Dutch Shepherd Dogs and Hip Joint Dysplasia: How to Recognise and Treat?

Dog owner question

"Hi! My Dutch Shepherd Dog, named Nala, has been acting strange lately: she is moving slowly, getting up with difficulty and is less enthusiastic on walks. I have heard that this breed is prone to hip dysplasia. What symptoms should I look out for and what can I do if Nala has hip dysplasia?"

Veterinarian's answer

"Hi! It's great that you noticed Nala's symptoms and are concerned about her health. Dutch Shepherds are indeed prone to hip dysplasia, which is a genetic disorder in which the hip joint does not develop properly.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia include stiffness, slow movement, difficulty getting up, pain during movement, less activity than normal and limited movement. It appears that Nala's symptoms of slow movement and difficulty getting up may indeed be indicative of hip dysplasia.

If you suspect hip dysplasia, it is important to see your vet as soon as possible.

Dutch Shepherd Dog 2

He or she can take an x-ray of Nala's hip joint to confirm the diagnosis. If Nala has hip dysplasia, the vet is likely to prescribe medication to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, and may advise on a proper diet and maintaining a healthy weight, as excess weight increases joint stress.

In severe cases of hip dysplasia, surgery may be necessary. Physiotherapy can then help with Nala's rehabilitation.

Hip dysplasia can be challenging, but with targeted treatment and support, Nala can continue to live a happy and active life!

I hope this has helped and that Nala gets better soon!"