannot be detected at birth severe cases may be detectable at six months. The average age for the first symptoms to be displayed is around two years old. Outward signs range from slight to severe pain including, difficulty getting up from lying or seated position, climbing stairs, extending back legs, a side to side sway of the crop, a resistance to jumping, a waddling or sway in the gait, lameness especially following exercise, and pushing on the rump may cause the pelvis to drop. Commonly these symptoms are more pronounced on cold, damp days. These are all a result of deterioration of the joint that limit a dog's mobility. CHD is an inherited trait that is influenced by several genes (polygenic). Neither the environment nor how you raise your puppy can cause hip dysplasia, however, it could play a role when and perhaps if he/she develops outward symptoms.

Some such factors that could worsen symptoms are rough play, jumping, climbing, excess weight gain/rapid growth, calcium supplementation (which increases novel remodeling) or forced distance running especially on tarmac, asphalt or hard surfaces.

There are treatments available. Some non-surgical treatments would help to improve function and reduce pain and inflammation. The administration of drugs such as aspirin, phenylbutazone ("bute") or NSAIDs and steroids could all be administered but numerous side effects result from oral tablets. Also, some drugs are available for injection. Dr. Dog offers Arthritis Care for Dogs, which aids in pain relief from inflammation. This is administered in a topical lotion, reducing side effects incorporated with other deliveries. Many cases can be helped by surgical procedure. This should be discussed with a physician to determine the best course of action for your pet's particular case.

Dog Arthritis & Joint Care



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