Hip dysplasia describes very early onset arthritis in young or growing dogs. It is a developmental disease of the hip joint seen in most breeds of dogs and even in some cats. Lameness and exercise intolerance are the most common clinical signs. Hip dysplasia is treated with rest, restricted activity, pain medication, and, in severe cases, surgery. Causes of hip dysplasia are complex, mostly involving heredity factors from parents, but recent research indicates environmental factors such as overeating and too weight gain may be involved.
Radiographs are required to diagnose the disease. Safe and effective analgesics and anti-inflammatories offer dysplastic pets considerable relief from pain. Drugs such as Rimadyl, Etogesic, and Zubrin are powerful pain relievers available for pets with arthritic joint pain.