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Treatment For Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds

At What Age Do German Shepherds Develop Hip Dysplasia

German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia: Warning Signs, Treatment, Prevention

The primary cause of hip dysplasia is genetics.

Statistics suggest that a puppy born to parents with hip dysplasia is twice as likely to develop the condition. Therefore, if you are considering bringing a GSD puppy home, its always important to look for reputable breeders.

While some puppies start showing clinical signs of hip dysplasia as early as a few months old, most do not until 1 to 2 years of age.

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German Shepherd Joint Pain

A German Shepherd with joint pain is generally due to age-related disease.

Nearly all dogs get a little stiff as they get older due to gradual wear-and-tear on the joints that take its toll on their body. Furthermore, as your GSD ages, they generally become less active, so their muscles, tendons, and ligaments lose some of their flexibility and strength.

While there are many reasons why your German Shepherd has hip problems and hip pain which can make them stiff there are some common health issues that you should consider.

German Shepherds, even puppies, may develop conditions that can cause long-term, fatiguing pain, such as:

  • age-related joint or muscular degeneration pain

Did you know that 20% of the canine population over one year old is affected by arthritis ?

Or that 19.8% of German shepherds born between 2011 and 2015 suffer from hip dysplasia in some form ?

But, hip problems arent the end of an active life for you and your dog. There are many home treatment options available to you, even for hip dysplasia.

Should I Get A Male Or Female German Shepherd

While it depends on your preferences, female German Shepherds are friendlier companions and make better family pets. They are easier to train and more sensitive. They are also smaller, have better agility, and also mature quicker than males. Male German shepherds are more territorial, protective, and likely to show aggression. This makes them more suitable as guard dogs.

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How Can I Alleviate My German Shepherds Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia

If your vet indicates it, you can give your pooch pain medications, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, to reduce pain and inflammation.

You can help your German Shepherd with everyday tasks, such as getting in and out of the car or bed, avoiding the use of stairs, and monitoring signs that may indicate pain.

German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia: What Is It How To Treat It & How To Prevent It

Home Remedies For Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

German Shepherds are known for being very loving, loyal, affectionate and protective of their people. These are just a few of the reasons why people love this dog breed so much.

But sometimes caring for a German Shepherd dog can mean facing some tough medical realities. The truth is, GSDs are prone to certain genetic, or heritable, health conditions.

These are health issues that can be passed on from parent dogs to little puppies. Hip dysplasia is one of the most worrisome of these health issues for German Shepherds because it can cause your dog a lot of pain, and can cost you a lot of money!

In this article, we do a deep dive into the world of canine hip issues to explore German Shepherd hip dysplasia. What is hip dysplasia? How do you diagnose it? Is there a treatment? Can hip dysplasia in German Shepherds be prevented? Lets find out!

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How To Find An Ethical Breeder

Now you know the signs and what to avoid, but where do you begin to look for the right seller?

  • Start with whom you know: Reaching out to trusted members of your own network is one of the best places to begin. Talk to dog-owning members of your circle to learn how they found their pups and ask if they have any advice. Even if they themselves are not German Shepherd owners, they might have helpful tips or know someone who does.
  • Ask a vet: If youre already a pet-owner, pick your vets brain. If you dont yet have a veterinarian, reach out to family and friends for recommendations. Cold-calling a veterinarian who has not been recommended is not a good idea, but a vet trusted by someone close to you is more likely to be reputable and may know ethical breeders.
  • Visit a dog show: Many conscientious breeders raise German Shepherds who become show dogs. If a dog is a show dog, odds are, its owner takes good care of it. After all, these dogs are being judged as the best-of-the-best.

Attending a dog show as an audience member will give you the opportunity to see for yourself how the breeder interacts with their dog. You can get a feel for how they treat their animals before making contact.

Treatment For Diagnosed Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

Since there is no cure for canine hip dysplasia, the treatments available mainly revolve around making your pooch feel more comfortable and less pain.

There are both veterinarian/surgical procedures and home care treatments to choose from, depending on the severity of the condition, your financial situation, and your pup’s age and condition.

For many owners, surgery is not the best course of action. Let’s find out why a non-surgical approach might be best for you and your dog.

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Keep Their Nails Trimmed

Many owners dont know this, but your dog walks on their toes or digits, called digitigrade walking. This means they need to feel the surface beneath their toes in order to provide feedback for their balance and prevent falls.

Keeping your dogs nails trimmed isnt only healthy paw care, but it allows them to maintain their natural gait and smooth walking, which assists in their balance.

Ignoring your dogs foot health, especially when they have hip problems, can create a multitude of additional health and joint pain down the road. When their nails are too long, they may change their gait which can cause skeletal changes and aggravate arthritis in their feet and toes .

Dont let overgrown nails cause your dog pain!

You can trim their nails at home or ask your vets off to trim their nails. This is usually a small price and sometimes free with a regular visit.

And many dog groomers offer mobile services that cater specifically to older dogs or dogs with special care needs. Its not as expensive as you think and its free to call and ask the groomer for a quote.

Trust me, its better than keeping your dog in pain with overgrown nails.

Canine Hip Dysplasia: How To Tell

Our male gsd with hip dysplasia, what we notice the most.

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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What Exactly Is Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds

Hip Dysplasia is a joint condition frequently seen in large dogs such as the German Shepherd. It is seen in smaller dog breeds but not as often. It is caused by an improper fitting of the ball and hip socket. The result is a wearing down of the joint over time which leads to mobility issues down the road. Often times dogs must use a wheelchair to assists the back legs when walking. Supplements can help but in some cases, hip replacement surgeries are necessary.

