For many centuries since their domestication, dogs have been considered man’s best friend. Indeed, these furry creatures do not only bring us joy but also comfort us during times of pain. But what if your usually energetic furry friend suddenly becomes slower and a lot less hyper? What may be the problem? This article will help you find out more about what seems to be bothering your dog.
One of the most common conditions in large breed dogs is hip dysplasia. This is, however, not to say that smaller breeds of dogs do not have this condition — it is just more prominent in larger breeds of dogs because it’s more noticeable.
According to PetMD, hip dysplasia in dogs is a disease of the hip in which the ball and socket joint is malformed. This malformation means that the ball portion and its socket don’t properly meet one another, resulting in a joint that rubs and grinds instead of sliding smoothly.
But this is not the case for all dogs. Some dogs rarely display any outward symptoms of pain or discomfort that may be interpreted as a ‘help signal’ to us humans. Still, to some dogs, they only manifest external signs of limping and pain during the end stages of joint degeneration. In this case, you have to consider their ascendants. Does your furry friend’s mother or father suffer from this condition? There’s a high chance that your dog is too, because this condition is hereditary.
An increase in the rate of weight gain may be an indicator of hip dysplasia. This is due to your dog’s reduced inclination to play or to exercise because of the pain caused by moving. Consequently, your dog would also be prone to being groggy and thus will be sleeping more. Your dog may also get more irritable because of the physical strain he is experiencing. Another symptom of hip dysplasia is if your dog also seems to be a little too careful when changing positions. Your dog may also favor using one leg more than the other. You must be aware of these subtle (or obvious) changes in behavior in your dog to be able to maximize your chances of prolonging your dog’s life and improving his health.
There are many ways to manage this condition. There are vitamins and supplements which improve your dog’s hip and joint health. These usually contain ingredients such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Sulfate, Omega 3s, Vitamin E, Turmeric and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane). In the end stages of hip dysplasia, medical management may no longer be as effective. Surgeries can be performed on dogs if the condition is in its worst stage.
If you’re still unsure about what your dog’s condition really is, it is best to have him checked up by a veterinarian immediately. As the classic line of Benjamin Franklin goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It would be best for your furry friend to have his condition detected earlier than for him to go through the painful process of hip dysplasia.