One of the biggest hip problems Great Dane face is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a skeletal disease that affects mostly the large or giant breed dogs. It can also affect the small breed but rarely. Hip dysplasia is a situation where a dog’s hips are not properly formed or in other words, the malformation of joints. The hip joint functions as a ball and socket. Dogs that suffer from hip dysplasia have the ball and socket rub against each other, this causes friction which slowly wears the hip surface and results into inflammation of the surrounding tissues. The hip joint might lose its functionality at later stages if not treated.
What are the causes of Great Dane hip pain caused due to hip dysplasia?
There are many factors that lead to hip dysplasia and below are a few to start with;
Hip dysplasia is hereditary
Hip dysplasia is said to be common among the Great Dane because of its excessive growth when it is young.
Excessive weight may strain the joints simply leading to hip dysplasia. Consulting a veterinarian on the best diet for the current Great Dane to reduce weight helps prevent hi[ dysplasia.
Malnutrition is also a cause of hip dysplasia in Great Danes. It leads to poor formation and weak bones.
Signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia in Great Dane
Pain that leads to decreased range of motion
The Great Dane may start showing off discomfort when walking or exercising, this may be a symptom of hip dysplasia.
If the Great Danes have a difficulty in getting to their feet, then know it is time to visit the veterinarian. The stiffness starts at the back legs of the Great Dane. They also find it difficult to climb stairs, jump or run around.
Lameness is a huge sign of hip dysplasia. The Great Dane will start using a hoping motion to reduce the use of one of the affected leg.
The hind legs of the Great Dane will appear to have a muscle tone. This shows that hip dysplasia has already started to show its effects and it is time to start immediate treatment.
All the above signs and symptoms lead to decreased activity and a sad dog suffering from pain.
The treatment of hip dysplasia in Great Danes
- Taking the Great Dane to the veterinarian with the above mentioned signs and symptoms is already the first step of treatment. The veterinarian will first carry out a physical check up and test the flexibility of the joint. Later on, the vet will ask for a radiograph that will determine whether your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia and the degree of the disease.
- Weight management
Managing your Great Dane’s weight will prevent and help in the treatment of hip dysplasia. Less weight will reduce the stress and strain on the hips leading to less pain.
- Pain killers
The veterinarian will describe medication that will help to reduce pain. They are alright to use provided it is not long term usage.
- Physical therapy may also be required to help The Great Dane move better.
This is the last option or if the Great Dane is in the last stage of hip dysplasia. An expert surgeon will perform surgery according to the stage of the disease in your dog.
Hip dysplasia is treatable provided it is started early as the signs and symptoms are noticed.