Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dog Health - Orthopedic Disorders

The ‘pit bull’ is one of the dog types that sometimes experiences skeletal issues. Dogs that suffer with these types of problems often experience a lot of discomfort. Sometimes the issues are so severe dogs have trouble walking or getting into a comfortable position.

Hip dysplasia

Most likely dog owners are most familiar with this debilitating painful congenital disease. Lameness and painful arthritis often become a daily struggle with dogs suffering from this disorder. Due to a combination of genetic factors the hip joint is defected. The femur in a dysplastic hip doesn’t fit well in the too shallow socket. Due to this deformity the bone often slides out of its place causing a tremendous amount of pain. Some affected by this may have only mild stiffness where others suffer from severe crippling.

Usually by the time a dog reaches 18 months old the presence of this disorder will become obvious. Unfortunately for the sufferer there is no real cure. Surgery can sometimes ease the pain and in extreme cases a complete hip replacement much like that of a human can be performed. Although this procedure produces the highest success rate and typically restores mobility and prevents the issue from reoccurring it’s often quite expensive.

Genetic screening in potential breeders and other preventative methods give your dog a chance at beating the odds. You can help prevent issues by making sure you don’t over feed your dog. Keeping your ‘pit bull’ on the lean side until they’re about 2 years old can help develop bones capable of carrying their weight. Avoid over exercising before a young puppy’s bones and muscles have developed completely, especially with active ones as this may risk immature bone structure and the puppies resulting in them possibly not able to stand up to their weight.

Disclaimer – In no way am I claiming to be an expert on these topics. These are only informational articles written to help dog owners. It’s recommended that you always do your own research and consult with your veterinarian for more detailed information. (01-26-13)

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