Shih Tzu

I. Identification method

1. In terms of activity: activity is drastically reduced; dogs are significantly less playful, spend more time lying down and resting, are quickly tired, and are unwilling to exercise as usual!

2. Activity: The dog keeps changing its hind legs when running. It will exercise slowly or stiffly in the morning, after rest and in cold weather. It does not want to go upstairs and has great difficulty climbing stairs. It does not want to jump in or out of the container. It is hard to get up from a sleeping position!

3. Movement: During daily activities, the dog will bark or cry because of pain. The dog will run away, yell, or bite when the affected area is encountered, and the dog will lick and bite the affected joint. The dog’s temperament may change, such as lethargy, depression, or bad temper. The dog’s appetite may decrease, or he may not be interested in food!

II. Etiology

  • 1. Genetic factors: Hip dysplasia in dogs is mainly associated with genetics! Generally speaking, in foreign countries, if a dog is found to have a similar problem, the dog is usually neutered to avoid the continued inheritance of the bad gene.
  • 2. Nutritional problems: Excessive administration of nutrition and increased calcium absorption can cause an imbalance in the body’s metabolism, which can induce the development of hip dysplasia.
  • 3. Environmental factors: If the floor in your home is too smooth, puppies often kick their legs unintentionally, causing unnecessary strain on their limbs; if large dogs such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors lack activity and are often overfed, it can easily cause too much stress on the joints and cause arthritis.


Beijing Pug

III. Susceptibility to disease

Joint disease in dogs is mainly concentrated in the knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, lumbar, and cervical spine. The symptoms are primarily arthritis, joint dysplasia, and herniated discs. There are many causes of common diseases, such as sports injuries, conditions, and infections, but most are caused by genetic factors, obesity, and excessive exercise.

Common conditions 1. Joint pain

  • ① Disease presentation: arthritis.
  • ② Symptoms: Arthritis can occur in the joints of all dogs and often occurs in older dogs. It may be caused by genetics, disease, malnutrition, and congenital anomalies. Polyarthritis can cause pain. It may be due to infection, autoimmune problems, the body destroying its tissues, and reactions to certain medications.
  • ③ Treatment: Using steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can treat chronic arthritis in dogs. Large dogs should have their activities controlled during growth and development. Polyarthritis can lead to permanent damage. Veterinarians take blood to confirm the cause and determine whether to use antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain medications. Since there is no definitive treatment for arthritis, reducing the animal’s pain remains essential. Some large dogs may develop arthritis in old age due to injuries or sprains sustained during their growth.

Common disease 2. Hind leg lameness

  • ① Disease manifestations: hip dysplasia, Perthes disease, knee dislocations, cruciate ligament tears, fractures, dislocations, ligaments, strains, and muscle contusions.
  • ② Symptoms: Hip dysplasia in dogs can cause pain and lameness in one or both hind legs. The pain worsens when the dog’s hind legs are flexed, especially in larger dogs. Ischemic necrosis of the femoral head can also cause similar pain Perthes disease or ischemic necrosis. This hip pain is most common in puppies. Puppies are also more likely to have dislocated kneecaps, and all breeds of dogs can suffer from cruciate ligament tears. Both diseases do not cause pain because their hind limbs are not burdened with weight bearing.
  • ③Treatment: Contact your veterinarian to confirm the cause of your dog’s lameness. Some mild cases of hip dysplasia can be treated with medication, and severe cases require surgery. Surgery is the only treatment for Perthes disease and can remove the necrotic femoral head. Dislocated kneecaps can be treated surgically, but the condition is the same as hip dysplasia. In adult dogs, cruciate ligaments are caused mainly by excess weight, but some breeds of puppies and thin dogs can also have torn ligaments, such as boxer dogs. Weight loss, healing, and surgical treatment are necessary. To avoid osteoporosis in dogs, feed your dog a balanced diet with proper calcium supplements to prevent the dangers of calcium deficiency.

III. Susceptibility to disease



Common condition 3. Femoroacetabular dysplasia

  • ① Disease presentation: Poor anastomosis of the acetabulum to the femoral head in dogs.
  • ② Symptoms: the dog swings at the waist, walks a figure-eight, sometimes bunny hops, and doesn’t like to walk.
  • ③ Treatment and prevention: Restrict the dog’s exercise, control weight, and give medication. When symptoms are mild, relieve symptoms by limiting the dog’s exercise and controlling weight. When pain symptoms are severe and walking is persistently impaired, treat the dog surgically. This disease is primarily associated with genetics. Typically, clinical signs in 3- to 12-month-old puppies include lameness, difficulty lifting the foot, and decreased activity; typical symptoms of degenerative arthritis in adult dogs include pain when the foot is lifted, pain before and after movement, walking wobbles, and jumping strides.

