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Canine Hip Dysplasia
is Hip Dysplasia?
Canine hip dysplasia
(CHD) is a genetic, painful, crippling disease that causes a dog's
hip to weaken, deteriorate, and become arthritic. It is a congenital
condition and is the leading cause of lameness occurring in the
rear legs of dogs. CHD is common in dogs, particularly in certain
large and giant breeds, although smaller dogs and cats can suffer
from the condition as well. Hip dysplasia is usually a genetically
transferred inherited trait. However, it can occur in dogs whose
parents do not have canine hip dysplasia.
Signs of Canine Hip Dysplasia
getting up from a lying or sitting position or in climbing stairs
- Moving both
rear legs together while walking
- A painful
reaction to extension of the rear legs
of pelvis after pushing on rump
- A stilted
gait or pelvic swing while walking
- An aversion
- A change
to walk, climb stairs, jump, or play
after strenuous exercise
of back to avoid extending the hips when standing
It is very important
to understand that the only way to accurately diagnose CHD is through
x-rays. The above symptoms may also be seen in dogs with normal
hips and affected dogs may display none of these symptoms at all.
dysplasia means "badly formed hip". In order to understand
this complex problem, it is first necessary to understand the anatomy
of the canine hip. This ball and socket joint consists of two basic
parts - the acetabulum and the femur. The femur, or thigh bone,
consists of the head (the ball) and the neck (the part of the femur
that joins the long shaft of the bone to the head). The acetabulum
forms the socket part of the joint and it is into this socket that
the head of the femur rests.
dogs there is a good fit between ball and socket. However, if ligaments
fail to hold the round knob at the head of the thighbone in place
in the hip socket the result is a loose, unstable joint, in which
the ball of the femur slides free of the hip socket. Swelling, fraying
and rupture of the round ligament follows. This laxity causes excessive
wear on the cartilage in the hip joint, eventually resulting in
Treatments for Hip Dysplasia
If you have
a pet with hip dysplasia, there is hope. There are many treatments.
However, you must be careful which treatments you use. Many treatments
can actually do more harm than good for your pet.
Upon a visit
to a veterinarian and a diagnosis of hip dysplasia, the first thing
recommended is often painkillers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs. While these do reduce pain, they do nothing to treat your
pet's actual disease. Furthermore,
they have very severe side effects ranging from liver and kidney
failure to gastrointestinal bleeding. In addition, new research
done on NSAIDs has shown that they can actually slow cartilage repair
and accelerate cartilage destruction.
In severe cases,
a vet may recommend surgery for your pet. However, surgery is a
very expensive and dramatic procedure. Your pet, while his or
her pain may be reduced, will never be able to play and jump like
they used to.
There is an
alternative to these dangerous painkillers and surgery, however.
More progressive veterinarians who are knowledgeable about recent
studies, clinical trials, and overwhelmingly positive patient response
will know that glucosamine is very beneficial in the treatment for hip
Glucosamine is an over-the-counter dietary supplement that has been
shown to be beneficial in the treatment of hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis,
and joint pain in both pets and humans. Glucosamine stimulates the
production of glycosaminoglycans (GAG's), important proteins found
in cartilage and proteoglycans, the water holding molecules that
make up the cartilage.
Used in the correct form and quality, glucosamine has been shown
to not only ease pain, but also aid in the rehabilitation of damaged cartilage.
Furthermore, glucosamine is safe to use and does not have any of
the side effects associated with NSAIDs.
How To Select A Glucosamine
Glucosamine products differ greatly. While one may work wonders
for your pet, another may do absolutely nothing. Your selection
of a glucosamine product should be based on four factors.
You must consider
the quality of glucosamine, method of delivery to body, additional
ingredients in the product, and of course price.
the higher quality of glucosamine you use, the greater the relief
to your pet will be. Many companies use medium grade glucosamine
so you must be careful to look for the highest quality. Pharmaceutical
quality glucosamine is the highest quality of glucosamine available. You should
only consider products that use glucosamine which is of pharmaceutical
method of delivery can make the difference between no pain relief
and complete pain relief. Most products produced after the breakthrough
news of the 1999 Lancet medical journal glucosamine study were rushed
to the market. In this haste, these companies did not take any time
to do tests on their product. They simply assumed pill form would
be the most effective. The latest research however, has shown that
glucosamine in liquid form is much more effective. In selecting
a glucosamine product, you should look for one that is liquid form.
to the effectiveness of the product is the other ingredients that
are included in the product. Glucosamine alone, for most people,
is not a cure all. To receive truly complete relief you need to
look for products that combine a number of arthritis fighting ingredients.
You should look for a product that besides glucosamine sulfate and
glucosamine HCL, also contains arthritis-fighting ingredients such
as chondroitin, boswellin, bromelain, omega 3 & 6, yucca, manganese
ascorbate, and vitamins A, C, and E.
For more information
on a pharmaceutical quality liquid glucosamine formula that contains
all of the above recommended ingredients and is highly beneficial in the treatment of canine hip dysplasia click
to The Pet Arthritis Resource Center