Dogs are very intelligent beings that manage to win the hearts of both adults and children. Dog owners always want to see their pets in perfect condition, although sometimes certain inconveniences can occur. Purebred dogs, especially large ones like the German Shepherd, can suffer from hip dysplasia.
There are cases where hip dysplasia can also occur in small breed dogs. This condition can cause some discomfort in dogs, and drastically decreases your pet’s quality of life. It is challenging for owners of dogs with hip dysplasia.
The experts give some recommendations that you can carry out so that your dog is cared for responsibly. Also, taking care of your dog will be essential to keep it healthy throughout its life. The more comfortable you keep your dog, the less likely he is to suffer from this condition.
All people who have dogs in their homes should know all the information about hip dysplasia to stay prevented. You need to know the symptoms of hip dysplasia and the most effective treatments to treat it. And then, you need to learn how you can prevent hip dysplasia.
As the owner of a but, you must take care that it is happy and healthy. When having a breed of dog in your home, you must be on the lookout and take it to the vet for its constant checkup to see if it is healthy. Your dog also needs to be active, so you will need to take him out into the open spaces so they can de-stress and play.
What’s A German Shepherd’s Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia can occur in Shepherd’s breed, as this is a skeletal condition that is often common. Although it can occur in small breeds, this condition mostly occurs in large breed dogs such as the German Shepherd.
As a German Shepherd owner, you must know how the hip joints work to understand what this condition is about. To give you an idea about how the hip joint works, the hip joint is ball-shaped and must remain within a socket.
When the ball and socket have not developed correctly or do not fit into each other, hip dysplasia occurs in the German Shepherd in any dog breed. When the ball and the cavity do not work as they should, they rub themselves, and while this process occurs, they are ground until wear out.
When the hip joint works well, the ball and socket should slide smoothly. Otherwise, wear and tear will occur over time, and the function of the joint will deteriorate.
Does A German Shepherd’s Hip Dysplasia Affect Its Life Span?
Dysplasia can be noticed in a German Shepherd from 4 months of age, while others, as they age, may have other conditions such as osteoarthritis. There are many symptoms that your dog may present with hip dysplasia. The symptoms turn out to be very annoying and serious, so your dog’s lifespan could deteriorate.
Due to hip dysplasia, you may notice the following symptoms in your dog:
- Little activity
- Limp on the back
- Swinging, or the so-called bunny jump
- Loss of muscle mass in the thigh area
- Increased pain
- Difficulty getting up
- Increased shoulder muscles
You must continuously take your German Shepherd to the vet for checkups to rule out hip dysplasia. When your vet performs a physical exam on your dog, you can immediately tell about his health.
The physical exam consists of examining your dog in the area of its hind legs, of seeing the state of its joints. In this way, the veterinarian will notice that your dog feels pain if you make some movements in the joints.
In addition to the physical exam, your dog may also have a blood test to see the complete blood status. Every time you take your dog to the vet, you should save the health history from supplementing this information with recent exam results. Through an X-ray, it can also be noticed if your dog has hip dysplasia.
Symptoms Of German Shepherd’s Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia in a German Shepherd can occur for many reasons. Among many reasons, the most common is usually genetics since it is hereditary among large dog breeds such as:
- The German Shepherd
- The labrador retriever
- The Great Dane
- Saint Bernard
Some of the other factors that can be a cause of hip dysplasia are:
- The weight
- The type of exercise
- The excessive growth rate
- Poor nutrition
When dogs are puppies, they mostly need to be fed a strict nutritional regimen. Each puppy, depending on his breed or size, will need exceptional food for him. If your German Shepherd as a puppy did not eat the food corresponding to his breed, he might have an overgrowth.
If a German Shepherd from puppyhood has not been well cared for, apart from dysplasia, he may have other joint conditions such as elbows. Too little exercise can also cause hip dysplasia in dogs, but excessive exercise will not be convenient.
Not know how to keep your German Shepherd healthy, you should go to a veterinarian for guidance and learn how to provide a healthy life for your dog.
How to Treat German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia
Your German Shepherd dog can lead a healthy life, but there are several treatment options if he is diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Some dogs will need to undergo surgery for their treatment of hip dysplasia. But if this condition does not become so severe, the vet may suggest other options:
- Physical therapy
- Weight reduction
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Supplements for joints
- Modifications of joint fluid
IF your German Shepherd needs surgery, several options can serve as a treatment for hip dysplasia:
- (THR) Total hip replacement
- (FHO) Ostectomy of the femoral head
- (DPO / TPO) Double or triple pelvic osteotomy
Double or triple pelvic osteotomy is a surgery that can mostly be performed on dogs that are less than ten months old. For both young and mature dogs, femoral head ostectomy may be helpful, while total hip replacement may be for young or older dogs.
If your dog develops hip dysplasia, you can opt for effective treatment to provide a better quality of life until his old age.