Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is a common orthopedic condition. You might be able to detect a bulldog with hip laxity if you see one walk or run while exhibiting what might be described as an “exotic belly dancer side to side pelvis motion”. You also might have observed your bulldog performing the frog sitting yoga position, both performances are associated with hip laxity in bulldogs.
How big of a concern this is?
Is your bulldog suffering?
Should you consider surgery?
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs ANATOMY:
Bulldog hip joint articulation is often described as a “ball & socket” type joint, the femoral head is the BALL and the pelvis acetabulum is the SOCKET. Bulldog hip laxity, subluxation, and dysplasia are noted when the femoral head coverage is inadequate. It can happen due to a shallow hip socket, a short femoral neck, an abnormal femoral head, and/or abnormal soft tissue and ligaments attachments.
GENETICS & ENVIRONMENT: Bulldog and French bulldog hip dysplasia are multifactorial and polygenetic, thus, the disease’s outcome and severity depend on the interaction between your bulldog’s genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental stressors.
PHYSIOLOGY: There are two common physiological conditions underlining bulldog hip dysplasia:
1. Abnormal collagen and fiber development in the joint capsule and ligament of the femoral head.
2. Abnormal endochondral ossification of the acetabulum resulting in joint incongruency.
Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs MAINTENANCE:
- WEIGHT: Weight control is essential.
- DIET: quality, nutritious, low-calorie diet. Special “large breed” formulated puppy food (English bulldogs).
- SUPPLEMENTS: To help prevent and control pain, inflammation, and arthritis, chondroprotectants, and fish oil supplements like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Total Joint Advanced Formula, V4B Comfort Plus, and V4B Fish Oil, are recommended.
- MUSCLE TONE & BLOOD FLOW: Controlled exercise to maintain muscle strength, help protect and stabilize the hip joint, prevent arthritis, and reduce discomfort and pain are recommended.
- ACTIVITY: Controlled activity over grass or in water are best. Avoid jumping, stairs, skateboarding, quick turns, and hard turf.
Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs RULE OF THUMB:
Non-weight-bearing lameness in bulldogs and French bulldogs is rarely caused by hip dysplasia. It is more likely due to an injured cranial cruciate ligament (ACL Tear) and/or Bulldog Medial Patella Luxation (MPL).
Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS:
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Tip 1 / BREEDERS: Carefully choose a reputable bulldog breeder. If you want to go the extra mile, obtain a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals to prove that the puppy’s parents do not have hip or elbow dysplasia, or any other deformities.
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Tip 2 / SURFACE: Avoid slippery floors and surfaces.
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs clinical presentation: SEE MY COMMENTS UNDER “DO & DON’T”
- Difficulty climbing stairs and jumping
- Crepitus and pain when the hip is extended or abducted
- Disuse atrophy (Muscle mass loss) of the dysplastic leg
- “Speedo Swimming Suit” (skinny hips, puffed shoulders) due to compensation and weight shifting to the front (shoulders, torso). (see comments below)
- Decreased range of motion of the hip joint. (see comments below)
- Lameness or unloading of the dysplastic leg during exercise. (see comments below)
Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO & DON’T:
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Don’t 1 / HIP ARTHRITIS: Though a high percentage of bulldogs have hip joint and hip laxity, as often evident on palpation and radiographs, you DO NOT want to confuse that with osteoarthritis and chronic pain.
BULLDOG HIP DYSPLASIA should NOT be synonymous with ARTHRITIS & PAIN.
Some of you have seen the dysplastic radiographs of your bulldog and have been told about the grave prognosis and the associated pain and disability. This erroneous statement is based on our experience with other large breeds.
In contrast to other large breeds, the majority of those findings are incidental in bulldogs. Many bulldogs have no or minimal arthritis. If your bulldog is experiencing pain, the hip dysplasia is likely not the cause of the pain.
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Don’t 2 / HIP LIMPING: If your bulldog is limping, and your veterinarian concluded after radiographing his/her hips that the cause is hip dysplasia, and corrective surgery is recommended, DO NOT do it. Get a second and a third opinion. The radiographic findings are likely incidental and the limp is due to a different injury (MPL, ACL tear).
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Don’t 3 / HIP SURGERY: In 20 years, out of thousands of bulldogs I have seen for hind leg limp, only a few were directly related to the dysplasia. I can count on one hand the ones who required hip/pelvic corrective surgery.
Again, if corrective hip surgery is recommended, please seek additional opinions from specialists experienced with the breed and the procedure.
Surgeries often recommended for hip dysplasia are:
- Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
- Femoral head osteotomy (FHO)
- Total hip replacement (THR)
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Do 1 / DIET: English bulldog puppies should be fed a “large breed” puppy diet to prevent rapid, premature growth.
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Do 2 / RADIOGRPAHS: A thorough physical examination, with good quality radiographs that include both knees, is mandatory. At times, sedation might be required in order to obtain proper positioning.
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 3 / TREATMENT RX:
NSAIDs, Gabapentin, Tramadol
- Positive: Pain control, Anti-Inflammatory, Stress Relief
- Negative: potential unwanted side effects
- Other: Systemic, $$
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 4 / TREATMENT REGENERATIVE MEDICINE:
- Positive: Pain control, Anti-Inflammatory
- Positive: Healing, regenerative properties
- Positive: Can by cryobanked and held for additional treatment for the life or your bulldog.
- Positive: Can be extracted during elective surgery, like spay and neuter, and cryobanked for future need.
- Positive: Can help treat other medical conditions.
- Negative: Extraction of stem cells involves short anesthesia.
- Other: Systemic (Intravenous) & Local (joints, intrathecal, etc), $$$
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 5 / NON- RX DEVICES:
- Positive: Pain control, Anti-Inflammatory, and Healing
- Other: local only (at the site of the injury), $$
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 6/ NON-RX SUPPLEMENTS:
- Positive: Chews/treats are easy to administer.
- Positive: Can help treat other medical conditions (V4B Fish Oil).
- Other: Systemic, $ (low cost).
Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 7 / OTHER:
- FDA approved CBD oil
“An Ounce of PREVENTION is Worth a Pound of CURE”