You won’t know true happiness until you sink your fingers into a Labradoodle’s fur. These sweet, playful, and affectionate dogs are basically joy machines for anyone who is lucky enough to encounter them, and their fur is the most amazing thing ever.
There are challenges to owning a Labradoodle, however, and one of them is handling the genetic conditions that can crop up with the breed. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Labradoodle hip problems.
Do Labradoodles have hip problems?
Labradoodles are vulnerable to several health issues, including hip dysplasia. This is when the joints in the hips don’t form or align properly. They grind together instead of sliding smoothly, which results in pain, inflammation, limited mobility, and reduced quality of life.
Hip dysplasia can affect any Labradoodle, but it’s especially common in larger ones.
What are the first signs of hip problems in Labradoodles?
Your dog could experience any number of symptoms if they’re starting to have hip problems:
- Abnormal gait. In other words, are they walking funny? One noticeable sign of hip dysplasia is when they “bunny hop” by moving both legs together at the same time, but they might also limp or sway their hindquarters.
- Reduced movement. If they’re in severe pain, your dog might not want to move at all, so they’ll be reluctant to run, jump, play, fetch and climb stairs. They might also have a limited range of motion when they try.
- Loss of muscle mass. Hip dysplasia can wear down the joints over time, causing atrophied muscles in the thighs.
- Pain. Last but not least, you can probably tell when your poor pooch is hurting. If the pain seems to be coming from their hips, it could be due to hip dysplasia.
Can a dog live a normal life with hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia isn’t fatal. In fact, with the right management and treatment, dogs with hip dysplasia can live long, full lives.
The problem is that you can’t leave it untreated. It won’t get better on its own, so your Labradoodle is going to suffer until you do something about it, and that can significantly impact their quality of life.
In severe cases, they can develop even more health problems relating to the dysplasia. For example, they may get osteoarthritis from the constant grinding of their joints.
Can hip dysplasia be corrected?
We’ve talked a lot about the scary consequences of hip dysplasia. Let’s have some good news! There are many ways to treat the condition and get your doggo back on their feet, including:
- Weight control. Less weight means less pressure on their bones as they move.
- Exercise. Mild exercise is good for hip dysplasia since it prevents deterioration in the joints. It can also encourage a wider range of motion and keep your Labradoodle from getting stiff and sore.
- Pain medication. The most common painkillers for hip dysplasia are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that will reduce pain and swelling at the same time.
- Surgery. There are a variety of surgical options for hip dysplasia. They range from removing parts of the bone to completely replacing the hip.
As always, you should speak with your vet if you want to explore any of these options.
How much does it cost to fix hip dysplasia in dogs?
The cost of treatment can vary. For a total hip replacement, you’re looking at anywhere from $3,000 – $10,000. However, many pet owners try simpler treatment options before jumping all of the way to surgery.
If you don’t already have it, consider getting pet insurance. It can cover many of the costs of vet visits, including exams, X-rays, prescriptions, and more.
Just make sure that you choose a provider like Pets Best that has a reputation for quality service and prompt claims.
Is walking good for a dog with hip dysplasia?
Walking can be a good way to lessen the symptoms of hip dysplasia. You’ll need to be careful not to over walk your pup and make the pain worse, but gentle strolls around the neighborhood can get the blood flowing and reduce some of the stiffness and soreness of a bad joint.
Is hip dysplasia painful for dogs?
Hip dysplasia is pretty painful for dogs. There are occasional cases where they feel fine and the dysplasia is only visible through X-rays, but generally speaking, it’s comparable to arthritis in humans.
Another thing to note is that Labradoodles don’t always show their pain. They’re such a sweet, affectionate breed that many Labradoodle hip problems fly under the radar when they don’t act out for their owners. You’ll need to be vigilant to stay on top of their health!
Can a dog die from hip dysplasia?
The one silver lining of hip dysplasia is that it isn’t fatal. You don’t have to worry about that. However, it’s still a very limiting condition that can have a big impact on your dog’s quality of life, so you don’t want to ignore it!
Do your research. Look for the symptoms. Talk to your vet about treatment options. Your sweet little fluffball deserves to run and jump in the park without hip problems slowing them down, so don’t let dysplasia catch you unaware.