Milo is a beautiful golden retriever with a story many of our pets can relate to. Spend a moment, and I’ll share it with you.
As a young dog, barely a year old, Milo was diagnosed with a condition known as hip dysplasia, one of the common conditions in dogs. Although we associate hip dysplasia mostly with German Shepherds and other large dogs, it can occur in all breeds.
Dogs with this condition will often show subtle signs of discomfort long before owners realize the problem is actually quite serious. Milo’s family loved to go for long walks, and to play and run and jump with Milo. One day they noticed that Milo didn’t want to jump anymore, and when he walked or ran he was lame.
That is when they realized that something was wrong with Milo. All puppies want to play, run and jump, especially breeds like Golden Retrievers. If you have a puppy who is reluctant to do these things, or is just a little bit slow and ponderous instead of excited and exuberant, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Of course Milo’s owners took him straight to the vet, who after a thorough evaluation recommended a surgical procedure, which in many cases gives dogs a good chance of a long and happy life. Milo’s family did not want to put Milo through surgery, and asked for another option. They were referred for Veterinary Rehabilitation to try and manage Milo’s symptoms.
Over the next few weeks and months, Milo attended regular Vet Rehab sessions and underwent an intensive home exercise plan with regular targeted exercises to correct the damaging compensatory patterns of movement that Milo had developed, and gradually, his muscles were nurtured back to full function.
With occasional visits to ensure that he was maintaining good movement habits, Milo is today the leaping, running and pain-free dog he was always meant to be.
What about your dog?
If you think your dog might have hip dysplasia, whether he is old, young, or in the prime of his life, make an appointment with your vet to get to the bottom of the problem.
Discuss various treatment options with your Vet, including conservative management through rehabilitation. Most vets should be able to refer you to the Rehab Therapist they regularly work with. With the right intervention, hip dysplasia can be managed, and your dog can enjoy the great quality of life he deserves, just as Milo did.
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