First, we all need to understand what exactly, "dysplasia," is with relation to dog hips.
Hip dysplasia is the medical term for a hip socket that doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone. This allows the hip joint to become partially or completely dislocated. It is a common skeletal condition, often seen in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds as well. This condition brings rubbing and grinding within the joint, versus a smooth gliding motion. In most cases of dysplasia in dogs, discomfort and inflammation can become apparent. Over time, a dogs mobility can become dramatically affected and potentially resulting with a complete loss of joint function.
As with many things in life, "nature vs. nurture," does come into play. Some dog breeds have an unfortunate disadvantage with hereditary dysplasia in their genetic makeup. This is mostly seen with larger breeds, including: German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes and Saint Bernards.
The signs that your dog is experiencing this condition, can be quite apparent. At the first signs, we always recommend consulting with your veterinarian to map out an appropriate treatment plan. The American Kennel Club recognizes these below points as some common signs that your dog has hip or elbow dysplasia:
- Decreased activity
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs
- Lameness in the hind end
- Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait
- Grating in the joint during movement
- Loss of thigh muscle mass
- Noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end
- Noticeable discomfort
Some key factors dog parents need to be aware of in effort to avoid, or care for dysplasia are: your dogs growth rate, a healthy weight per breed, specific nutritional requirements per breed and appropriate exercise.
Joint supplements are used as an early intervention to aid, or slow down the symptoms of dysplasia, before they start, or before they progress. Legend Hip+Joint includes 500 mg of Glucosamine per chew in effort to revitalize the natural cushion within the joint. Other ingredients included, such as Green Lipped Mussel and MSM are used to curb inflammation and enhance your dogs natural ability to recover.
If your dog is prone to this condition, or if you are starting to see the symptoms develop, give Legend Hip+Joint a try today! Your dog will love you (even more) for it!