Hip dysplasia, a distressing ailment affecting dogs of all breeds, causes pain and limits mobility. If your furry friend is grappling with this issue, several surgical solutions exist to alleviate their discomfort and restore their vitality. Learn more from our Madison veterinarians.
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Your dog's hip joints are like a natural ball and socket setup meant to move smoothly. But if your pup has hip dysplasia, these parts don't grow or work properly. Instead of moving nicely, they rub and grind, causing them to break down and stop working right slowly. This can be really painful for your dog and, if not treated, can make their life much less enjoyable.
Causes of Canine Hip Dysplasia
Canine hip dysplasia is a condition that can affect dogs, especially larger breeds and is mostly passed down through genetics. This problem gets worse as dogs get older and can impact both hips. Osteoarthritis in older dogs can make the pain and symptoms even worse.
Although it's inherited, certain things can make the likelihood of developing this condition greater. These include improper weight and diet, rapid growth, and the kinds of activities dogs do. Being overweight can worsen an existing issue or even lead to hip dysplasia by straining the dog's joints.
Dog Breeds With a High Risk of Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a common bone issue found in big dogs but can also impact smaller ones. Breeds like mastiffs, St. Bernards, Rottweilers, retrievers, and bulldogs are often affected. Smaller breeds like French bulldogs and pugs can also have this condition.
To prevent hip dysplasia, it's important to talk to your vet about how much exercise your dog needs and the best diet for them. This can help keep their bones healthy.
Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Hip dysplasia usually starts in puppies younger than a year, but its effects may not show until the dog is older. If you're worried your pup might have hip dysplasia, look out for these 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 pup is showing any of the symptoms listed above, contact your veterinarian to schedule an examination for your pet.
Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia
During your dog's regular check-up, your vet will examine your dog's hips for signs of hip dysplasia. They'll gently move your dog's hind legs to check for any discomfort, grinding, or limited movement in the hip joint. If there's a suspicion of hip dysplasia, your vet might suggest blood tests to look for inflammation.
Your vet may also ask for your dog's health history, including symptoms and past injuries. Knowing your dog's family history can aid in diagnosing hip dysplasia.
If hip dysplasia is suspected, X-rays could be recommended to understand how severe the issue is and to plan the best treatment approach."
Treatment Options for Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Various ways to help dogs with hip dysplasia include adjusting their lifestyle or diet and even considering surgery. Your veterinarian will collaborate with you to identify the most suitable treatment for your pet, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Here are the top three types of hip dysplasia surgeries for dogs, along with their estimated costs:
Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)
Dogs of any age can benefit from FHO surgery. This surgery helps with hip issues by removing the femoral head (hip ball) to create a new joint. While it won't make hips completely normal, it can reduce discomfort from hip problems.
The cost for Femoral Head Ostectomy for dogs with hip dysplasia ranges from $1,200 to $2,500. This covers everything, like tests before surgery, the procedure itself, anesthesia, aftercare, and medicine.
After the surgery, your dog might stay at the hospital for a few hours to a few days, based on their health and the surgery. For a month after the surgery, they should avoid strenuous activity. Most dogs fully recover in about six weeks and can get back to their normal activities.
Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
Typically performed on dogs younger than 10 months old, this surgery involves cutting the pelvic bone in specific locations and rotating the individual segments, resulting in an improvement of the ball and socket joint. The cost of DPO or TPO surgery for most dogs is in the range of $3,000 for both hips.
Following this surgery, it will be several weeks before your dog will be able to walk comfortably, and physical rehabilitation (physiotherapy) will likely be necessary for full mobility to return (although you may notice joint stability improve within four weeks). Most dogs will recover from DPO or TPO surgery within 4 - 6 weeks.
Total Hip Replacement (THR)
When it comes to restoring full function to dogs suffering from hip dysplasia, total hip replacement (THR) is often the first and most effective treatment option. THR involves using plastic and metal implants to replace your pup's hip joint. In many cases, THR can restore your pup's normal hip function and eliminate most hip dysplasia-related discomfort.
That said, THP surgery is a drastic option and the most expensive, typically taken if your pet is in considerable pain and nearly completely immobile. The artificial components must be custom-made for your dog, and certified veterinary surgeons perform the surgery. The cost of a total hip replacement for your dog can be anywhere between $3,500 - $7,000 per hip.
If both of your pet's hips are affected (which is often the case), THR surgery can cost up to $14,000, including pre-surgical blood work, surgery, anesthesia, and all medications.
THR surgery generally takes between 2 - 3 hours to complete, and your pet will likely need to be hospitalized for 1 - 3 days following surgery. To ensure proper healing, expect a 12-week recovery period. Even if hip dysplasia is evident in both of your dog's hips, this surgery may only be performed on one hip at a time, allowing a 3 - 6 month gap between procedures.
How Your Veterinarian Can Help You
Finding out that your dog has hip dysplasia can be really sad. This is a serious problem that causes a lot of pain for your pet and can also be costly for you due to expensive surgeries. If you're worried about how to treat your dog's hip dysplasia and it's causing you stress, have an open and honest conversation with your vet. They might suggest affordable treatment options that can help lessen your pet's hip pain, promote recovery, 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.