Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint, usually beginning with a subluxation of the femoral head in the acetabular cavity. This leads to premature wear and tear of the joint, and if left unattended, can evolve to progressive degenerative joint disease. This condition can cause hip and leg pain, stiffness, lameness, reluctance to rise, abnormal gait, ‘bunny hopping’, and muscle atrophy.Secondary symptoms may include Sciatic Neuralgia, sacroiliac joint pain, facet syndrome, and spinal subluxations. Though predominantly found in larger breeds, hip dysplasia can be seen in any breed at any age.
The standard diagnostic technique is x-ray, which is critical for visualizing osseous wear and tear. The causes of this condition may include genetic, environmental, and/or nutritional components. Treatment may include weight control and gentle exercise such as long walks to stimulate cartilage growth and help prevent muscle atrophy. Depending on the severity of this condition, medication may be indicated to control pain and reduce inflammation, and in some cases, surgical intervention is an option to modify, repair, or replace the joint. Remember that these pups may often benefit from chiropractic management in the neighboring joints and spine to stimulate the nervous system and boost immunity! Have a comment? Join the conversation!