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Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia can happen to any size dog. This condition can drastically reduce a dog’s quality of life and is painful for owners to watch. The good news is that embracing the responsibilities of owning a large dog breed, and educating yourself about potential health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, can go a long way toward keeping your dog comfortable.Here is what all dog owners should know about hip dysplasia.

What Is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Canine hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition, more common in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

Many factors lead to the development of hip dysplasia in dogs, beginning with genetics. Hip dysplasia is hereditary and is especially common in large and giant breed dogs. Factors such as excessive growth rate, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition can magnify this genetic predisposition.

Dogs have special nutrition requirements and need food specially formulated for Dogs. These foods help prevent excessive growth, which can lead to skeletal disorders such as hip dysplasia, along with elbow dysplasia and other joint conditions. Slowing down these breeds’ growth allows their joints to develop without putting too much strain on them, helping to prevent problems down the line.

Improper nutrition can also influence a dog’s likelihood of developing hip dysplasia, as can too much exercise or too little.

Preventing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Not all cases of hip dysplasia can be prevented, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your dog’s risk of developing this disease.

Keeping your dog’s skeletal system healthy should start when your dog is young. Feeding your puppy an appropriate diet, especially if you have a large breed puppy, will give her a head start on healthy bone and joint development and help prevent the excessive growth that leads to the disease.

As your dog grows, providing her with appropriate levels of exercise and a healthy diet will prevent obesity, which is a major contributing factor to hip dysplasia.

Use joint supplements, suggested by expert, and you can also purchase additional supplements for dogs that might be prone to developing arthritis and hip dysplasia down the line. While the research on their effectiveness is limited, some veterinarians believe that these supplements may help reduce the symptoms of hip dysplasia.