Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a congenital condition and is the leading cause of lameness in the rear legs of dogs. It is very common in certain large and giant breed of dogs. The condition develops due to several factors, which are rapid growth rate, weight and poor nutrition.
Dogs are not born with CHD, they develop this condition as they grow older, however, it is sometimes seen in younger dogs as well, but most common in older dogs.
CHD develops when loose ligaments fail to hold the round knob at the head of the thighbone in place in the hip socket. The result is a loose, unstable joint, in which the ball of the femur slides free of the hip socket. This causes wear on the cartilage in the hip joint, and over time resulting in arthritis.
In most cases, canine hip dysplasia affects both hips. When looking at your dog from behind, he may appear to be stilted or a possible pelvic swing, being most noticeably on the side of the hip that is most effected. When your dog tries to run, it may look like he is hopping.
You may also notice when your dog stands he may hunch his back, and he does this to avoid extending the hips. You may also notice when he rises that he appears to be stiff.
Exercise causes your dog to be uncomfortable, and the stiffness get worse over time. Extension of the hip causes mild to moderate discomfort. This is a result of the muscles of the hind leg are small due to underdevelopment.
Treatment for canine hip dyslplasia can vary from just easing the symptoms by using pain relievers and prescription drugs, which both have long term harmful side effects. A weight reduction program and exercise, to painful hip-replacement surgery, which is effective, however is expensive and painful for your dog.
There are also other non-traditional forms of treatment that involve all natural products that a lot of pet owners are switching to. The natural treatments are not only cost effective, they are also better for your dog's over all health, and your dog will not experience any harmful and painful side effects.