What Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

October 31, 2018

Hip dysplasia is an unfortunate condition that commonly affects large-breed dogs, though small breeds can experience it as well. Simply put, hip dysplasia is what happens when the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t work together smoothly, leading to deterioration over time. With the joint deterioration, affected dogs often end up incapacitated without the proper function of their hips.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia?

Doberman Mix with Hip Dysplasia

While genetics play a large part in a dog getting hip dysplasia, it is also caused by a general deformity in the joint and an improper diet. The deformity of either the ball or the socket can lead to them not working well together and causing deterioration.

As far as diet is concerned, overfeeding a pup that’s already susceptible to hip dysplasia is a recipe for disaster and can make them more prone to issues. Overweight dogs are at risk of developing the condition, so make sure to keep your dog’s food intake in check. Does that mean you can’t give your dog a delicious treat every once in a while? Of course not! But as with everything, they should only eat treats in moderation.

(And maybe also when they’ve been an especially good boy or girl.)

What Are The Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia?

If you have a large-breed dog, you need to be aware of the symptoms to look for in the development of hip dysplasia so you can inform your vet immediately. Look for things like:

  • Weakness in the hind end
  • Difficulty with getting up off the floor, jumping, and climbing stairs
  • Generally decreased activity
  • Pain and stiffness

What Dog Breeds Are Affected By Hip Dysplasia?

English Bulldog with BarkBox toy hip dysplasia

Large dog breeds are most commonly affected by hip dysplasia. The condition is hereditary with the large breeds such as Great Danes, St. Bernards, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Bulldogs, and German Shepherds.

Small dogs are far less commonly affected by hip dysplasia, but small-breed dogs that are overweight could end up developing it, so make sure you’re watching your dog’s diet and keeping an eye out for any problems, like a weakness in the hind legs.

When Will Hip Dysplasia Start To Affect My Dog?

Hip Dysplasia can set in as early as puppyhood. Because it results from the joint not working correctly, it can begin for your dog early on and grow worse over their lifetime. It’s more commonly diagnosed when a dog is a few years old, but some dogs won’t exhibit noticeable symptoms until later in life.

How Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs Treated?

Golden Retriever Breed With Hip Dysplasia

There are a variety of ways your dog might be treated for hip dysplasia, based on age and severity. They include:

  • A simple diet, which will decrease the pressure on the joint
  • Anti-inflammatory medication to ease the pain
  • Physical therapy to improve the activity on the joint
  • Moderate exercise to keep the joint moving, like swimming
  • And of course, if nothing else is working, there are surgery options: one where the pelvic bone is cut, one where the ball of the joint is removed to manage pain, and a total hip replacement

What Products Help Treat My Dog’s Hip Dysplasia?

BarkBox Glucosamine Supplement for Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

BARK Glucosamine Supplement For Hips And Joints: It’s veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid), and comes in the form of 150 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help your dog with their hip and joint issues. ($32.99.)

BarkBox Bed For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

BARK Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed: This bed is made from both high quality memory foam and gel that helps relieve body aches and joint pain for your dog. (Starts at $35.99.)

BarkBox CBD Oil

Bark CBD Extract: This holistic remedy is made from MCT, organic coconuts, and co2 extracted high CBD hemp oil, and it’s been known to help with all forms of anxiety – but also arthritis, nausea, inflammation, and other physical or emotional pain. It contains no THC (<0.1%) and will not make your pup feel “buzzy” or “high.” ($69.30.)

Bark Chicken CBD Treats

Bark CBD Chicken Biscuits: These handcrafted treats are made with premium, human-grade ingredients including  full-spectrum CBD hemp oil and are available for both small and large dogs. They’re a holistic, natural product for anxiety, arthritis, nausea, inflammation, and other physical or emotional pain. They contain no THC (<0.1%) and will not make your pup feel “buzzy” or “high.” (Starting at $24.30 for 4 oz. jar of 25 treats.)

(NOTE: It typically takes more than a single dose of CBD – and sometimes up to two weeks’ worth – to see results.)

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

October 31, 2018

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