Should you own a bigger breed of dog or are in search of one, you could have heard the term OFA Certified. This refers back to the dog’s hip joints and is an indicator of potential problems to your dog. Hip problems for any energetic dog will cause pain and discomfort that can get progressively worse. The unstable hip joint will result in osteoarthritis.
So, what’s OFA certification? The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is the recognized certifying body to guage and determine if a dog could have problem hips. The muse was established in 1966 by John M. Olin after he found that hip dysplasia was affecting his sporting dogs. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition and could be evaluated by radiographs. The OFA maintains a database for hip dysplasia and now also maintains databases on other genetic disorders.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has defined 7 categories to explain canine hip joints. They’re: Excellent, Good, Fair, Borderline, Mild, Moderate, Severe. There are several other ways to treat hip dysplasia depending on the age of the dog and the severity of the issue.
For young dogs, under the age of 10 months, veterinarians can do surgery to stabilize the joint. This surgery known as triple pelvic osteotomy. It involves cutting 3 places within the pelvic bone, rotating the socket and stabilizing the ball a part of the joint with plates and screws. This procedure is barely for puppies because once there are arthritic changes within the joint, the surgery just isn’t possible. One other surgical option is a complete hip substitute. It is a complex procedure, normally done only at teaching hospitals and huge specialty practices. It might probably cost as much as $1750.00 for one hip, which will likely be all that should be done.
There are other non-surgical options available. Certainly one of the best and least expensive treatments includes weight management and exercise. Exercise should start with short leash walks which should step by step increase because the muscles get stronger. Strong muscles will help stabilize the joint and if the dog is obese, shedding pounds will put less stress on the joint. That is effective treatment so long as the dog just isn’t having pain from the exercise. You could have to backtrack to shorter walks. Cold and damp weather will aggravate joint pain to your dog, and heat is soothing. Should you suffer arthritis or joint pain and stiffness, your can understand how your dog feels.
Dogs can be given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Your vet will know if and when that is an appropriate coarse. As with every medications, there are risks for negative effects. Don’t ever give your dog your NSAID medication. Negative effects of those drugs in dogs is identical it’s for us. Negative effects include, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and decreased appetite. Some vets may recommend an all natural, human grade, pet complement to your dog. It has been shown that glucosamine and chondroitin are helpful in rebuilding cartilage within the joint. It might probably take about per week of giving the complement before the essential level for results is reached.
It will be important so that you can seek the advice of along with your dog’s veterinarian to debate the perfect coarse of motion to your pooch. With some help from you and the vet, your dog can live a full, energetic and pain free life.