Cocker spaniels tend to suffer from Hip Dysplasia among hip problems. The word “Dysplasia” literally means abnormal. Therefore hip dysplasia literally translates into ‘the abnormal formation of the hip socket’. Hip dysplasia is an orthopedic problem leading to joint deformity. There is a ball and a socket in the hip and in a normal hip, the ball fits into the socket for movement. Though this cocker spaniels hip problem, hip dysplasia is genetic, the dog usually has normal hip functioning. However as the dog grows, this very structure tends to get deformed.
This cocker spaniel hip problem is usually hard to prevent as it is genetic and in the later stages of this disease, the cocker can also experience debilitating arthritis which can be quite painful. As this problem is passed on genetically, it is vitally important to do research on breeders before adopting a puppy. This condition can not only be painful to the dog, but can also cause emotional pain and stress to the dog’s owner.
Under very rare circumstances, hip dysplasia can result from trauma, for example, car accidents, falling or due to a broken pelvis, where the head of the femur and/or the hip socket are damaged and as a result displacement occurs.
This particular cocker spaniel hip problem has various symptoms. The dog has limping, inability to use stairs, difficulty in raising its leg, low energy and lethargy. It may also whimper and complain during or after exercise. If the cocker is suffering from any of the above symptoms, it is pertinent to seek veterinary help as soon as possible in order to get a physical examination and an X-ray done. This is done so that if there is indeed presence oh hip dysplasia, diagnosis and treatment can be pursued.
The most commonly used treatment method for this cocker spaniel hip problem is total hip replacement through surgery and it is highly recommended by veterinarians. This treatment often takes care of the problem completely but it is definitely as expensive option. In cases where hip dysplasia is not severe, physical therapy and exercise also prove to be of great help.
For this particular cocker spaniel hip problem, it must be remembered that even though it is a condition that is inherited, the environment in which a dog is raised, the intensity of its training and exercise and its diet and body weight are significant influences on hip dysplasia.
Cocker spaniels, right from the time that they are puppies have a tendency to gain weight that inevitably is bad for their structure. Excess weight leads to excessive strain on the hips and the joints and over doses of calcium supplements should also be avoided. A nutritious diet should be followed and supplements should be provided only after proper consultation with the veterinarian. Over exercising and extremely strenuous exercises involving rough play and jumping should be avoided. Therefore it is necessary to keep the cocker trim and fit, right from the start and ensure a healthy lifestyle with necessary precautions.