You wince as you hear your vet tell you that your 2 year-old German Shepherd has hip dysplasia. You did nothing to cause it. The special x-ray he just got told you he was born with excessive laxity in his hip joints. You thought he was a little lazy because he didn't always want to follow you up the stairs or jump into the car. Sometimes, the morning after a big hike, he didn't even want to get up to go outside and then laid down to eat his breakfast. At times, he would snap his head around when you gave him butt scratches, but you thought that was because it tickled. And no matter how much your daughter tried to get him to stand on his hind legs for a treat, he just wouldn't do it. It isn't that he is lazy; it's because his hips hurt!
Even though his loosey-goosey hips could not be prevented, there is still plenty you can do to manage the onset and severity of hip joint arthritis that follows. And it’s pretty simple stuff like weight management and strengthening! After listening to Michelle Powers, DVM, DACVS, CCRT, DACVSMR educate you about hip dysplasia, your worst fears will be allayed and you'll feel empowered. Hip dysplasia is not a death sentence, just an unfortunate and very common orthopedic condition that needs lifelong management. You got this!
Click here to find Dr. Powers at MoVeS.
Click here for the Purina 14-Year Life Span Study in Dogs.
Click here for a study regarding obesity and your dogs quality of life.
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