Canine Rehab for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia In Orlando
One of the most likely physical ailments for dogs to face is hip and elbow dysplasia. While it is common, that doesn’t mean this condition should be taken for granted or ignored – it can have a significantly negative impact on your dog’s overall health and well-being if left untreated.
The good news is this – there are many treatment options for elbow and hip dysplasia, and when given the necessary attention, this is a condition that can usually be managed effectively. Let’s take some time on this page to take a closer look at what this condition is, why it happens, and how you may want to approach it as a dog owner.
What is Hip and Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs?
Perhaps the easiest way to understand dysplasia is to think about it as an uneven fit within a joint. The hip and elbow are both joints that allow your dog to move his or her legs, and when those joints develop properly, they move smoothly with no difficulty. However, those joints don’t always develop correctly, and when something is uneven, that joint can’t function as it should be the dog will have difficulty moving freely.
This condition is one that is likely to gradually get worse over time with the development of arthritis and other associated problems. Pain may increase along the way, in addition to stiffness that can make it hard for your dog to move as he or she once did. While it’s can’t be prevented entirely, dysplasia can be managed by paying attention to the symptoms and seeking out appropriate treatment options.
Potential Causes of this Condition
Genetics is the leading cause of dysplasia. There are certain breeds of dogs that are more likely to deal with this condition than others, simply because of their genetics (more on that later). However, while genetics do play a major role in this equation, they are not the only factor that need to be considered.
Another potential issue is nutrition problems. Specifically, if a dog gains weight too quickly due to an improper diet, that dog can place undue stress on its joints and wind up with dysplasia problems. Gaining weight at a slower, more appropriate rate for the breed will help reduce the chances of dysplasia. Basically, with slower weight gain, the joints will have more time to develop without needing to deal with the added stress of extra weight that can lead to problems in these important joints.
Also, not providing your dog with the right amount of physical activity could have an impact. Interestingly, it can go in both directions – either too much activity or not enough can both be problematic. With too much physical activity, those developing joints may become damaged and not form as they should. Or, without enough exercise, muscle development might be lacking and the joints won’t have the support they require to function well for years to come.
Is Your Dog Dealing with Elbow or Hip Dysplasia?
It’s always a good idea for pet owners to monitor the health of their animals to spot signs of trouble that can then be investigated further by a trained veterinarian. Fortunately, there are plenty of notable symptoms that dysplasia may be an issue your dog is facing.
It’s the activity level of the dog, and the dog’s range of motion, that should be your primary focus. Does the dog struggle to get around freely without signs of pain or restriction? Hesitation when faced with an opportunity to jump is one common indication that dysplasia may be present. Also, when given the opportunity to run freely, your dog may not want to run – or may run much slower than previously – when this condition is a problem.
Commonly Affected Breeds
There are many breeds of dogs that are commonly affected by this condition, and they tend to be the larger breeds in most cases. Owners of big dogs like Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Saint Bernards, and Great Danes should all pay particular attention to how their pets are moving to watch for signs of dysplasia.
If you have a puppy that belongs to one of these breeds, it’s important to get off to a good start in terms of nutrition and exercise to limit the chances that dysplasia becomes a problem later on. Talk to your vet about how you can approach nutrition and activity levels in a way that will give your pet the best possible chance at a healthy future.
How Elbow and Hip Dysplasia are Treated
There are many different treatment options possible when dysplasia has been diagnosed. Ideally, you’ll be able to stay away from more invasive options and help your dog remain healthy, active, and comfortable with an assortment of rehabilitation treatments, along with possible supplements or medications. Happy Paws has worked with countless dogs dealing with dysplasia problems and we’ll be happy to offer our knowledge and expertise to your situation.
There are surgical options available in most cases if dogs are not responding well to treatment options. Of course, you’ll need to discuss these possibilities with your vet to decide on the best course of action if surgery is considered a necessary step.
Choose Happy Paws for Help
The care and attention that we provide to each of the dogs trusted with our rebab treatment is what sets us apart and makes Happy Paws a great pick for the Orlando-area dog owner. We understand how important your dog is to you, as we feel the same way about our own pets. Reach out today to learn more about treatment options and to schedule your first appointment. It would be an honor to serve you!