Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects the ball-and-socket joint that makes up the hip. The disease is relatively common; in fact, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) was founded with the initial goal of reducing hip dysplasia incidents in canines.
For optimal hip function, the ball will have to fit snugly into the hip socket. In canines with hip dysplasia, the abnormal development of the hip results in a cavity that doesn’t cover the ball of the upper thigh bone. This abnormality causes the cartilage in the joint to degenerate, resulting in pain and later development of arthritis.
Dogs suffering from hip dysplasia may have difficulty getting up and lying down. They may also have trouble performing typical canine actions such as going up stairs, jumping onto furniture, or even running or walking.
Hip dysplasia is preventable by maintaining the dog’s ideal weight. Treatment options include physical therapy, pain medication, surgical hip replacement, and stem cell therapy.