Before I got my first Beagle, I wanted to do all the research I can to ensure he was healthy and happy in the long run. There were so many training tips, the right dog food, even what toothpaste to give him! However, there were also a few things to worry about, such as hip dysplasia in Beagles.
A common condition in the breed, I wanted to make sure I knew all about it to either identify it early or prevent it from happening altogether. And I’m sure you want to do the same or to learn how to treat it.
If you want to learn more about this condition, read on. I’ll be talking about what hip dysplasia is and what you can do for your Beagle.
What Is Hip Dysplasia in Beagles?
Hip Dysplasia isn’t just a condition that targets larger breeds, but any sized dog as well. To learn about how Hip Dysplasia affects their quality of life, let’s understand the way their hip joints work.
The hip joint is the ball and socket attached to the hind leg, which rotates within the socket freely. The joint is then strengthened with strong ligaments and a joint capsule, which is strong bands of connective tissue for more stability.
Hip Dysplasia is a skeletal condition and abnormal joint structure wherein the dog’s ball and hip socket don’t develop or fit properly, causing grinding rather than smoothly sliding upon movement. It means that there is a laxity of the connective tissue, ligament, and muscles which usually support the Beagle’s hips. As a result, it deteriorates quickly and may end up losing function entirely, either affecting both hips or just one side.
For Beagles, this is a genetic disease that happens more often than one thinks. Usually, they are born with normal hips, but if their genetic makeup has them get Hip Dysplasia, the soft tissues around the ball and socket would develop abnormally.
What Causes It?
The first cause of Hip Dysplasia in Beagles is their genetics. It’s a hereditary condition which affects not only this particular breed, but larger breeds like the Labrador Retriever, Great Dane, or even the German Shepherd.
Other causes can also include improper nutrition and poor exercise habits. If your dog is obese, this puts a lot of stress on other joints, which may make the hereditary disease worse, or can cause Hip Dysplasia. Besides this, feeding them food without proper nutrition can lead to poor joint health, thus causing problems in their bone structure and growth.
Other than that, too much exercise can also cause stress on the joints, causing the structural problem. The same goes with too little exercise, as it can play a factor in obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle encourages joint problems in the future.
What Are the Symptoms?
Beagles can show symptoms of hip dysplasia as young as four months old, or they can develop it with osteoarthritis when they become adults or seniors. Either way, there are noticeable symptoms to watch out for, with intensities varying on how severe the disease is and how long they have suffered from the condition.
The symptoms include:
- Decreased activity and range of motion
- Reluctance or difficulty to rise, jump, run, or climb stairs
- Hind leg feels lame and joints are loose and/or grates while moving
- Narrow stance and a bunny hopping gait
- They lose thigh muscle mass and the shoulder muscles become larger because they use it more than the hind ends
- Pain and stiffness around the hind legs and hips
To learn more about how to recognize hip dysplasia in your Beagle, check out this informative video:
How Can I Treat and Prevent Hip Dysplasia In Beagles?
Fortunately, you can treat and prevent Hip Dysplasia, especially if your dog’s genetic makeup is a healthy one.
For Beagles, you can treat Hip Dysplasia with:
- Reducing weight to lessen the hip’s stress
- Restrict exercise on hard surfaces
- Anti-inflammatory medications and/or joint fluid modifiers
- Physical therapy
If ever the condition is severe, they may need to undergo surgery, with different strategies to consider, depending on what your dog needs and what the vet recommends.
To prevent hip Dysplasia in Beagles, focus on keeping their skeletal system healthy even while they are young. Feed them the right diet and exercise them well.
Wrapping It Up
Hip Dysplasia in Beagles doesn’t need to be a scary condition that can make or break their life. As long as you know what to do to treat it, your Beagle can have a long and healthy life. The next thing to do is to learn more about keeping your Beagles happy and loved!
I hope this article on hip dysplasia in Beagles helped you out. So start following these tips on prevention or treatment for your dogs now.