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Hip dysplasia in dogs

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Hip dysplasia is an arthritic disease associated with the hip joint and is characterized by pain and discomfort. Hip dysplasia is condition which affects certain breeds of dogs more commonly and thus has been shown to be a genetically inherited condition. These breeds include rottweilers, German shepherds, and golden retrievers. The pain associated with hip dysplasia can vary from mild to severe and debilitating. The symptoms of hip dysplasia can become evident even in younger dogs less than a year old. More commonly, symptoms are progressive and onset is in middle age to older dogs. Some of the symtoms inlcude: stiffness or pain when getting up after a period of rest, unusual stance or walking in an abnormal manner(ie "bunny hopping"), and avoiding stair-climbing or jumping.

If you suspect that your dog has hip dysplasia, the first step is a visit to the veterinarian. The veterinarian may suggest diagnostic procedures such as X-rays, which would help visualize the hip joint. An abnormal contour or appearance associated with the hip joint would support the diagnosis of hip dysplasia.

Current treatments for hip dysplasia vary from medical treatment with drugs to extensive surgical procedures such as triple pelvic osteotomy and total hip replacement. Drug treatments available today include a few relatively new and highly effective drugs classified as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs). Two of the most popular drugs are Rimadyl(PFIZER) and Eto-Gesic (Fort Dodge). These drugs will not reverse the condition, but rather control the pain and inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. Also, many veterinarians are advocating the use of nutritional supplements for joints which contain glucosamine. These supplements have been shown to help reduce the severity of the arthritis and improve the joint integrity by providing the basic building blocks required for joint healing. Joint MAX is one of our top supplements providing both glucosamine and chondroitin in one tablet. It also contains zinc, Vitamin C, and N-acetyl-cysteine for added joint support. No prescription is needed.

Weight control is important as well in preventing developement and in treatment of hip dysplasia. It is advised that you keep your pet in lean body condition. Overfeeding should be avoided.

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