Hip Dysplasia occurs from damage created in joint malformation and strain, and is a painful condition for dogs and cats. Fortunately, though many pet parents allow their animals to live untreated, there are several methods of addressing hip dysplasia both medically and surgically. However one of the best ways to combat hip dysplasia is to prioritize preventative measures (such as providing the animal with a balanced diet) particularly if the breed is genetically predisposed toward this disease.
Treatments For Hip Dysplasia
Medical treatments: Both oral and injectable medications have been used to lessen the effects of hip dysplasia, such as anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce pain, agitation and swelling in the joints. They are often prescription medications that require blood tests as these potent products can have serious side effects if incorrectly taken. Other pain management products include buffered aspirin, and corticosteroids.
*NOTE: Before administering a new kind of medication, be sure to discuss all possible short term and long term side effects. For those looking for a therapeutic way to treat arthritic pain, acupuncture and homeopathic medications are possible alternatives.
Surgical treatments: There are multitude of surgical options for animals who have dysplastic joints. These surgeries can be given based on the animal’s age, and the severity of the condition. Below are the primary kinds of surgery to correct hip dysplasia.
- Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis: This “early stages” method is a non-invasive surgery that helps reposition the pelvic bones, so that they will develop into a balanced joints, with equal weight-bearing capabilities. Essentially this surgery helps avoid the problem before it has time to do serious damage, therefore it is most successful if the condition is caught early on when the animals is less than 20 weeks old.
- Triple pelvic osteotomy: Meant to treat dogs younger than one year old, this surgery is most often used for animals whose hip dysplasia manifests in muscle and tissue looseness, rather than deeply damaged joints. It is a procedure that restructures the bones and realigning the femoral head. Pet owners should be warned that though this highly invasive surgery is effective, it is also an expensive procedure.
- Total hip replacement: For adult-aged/mature pets that have experienced severe damage to their joints due to chronic hip dysplasia, this surgery is perhaps the best option. By replacing the hip with an artificial (prosthetic) joint, the animal is able to enjoy increased mobility and little pain. The surgery is expensive, and does require a substantial recovery period for the dog.
Other surgeries (such as the femoral head and neck excision, and DARthroplasty) are available to help pets who may not be possible candidates for hip replacements or pelvic osteotomy.