Labrador walking problems can be a frustrating experience for any dog owner. If you noticed your dog is having issues, you need to consider if they have hip dysplasia. Read our article for the 6 signs of hip dysplasia that are common in Labradors.
Labradors are known as energetic, fun-loving, and active dogs. They are always ready for a long walk and a jog.
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But one day, you notice that your Labrador is not walking normally, and it’s not matching your steps when running. Why so?
It’s sad and depressing to feel that your dog is suffering from walking problems. Your Labrador is bogged down with a painful condition that hampers his walking ability.
Finding the root problem at an early stage will help your Labrador get the best treatment at the right time.
Labrador walking problems?
Because of their large body structure and super dynamic behavior, Labradors are more prone to joint issues. The weight distribution of Labradors increases the risk of getting hip dysplasia (CHD), which is a chronic skeletal condition.
Experts recommend that dog parents research before adopting this dog breed because Labradors are more prone to suffer from hip dysplasia.
Therefore, you must take good care of your Labrador from day one. There are multiple care practices and recommendations to prevent this disease in your Labrador.
Such as, their walk time should be fixed, Labradors should not climb stairs before a specific age, etc. along with this, knowing about the causes and signs of hip dysplasia is also a good approach.
How long should a Labrador be walked?
No doubt Labradors have stamina and muscle strength which allows them to walk long distances. You will never notice a decrease in their energetic level unless they are suffering from some disease.
However, it is highly recommended that Labradors keep their walks within a certain time limit so they will not suffer from bone diseases in older age.
How far a Labrador should walk each day is affected by the age and health of your dog. So the distance may vary from lab to lab.
Keeping good and bad conditions in mind, it is highly recommended to stay within a distance of 10 to 15 miles per day when there is no pain.
Labrador hip dysplasia
It is all about care because some Labradors may not suffer from this disease for their entire life. While on the other hand, some Labradors show clear signs of hip dysplasia by four months of age.
At the same time, most Labradors start suffering from this disease at 6 to 18 months of age.
There is a possibility that some of the Labradors are never diagnosed with hip dysplasia until they are older; this can be due to the mildness of the condition.
Or maybe the condition was not noticed by the dog’s parent until the joint got abnormal and the dog started showing evidence of pain along with loss of mobility.
It is crucial to notice hip dysplasia at the early stage. Now the question is how dog parents can identify that their Labrador is suffering from this chronic disease.
What is hip dysplasia in dogs?
Hip dysplasia is the malformation of the hip joint which creates a bad formation and wrong fitting of the femur bone in the hip socket.
Instead of fitting, both of the bones start sliding smoothly, and the pieces of joint rub together, resulting in a painful condition.
It may happen due to the loss of cartilage with time, and then the chronic pain within the hip joint causes the lack of mobility.
Early detection is the key to getting the appropriate treatment to keep your dog healthy and free from pain.
6 Labrador hip dysplasia signs
1. Lack of activity
Since Labradors are highly energetic and active dogs, noticing the decrease in their activity is a clear sign that your dog may be suffering from hip dysplasia.
For example, your Labrador is not willing to come along with you for a walk or a jog. You may also notice your Labrador doesn’t jump to greet you.
2. Decrease in the range of motion
There is a possibility that hip dysplasia is not at its peak, but it is there at some mild level, so your dog will show a decrease in range of motion.
For example, your Labrador is going with you for a walk but sits down on the track before the end of the walk.
3. Difficulty in climbing stairs
You may have noticed your Labrador is not climbing the stairs at its normal speed and maybe it is even falling.
All of these are signs that your Labrador is suffering from hip dysplasia. It’s the early stage sign of dysplasia, so it’s not too late to treat the issue.
Bone issues cause swelling at some specific parts of the body. Similarly, hip dysplasia also causes swelling, which dog owners can easily notice.
Touching the hip bone will clear things for you, so it’s another option for Labrador parents.
5. Unequal leg length
The malformation of the hip bone causes a slight difference in the length of the back legs in dogs. You may feel this differently while your Labrador is walking.
When the walk of your Labrador is not balanced, and it’s not giving weight to both legs, it’s again a sign of hip dysplasia.
6. Limping during a walk
All of the signs mentioned above reflect that Labradors suffer from pain in one or both legs during hip dysplasia. So, unfortunately, all of these conditions force the Labrador to limp when they walk.
Along with this, the reduced muscle mass from the thigh, swaying, and the enlargement of the shoulder muscle are the symptoms of hip dysplasia in Labradors.
No matter what is the cause of hip dysplasia in Labrador, the signs will be the same for almost all. Therefore, keep a proper check on the activities or behavior of your dog.
One of the main things that your veterinarian may do is control your canine’s rear legs to test the joint’s detachment and check for any pounding, torment, or diminished scope of movement.
Your canine’s physical test may incorporate blood work since the total blood tally can demonstrate aggravation because of common illness.