If your dog has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia by your veterinarian, discuss the severity of the hip dysplasia with them. Dysplasia is very common in dogs and some cases are different. Vets measure the severity of the dysplasia based on diagnostic scans and then make their suggestions accordingly.³
Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Your dog’s health is a top priority so if your vet recommended surgical intervention and you don’t feel comfortable with surgery, don’t do it until you have all the answers.
After you have a firm understanding of your dog’s medical case, you can discuss treatment for hip dysplasia with your vet. Here are a few treatment options that may be offered to you:
- Prescription medications: Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help them cope with discomfort and pain.³ Usually, medications are paired with other treatments like exercise and physical therapy, so medication is an assistant rather than a cure.
- Alternative therapies: Some specialists will offer alternative therapies for dogs with mild cases of dysplasia, including supplements, physical therapy, or acupuncture.³ This can be a better option for older dogs or dogs with less severe dysplasia.
- Lifestyle changes: Moderate changes to your dog’s exercise and feeding routines can strengthen their muscles. Some pet parents find that hydrotherapy (a form of swimming as physical therapy) is an excellent, low-pressure method to improve hip dysplasia and help their pup lose excess weight.³’⁴
- Surgery: Sometimes, surgery is unavoidable and your dog will be happier for it. There are three surgical options on the market right now: Double or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (DPO/TPO), Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO), and Total Hip Replacement (THR).
Discuss the pros and cons of each procedure with your vet while obtaining quotes for the procedures. These treatments are based on the age of your dog and their lifestyle, so take your time making your decision.
The cost of hip dysplasia surgery can run up in the thousands, whereas supplements may only cost a couple hundred dollars a year. That’s why it’s important to think hard about your lifestyle, your budget, and the impact delaying treatment may have when it comes to deciding how to treat your dog.
For example, total hip replacements (THR) can cost up to $6,000, with a recovery time of up to 20 weeks. THR may be best if your dog hikes with you or is a competitive sportsman. On the other hand, hydrotherapy sessions can cost between $90 to $125 per session plus consultation costs.⁴ Hydrotherapy and other non-surgical routes may take longer to see results but, if your dog is a senior dog or a smaller breed, you can trade off the invasive procedure for time.
Take your time to consider all your options, including learning how MetLife’s pet insurance policy works; our policies may cover surgical and alternative therapies for your dog.¹’²
No matter the severity of your dog’s hip dysplasia, understand that this defect is extremely common and treatable by most vets. You can rest easy knowing that you can shop around for a care team that will listen to your concerns and steer you toward treatment plans that match your budget and lifestyle.
Do you have a breed of dog that is prone to hip issues, like a greyhound? It’s important to get an insurance policy before they develop any serious conditions to help offset future vet costs. Consider getting a free quote for dog insurance so you can have a policy in your pet parent tool kit. At MetLife Pet Insurance, winner of the “Pet Insurance of the Year” Award, we’re committed to helping you keep your pets happy and healthy.