Since I began practicing veterinary medicine some 24 years ago, I have struggled with the proper treatment selection for certain medical conditions in my patients. One of those medical conditions in particular is Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). Our focus and efforts as practicing veterinarians have been on the treatment of CHD and not on the prevention of CHD, mainly because there were no other options…prevention was only a dream.
Treatment methods for CHD have included oral nutritional supplements, prescription diets, pain medications, corticosteroids, acupuncture, therapeutic laser treatments, and total hip replacements, just to name a few. These treatments are focused, for the most part, on patients that have already developed CHD. Once a patient has clinical signs of CHD (hip pain due to arthritis and cartilage erosion on the bone surfaces) , it becomes a one-way street for more arthritis and pain to develop down the road. Fortunately, there have been several advancements in surgical techniques that have actually been able to prevent (or help prevent) the development of CHD in our canine patients.