Hip Dysplasia

What is Hip Dysplasia in dogs?

Dysplasia refers to the ‘abnormality of development’ and Hip Dysplasia is where the ball and the socket of the dog’s hip joint do not fit together as snugly as they are supposed to allowing for greater movement within the joint than is wanted. This leads to varying degrees of the condition but always to the loss of proper function of the hip joint.

What causes Hip Dysplasia in dogs?

The development of hip dysplasia is determined by an interaction of genetic and environemental factors. It is one of the most common skeletal diseases seen in dogs and whilst gender of the dog does not seem to matter breed size does, with the large and giant breeds more likely to have the genetic predisposition for the condition. Environmental factors include diet and nutrition, exercise and activity, weight and size especially rapid weight gain and obesity, and pelvic muscle mass.

What are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia?

  • Joint looseness or laxity
  • Difficult rising
  • Reluctance to run, jump or climb stairs
  • Lameness – intermittent or persistent especially after exercise
  • Bunny hopping or swaying gait
  • Pain
  • Decreased range in movement
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Enlargement of shoulder muscles as they compensate for weight avoidance on hips
  • Narrow stance in hind limbs
  • Possible grating detected with joint movements

How can Clinical canine massage help hip dysplasia?

  • By relieving pain and compensatory muscle tension both of the side affected by the condition and the rest of the body. It will be especially beneficial over the hind legs, back and gluteal (bottom) regions.
  • Will assist in mobility and flexibility enabling normal exercise to be enjoyed.
  • Will hopefully help the dog’s emotional state to better cope with the condition.