Hip Dysplasia In Dogs…
Is a condition affecting the hip joints causing discomfort and instability that can affect certain dogs at any age. Some breeds of dog, like German Shepherds, Labradors, rottweilers, St. Bernards and Old English Sheep dogs are more prone to the disease than other dog breeds.
Our German Shepherd, Roxy…
Has hip dysplasia and it’s not nice. We’ve always been aware that her hip joints weren’t perfect. She has walked with a sway for as long as I can remember and every now and again her back end would sort of give. It was nothing major back then, but she is affected big time now.
A couple of months back we noticed that her back end was unstable when getting up from lying down and she’d look like she was drunk, wobbling all over the place when trying to charge around the garden. Now she has never been the most agile of dogs, in fact it is safe to say she’s always been a bit on the clumsy side. Neither has she been very good at stopping when running and has run into walls and slid off the marble steps many a time, once bruising her shoulder so badly she needed medication for it.
Since Putting Her On Medication…
Her condition has improved and she is back to her old self again. We hadn’t thought she was in any pain with her hips, but since she’s been taking her tablets she’s trying to charge around after the little dogs again. It is funny as her hips aren’t too stable and she can’t maneuver tight bends, so she kind of lollops and staggers and the little dogs run circles round her.
She also has a bit of trouble negotiating the three steps into the garden, if she walks and takes it slowly she doesn’t have a problem, but she has yet to realize this herself.
Hip Dysplasia In Dogs…
Is unavoidable if your dog is genetically predisposed to the condition, but there are measures you can take to help keep it in check.
- Watch your dogs weight! You aren’t doing your dog any favours by over feeding it and the extra weight will only create more problems in a dog with hip dysplasia.
- Exercise your dog regularly, but not overly. Regular exercise will help keep your dogs body weight down and help build strong bones, muscles and joints, but over exercising your dog can cause problems, so find the right balance for your dog.
- Talk to your vet about giving your dog glucosamine with or without chondroitin if you suspect hip displasia in your dog. There are people swear that glucosamine and chondroitin are miracle supplements when it comes to joint pain and there are others who don’t, but it’s worth a try! We started Roxy a few months back (on the advice of our vet) although it didn’t prevent the onset of the condition, if it gives her relief and means a lesser dose of the strong tablets I’m happy to keep giving it to her.
The Cruelest Thing About Hip Dysplasia In Dogs Is…
It doesn’t only affect old dogs. Roxy is twelve and whilst that isn’t young, it isn’t old either. She is fit (apart from her hips) and healthy, she has energy and is bright and happy (not forgetting dozy), but I dread the day she can no longer get up off her bed or walk due to hip dysplasia.
She came close to having to be put down three years ago as her liver was failing, but with a change of diet and lots of TLC she came right, even though she seemed to have almost lost the will to live. It just seems wrong to face having to put her down because her of her hips.
Was bought up with German Shepherds (not Jungle book style, his Dad bred them) and has a soft spot for them and they really are beautiful and loyal dogs, it’s just a shame they can be prone to such a nasty condition.
Have you had a pet suffer with hip dysplasia? If so I’d like to hear your story.
© 2015, Debbie. All rights reserved.