Hip dysplasia is treated both medically and surgically.
Medical treatment includes restricting activity and giving an NSAID analgesic
such as Rimadyl, and a joint chondroprotectantsuch as Cosequin or Adequan to
relieve pain and inflammation and to repair damaged cartilage. Weight loss and
moderate exercise are also important.
It is important to exercise lame dogs on a leash and not allow
them to run, jump, or play as long as they exhibit pain. Swimming is an
excellent exercise that improves muscle mass and joint flexibility without
overstressing the hips.
Estrus, or heat, is the stage in a female dog's reproductive cycle during which she becomes receptive to mating with males. At this time, estrogen levels first increase and then sharply decrease, and mature eggs are released from the ovaries. Ideally, your dog should be spayed before she enters her first heat cycle.
After reviewing the X-rays, your veterinarian may recommend hip surgery.
Early surgery in selected puppies can prevent some cases of degenerative joint
disease. Surgery is also indicated for dogs who continue to experience pain and
lameness despite medical treatment.
There are five surgical options; technical factors govern the choice. Triple
pelvic osteotomy and femoral osteotomyare two operations performed on puppies
who do not have degenerative joint changes. The goal of both is to position the
femoral head more deeply in the acetabulum. Normal joint function is thus
maintained and arthritis may not develop, although this is not always the
Pectineus myectomy isa relatively simple operation in which all of the
pectineus muscle is removed on both affected sides. This operation does not
slow the progress of joint disease but does relieve the pain for some time.
Femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty isan effective operation that
provides relief for intractable hip pain. The head of the femur is removed,
allowing a fibrous union to replace the ball-and-socket joint. The operation is
usually reserved for dogs who weigh less than 36 pounds. Total hip replacement
isthe most effective procedure for dogs 9 months and older who have disabling
degenerative joint disease in
one or both hips. The operation removes the old joint and replaces it with a
new, artificial joint. The procedure requires special equipment and is usually
performed by an orthopedic specialist. Good results are obtained in more than
95 percent of cases.
Dorsal acetabular rim arthroplasty-building up the acetabular rim with bone
from other sites in the body to create a deeper socket-is another surgical
option that is currently the subject of investigational studies.
Preventing excessive weight gain in puppyhood and keeping the puppy
from placing undue stress on the hips will delay the onset of hip dysplasia in
many dogs with a genetic predisposition. It may also lead to a less severe form
of the disease. Feed puppies a quality food in amounts appropriate for normal
(but not accelerated) growth. Puppies at risk for hip dysplasia should be fed a
calorie-controlled diet. Overweight puppies should be given a
calorie-restricted diet. Discuss this with your veterinarian. Vitamin and
mineral supplements have no proven benefit in preventing or treating hip
dysplasia, and may even be detrimental if given in excess.
Preventing hip dysplasia in a bloodline is based on selective breeding
practices. Hip dysplasia is a moderately heritable condition.It is twice as
common among littermates who have one dysplastic parent. Experience shows that
repeatedly using only dogs with normal hips for breeding stock significantly
reduces the incidence of hip dysplasia in susceptible bloodlines.
Information on breed risk is available through the OFA and PennHip. In
breeds in which hip dysplasia is a particular problem, prospective puppy buyers
are advised to check pedigrees for OFA, PennHip, or GDC certifications,
particularly for sires and dams. Ideally, you will also be able to find
evaluations of littermates of the sires and dams, as well as the