Much like other large breeds, hip dysplasia is a disorder that can affect the ball and socket joint of the hind legs in some Chinese Foos. Mostly seen in the larger sized dogs of the breed, hip dysplasia in usually an inherited disorder that is passed on from generation to generation. It can also appear in dogs that grow too quickly or do not have managed meals. In this article, we’ll take a look at what hip dysplasia is, how it can be treated and how you can prevent it from developing in your Chinese Foo.
Dysplasia literally means abnormal, and when it is found in the hip area, it means that the ball and socket joint of the hips, or hind legs in dogs, or the ligaments that help keep these bones functioning normally, have developed abnormally, causing pain and difficulty walking or running. This disorder is often confused with arthritis, and while arthritis is sometimes a secondary problem in association with hip dysplasia, it is not the primary cause of the problem.
Usually seen in younger dogs, this disorder is usually genetic, passed down from one generation to the next. However, it can develop in dogs that are overfed or do not get enough exercise. When a young dog has to carry more weight than its growing body can support, this can put pressure on the joints, causing the ligaments that keep the joints together to be under strain. When these ligaments are stretched, the ball and socket do not rotate smoothly which leads to the pain problems associated with hip dysplasia.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia can include pain, stiffness or limping. In less severe cases, a dog may show stiffness when it gets up from a lying position or begins to run. This pain may be evident after an exercise session as well. In worse cases, a dog may favor a hind leg over another, or if the problem is present in both hips, difficulty in standing or pain when walking. The best way to diagnose this disorder is by taking an x-ray of the affected area.
Treatment of hip dysplasia will depend on how far the disorder has developed. In mild cases, the dog may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication and put on cage rest for a period of time. Other dogs may have to undergo surgery to relieve to problem. Surgery can range from concentrating on the muscle connecting the bones in the hip, removing the head of the femur bone, or inserting an artificial hip. Most dogs that undergo surgery for hip dysplasia go on to lead healthy and active lives.
Avoiding hip dysplasia can be as simple as buying a puppy from a responsible breeder. A good breeder will have done x-rays of the parents of the litter and be willing to show documentation that they have been cleared of inheriting this disorder. Still, some puppies will slip through the cracks. You can help prevent this disorder from developing in your Chinese Foo by managing your dog's food intake and making sure he gets plenty of exercise.