Hip Dysplasia - is my pet in pain?

Hip Dysplasia: Is My Pet in Pain?

Hip dysplasia (HD) is abnormal joint laxity (looseness) of the hip joint. Hip dysplasia is a common cause of hind limb lameness. At the beginning of this disease, most dogs and cats may not typically show signs of pain; but keep an eye out for anything unusual as this can cause deterioration of their joints if left untreated for a long enough amount of time. 

What Are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia? 

Most dogs with HD have their first symptoms by the time they hit one years old – some as early as six months. Symptoms are often subtle at first, with no obvious limp or holding the leg up off the ground. Common observations include:

  • “Bunny Hop” gait with both hind feet advancing at the same time instead of striding
  • Hesitance to jump or go up a flight of stairs
  • Premature tiring during exercise
  • Content to “observe” rather than “participate” in vigorous playtime
  • Mild limp when rising after rest
  • Weight shifting off of one or both hind feet while standing to eating or drinking
  • Slightly arched back as a result of weight shifting to the front legs
  • Apathetic about exercise and playtime.

How Can Hip Dysplasia Be Managed?

Radiographs are necessary to confirm the diagnosis of Hip Dysplasia. Before acquiring radiographs, the patient history, physical examination, and orthopedic examination are completed to determine if other causes of hind limb lameness are present. Your dog or cat will undergo a comprehensive examination process.

Conservative/medical management may be a viable and effective treatment option for some dogs with mild hip dysplasia. This option is usually attempted when the diagnosis of mild hip dysplasia and/or osteoarthritis is first made. A detailed discussion of medical management/pain control is extensive. Pain management is NOT the treatment of choice for dogs or cats with chronic, advanced, moderate, severe, or bilateral hip dysplasia and/or osteoarthritis.

Schedule a Veterinary Appointment Today

Dr. William Liska has performed over 2,000 joint replacement procedures. He has been the leader in the numbers of received THR referrals and procedures performed in the State of Texas for many years, and is among the leaders in the country and internationally. He is certified by the instrumentation and implant manufacturer (BioMedtrix LLC, Whippany, NJ) in all hip and knee replacement procedures currently available.

Global Veterinary Specialists recognizes that dogs and cats encounter orthopedic injuries, disabling difficulties, and diseases that can affect their life. Each GVS surgeon has more than twenty years of experience handling the most complex problems that may arise in your felines and canines. We are teachers, mentors, inventors, clinical researchers, and surgeons driven to achieve excellence for every animal. Contact us today to learn how we help restore your four-legged family member’s quality of life.

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