Treatments For German Shepherds With Hip Dysplasia
Even though hip dysplasia is a really frightening diagnosis to hear, your German Shepherd can live a happy and pain free life with the right care and treatment. Luckily, there are quite a few treatment options you have to choose from.
Examples of hip dysplasia treatments include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
If your dog qualifies for surgeries, you have even more options.
Here are some surgical procedures you might want to consider:
- Double/Triple Pelvis Osteotomy: Only suitable for dogs under 10 months parts of the pelvic bone is cut, and segments rotated to improve condition.
- Femoral Head Ostectomy: Suitable for young and/or mature dogs femoral head is cut off to manage pain.
- Total Hip Replacement: All hip joints are replaced with metal/plastic implants most effective option.
Work with your vet to create a treatment specific for your German Shepherd and the level of severity.
Repair And Prevent Cartilage Deterioration
We mentioned cartilage a bit earlier.
And were talking about it again because cartilage is an incredibly important part of your dogs hip joint. When your dog moves, cartilage helps cushion the joint.
But it can become damaged when your dog has hip dysplasia.
Thats because the femoral head doesnt sit properly in the hip socket.
Over time, this cartilage deteriorates, causing pain and inflammation.
Another word for this cartilage deterioration? Arthritis.
Fortunately, certain active ingredients can help maintain joint health and reduce the likelihood that the secondary condition of arthritis will form as a result of German Shepherd hip dysplasia.
In particular, the active ingredients of chondroitin and glucosamine for dogs help maintain cartilage health.
These two naturally occurring substances work together to not only repair damaged cartilage but also prevent it from deteriorating in the first place.
Provide A Comfortable Bed
Hard floors and thin dog beds are no place for a German Shepherd with hip and joint pain.
Hard floors and thin dog beds are no place for a German Shepherd with hip and joint pain to relax or sleep for hours on end.
German Shepherds with arthritis or hip dysplasia often have their worst moments:
- after theyve been lying down for a while
- first thing in the morning after a nights long rest
You can help your German Shepherd with the transition from the floor and reduce their hip pain by providing them the right bed. Invest in an orthopedic bed to support your dogs aching body that is thick and well-padded and made for dogs with aches and pains, like this plush orthopedic dog bed.
Getting your dog onto an orthopedic bed not only gives them joint support to relieve pressure, but the bed also helps keep them warm. The warmth from drafts or cold nights sleeping on a floor can reduce inflammation and help support the joints while your dog sleeps comfortably.
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Breeds Prone To Canine Hip Dysplasia
Due to the wide range of data and no conclusive evidence, its difficult for researchers to determine which breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia. However, a study released in February 2021 by Wisdom Panel DNA found a common thread.
They took DNA samples from more than 1,600 dogs and found a common genetic variant among ten breeds. They hope to use this information to further understand the complex genetic causes of hip dysplasia to diagnose and treat the debilitating disease more accurately.1
However, some experts say large and giant breeds are more susceptible than smaller pups due to the stress their heavier weight puts on the hip joint.
For example, the Morris Animal Foundation lists the large and giant-breed dogs that most commonly experience hip dysplasia:
- German Shepherd
If youre unsure what breed or mix of dog breeds your dog is, consider using a dog DNA test to find out. This information could help you identify if your dogs breed is prone to hip dysplasia. Discuss the test results with your vet
What Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
As with humans, your dogs hip joint works as a ball and socket. If your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia, there has been an abnormal formation of one or both of your dog’s hips. When the hip has not formed correctly it is unable to function as smoothly as it should, meaning that the ball and socket rub or grind against each other, eventually leading to further deterioration of the hip and loss of function. Left untreated hip dysplasia can severely reduce your dog’s quality of life, as the condition causes pain and reduces your dog’s ability to move normally.
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How Long Do German Shepherds Live With Hip Dysplasia
Though hip dysplasia in German Shepherds is quite common here the main question is how long they live with this disease, with the most effective surgical treatment and proper medical management Your German Shepherd can live a normal life but again you should meet the vet regularly for a physical examination.
Other Common Australian Shepherd Hip Problems
While hip dysplasia is the most prevalent canine hip issue, there may be other issues if your pup is displaying pain or discomfort in its hips or legs and CHD is not the cause. Panosteitis is another common issue that occurs in Australian shepherds. It is different from hip dysplasia in that it primarily affects the front legs, is temporary, and affects the long bones of the legs. It is most common in younger dogs, and like CHD, it can result in limping, lameness, swelling, etc.
Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is another growth-related leg issue that causes inflammation of the long bones. Osteoarthritis is a common ailment in older dogs caused by age-related muscle and joint degeneration. Other leg and joint diseases include osteochondritis dissecans and Legg-Calve-Perths Disease. Always consult with a veterinary professional for the correct diagnosis before moving forward with any treatment plan for your beloved pet.
It is never fun to watch your dog struggle with hip or leg pain, and it can be especially frustrating to watch pain limit your Australian shepherds natural love of running and playing. However, CHD is a treatable condition and there are many options that can ensure your Aussie is able to live a long, pain-free life.
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How To Prevent Hip Dysplasia In Your German Shepherd
Hip dysplasia is a type of disease from which every breed suffers. We all know that there are two types of hip dysplasia in German Shepherds, hereditary and environmental. So its better to take preventive measures for preventing hip dysplasia among dogs. As it is a genetic problem we should first try to prevent these hereditary causes.
Lets take a quick view of how we can prevent their hereditary cause.
How Can You Tell If A German Shepherd Is Purebred
How to tell if a German Shepherd puppy is purebred? To know if a puppy is purebred due to its physical appearance, you must wait up to 3 months, unless you are an expert in the breed. Therefore, in very young puppies it is difficult to recognize if they are purebred or mixed because they are often very similar.
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Hip Dysplasia In The German Shepherd
German Shepherds like other large dog breeds are prone to hip dysplasia. Although this if they suffer from it is irreversible, it is possible to help prevent it and limit your dogs pain.
Like all large breed dogs, German Shepherds are at serious risk for hip dysplasia. An estimated 19% of German Shepherds will develop hip dysplasia, but some cases are worse than others.
Hip dysplasia is a congenital disorder in which the hips are too loose and the dog suffers pain in the femur. Dogs inherit this condition from their parents, this is why it is so important when acquiring a German Shepherd puppy to make sure that he is free of this congenital disease.
But if our German sheepdog suffers from hip dysplasia, the symptoms and consequences of this ailment can be improved or worsened through training and activity levels. Usually hip problems have already developed by 4 months and get worse over time. In some cases, an injury to the hip can also initiate the dysplasia process, even if the dog does not have the hereditary predisposition. Because they are very active dogs, German Shepherds are at particular risk for these hip injuries.
- Hesitation going up or down stairs
- Being aggressive, especially if the hip area is touched
If you see one or more of these symptoms, contact your vet for an X-ray to examine your dogs hips. Your dog will probably need to be sedated for the procedure, but an X-ray is the best way to diagnose dysplasia.
Total Hip Replacement :
Total hip replacement is the most effective technique used by vets. In this surgery, Your vet or surgeon replaces the entire joint with metal or plastic implants. This very technique allows your German Shepherd to bring back to the normal functionality of their hip joints as it also reduces all the discomforts that your German Shepherd suffers from hip dysplasia.
The condition of hip dysplasia cant be ignored and you should meet your vets as soon as possible. They will start their treatment by performing a physical examination and trying to know the reason behind the discomfort your German Shepherd is facing due to hip dysplasia. Being a professional they do the needful for your German Shepherd to bring normal life to your German Shepherd but as a good dog owner, you should also take care of them physically and mentally.
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What Is Hip Dysplasia And Why Are Gsds Prone To It
Hip Dysplasia is a genetically inherited disease where the femur sits too shallow and doesnt fit snug in the hip socket.
Depending on the grade it can be painful, and in most cases HD sets the stage for arthritis in later life. In severe cases, this can happen early on, even in puppy stages.
Its believed that this disease stems from inbreeding during the breeds early life. It was a case of catch 22 back then. Because the goal of inbreeding was to preserve other traits in the breed.
But I believe if the early breeders of the GSD knew then what we know now, they would have done things differently.
Also, unfortunately, show breeders often breed their German Shepherds with overly angulated hind quarters. The reason for this angulation is to achieve a desirable stack or stance during showing.
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Canine Hip Dysplasia: How To Tell
Do your German shepherds hind legs appear bent? If so, it maybe be because of breeding. The exaggerated hind leg angulation is often bred into the dog because of standards that dictate rear legs should come as close to a 90-degree angle as possible. Along these same lines, a sloping back causes hindquarters to become more angulate and, thus, prone to lower back pain.
These bent legs could point toward one of many health problems, one of which is hip dysplasia. If you notice a difference in your dogs gait or resistance to climbing stairs, it may be a good idea to have a certified veterinarian check your pup out. Although irreversible, canine hip dysplasia can be monitored and treated to reduce chronic pain. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 19.8% of German shepherds suffer from hip dysplasia. The progression of it and the treatment options available depend on a number of factors, including the degree of misalignment and age of the dog.
