Hip dysplasia is a condition that can cause pain and discomfort for dogs of any breed. Fortunately, there are several surgical options available that can alleviate your pup's symptoms and enable them to move around with ease again. Our vets at North Providence are here to provide further information on this matter.
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Your dog's hip joints are designed to function like a ball and socket system, moving smoothly together. However, if your pup is dealing with hip dysplasia, this natural system may not develop properly, causing the ball and socket to grind and rub against each other. Sadly, this can lead to a gradual breakdown and loss of normal function, resulting in pain and reduced quality of life for your beloved pet. It's critical to get this condition treated as soon as possible to ensure your dog's comfort and well-being.
Causes of Canine Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a common condition in dogs, especially in larger breeds. Genetics plays a major role in its development, and it tends to worsen with age. It usually affects both hips and can be exacerbated by osteoarthritis in older dogs. While it is a hereditary condition, certain factors can increase the risk of its development, such as improper weight and nutrition, excessive growth rate, and types of exercise. Obesity can also worsen an existing condition or even lead to hip dysplasia by putting abnormal stress on the dog's joints.
Dog Breeds With a High Risk of Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a prevalent skeletal condition that can affect not only giant or large breed dogs but also smaller breeds. Some of the breeds that are commonly affected are St. Bernards, Rottweilers, retrievers, bulldogs, mastiffs, French bulldogs, and pugs. To prevent hip dysplasia, it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate amount of daily exercise and the ideal diet for your dog. This is because diet and exercise play a vital role in the development of hip dysplasia.
Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Hip dysplasia typically begins to develop in puppies under a year old, but does not become apparent until the dog reaches their middle to senior years. If you are concerned that your pup may be feeling the pain of hip dysplasia watch for the following signs:
- Reluctance to exercise, run, jump or climb stairs
- Back legs are stiff when walking or running
- Difficulties rising from a resting position
- Loss of muscle tone in back legs
- Grating or grinding in the joint when moving
- Hind end lameness
- Poor range of motion
- Running with a bunny hop
If your pooch is showing any of the symptoms listed above, contact your veterinarian to schedule an examination for your pet.
Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia
When you take your dog for their annual check-up, your veterinarian will inspect them for any signs of hip dysplasia. This involves moving your dog's hind legs to check for grinding, painful sensations, or limited range of motion in the joint. In case your vet suspects that your pet may have hip dysplasia, they may suggest blood tests to detect any inflammation.
Your vet may also ask you for your dog's health history, including a list of symptoms and any injuries that may have caused them. Additionally, knowing your pet's lineage can be useful in determining if hip dysplasia is the issue.
If hip dysplasia is suspected, x-rays may be necessary to evaluate the severity of the condition and to determine the best course of treatment.
Treatment Options for Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Common treatment options for dogs suffering from hip dysplasia could range from changes to lifestyle or diet, to surgery. Your vet will work with you to determine the best treatment for your pet and discuss in detail each treatment option's pros and cons.
Below are the three most common types of hip dysplasia surgery for dogs, along with approximate cost of each surgery option:
Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)
Hip dysplasia is a condition that can affect dogs of any age, but FHO surgery can be a beneficial solution. During this procedure, the femoral head of the hip joint is removed, creating a "false" joint that can alleviate pain and discomfort. While FHO surgery may not restore normal hip function, it can certainly improve the overall quality of life for dogs with hip dysplasia.
FHO surgery typically costs $1,200 to $2,500, including pre-surgical bloodwork, the procedure itself, anesthesia, post-surgical care, and medications. Depending on the dog's health and other factors, they may need to remain in the hospital for several hours or days after surgery. It's important for dogs to avoid strenuous physical activity for at least 30 days after surgery, but most dogs make a full recovery within six weeks and can resume normal physical activity.
Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
A surgical procedure, commonly known as DPO or TPO, is typically performed on dogs under the age of 10 months to enhance their ball and socket joint. This involves cutting specific points of the pelvic bone and rotating the segments. The cost of the surgery on both hips is around $3,000. After the procedure, your dog may need several weeks to walk comfortably, and full mobility may require physiotherapy. However, you may see an improvement in joint stability within four weeks. For most dogs, recovery from DPO or TPO surgery takes 4-6 weeks.
Total Hip Replacement (THR)
In case your furry companion is experiencing hip dysplasia, a total hip replacement (THR) may be the best solution to restore their full mobility. This procedure involves the replacement of the hip joint with plastic and metal implants, which can significantly alleviate your pet's discomfort and restore their normal hip function.
However, it is only recommended if your pet is in extreme pain and almost immobile, as it is an expensive and drastic option. The artificial components are tailored to your pet, and only certified veterinary surgeons can perform the procedure. The cost of a total hip replacement for one hip ranges from $3,500 to $7,000, and if both hips are affected, the cost can increase to $14,000, including pre-surgical blood work, anesthesia, and all medications.
The surgery typically lasts between 2 to 3 hours, and your pet may need to stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days after the procedure. A 12-week recovery period is necessary for proper healing, and if both hips are affected, the surgeon may only operate on one hip at a time, with a 3 to 6 month interval between procedures.
How Your Veterinarian Can Help You
A diagnosis of hip dysplasia in your dog can be heart-wrenching. This serious condition is very painful for your pet but can also cause financial stress for you since surgical options can be expensive. If you are facing stressful decisions regarding your dog's treatment for hip dysplasia speak openly and honestly with your veterinarian. Your vet may be able to recommend an option or combination of treatments within your budget that can help to reduce your pet's hip pain recover and improve hip function.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.