Common Corgi Health Problems-Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of large and giant dog owners, but the truth is that hip dysplasia can happen to any dog size or breed. Hip dysplasia is a common bone disorder that can occur in smaller breeds, although it is common in large or giant breeds. One of the most common problems in corgis is hip dysplasia. The condition affects hip joint development and can lead to loss of joint function.

The hip joint is a “ball and socket”. The “ball” refers to the top of the thigh bone or femur, which fits into the “ball and socket” formed by the pelvis. If the fit between these bones loosens, and the ligaments that help hold them together loosen, the ball may partially slip out of its socket, known as a subluxation. Over time, this happens repeatedly, other degenerative changes occur in the joints, and your dog will become painful, lame and weak in the posterior end. Unfortunately, the disease is progressive. In other words, things will get worse over time. All owners should be knowledgeable about hip dysplasia in dogs, including symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures you can take to keep your dog healthy, happy, and active.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Corgi?

There are several factors that contribute to the development of hip dysplasia in dogs, starting with genetics. Hip dysplasia is hereditary and is particularly common in large dogs, such as Great Danes, St. Bernards, Labradors and German Shepherds, but some small and medium-sized breeds are not immune. Factors such as excessive growth rate, type of exercise, improper weight and nutritional imbalance can amplify this genetic predisposition. Hip dysplasia in corgis usually takes time to develop and show symptoms.

Some corgis have special nutritional needs and require a healthy diet under the guidance of a veterinarian. These foods help prevent overgrowth that could otherwise lead to bone diseases such as hip dysplasia, as well as elbow dysplasia and other joint diseases.

Poor nutrition also affects the likelihood of a corgi developing hip dysplasia, as does giving them  too much or too little exercise. Some people think corgis are cute when they’re fat and chubby, like slices of freshly baked toast. However, overfeeding can be very bad for the health of corgis. Obesity puts a lot of strain on their joints. Therefore, you should discuss with your veterinarian the optimal diet for your corgi as well as the appropriate amount of daily exercise to keep it in good physical condition.

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Some corgis start showing signs of hip dysplasia at a young age and develop osteoarthritis as they age. In both cases, there are a few symptoms that dog owners should be familiar with. These symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the disease, the level of inflammation, the degree of looseness in the joint, and how long the dog has suffered from hip dysplasia. If you notice any of these symptoms in your corgi, schedule a visit with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is eating correctly and getting the right amount of exercise. If the hip dysplasia is identified, it can be treated early.

①Decreased activity and range of motion

②Lameness in the hind end

③Stiffness or limping

④Difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs

⑤Swaying and feeling pain

⑥Loss of thigh muscle mass and change in walking style

⑦Grating in the joint during movement

⑧Noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end

Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia in Corgi

When your veterinarian gives your corgi a physical examination, the first thing they usually do is to manipulate the back legs of the corgi to test the loosening of the joints and check for wear, pain, or reduced range of motion. In addition, a blood test is performed because inflammation caused by joint disease can show up in a full blood count. X-rays are the most reliable way to diagnose developmental abnormalities of the hip joint. Your veterinarian will take X-rays of your corgi’s buttocks to determine the extent and severity of hip dysplasia based on the hip joint anastomosis, degree of dislocation, size, shape and configuration of the femoral head and neck. This will help determine the best treatment for your corgi.

Treating Hip Dysplasia in Corgi

The most common surgeries veterinarians use to treat hip dysplasia in dogs are: double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO), emoral head ostectomy (FHO) and total hip replacement (THR). Depending on the severity, other treatment options may be available, including physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. Your vet may also recommend joint supplements for your corgi. In addition, your veterinarian will definitely advise you to urge your corgi to lose weight to relieve pressure on his hips and exercise with proper restriction, especially on hard surfaces.

Physical Therapy for Hip Dysplasia in Corgi

When you see your little corgi walk in a particularly sassy way, shaking his fat hips, don’t assume that he is trying to impress you! When your corgi swings or limps a lot, likes to rest, or finally doesn’t want to walk because of the pain, it may be a behavioral abnormality of the hip joint.

Because most hip dysplasia has not developed to a certain degree, there will be no symptoms, so when the disease is serious, often have reached the hip pain and stiffness, or even hind limb muscle atrophy is not conducive to walking and the center of gravity is placed on the two legs of the front foot. These poor conditions can cause the forelimbs to turn out into wide O-legs, which can greatly interfere with daily life. Therefore, it is necessary to take some measures and physical therapy in daily life to prevent and alleviate hip dysplasia in corgi.

Using heat to increase the temperature of soft tissues causes circulation to increase, as the body sends more blood there in an attempt to remove the same heat. It helps the dog’s blood carry oxygen, nutrients and water to its injured buttocks to help heal.

When heat is applied to the buttocks, veins and blood vessels will begin to enlarge and dilate to allow more blood to flow to the damaged or torn soft tissue. This in turn relaxes the dog’s buttocks, making the tissue more flexible and elastic. This is why heat is used in chronic injuries to relax the tissue and introduce the blood flow needed for soft tissue repair. A dog’s body begins to repair itself after an injury, and in most cases, increasing the dog’s blood flow through heat accelerates this natural process. Help your corgi get into the habit of wearing heat brace, get regular heat therapy, and home therapy.

Physical therapy plays an important role in the management of hip dysplasia. Although hip dysplasia is a progressive disease, the condition can be influenced by external factors. The disease is characterized by laxity of the joints, leading to changes in the joints, abnormal wear and tear, and subsequent osteoarthritis. Heat therapy is effective in relieving pain and reducing muscle spasms.

Wearing a heating brace on your Corgi will increase circulation, and the adjustable temperature may ensure it’s safe to enjoy the heat without getting burned. By wearing a heating brace, your furry babies can relax the muscles of stiff or tight joints and more chronic joints with many benefits.