If you are a dog breeder, make sure that your dogs are certified to be free of hip dysplasia before breeding. Special examinations and x-rays are performed by a veterinarian who is certified by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals.
There are many details associated with OFA certification, you will need to make sure that your veterinarian is OFA certified. Your regular veterinarian can certainly perform an evaluation and hip dysplasia x-rays, but this is not the same as an OFA certification.
Weight reduction and diet are the most important elements of treatment because they are also elements that can help with prevention. Studies show that puppies who are fed meals instead of being fed free choice are less likely to suffer from hip dysplasia.
Diets that are low-calorie are ideal for overweight dogs, and if you have a large breed puppy, it is best to feed him a diet that is labeled for large breed puppies.
Exercise can help keep your dog from gaining excess body weight, but it is important to avoid high impact exercises such as sprinting and jumping. Hard surfaces can also increase stress on your dog’s joints. Physical therapy can help prevent joints from becoming too stiff, and deep tissue massage can alleviate inflammation and muscle pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often recommended to help with inflammation and joint pain. Many joint supplements contain glycosaminoglycan ingredients that have a protective effect on joint cartilage and can also alleviate inflammation. Veterinarians may also prescribe other pain medications depending on how your dog responds to initial therapy, and CBD oil may also provide comfort for dogs with hip dysplasia.
If medical management does not help your dog’s joint pain or lameness, surgical intervention may be necessary. Depending on your dog’s body size and the severity of his hip dysplasia, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend a femoral head ostectomy (FHO) or total hip replacement (THR).
By removing the femoral head, a pseudo-joint is formed and the painful grinding of bone on bone is eliminated. However, FHOs are typically recommended for small breed dogs and are not ideal for large breed dogs.
THR surgery involves the formation of a new joint by installing surgical plates and screws. However, even surgery is not a 100% fix because arthritis will still occur. Therefore, surgery is typically a last resort for treatment.
If hip dysplasia is detected early, surgical techniques such as a double/triple pelvic osteotomy or a juvenile pelvic epiphysiodesis (JPS) can be elected. These surgeries will change how the acetabulum connects with or covers the femoral head, but they may not be very effective if they are performed in puppies greater than four months of age.