CHD has a range of signs, depending on the severity of the disease and degree of looseness in the joint. Symptoms include a bunny hop gait, limping, lameness in the hind legs, and decreased range of motion, among others. The severity also ranges from mild to extreme painsome German shepherds even have to use a wheelchair.
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Which Breeds Are Prone To Canine Hip Dysplasia
If you have a large or giant-breed dog, set up monthly checkups between 8 weeks and 10 months of age to help determine if surgical options are needed.
Common Causes Of Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds
There are several causes of this condition which is hereditary and very common in large dogs. Dr. Wayne Riser conducted a lengthy study in 1975 on Canine Hip Dysplasia or CHD called Observations and Research on Hip Dysplasia.
He determined that several factors contributed to the disease. They included: accelerated growth as a puppy, enlarged head and feet, excessive appetite, thickset body with loose skin, and poor coordination in the gait.
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Stage : Adding Physical Therapy And Weight Management
When the hip dysplasia doesnt yet warrant surgery but does interfere with your GSDs quality of life, your veterinarian may prescribe physical therapy along with weight management as needed.
The simple fact is, when your dog is overweight, this puts more pressure on the hip joints.
Also, physical therapy can help your dog strengthen key muscle groups and learn how to workaround the hip abnormality.
Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherd
A good German Shepherd owner spends a lot of time with their pets so as do you. If your German Shepherd is not comfortable walking or sitting due to some reason maybe they might have hip problems as they show some signs which you have to observe.
If your German Shepherd is facing the problem of hip dysplasia then they will show some symptoms like lameness in the hind leg, swaying, weakness, pain, decreased thigh muscle, loss of interest in playing and jumping, limping, or favoring one leg.
The sign of hip dysplasia can be seen when your German Shepherd is as young as four months of age while the rest develop it as they become older.
If you are the owner of a German Shepherd then you must know the common symptoms however these symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the disease and how long your German Shepherd has suffered from hip dysplasia.
Here are some other symptoms of hip dysplasia that may also relate to German Shepherd hip problems :
It is well said prevention is better than cure, so we must look at the preventive measure we can take to avoid hip dysplasia in our German Shepherd.
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Is Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds Treatable
German Shepherd Hip dysplasia is definitely treatable. In fact, there are several different levels of treatment that may be appropriate for different degrees of severity.
You may also find that your veterinarian recommends different types of treatments as your puppy grows up and begins to develop certain symptoms.
This helpful short video from VetVid shares more about the different types of treatment a veterinarian may prescribe for different stages of hip dysplasia.
What Are The Causes Of Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds
Dogs hip dysplasia is hereditary and usually comes from their parents, as is the case with your German Shepherd. Although it is very common in large dogs it affects smaller breeds also. Being a German Shepherd owner you should know the actual causes of hip dysplasia in your German Shepherd dog.
Hip dysplasia in German Shepherds or other dog breeds is generally caused by a femur that does not fit properly into the socket or maybe poorly developed muscles in the pelvic area. It is also considered a genetic disease that comes from parents to their children. Other factors that cause hip dysplasia may be excessive growth rate, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition.
Improper nutrition is also one of the significant reasons for developing hip dysplasia in your German Shepherd. If your dog is facing the problem of obesity, it will also put a lot of stress on your German Shepherds joints which can also cause hip dysplasia. Various environmental factors may be the other causes of hip dysplasia in which German Shepherd puppies grow up.
Lets take a quick look at these environmental factors that can exacerbate the likelihood of hip dysplasia in German Shepherds:
- Wrong Or Excessive Exercise
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German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia
German Shepherds make wonderful pets. They are smart, athletic, and loyal, making them great pets and working dogs. Unfortunately, like most large breed dogs, they are prone to a number of health problems.
One of the most common of these problems is hip dysplasia according to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, about 19% of German Shepherds have the ailment. Hip dysplasia is a joint problem which can cause pain and mobility problems for your dog and lead to the development of arthritis later in life.
German Shepherds can often live happily with the condition for some time, but its important to provide treatment and proper care to minimize their discomfort. Every owner should be familiar with hip dysplasia so that they can look out for warning signs, keep their pet healthy, and pursue treatment options if necessary.
A Healthy Dog Is A Happy Dog
Dealing with a dog who has hip dysplasia isnt easy, but there are other things you can do to help them feel more comfortable. One thing that you should consider is an orthopedic dog bed to help with your dogs pain. With your vets approval, you can also look into a dog wheelchair to extend your dogs active years but remember, this will further deteriorate your dogs muscle tone, so this will probably be the last resort.
Pet insurance is a helpful way to save on potential costs for any dog accidents or illnesses that arent already known . So sign up early when your dog is young to get reimbursed for part or all of your associated costs, depending on your company and policy coverage.