To have a better idea of what Dog Hip Dysplasia is, you must understand how a normal hip joint functions and moves.
Typically when the hip bone connects to the pelvic bone it is in a form of a ball and socket, the ball being located at the end of the femur and the socket being a part of the pelvic bone's natural curve.
In a normal hip, these two fundamental pieces work hand and hand together to allow ease of walking. Since the ball and socket are so perfectly matched for one and other, the ball has a free but snug fit in the socket.
One of the many factors to keep the joint strong and healthy is that there is enough ligament between the femur and pelvic bone so that these two bones do not cause any friction. There is a rich layer of connective tissue surrounding the bones to add extra stability and to promote balance when the dog is walking.
With ligaments and connective tissue in place, the dog's body has another layer of soft cartilage to help absorb strong impacts to the leg. The dog's body naturally produces a type of fluid that helps lubricate the hip connector pieces, which prevents further wear and tear on the hip. All these are key factors to a healthy and functioning hip.
With dog Hip Dysplasia however, there are several factors lacking. Hip Dysplasia is often due to bad genetic make-up. Learning Dog First Aid can help you spot signs and reduce potential damage done to the hip bone.
The ligaments and connective tissue that usually support and help keep the femur connected to the pelvic muscle start to loosen. As dog Hip Dysplasia starts to progress, the two bones lose communication with each other and the hip bone can no longer move.
When full separation occurs this is called subluxation and by this point the pelvic bone tends to have a lot of wear and tear. The pelvic bone no longer has a socket shape or a proper grip and instead bears a worn down half oval.
Dogs who have this disease often are born with normal hips, but start to develop abnormal soft tissue between the hip connectors as they grow, which is why it is hard to spot until later in life when it is too late.
A dog of any age can have Hip Dysplasia. It has been found that even puppies can develop this disease as young as five months old. Larger breeds are often affected by this disease, with German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers , Labrador Retrievers, and Great Danes, being the more common breeds to possess Hip Dysplasia.
The disease often occurs with purebreds, but there are cases where mixed dogs that have genetic bloodlines to susceptible breeds can also develop Hip Dysplasia.
Common symptoms can be when the dog is showing pain during and after their daily exercise routine. Very reluctant to move around and in more advance stages of the disease, the dog usually will refuse to walk.
You should also read about Elbow Dysplasia – Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia affects the cartilage of the joints. It is unable to form properly and can even break off, causing your dog a lot of pain.
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