Hip dysplasia in golden retrievers is a disorder ranging in severity from mild to completely incapacitating. Active dogs, such as the golden retriever, are more susceptible to hip dysplasia than the smaller, less energetic breeds.
What Is Hip Dysplasia In Golden Retrievers?
Hip dysplasia is defined as abnormal development of the hip socket, which in the most severe cases can lead to painful arthritis or crippling lameness. The condition was diagnosed first in the 1930s.
The trait is polygenic meaning it is affected by factors in the environment during the production of the final phenotype. It is one of the most researched canine conditions by veterinarians. In addition, it is the most common cause of arthritis in dogs’ hips.
Hip dysplasia in canines may affect one or both sides. The condition is caused by a loose hip joint preventing the ball at from fitting into the hip socket tightly. This causes the ball to move in and out of the socket, which is a type of trauma. Inflammation caused by hip dysplasia can lead to further joint damage.
Since hip dysplasia prevents the hip joint from working properly, the golden retriever will most likely develop arthritis, which can worsen as the dog ages.
Treating Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia can be aggravated by obesity, excessive nutritional supplements and rapid growth. In addition, any extra stress on the dog’s joints during the developmental stages of his or her life from a lot of running and jumping on concrete or slick floors will make the condition worse.
The treatment that your veterinarian recommends for your golden retriever will depend on the severity of the symptoms. For the milder cases, moderate exercise, weight control and pain relievers will be prescribed to help keep the hip dysplasia under control.
In the more severe cases of hip dysplasia, your veterinarian may recommend corrective surgery to repair some damage. In the most serious cases, a Teflon hip replacement is used.
Dogs suffering from mild to moderate hip dysplasia are able to lead somewhat normal lives. Here are just a few ways to make your golden retriever with hip dysplasia more comfortable:
- Avoid adding strain and stress to your dog’s joints by feeding them a proper diet to maintain a healthy weight.
- Work with your veterinarian to prevent rapid spurts of growth by monitoring your dog’s weight and overall size.
- Keep your dog mobile and limber with moderate exercise.
- Ask your veterinarian to prescribe painkillers to improve your dog’s quality of life.
- Avoid extreme physical stress such as jarring and jumping, such as with catch or fetch. Stick to gentle activities like swimming and walks.
These should be easy activities, but be sure to check with your veterinarian before starting your golden on any new sports or activities.
Preventing Hip Dysplasia
Golden retrievers are prone to the development of hip dysplasia. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures, such as:
- Keeping you golden retriever at a healthy weight
- Ensuring your golden retriever gets proper exercise
- Massaging your dog properly
- Providing comfortable sleeping arrangements
- Asking your veterinarian about oral supplements
Hip dysplasia in a golden retriever can be a very serious thing especially when they get older. Learning how to deal with it and preventing it is a great way to make it more comfortable for you golden.
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