Hüftgelenks-dysplasie (HD) beim Hund

Hip dysplasia (HD) in dogs

Dr. Schlotterbeck

Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic disease that primarily affects large breeds. In this article we will explain the causes, occurrence, symptoms, treatment options and prognoses in connection with hip dysplasia in dogs.  

What is hip dysplasia?  

Hip dysplasia is a multifactorial disease in which genetics, environmental factors and diet play a role. It is a maldevelopment of the hip joint that leads to degenerative changes (changes to a tissue or organ due to wear and tear, misalignment, wear and tear, aging or long-term damage) and, unfortunately, is often associated with severe pain for the dog.  

Causes of hip dysplasia in dogs  

Genetic factors play a crucial role in the development of HD. Insufficient maturation of the hip joint means that the joint head does not lie properly in the joint socket to varying degrees. Strong HD can cause the head of the femur to dislocate, i.e. pop out, from the hip socket. In addition, as the condition progresses, the cartilage of the hip socket and femoral head rub against each other unnaturally, which, if left untreated, leads to cartilage damage and loss. The natural shock absorber function of the cartilage is reduced, which changes the underlying bone and can lead to hip joint osteoarthritis (coxarthrosis) and other bone growths.  

Which dogs are most affected by hip dysplasia?  

HD is more common in large breeds, but can also affect smaller breeds. Prevalence varies depending on breed and environmental conditions. All breeds are affected, with large breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers and Rottweilers developing the disease particularly frequently.  

How do you determine if your dog has hip dysplasia?  

Symptoms range from a rocking gait, frequent sitting down and resting, mild lameness and reluctance to move to severe pain and limited mobility. Dogs with HD often show difficulty getting up and climbing stairs. Frequent panting can also be an indication of severe pain, as can wheezing, smacking your lips, or frequent yawning. As the disease progresses, the muscles of the hind legs weaken and atrophy.  

Diagnosis of hip dysplasia in dogs  

Diagnosis is based on typical clinical symptoms, palpation by the veterinarian and imaging techniques such as x-rays. The status of the hip is assessed using the Norberg angle, which is measured in the x-ray using certain lines and points and provides information about the severity of the HD.  

How can hip dysplasia in dogs be treated?  

The therapy aims to relieve pain and improve mobility. Conservative measures include weight control, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications and supplements designed to support joint cartilage. In advanced cases, surgical intervention may be required.  

Femoral head resection is often performed in small to medium-sized dogs weighing up to 20 kg with hgr. HD is performed in which the femoral head is separated from the thigh. The body then forms a connective tissue connection between the pelvis and thigh bone, which reduces or eliminates pain and thereby greatly improves the quality of life.  

The total hip endoprosthesis replaces the hip joint with a prosthesis in large and, if possible, young dogs in which osteoarthritis has not yet developed, whereby the joint socket and the femoral head are removed and replaced with implants.  

With DPD (double pelvic osteotomy), stability is adequately supported by a “surgical rotation” of the femoral head by deepening the socket. Ideally, the head of the femur slides deep into the socket, making the joint stable again.  

Prognosis of hip dysplasia in dogs  

The prognosis depends on the severity of the disease, the time of diagnosis and the effectiveness of therapy. Early intervention and comprehensive treatment can improve the dog's quality of life.  

Hip dysplasia is a complex disease that requires a holistic approach. Accurate and early diagnosis, adapted therapy and regular monitoring are crucial for successfully managing this disease in dogs. Advances in genetics will enable preventive measures to be taken in the future to reduce the prevalence of HD; the costs depend heavily on the therapy or operation.