Good Hip, Bad Hip

It can be difficult to tell which part of a dog’s skeleton is involved in his or her lameness. Here are 2 x-rays of 2 dogs, both of which came in for hip problems. Can you tell which once is abnormal, dog A or dog B?

Dog A

Dog B

Dog A is the normal x-ray. This owner had the hips treated by a chiropractor and thought the treatment helped. It turns had this dog has 2 bad knees, one very bad. What the owner thought helped, probably did nothing. The dog cannot vocalize that his knees hurt. And it can be difficult to tell by the way they walk which joint is affected.

Dog B has very bad hips. He is a young dog and has hip dysplasia.

It is good to figure out what is causing the pain. Sometimes there is a surgery that can help. Dog A would have been helped by surgery if his problem had been addressed earlier. Dog B should visit a surgeon and see if he or she recommends treatment.

Other management tools for both dogs include moderate activity, keeping their weight down and joint supplements. There are special foods that help with joint problems also. The goal is to keep the dogs as comfortable as possible.

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