Hip dysplasia is a poor formation of the hip joints, which is a common growing disease with younger dogs of virtually every breed. With larger breeds, unsteady hip joints are common, although hip dysplasia can be a serious problem that will limit the physical activity of your Golden. Although many Golden Retriever owners don’t realize it, hip dysplasia is something that dogs inherit from their parents, and gets worse with age.
|A Labrador Retriever standing with hind legs close together to compensate |
for weak hips caused by an altered gait from hip dysplasia.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia is nearly impossible to detect with Golden puppies, although it will start to show once the pup has reached the age of nine months. Even though you may take your Golden to the vet to have him looked at, your vet will tell you that you need to wait to see if the symptoms are there, once the Golden Retriever has reached a certain age.
The symptoms and signs of hip dysplasia vary, although the most common include crippling or the inability to walk properly. This disease can get better once the dog gets older though, due to the joints stabilizing, the inflammation going down, and the muscles in the hips getting stronger and more mature. Keep in mind however, that Golden’s who have hip dysplasia when they are younger will more than likely develop arthritis when they get older.
Golden Retrievers that suffer from hip dysplasia aren’t fit for breeding, although they can still live a long and healthy life. There are certain drugs that your vet can prescribe to your dog, which will help him control his weight and help control the disease. These drugs can also cut down on the pain as well, helping your Golden enjoy himself as much as possible.
Some Golden Retrievers that have hip dysplasia won’t begin to show any signs at all until they get a few years old, once the muscles start to wear down and the damage to the hip muscles start to become more noticeable. Although your dog may be active and healthy for most of his puppy years, dysplasia can slow everything down and make your dog look as if he is old and is suffering from the physical attributes of arthritis.
To eliminate the pain of hip dysplasia, there are surgery options available. Golden Retrievers have a high threshold for pain, and won’t normally show any signs of being in pain, even though you know they are. X-rays won’t show any signs of pain, although the limping or slow walking will tell you that your dog is hurting. Golden Retriever’s who have this disease won’t know it - which is why you should help as much as possible. If you do your part and help your dog seek relief - he will feel better than ever before - although he won’t let you know he hurt any at all.