Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Dysplasia in dogs - symptoms, prevention and treatment

15 April 2021

Dysplasia is a problem that usually affects large breeds of dogs. It causes serious problems with normal movement; at some point, the pooch is unable to function properly.

Hip dysplasia in a dog

Owners of large dogs are well aware of the ailments that these animals are prone to. Hip and elbow dysplasia is unfortunately a very common condition here. It's worth knowing how it can be diagnosed and what its treatment consists in.

Dysplasia in a dog

Articular dysplasia is a genetic disease, occurring mainly in large breeds, although smaller individuals may also be at risk. Genes themselves are the primary factor that affects it, but not the only one. Great influence here has for example diet or physical activity. Owners often forget that providing the right food for the dog and the right amount of exercise every day are basic issues in taking care of their pet's health. If we neglect such things, our dog will be much more prone to developing dysplasia. Moreover, the disease will have a worse course in him than in case of a well-groomed dog.

Genetic background of the disease

Genetic background causes that the disease is passed from parents to offspring. Therefore, if our dog's parents suffered from dysplasia, there is a high probability that our pet will also suffer from it. This does not mean, however, that the offspring of sick parents are clearly doomed to the disease. In addition, you can significantly reduce the risk with appropriate preventive measures and regular examinations. The risk also exists in dogs with healthy parents, although in this case it is obviously much lower - rather less than 10%. Nevertheless, every owner of a dog of any large breed should be aware of these risks and know what preventive measures are necessary.

Prevention: how to avoid dysplasia?

Correct diet is one of the most important issues here. The body weight of the dog should be ideal - it can be neither too high nor too low. Dysplasia more often affects dogs suffering from overweight. However, if we notice it in our pet, we shouldn't try to lose weight fast and limit food for our dog. In this case, you need to bet on long-term work, which will be much healthier.

treatment of dysplasia in a dog

If you own a large dog, it's worth having preventive examinations as early as possible. They will allow to find out how susceptible our pet is to the occurrence of the disease and how high the risk is in his case.

It is worth remembering that large dogs should be properly approached to physical activity. Puppies under 12 months shouldn't be forced to move too much, because it negatively influences on their muscles and bones development.

Dysplasia in a dog - symptoms

Symptoms of dysplasia are quite varied, but in most cases they can be easily noticed. They are often visible early in life, already around the second month. Of course, you need to watch the way our dog moves - it's based on his gait that you can tell if he is developing the disease. Characteristic feature is throwing back of the body while walking. For a dog suffering from dysplasia just walking becomes something difficult and uncomfortable. The animal doesn't want to move, doesn't want to go for a walk, spends most of the time lying down. The dog usually lies on its side, so as not to pull its paws under itself - it causes it pain. Sooner or later other problems with movement can be noticed. Dog starts to limp, often loses balance, walks with wobbly step. If the disease is already advanced, even paresis of particular limbs may appear.

Dysplasia in dog - treatment

If the disease is still relatively undeveloped, conservative treatment is used. It's mainly about taking care of dog's health by introducing proper diet and physical activity. In case of more advanced disease, unfortunately surgery becomes necessary.

Is dysplasia treatable?

In case of conservative treatment, appropriate medications may also be used. They are mainly aimed at protecting the dog from possible inflammation. If dysplasia is already more advanced, the only way to cure it will be surgery. The surgical treatment itself is tailored to the individual dog, taking into account his age and other physical conditions.