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.

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Glucosamine For Dogs With Joint Disease

Large breed dog foods often contain joint supplements like glucosamine. If your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with arthritis, glucosamine will likely be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. They will most likely recommend a chewable supplement with a veterinarian-grade dose of glucosamine and chondroitin.

You can also purchase supplements with these ingredients for dogs that might be prone to developing arthritis and hip dysplasia down the line. Joint supplements are often used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of arthritis, as they are safe for long-term use in most patients. While research is still limited, these supplements may help reduce symptoms of hip dysplasia.

Double Or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy

4 Myths About the German Shepherd Dog

Most commonly performed in dogs under 10 months old, these hip surgeries involve cutting the pelvic bone in specific locations then rotating the segments in order to achieve improved functioning of the ball and socket joint. As with all surgeries, the cost of this treatment varies but for most dogs it will be in the range of $3,000 for both hips.

After surgery, your pup will require several weeks to recover before they’ll be able to enjoy regular leash walks again, and physical rehabilitation will likely be recommended in order for full mobility to return . Most dogs recover from DPO/TPO surgery within four to six weeks.

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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:

Work with your vet to create a treatment specific for your German Shepherd and the level of severity.

German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia Symptoms Treatments And More

If you have a German shepherd, youre well aware that theres plenty to love about these exceptional canines. Brilliant, beautiful, and affectionate, their naturally protective nature and fierce loyalty make them ideal companions for many. Theyre also incredibly obedient and a cinch to train. Is it any wonder theyre capable of everything from assisting the police to starring in films?

But unfortunately, German shepherds are also prone to a specific German shepherd hip dysplasiaa prevalent though no less painful skeletal complication that can affect your poochs gait, energy levels, and happiness.

Read on as we cover how to recognize if your German shepherd suffers from hip dysplasiaand the treatment options that are available.

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Canine Hip Dysplasia Surgery Cost & Associated Risks

A total hip replacement is a significant medical procedure for hip dysplasia however, this is an expensive operation.

The cost of surgery by a veterinarian to treat a dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia in the United States, is around $5,000 per hip. If the condition is affecting both hip joints, the procedure can cost over $10,000.

If you have pet insurance, your policy may cover this expense. However, many don’t, and for owners without insurance.

This medical bill is unfortunately, too high to consider it a viable option.

Suppose your dog is older or has underlying medical conditions. In that case, surgery can also be too risky.

Many owners decide to treat the condition with home remedies for hip dysplasia instead of putting their pup through a surgical procedure.

Choose A Certified Breeder

German Shepherd hip dysplasia?

One of the best things you can do to reduce the likelihood of adopting a German Shepherd that has hip dysplasia is choosing a certified breeder.

A certified breeder should have a detailed history of the dogs parents, so you can find out if theres any history of hip dysplasia.

More specifically, try to find a breeder that uses hip screening procedures, such as the screening that OFA and PennHip perform.

This basically just means that your breeder has submitted x-rays of the dogs it breeds to one of those organizations. OFA or PennHip then alerts breeders to any signs of hip dysplasia, and the dogs are taken out of the breeding pool.

And the result?

Your new puppy is that much less likely to carry any genes that will make him prone to developing German Shepherd hip dysplasia. Pretty snazzy!

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German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia: How Is It Diagnosed

VCA Animal Hospitals explains that sometimes hip dysplasia may be present in a GSD even though the dog isnt showing any symptoms. This doesnt mean that symptoms will never present themselves, but it could indicate that your dog has a milder case.

The first step in making a firm diagnosis is always going to be taking your dog in to see your canine veterinarian.

There are some situations where you may want to take your GSD in even if you dont see any symptoms of hip dysplasia yet.

If you have adopted a rescue GSD, or if you have purchased a puppy and the breeder didnt provide any health history or proof of testing for the parent dogs, you will want to see your veterinarian right away.

They will be able to perform diagnostic testing for various health issues in order to best prepare you for any future risks.

The gold standard for hip dysplasia diagnosis is X-rays of the hip area. This requires that your dog be put under general anesthesia.

Sometimes veterinarians can also diagnose the condition by palpation the hip joint area, but a radiograph will still be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Taking the proper steps to obtain a firm diagnosis is especially important if you have pet insurance and you plan to apply for reimbursement for the costs of treatment or surgery to correct hip dysplasia.

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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From Happy Pet Owners

  • My puppy thought it was fun to eat a sock so we had to take him here. Everyone was amazingly kind and I could tell they actually care about animals. They brought him to the back immediately for treatment and then afterwards explained to us what they did and what to expect. The doctor was wonderful and she seemed very knowledgeable. She answered any and all of our questions. Im comforted with knowing this type of care is available if I need their services again in the future.Jenjimin

Consider Taking Your Dog To Water Therapy:

Treatment For German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia

Even though German Shepherds may encounter hip pain and other joint-related issues as they age, it doesnt mean that they lose any of their energy!

German Shepherds are known for being young at heart and will keep their playful spirit throughout all of their lives.

One of the best ways that a German Shepherd can release pent-up aggression without causing any undue pressure on their hip joints is through swimming.

While swimming in the water, all the weight will be taken off the hip area, while allowing your German Shepherd to work out their muscles and get active.

More often than not, for German Shepherds suffering from hip dysplasia, most owners will take their dogs to a water rehabilitation clinic designed specifically for animals suffering from these types of joint issues.

However, if you have a pool or local swimming lake that is suitable for dogs, you could also choose to take your dog here.

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