Hip dysplasia is associated with abnormal joint structure of the hips ball and socket joint. This leads to laxity (looseness) of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that would normally support the joint, and causes subluxation (partial dislocation) in the hip joint. This then creates abnormal wear and erosion of the joint and as a result arthritis and pain can develop.
Hip dysplasia can effect one or both hips. It is predominately found in larger breeds, it is a developmental and genetic disease, but other factors such as the growth rate of a puppy, nutrition and over exercise can lead to increased susceptibility.
Dogs which suffer from this condition are born with normal hips, but due to their genetics the soft tissues that surround the joint develop abnormally causing the subluxation, and the re-modeling of the hip joint.
The symptoms they will generally display would be walking or running with an altered gait, they may begin to show stiffness and pain in their rear legs after exercise or first thing in the morning. They may begin to limp or show lameness and have difficulty climbing stairs. The dog will then begin to compensate for the instability in the joint, and abnormal weight bearing will begin, there will be a reduction in the range of movement in the hip and the dog will begin to experience pain.
As the condition progresses this can lead to the destruction of cartilage, bone re-modeling due to the production of osteophytes, formation of fibrous tissue and scaring within the joint capsule. This can then lead to degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis.
How Canine Myotherapy helps Hip Dysplasia
Canine Myotherapy can provide rehabilitation following surgery and also plays an extremely valuable role in pre-surgical conditioning – preparing muscles prior to surgery as well as treating compensatory and loading issues the dog may have developed in response to the instability of their hip joint or joints.
The ability of myotherapy to rebalance the dog’s muscular system makes it a highly effective treatment in the easing of compensatory issues; treatment should be viewed as part of a long term management plan, leading to an overall reduction in stiffness and inflammation around the hip joint, a strengthening of the stabilising musculature of the joint and increased mobility leading to an improved gait.