One of your responsibilities as a dog owner is to constantly evaluate the health and condition of your furry little pal. This helps greatly in preventing a small issue from worsening.
One common problem that many dog owners encounter is hip pain. What causes hip pain in dogs?
There are two leading causes of hip pain in dogs: hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis.
Hip dysplasia occurs when the socket of the hip does not form properly, resulting in damage and/or arthritis. This problem can occur in almost all dog breeds. However, there are some breeds that are naturally prone to developing this condition. These include the Labrador and golden retrievers, German Shepherd and the Newfoundland.
In order to diagnose whether your dog has hip dysplasia, your veterinarian needs to take radiographs of your pet’s hips.
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If your pooch is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, there are two basic treatment options to choose from. The first option is surgery which includes triple pelvic osteotomy or TPO, pubic symphodesis, femoral head ostectomy and hip replacement.
Apart from surgery, your vet may recommend controlling the weight of your pet. Often, excess weight worsens hip dysplasia. Your veterinarian may also prescribe medications and supplements.
Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is fairly common among older dogs who have joints that have become worn and torn. Apart from the hips, osteoarthritis may also affect other joints including the shoulders, elbows and knees.
There are numerous options available for dogs with osteoarthritis, apart from hip replacement surgery.
For one, your vet may prescribe omega-3 fatty acid supplements for your pooch. This supplement has an anti-inflammatory effect and can aid in the repair of the cartilage in the joints.
Your vet may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs. However, it is crucial to discuss with your vet the potential side effects of this type of drug because it may worsen some of the conditions your dog may currently have. Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed if your vet determines that your pet will not have an adverse reaction to this type of drug after administering a blood test. If both types of drugs cannot be prescribed to your dog, your vet may recommend narcotics.
Finally, your vet may recommend the use of laser therapy to reduce both inflammation and discomfort in your dog’s hips. However, be prepared for the high costs.
At the first sign of hip pain in your dog, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. He or she will recommend the best treatment plan which may include surgery, weight loss, exercise and supplementation. For more information on how to help your dog click here