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Just like humans, canines can have problems with their hips. These problems can also become worse over the years. With any hip problems, you may notice that your dog may begin to move slower and have trouble getting up. No matter what hip problems your canine has, you need to understand that your dog is in pain and needs relief. The relief from the hip pain can either come from surgery or other alternative methods. These alternative methods may include supplements and other medications to help control the pain.

What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

When the ball joint and socket of the hip become worn, the bones can start rubbing together and cause pain. The ball joint and socket get replaced with prosthetics parts. The hip replacement surgery provides pain relief and allows your pet to get back to normal activities. A total hip replacement will give your dog the complete range of motion back.

What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

In the simplest terms, canine hip dysplasia is where the ball of the femur does not fit properly into the socket of the hip. The problem may not just be with the ball and socket but damage can occur to the cartilage and ligaments that support the hip too. 
Read: Hip Dysplasia in Dogs for more information.

How Does a Dog Develop Hip Dysplasia?

Canine hip dysplasia can occur because of genetics. Genetics is all in the breeding. If the breeder does not pay close attention to the health of the dog’s mother and father, those traits can be easily passed down to the offspring. This said some breeds are known for problems with their hips. To ensure your dog’s risk to hip problems is minimal, you need to research the breeder. A reputable breeder will not only have information on the parent’s health but will have all the puppies checked for potential health problems before adoption.

A dog is more susceptible to hip dysplasia because the size and weight. The larger and heavier the dog, the more stress the joints and ligaments need to withstand. That stress can cause the hip joint to not work properly and eventually damage the joint.

Why a Canine Needs a Hip Replacement 

Your dog will need hip replacement surgery when it has lost its mobility. Your dog may still have some mobility but not like when it was younger. As your dog ages, you need to watch for signs like:

  • Trouble getting up.
  • Having a hard time walking.
  • Whimpering in pain.
  • Does not want touched.
  • Stays in one spot.

If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet for treatment options.

When is it Time for Surgery

The decision when it is time to your dog to have hip surgery is dependent on you. You need to consider the well-being of your pet. Surgery can provide your dog with a better quality of life and remove the pain. The hip surgery gives your canine the mobility back and allows them to return to a more normal lifestyle.

You should consider surgery for your pet when:

  • You notice your dog’s pain getting worse.
  • Your dog can no longer get up or walk on its own.
  • Your dog develops a bunny hop while walking.
  • Your dog tries to pull away when someone goes to touch him or her.
  • The dog’s temperament changes for the worse. For example, the dog becomes snappy.
  • Your dog no longer wants to go for walks or play.

Alternatives to Hip Surgery

If canine hip surgery is not an option for you, you do have other alternatives. These alternatives include supplements for joints and hips, pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication. The alternative may not give your dog full mobility back but they will help make him or her more comfortable.

When it comes to the health of your dog, you will want to consult your vet before making any medical decisions. Our team at Longview Animal Hospital can work with you to create a treatment plan for your dog’s hip problems. You can discuss the financial impact that the surgery and alternative treatments will have on you. 

The most important thing for your dog is to eliminate or minimize any pain and get him or her moving again. Contact us with any questions about Hip Dysplasia and ways we can help your pet.