Like humans, dogs are affected by many types of illnesses and diseases. Some afflictions are easy to treat and cure, while others require more invasive or long-term measures. Canine hip dysplasia is a common health problem found in a variety of dog breeds. With a little time and care, the disease can be detected and treated.

Hip dysplasia can occur in humans, but is mostly found in dogs. In a normal hip, the femur is rounded and fits seamlessly into the hip pocket. Hip dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket do not fit together. Often, the fit is too loose. This causes the ball to move around more than it should, degrading the joint. To make up for the pain, you dog may develop a stiff run or limp. Dysplasia can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the hips.

Since the disease is caused by genetics, purebreds are more prone to the disease than mixed breeds; although both can be affected. Larger dogs are also more susceptible to the disease. The heavy weight and pressure on their hips can cause the hips to be malformed. Breeds known to display the malady include Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Great Danes. Medium-sized dogs can also suffer from the ailment. The disease can be present in small canines or cats, but their lightweight frame causes less strain on the body, often concealing the symptoms.

Many affected dogs do not display symptoms until later on in life (because of the slow wearing process). If you are in the market for a pure bred pup, then do not be afraid to ask the breeder for the parent’s results on a hip scoring test. For preventative purposes, your veterinarian can take an x-ray of your pooch to determine if the hips are in proper alignment. However, an x-ray is not always reliable at an early age. If you have a breed that is prone to hip dysplasia, then it is still a good idea to have him x-rayed early on.

If your dog is limping, unable or unwilling to move certain ways, hopping, or refusing to walk up a stairway, then you need to take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet can take an x-ray to determine whether or not your pooch is suffering from hip dysplasia. Some of the x-rays require that your pet be placed in awkward or painful positions; so many vets will sedate your dog before performing the x-rays.

If your pet is diagnosed with canine hip dysplasia, then there are a couple of options. Before you start any sort of healing program, you should talk with your veterinarian. The disease cannot be completely cured, but you can treat the side effects, such as arthritis pain. It is important that you make an effort to treat the problem. Otherwise, your pet can become extremely crippled by the malformation and the pain. For many pets, the disease has always been a part of their lives. They have developed a high threshold for pain, and may not even notice the discomfort. The pain of hip dysplasia can be treated with anti-inflammatory and pain medications. In more severe cases, surgery may be needed. There are different types of surgeries, including hip replacement and modification surgeries. Your veterinarian can help you understand different medication and surgical procedures. Always seek guidance from your vet.

Many veterinarians will also recommend that you spay or neuter your affected pooch. Since the disease is passed through genetics, spaying and neutering ensures that it will not be passed on to other pups. If your dog has the disease, then contact the breeder to let him know. He can take additional safety precautions to ensure no more puppies are afflicted. However, two perfectly healthy adult dogs can still pass the disease on to their children.

Canine hip dysplasia is a disease that commonly affects large, purebred dogs. As the hip joint wears out, your dog will experience pain and discomfort. If untreated, hip dysplasia can lead to crippling arthritis. Your veterinarian can diagnose the disease and put you and your pet on a program to help treat it. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory and pain medications work wonders; other times, surgery is needed. If your pet is properly cared for, he can live a long, happy life with the disease.

Author's Bio: 

Article provided by Pet Super Store a site featuring:
orthopedic dog beds, dog gates, dog crates and pet ramps