Hereditary and congenital diseases - Hip Dysplasia
There are many different types of hereditary diseases. Some are dominant. Others are recessive. Some, interestingly enough, may only appear if the environmental conditions are right. The most prevalent types include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, heart disease and von Willebrandt’s disease.
Hip Dysplasia first came to notice during World War II. This is a potentially crippling disease. It is the better known of the hereditary problems. It is a common causal factor in dog arthritis. Hip dysplasia is the abnormal development of the hip joint, hence the name. It is a genetic disease. You cannot cause it. You cannot prevent it through good diet. You can make it worse, however, through lack of exercise and improper diet.
Hip dysplasia is a two-phase disease. Two causal factors contribute to the pain a dog suffers with dysplasia. The first occurs early. It involves the stretching of the hip joint. It tears the soft tissue around the operative joint. As the scar tissue develops and the joint tightens with age, the pain of this phase eases. It reoccurs when osteoarthritis sets in, the result of damage to the cartilage and the now misshapen socket and ball.
Various breeds are more prone to suffer from hip dysplasia. These include German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards. Treatment can take the shape of surgery. In a young and developing pup, this involves twisting the socket and rotating the bone. In essence, the veterinarian is modifying the bone. In older dogs, a surgical procedure is called a triple pelvis osteotomy. In this operation, the Vet cuts the pelvis in 3 places. Vets may also perform a Femoral Head Ostectomy (FMO) in which he or she removes the entire affected joint. Another option is a total hip replacement (THR).
Not every dog can undergo an operation successfully. Vets select the animals on the basis of age, severity of subluxation, severity of osteoarthritis, size of the dog, strength of the muscles (particularly true for FMO) and the function of the dog. The vet may preclude some animals based on their age. Senior dogs face difficulties when it comes to surgical procedures.
Anesthesia is harder on an older dog. While they survive the operation, there are other issues. Senior canines heal more slowly than younger animals. They have a slow recovery time. There are other measures for your consideration. You can treat him or her with a combination of chemical and natural methods. These include weight and diet control, a moderate exercise program and anti-inflammatory drugs. Massage therapy can also be helpful.
Talk to your vet about the choices. Be realistic and listen to what is possible. Do not put your dog through any unnecessary suffering. Do not avoid the hard decisions, but do not jump to conclusions until you have explored all the options.