Common condition 4. Hip dysplasia

  • ① Concept of the hip joint: The hip joint consists of a ball femoral head and a cup acetabulum. It is the joint formed by the thigh bone femur and the bone disc surrounded by a strong joint capsule and muscular ligaments and is the most stressed joint in the body. The sphere is surrounded by smooth cartilage, and the cup is covered by a bursal membrane that secretes mucus to minimize friction.
  • ② Concept of canine hip dysplasia: This progressive degenerative disease occurs during the hip joint’s growth. Although the hip joint is mostly typical at birth, bone lesions in the hip joint are caused by laxity and instability due to genetic predisposition and acquired factors. Hip dysplasia itself is a genetic, developmental disorder that occurs whenever such a gene is present. The onset of the disease, when combined with growth control and proper feeding philosophy, can effectively slow down the time and severity of the disease and vice versa.
  • ③ Symptoms: Hip disease is one of the most common hip disorders, commonly seen in large dogs, and usually affects the joints on both sides. The attack is a condition in which the joint becomes unstable as it grows, resulting in reduced joint stability. The growth rate of the bones and muscles cannot be matched. As the joint loosens, the osteoarticular fossa becomes shallow. In addition, loose joints continue to rub together. Without proper care and maintenance before two years of age, the friction can worsen and become acute arthritis or dislocation. Be aware when you find your dog at home limping on his hind legs and afraid to jump hard.
  • Because of the hip joint’s instability, you limp and sway from side to side a lot when you walk. The muscles will gradually atrophy because the hind legs cannot exert force. In addition, the pelvis can tilt and cause persistent scoliosis. Due to cartilage protection, the hips do not hurt during puppyhood, and it is not difficult to squat or stand. However, there may be soreness and fatigue easily in about four or five months due to the abnormal long-term stress. Of course, running and jumping like an average dog is even less likely. However, many dogs with mild hip dysplasia have no apparent signs of pain or lameness. If the hip lesion is severe, it can cause pain and stiffness in the dog’s hip joint, resulting in limited mobility, inability to cope with daily life, and even muscle atrophy in the hind legs. This disease is primarily associated with genetics. Typically, clinical signs in 3- to 12-month-old puppies include lameness, difficulty lifting the foot, and decreased activity; common symptoms of degenerative arthritis in adult dogs include pain when the foot is lifted, pain before and after movement, wobbly walking, and jumping strides.
  • ④ Causes: genetics, poor management, over-exercise, obesity, excess calcium or poor timing, age-related degeneration.
  • ⑤ Note: Please never give up a dog with hip disease. It is recommended to breed dogs that are not suitable for breeding. Do not impregnate a female dog with hip condition, and do not breed a male dog with hip disease.

Three myths about the nutritional needs of large dogs

Big White Bear

IV. Types of susceptibility

Dogs of all ages are at risk for joint disease. Relatively speaking, the joint disease primarily affects older dogs and large puppies, whereas joint disease is caused mainly by joint degeneration; large puppies have excessive stress on the joints due to rapid weight gain during development. In addition, genetic factors and breed specificity play an essential role in the etiology of joint disease. In general, breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Tibetan Mastiffs, and German Shepherds have a slightly higher probability of developing the joint disease, while dogs with long bodies and short legs like Pekinese, Shih Tzus, and Sausages are prone to lumbar and cervical problems.

V. Treatment

  • 1. Physical therapy to restore the dog’s joint motion;
  • 2. Lifelong feeding of a prescription food line for joint disease to supplement joint nutrition and enhance joint flexibility; anti-inflammatory therapy aims to relieve pain, eliminate joint inflammation, and improve extreme mobility in dogs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are one of the most commonly used medications to treat arthritis in dogs. Dogs need to vary the dose of medication depending on their body weight.
  • 3. Hip arthroplasty;
  • 4. If your dog has the misfortune of having arthritis and is overweight, weight loss can reduce the burden of arthritis and make it easier to walk at will. Weight loss can include dieting, weight control, and regular physical exercise. Obese dogs lose weight and maintain an average weight;
  • 5. Excessive exercise can increase pain and damage to the joints, but inactivity can delay the dog’s condition. Therefore, we should do a moderate set of low-intensity exercises for our dogs, including daily scattering or swimming exercises.

[Ark Review]

Every parent has a responsibility to give every dog freedom of movement! Osteoarthritis in dogs, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a severe condition. After the diagnosis of dog joint disease, it is usually difficult to completely cure or recover; dog joint disease is accompanied by joint damage and wear and tear of joint cartilage. When calcium supplementation also makes it challenging to restore dog joints! Therefore, please do not supplement at will; please do not supplement calcium at will. Due to the excessive growth rate, please pay attention to the nutritional balance during the puppy’s growth and development to maintain the coordinated development of bones and joints; for older dogs, it is recommended to feed the relevant joint disease prescription food after the dog enters old age after 8 years old, after 5-6 years old.

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