Our Las Vegas Veterinarian Answers: What is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a hip joint that does not form normally. Both animals and humans can have it, and it is a genetic condition that is affected by environmental factors. Though anyone with a hip can get it, it is a condition most commonly associated with dogs, which appear to be more prone to the defect that other animals, including humans. It is especially common in the larger dog breeds. Because it is so common in dogs, it is one of the most studied canine health issues in veterinary science.
There are often no symptoms of hip dysplasia. You might not even know your dog has it until he or she is much older, and starts to limp from the pain of a malformed hip that has gradually been worn down over the years. When signs of hip dysplasia do occur, they are usually obvious, like limping on one side or one leg, reluctance to put weight on the affected leg, and a reluctance to walk at all because of the pain. Sometimes, dogs will just sit or lay in their beds or favorite spots without getting up for days at a time, they will whimper, and you may have to carry them outside to relieve themselves, and bring their food and water to them.
Cats can get hip dysplasia, too, but it is pretty rare in them. Female cats are more likely to get it than males, and large, big-boned cats are more likely to get it than smaller cats. It may be most common in Maine coon cats, where up to 18 percent of them are estimated to have hip dysplasia. It is treated the same way in cats as it is in dogs.
How is Hip Dysplasia Treated at Our Las Vegas Veterinary Hospital?
While there is no total cure for this condition, our Las Vegas veterinary hospital can do much to alleviate the symptoms and pain for your dog. Our treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs consists of pain medications as the first treatment in most dogs, usually in the form of steroids, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These can provide significant pain relief for pets with hip dysplasia, especially in the beginning, when symptoms are first noticed.
Many times, pain medication will be all the dog needs for a long time. It may even be all the dog ever needs. However, some dogs will experience gradual increasing degeneration of the hip joint as they get older. If this happens, pain medication alone may no longer be enough to keep them comfortable, and they will need surgery. Two types of surgery are performed to treat hip dysplasia in dogs. The first is a reshaping of the joint to reduce pain and increase movement. The second is a total hip replacement, much like the kind humans get.
What to Do Next
Contact us to make an appointment for your pet's initial exam, evaluation, and consultation with us. We know you will be glad you trusted your beloved furry family member's health to our caring, compassionate, and highly skilled professional veterinary team. Remember, we are not just a veterinarian in Las Vegas, we are also a veterinarian near Las Vegas, as we serve many of the communities in the surrounding area. We also have PennHIP certification, which means we are able to get the most accurate imaging of your pet's hip for diagnostic and surgical purposes.
Contact Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital in Las Vegas for More Information Today!
We look forward to meeting you and your pet, and to welcoming you to the Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital family. You can contact us at (702) 259-9200.