Main banner image Why do dogs get hip dysplasia

Why do dogs get hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is hereditary and for responsible pet owners like us it can be a terrifying diagnosis to hear.  The sad fact is that hip dysplasia can happen to any size or breed of dog, however, it is especially common in larger dogs such as Labradors, Retrievers, German Shepherds, Great Dane and Saint Bernards to name a few.  

There are a few factors that can intensify this genetic predisposition:

Excessive growth rate – referred to as acromegaly in dogs which triggers the pituitary gland to overproduce somatotropin, a growth hormone (GH).  The increased secretion of somatotropin causes the abnormal overgrowth of bone and soft tissue.  A symptom could be arthritis where there is an inflammation of the joints.  Your vet will be able to diagnose this once they understand your dog’s medical history and if they are on any medications or supplements.

Different types of exercise - dogs love the great outdoors just as much as we do and some dogs love running as a form of exercise, however, not all dogs can tolerate this type of exercise.  So, if you notice any change in your dog’s behaviour make sure your vet is aware of all the different types of exercise to help them identify any potential problems which includes the type of surface your pet runs on i.e. road vs park 

Weight and nutrition - Your dog's diet has a huge impact on their health and happiness.  The wrong diet can lead to obesity and life-long health issues, so it is important that responsible pet owners like us are aware of the risk this poses to our dog’s health. 

So what is hip dysplasia, well it affects the 'ball and socket' joint in your dog’s hip, which normally fit together perfectly to enable easy movement.  When the ball and socket do not fit or develop properly and they rub and grind instead of sliding smoothly this results in deterioration over time and an eventual loss of function of the joint itself.  Glucosamine is often used to alleviate pain and joint wear caused by hip dysplasia and can often be found in dog food.  If your vet diagnosis your dog with arthritis, glucosamine will likely be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Our very own GudFur Hip and Joint products contain both glucosamine and chondroitin. Details of the benefits for each and others can be found in the ingredients section.  

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition and can drastically reduce your dog’s quality of life.  The good news is that by educating yourself about potential health conditions like hip dysplasia you can make a big difference in keeping your dog comfortable. There are treatment offers available, like surgery or a nonsurgical approach, which your vet will explore with you depending on your dog’s condition and your own personal circumstances.  This is when you should be discussing joint supplements and sharing as much detail as possible with your vet so that they can help you decide which ones to try or avoid.  
Dogs with hip dysplasia often lead long, full lives, especially with treatment and lifestyle changes, keeping them comfortable well into old age.

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