7 Early Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

Malformation of the hip joint can cause hip dysplasia in young Great Danes. As the dog grows, the problem worsens, leading to severe pain and disability in dogs. The intensity of symptoms varies depending on a degree of inflammation, loosening, and degeneration of the joint. With early identification and effective treatment, your dog may lead an active and comfortable life.

Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

Hip dysplasia in Great Danes is a condition marked by the degeneration of the hip joint. It is a common skeletal disorder in Great Danes due to their rapid growth when they are young. The malformation of the joint prevents the femoral head from fitting into the joint socket. The joint remains unstable, is unable to function properly, and is subject to early degeneration.

The factors contributing to hip dysplasia in Great Danes range from genetics to repetitive strain injuries. In the case of a hereditary probe, it is not discernible in puppies less than 4-month old. Obesity, weight gain, lack of nutrition, poor muscles, and injuries may also result in this skeletal problem. If you are able to recognize the signs of hip dysplasia early on and take appropriate measures, your dog will have a life free from its adverse effects. Here are some important symptoms to diagnose the problem.

Decreased Activity Hints at Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

Due to pain and disability associated with hip dysplasia, your Great Dane may not be interested in playing, walking, or moving freely. You may notice a sudden decrease in his activity level, as the dog prefers to rest to avoid pain in the hip joint. His enthusiasm for evening walks will suddenly disappear. The active lifestyle may become sedentary. The Great Dane may refuse to obey your orders even if you try to motivate or force him to go on a walk. However, many owners fail to recognize the change due to hip dysplasia in Great Danes and attribute it to the natural aging process.

If you notice a lack of enthusiasm in your dog for activities, hip dysplasia may be one of the possible causes. So it is best to consult your vet immediately.

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Difficulty Rising May Be Due to Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

As the condition progresses, your dog finds it hard to stand up. He may take unusually more time to rise from a laid-down position. This sluggishness is to avoid pain in the joint. Such signs indicate a problem in the joints, particularly hip dysplasia. The problem exuberates when the surface is slick.

Consult with your vet as soon as you see any such sign of hip dysplasia in Great Danes. To help your dog, you may want to carpet the floor or place rugs. It helps prevent slip and fall while allowing your dog to have better traction.

 Hip Pain and Sensitivity

Hip dysplasia in Great Danes results in the breakdown of the cartilage in the hip joint. The cartilage is a rubbery substance positioned between the joint bones. It prevents friction between bones and acts as a shock absorber. However, when it is damaged, bones are exposed to each other and their friction may result in frequent joint inflammation. As a result, there is pain and discomfort in your dog’s hip joint and he tends to avoid you when you try to touch the area around his hip.

If your dog exhibits such behavior, you may consider an x-ray of his hip joint. In the initial stage, reports may indicate joint misalignment, and it may progress to significant bone degeneration later.

Unable To Climb Stairs or Refusing To Jump

If your dog is hesitant to climb stairs or jump down, he may have a problem in the hip joint. With the onset of hip dysplasia in Great Danes, the hip joint suffers from reduced mobility. Pain is common when the dog tries to force it to function. As a result, he avoids any activity, such as climbing stairs, which involves the movement of hind legs.

The symptoms are similar to arthritis in joints. Avoid forcing your dog to move his legs. If he refuses to jump or is unable to climb, consult with your vet about the possibility of hip dysplasia.

Bunny Hopping and Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

Is your dog lifting both hind legs simultaneously while walking or climbing? Is there any abnormal change in your dog’s gait? This could be due to hip dysplasia.

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Hip dysplasia in Great Danes is associated with the functional disability of the hip joint. When a dog tries to force his hind legs to move, it leads to pain in the hip. As a result, he resorts to bunny hopping or lifting legs like a rabbit to avoid pain. The behavior is more prominent as you make the dog to walk, climb or descend stairs, or run. Such a gait helps the dog to avoid weight on the affected hip joint and ease the pain.

Continuous Lameness Signals Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

Your dog with hip dysplasia is likely to exhibit persistent lameness in his hind legs. The skeletal problem makes the hip joint more vulnerable to wear and tear. As a result, the joint socket turns flattened while there is significant bone remodeling on the femoral head. Such changes make pain and inflammation intermittent while walking. Your dog may start limping to avoid hurting himself.

Other Common Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

  • Exercise intolerance
  • Sitting in a “frog” position
  • Hip pain worsening after workout
  • Muscular dystrophy around the hip
  • Unexplained aggressive behavior

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