Get hip to this problem

By Connie Orcutt • Published: November 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

If your canine companion is gimpy in the rear, listen up. Hip dysplasia is the most common culprit, particularly in large breeds.

The problem usually begins if your dog has a shallow hip socket that cannot cradle the top, or head, of the thigh bone. As your dog grows, the abnormal hip joint has trouble adequately supporting the increasing weight. The head of the thigh bone becomes irregular from rubbing against, or slipping in and out of, the hip socket. The result is progressive pain and lameness.

Dogs with hip dysplasia are often lame by 4 to 12 months of age. They may limp, sway as they walk, run oddly or have difficulties getting up.

If your dog has suspicious signs or you have a large breed at risk of hip dysplasia, X-rays are the only path to diagnosis. Contact your veterinarian, who is also hip to treatment options.