Dogs, very much like humans, can suffer from a variety of similar illnesses across breeds. Large purebred dogs are the ones most susceptible to chronic health problems later in their lives; the average lifespan of a purebred dog is noticeably shorter than that of an average mixed breed. A very common health concern that often plagues the larger dogs is Hip Dysplasia. It is so prevalent that it is the most commonly studied debilitating illness in dogs. But what exactly is Hip Dysplasia and how does it affect these larger canines?
To be technically precise, Hip Dysplasia is an irregular formation of a dog’s hip socket, which can eventually lead to the arthritis mentioned earlier. Normally, the femur head (the round part) fits into the acetabulum (the socket). In dogs that suffer from Hip Dysplasia, the femur head is not securely or deeply held by the socket. Also, one or both of these body parts may be rough rather than smooth, causing friction upon movement. It is detected via x-ray testing. Unfortunately, there is no consummate cure, but this condition is very often a relatively mild debilitating health problem. The most common way to treat Hip Dysplasia is through medication to help with the inflammation caused. In more extreme cases, dogs can even receive hip transplants, not that different to humans.
In any case, while it’s sad to see our four legged friends in such pain in their twilight years, knowing what the cause is definitely helps to combat it.