Hello, my name is Catherine. I have long loved animals and have had several of my own over the years. Sadly, I saw two of my cats suffer with feline cancer, one of my dogs had arthritis, and, of course, we faced the usual calamities and injuries pets often face. However, I have had to navigate this on a relatively restricted budget, and through the years, I have gotten quite proficient at that. I work at a library and love doing research on pets and veterinary care as well as a range of other topics. I also love to write so decided to put my info in a blog. Please, explore and enjoy!
Hip dysplasia is a common problem among certain dog breeds, and it often requires surgical intervention if your pooch is to go on living a happy life. Hip dysplasia occurs when the ligaments and soft tissues that stabilize the hip joint become loose during the first few weeks of life. This deforms the hip joint, which will result in significant pain and eventual immobility as the dog ages.
If vet surgery and physical therapy are to be successful, you need to bring your dog to a vet as soon as possible. With that in mind, here are five common signs of canine hip dysplasia to watch out for.
1. Difficulty Moving
Most dogs like to be on-the-go; even the more laid-back breeds will tend to have their energetic moments throughout the day. If your dog starts to suffer from hip dysplasia, they may show signs that movement is difficult. The back legs may appear stiff, and they may not be able to run as fast as they used to or jump as high.
A dog with early-stage hip dysplasia may continue showing enthusiasm for regular activity, even though their movements are slightly impaired. As the condition grows worse, they are likely to become lethargic, unwilling to go on their normal walks or play like they used to. You may notice a particular reluctance to stand on rear legs, jump, or climb stairs or hills.
3. Strange Gait
Dogs are relatively coordinated in their movements, but hip dysplasia can result in some very strange walking and running habits. Dogs suffering from hip dysplasia often start to move in a kind of bunny-hop, with legs moving together rather than moving alternatively. They may also shorten their stride.
4. Chewing, Biting, or Licking
Dogs often chew, bite, or lick when they are in pain or stressed. When part of their body is causing them pain, they may direct those actions to the affected areas. Hip dysplasia causes extremely sore rear leg joints, so you may notice your dog giving attention to these areas.
Finally, keep an eye out for any signs of weakness in the rear legs. Hip dysplasia will eventually see the thigh muscle wasting away, so you should be concerned if the rear legs don't look as strong as they used to. You may also notice your dog shifting its weight from one leg to the other while standing, and they may fall over or shudder when squatting to defecate or lifting a leg to urinate.