I have had many people, clients and non-clients, ask me about dogs that get hip dysplasia. They want to get a dog, but are afraid that they may have problems in the future with this degenerative disease. After all, it is pretty commonly talked about, and it is a genuine concern.
I tell them that there are many factors that contribute to a dog getting or not getting hip dysplasia. While there are certain breeds that are more susceptible to getting the disease, I give them my advice to help prevent their dog getting the disease in the first place. I do give them a short list of those breeds that may be more susceptible to getting it, but I also warn that any dog can get this disease, and I don’t want them to instantly rule out getting a particular breed if they really have their hearts set on it. There are ways to help prevent hip dysplasia.
The short list of breeds that I give them is:
•Pembroke Welsh Corgis
There are others as well, but these are some of the more common. Large and giant breeds tend to be more susceptible, but again, any dog can get it. Hip Dysplasia is a genetic disease, so make sure that any dog you get is from a reputable breeder, and the dog comes from a good breeding background.
Some of the best preventative tips for keeping the disease from developing are easy to do, but you need to be dedicated to doing them.
• Choose a dog from a good, healthy genetic stock
• Keep the weight off! Overweight dogs will be more likely to develop the disease
• Moderate exercise is the key. Not only will this keep the weight off, but the exercise will keep a healthy blood flow going to the hips, it will strengthen the muscles, and keep the joints strong. Do not have the dog perform exercises or activities that will put a lot of stress on the joints.
• Give your dog low-mineral meals
• Do not give calcium supplements, especially during growth
• Give your dog a soft place to lay and sleep. Hard floors and concrete are bad for the hips. I know dogs love to lay on these surfaces because it is cooler.
• Do not let your dog jump in and out of your vehicle. Lift them or use a ramp. I have been using my ramp for my dog Storm for 7 years.
• Warm up your dog’s muscles before work, play, or competition. Walk your dog for about 15 minutes prior to these activities, and stretch their muscles.
• Did I say moderate exercise already? Walking your dog daily is so important that I cannot stress this enough.
These are all very important tips, and they really are not hard to do. The little bit of extra work should result in a healthy dog well into their senior years. Of course, there are many factors that play a part in your dog’s health over the years, but if you follow these tips, you can at least rule out any problems that may be caused by the above mentioned items.
Your dog is your best freind. Treat them like you want them around for a long time, and it just may happen.