Hip issues can affect dogs of any size and any breed. Moreover, hip-related issues may appear at any time in a dog’s life.
As a general rule, hip issues in dogs tend to occur when dogs are in their mature and older years.
Seniors are usually living under some hip-related pain.
From osteoarthritis to hip dysplasia, hip problems are present in a variety of breeds, making hip issues a real deal for millions of dog owners globally.
How serious are hip-related issues? This can affect the dog’s overall health and his ability to perform everyday tasks will be lower.
For example, expected activities, such as running, jumping, and even walking (in some cases even standing) are made painful. However, this specific condition doesn’t have to take over your dog’s life.
With proper therapy and management, dogs can still have a healthy, happy, and active life. Simply said, dogs can still continue doing all the things they love best.
Before you plan everything and see which therapy may work for your dog the best, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian and follow the given instructions – this is the only way to know exactly your dog’s conditions.
First, let’s elaborate further what are the two most common types of hip problems and see which dog breeds are known for hip problems and how you can help them have a more stable and meaningful life.
Two Types of Hip Problems
You may have heard of hip dysplasia, but are you familiar with the term osteoarthritis? In dogs, osteoarthritis stands for the most common form of arthritis for dogs.
Its commonly found in older dogs because they suffer from tears on joints, but dogs of all ages can experience this condition, especially if the breed is prone to joint problems.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that affects about 20% of dogs.
Osteoarthritis is also affected by the breakdown of cartilage that cushions bones in joints. As you may know already, without cartilage, the bones rub and grind together.
As result, movement may become more challenging, difficult in many areas, and you can expect joint inflammation that will lead to severe pain over time.
On the other hand hip dysplasia is a specific condition where the two bones that make up the hip joint—the femur and the pelvis— don’t fit well together.
The reasons for this may vary, but the most common one may include a too shallow pocket or a malformed femoral head.
For some dogs, it’s both. Every body part needs to be perfectly aligned. Otherwise, without a perfect fit, the bones rub and catch on each other will eventually result in strong inflammation and pain with movement.
Hip dysplasia is most common in senior dogs, but in some cases, it may occur as an inherited condition that’s passed down the genes.
Some dogs may be identified with hip dysplasia before their first birthday.
Breeds Most at Risk
Hip dysplasia is common in large dogs, like the Great Dane. Large dog breeds are more prone to developing hip issues, although certain medium-sized breeds have also been found to be susceptible to this condition.
Why are large dog breeds more prone to this condition? Due to their genetics.
If you notice any unusual physical occurrence in your dog, such as difficulties running or even walking, make sure that you contact your veterinarian and schedule that appointment – hip issues can be identified only during a physical examination and X-rays performed by a vet.
In some cases, in extreme cases, hip surgery may be mandatory for long-term results.
Dog Breeds Known For Hip Problems
Here is the list of dog breeds that are prone to hip-related issues. Is your canine prone to hip issues? If so, make sure that you stay up to date with veterinarian checkups.
In the meantime provide proper nutrition, know how much you should feed your dog, provide regular exercise, and create a healthy and safe environment for your dog to thrive.
This ultimate winter dog is more than happy to help humans when they get lost in the snowy mountains on difficult hiking trails.
However, Saint Bernard dog owners know that this breed is prone to hip issues. In fact, this breed is known for two things: slobber and joint issues.
Saint Bernard is a large breed with a short lifespan of eight to ten years. Although they are prone to many health issues, hip dysplasia is at the top.
Have you ever meet a Saint Bernard puppy? If so, you know that Saint Bernard puppies are large. They do a lot of growing in their first few months and growing too fast often leads to malformed hip joints.
Basset Hound is a short-legged dog know for his sad face expression and long ears. Often seen in movies and cartoons, this breed is one of the most popular dog breeds alive.
You may know that Basset Hound is great at searching other animals, but did you know that this breed is extremely prone to spinal problems?
Intervertebral disc disease is often seen in adorable Basset Hound. This condition is reflected in extreme pain. This is the main reason why dogs will try to adjust their gait in an attempt to compensate for the pain.
As result, it puts strain on all other joints, and arthritis occurs.
American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier is a breed known for its endurance, physical strength, and overall fearless attitude. Little is known, but this breed is prone to arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Although they can live with these conditions, they still need great support and help to have a normal life as possible.
This breed thrives on regular exercise and is always classified as an active breed, which is why you should provide enough exercise from day one.
Important: this breed isn’t to be mistaken with other ‘pit bull-type’ – they love to be active, to run, jump, and play.
Overall, the American Staffordshire Terrier is prone to performing physically demanding tasks that are often described as high-impact movements which put an extra burden on their joints.
Did you know that Rottweiler is among the top ten dog breeds that are most popular in the States?
Considering the breed’s traits this doesn’t come as a big surprise – they are fiercely loyal, great watchdogs, and aren’t afraid to jump in time of need.
When trained well they are great with children and will never let any strangers come nearby house, without owners approaching it.
Not only that they are highly trainable and superb animlas, but they are also impressive to look at.
They are not afraid of testing their strength and pushing their boundaries, but hip dysplasia can force them to slow down.
In Rottweiler’s case, this condition is usually passed down from parents to puppies, which is why you should always choose to work with responsible breeders who will screen dogs for any kind of health-related issues before breeding.
German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd is something like the ultimate breed when it comes to best dog breeds in different categories.
They are highly trainable, huge people-lovers, and they are both excellent watch and guard dogs.
Often used in search and rescue, this breed easily exhales in helping people with disabilities, to protecting soldiers in war.
While extremely strong and active, this breed suffers from lameness due to orthopedic issues – this is common for German Shepherds.
The best way to avoid these issues is to keep with responsible breeding because irresponsible breeding has to lead to conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia becoming a regular occurrence.
The German Shepherd is a massive people-pleaser, which makes it difficult to tell when they are in pain.
Truth be told, they will act like everything is normal and in order, until one day you realize that your powerful German Shepherd is in tremendous pain – and one day the pain will become too much to handle for your fluffy protector.
If you notice your German Shepherd is slow to get up and has been unusually irritable lately, it may be time to schedule an x-ray to check for hip problems.
The Bottom Line
The only way to keep your dog as healhty as possible for the long run is to provide regular check-ups and monitor your dog for any unusual movements.
Luckily, no matter how severe a condition might be, there is always an option for treatment.
Some treatment options may include reducing weight, providing more exercise, while some severe cases may ask for surgery or a total hip replacement.
Make sure that you do your best to provide proper nutrition, regular exercise, and regular veterinarian check-ups.