Hip dysplasia is a disease of the joint that affects all types of dogs but is mainly found in large breed of dogs such as Labrador Retrievers. This disease is very similar to arthritis found in humans. Researchers have found that the disease is mostly genetic and can affect dogs at different stages of their lives.
Some dogs may begin to show signs or symptoms as puppies. But in some mild cases, it may appear as the dog become older. If it is left untreated, the dog may not be able to walk as the disease began to progress. Here are some signs for looking for to determine if your Labrador Retriever may be suffering from hip dysplasia.
- Pain after Running
Your Labrador Retriever may experience discomfort after running. They may no longer like to run and may start to walk with a limp after experiencing pain.
- Reluctance to Move
Your Labrador Retriever may be reluctance play or jump around. They prefer not to jump or run like normal dogs do.
- Stiffness Getting Up
Your Labrador Retriever may appear to be stiff getting up after laying down for a long period of time. Once they start to rise, they may experience pain in the hip area.
Getting a Diagnosis
If you think your Labrador Retriever may be experiencing any of the signs above, you should contact your local veterinarian for an evaluation. To make a diagnosis, he/she will normally perform a physical examination to evaluate if the joints are loose or not and to determine if your dog is experiencing pain during movement. In addition to the physical examination, they will also take x-rays of the hips area, which is one of the best ways to make a diagnosis.
Options for Treatment
Although there is not a cure for hip dysplasia, there are two options available for treatment once a diagnosis has been made. Those two treatment options are medication and surgery.
To help reducing pain, a veterinarian may prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug along with recommendations to change your Labrador Retriever’s diet to maintain a healthy weight size and start an exercise program. Many pet owners prefer this method because it is less costly than surgery.
In more severe cases of hip dysplasia, a veterinarian may recommend surgery instead of medication. There are several surgery options available such as a complete hip replacement, which are determine based on your Labrador Retriever’s age and size.
About the Author: Angela Quint is a full time ultrasound tech by day and a writer and blogger by night. You can usually find her trusty yellow lab, Sunshine, beneath her feet as she works!