How This is Diagnosed
The diagnosis of canine hip dysplasia is generally made by a combination of clinical signs of pain, a complete physical exam, and x-rays. In addition, the veterinarian may even be able to feel looseness in the hip with his hands.
When a dog is being tested for hip issues prior to breeding
, there are 2 different testing methods that can be performed. The traditional is OFA testing. The other relatively newer technique is the PennHip method.
Mild cases to moderate
cases may be treated with total bed rest. This may need to be for a while to allow proper healing. Four to six weeks is not unheard of. The puppy or dog will need to stay in a rather small confined space such as a small indoor canine playpen or a small gated off area. No jumping, walking or other movement is allowed. Along with bed rest, the dog is given anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and sometimes pain medication if needed.
If owners can follow the guidelines for bed rest, many minor to moderate cases can resolve; though a dog may have a re-occurrence at some point in the future. Once recovered, it is good for a dog to take moderate walks each day. Owners will need to access at what point the dog begins to have trouble. Whether that is the 10 minute mark or the 30 minute mark, daily exercise
should then be 5 minutes shorter than what the Maltipoo can comfortably handle.
Moderate to severe or chronic
cases may need to be treated with surgery. There are several surgical procedures available to treat hip dysplasia depending on the dog's age, body size, and the level of the hip joint's degeneration.
Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO):
TPO is a procedure used in young dogs usually less than 10 months of age that have x-rays that show severe hip laxity, but have not developed damage to the joints. The procedure involves surgically breaking the pelvic bones and realigning the femoral head and acetabulum restoring the weight-bearing surface area and correcting femoral head subluxation. This is a major surgery and is expensive, but the surgery has been very successful on dogs that meet the requirements.
Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis:
This is a less invasive surgery for treating hip dysplasia…it fuses two pelvic bones together, permitting the other pelvic bones to develop normally. This changes the angle of the hips and improves the articulation of this joint, lessening the likelihood of osteoarthritis. Early diagnosis is important, since the procedure must be done before 20 weeks of age, preferably 16 weeks, and before any signs of arthritis are evident.
Total Hip Replacement:
This may be the best surgical option for dogs that have degenerative joint disease as a result of chronic hip dysplasia. Total hip replacement is a procedure that can produce a functionally normal joint, eliminate degenerative changes, and alleviate pain.
The process involves removing the existing joint and replacing it with an artificial joint or prosthesis. In order to have this done, the Maltipoo must be old enough that all bones are done growing.
Femoral Head and Neck Excision: Femoral head and neck excision is a procedure in which the head of the femur is surgically removed and a fibrous pseudo-joint replaces the hip. This procedure is considered a last resort.
The resulting pseudo-joint will, in most cases, be free from pain and allow the animal to increase his activity, however, full range of motion and joint stability are decreased. This does work best on little dogs like the Maltipoo as opposed to large breed dogs.