When the hips do not form properly, hip dysplasia can occur. Dysplasia in the hips is a very serious affliction and can limit your dog's physical activity considerably. Even though you may not realize it, it is hereditary and only worsens as the dog ages.
Some of the signs of hip dysplasia in golden retrievers are impossible to detect when they are puppies. However, the condition begins to become obvious when the puppy is about nine months old. Even if you take you dog to the veterinarian for testing, you will likely be told that you must wait until the puppy reaches a certain age to determine if the symptoms remain.
Here are some symptoms to watch for as your puppy grows:
1. Hip dysplasia in puppies causes severe pain in the lower extremities, especially in the hip area. This symptom will be especially noticeable following a passionate running session or climbing and descending stairs.
2. You should have your dog checked for dysplasia in the hips if you notice him or her exhibiting pain during normal activities or walking. Although the symptoms may seem similar to those of canine arthritis, the treatment for hip dysplasia is very different.
3. Dysplasia may cause your four-legged friend to sulk in a corner because of the intense pain movement causes. You should know that there is something wrong with your dog if they do not interact with you and your family normally.
4. Dysplasia is a condition that develops at its own pace. In fact, most goldie parents do not realize their dog is afflicted until it is far too late. If dysplasia is left untreated, the dog could develop a permanent limp or worse. Hip dysplasia can develop when the puppy is in the forming stages; however, it may not be an apparent health concern until until middle age.
5. A golden retriever that is suffering from hip dysplasia will refuse to flex his or her hind legs because of the excruciating pain. If you attempt to raise the leg for them, they will cry out in pain or refuse your touch.
6. Dysplasia often becomes so severe that the dog begins to hop as opposed to running.
7. Dysplasia in the hips will cause you dog to walk with irregular movements.
Hip dysplasia in golden retrievers is passed down from the parents. Therefore, dogs affected by this condition are not suitable for breeding. However, these dogs are every bit as capable as the next to live a long, happy life. You may have to give your dog prescription medication to help control their weight or reduce pain, allowing your golden retriever to enjoy life.