Dogs love to run and play, unfortunately, if your dog’s mobility becomes compromised, their entire quality of life can suffer. One of the most common causes of canine mobility impairment is hip dysplasia. Let’s take a look at what hip dysplasia is and what breeds are most at risk:
What Is Hip Dysplasia?
This is a genetic condition passed down from generations before where the hip is improperly formed. Over time, this condition can be aggravated by environmental factors such as injury, age, weight gain and more. If a dog develops hip dysplasia, they’ll experience painful joints, arthritis and impairment of mobility. While there are several treatments available for hip dysplasia, prevention is often the best course of action.
Prevention starts with awareness. Certain dogs are more likely to develop problems with hip dysplasia than others. Here are 10 breeds that are susceptible to hip dysplasia. If you own one of these types of dogs, you and your vet should work together to develop a lifelong strategy for mobility health.
1. German Shepherds
Large active dogs are at a higher risk for developing hip problems later in life. Many German Shepherds develop mobility issues as they enter their “second stage” of life, which starts around the age of seven.
Rottweilers with hip dysplasia often display an abnormal gait. If your Rottweiler starts to walk in an odd manner, with a limp or a directional lean, contact your vet. The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner you can find out if your Rottweiler has hip dysplasia and the sooner treatment can begin.
3. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are born with a high risk of hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, this risk only increases as they age.
4. Saint Bernard
As a general rule, the bigger the dog, the greater the risk of hip dysplasia. With Saint Bernards, you’ll want to carefully monitor their weight. Obesity can increase joint pain and mobility problems.
5. Labrador Retriever
Another large dog breed, labs also have a high risk for hip dysplasia. Left untreated, this can lead to muscle atrophy.
You’ll want to watch the Newfoundland carefully as they grow into adulthood. One advantage here is this breed often loves to swim, which is a great low-impact exercise.
7. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Another big dog with a love for water, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a breed to watch as they age. This is true for all large working dogs.
Not all dogs at risk for hip dysplasia are large dogs. Pugs also run a high risk of developing hip dysplasia. Typically, symptoms will show in younger dogs.
The Boxer is a medium-sized breed, often reaching 70 pounds, with a risk of mobility problems. Boxers can be affected by dysplasia at any age. Long-term problems can develop following an injury.
10. French Bulldog
Their small, uniquely shaped body and snout makes the French Bulldog susceptible to a variety of physical complications, including hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia has the potential to occur in any breed of dog. You’ll want to watch out for limping, lameness, aversion to touch and other signs that your dog is in pain.
By understanding which breeds have the highest risk for hip dysplasia, you’ll be able to implement proper exercise, diet, supplements and other preventative and reactive measures. With the right know-how, your dog will have an active, pain-free life!