- This is a condition in which the Poodle's hip joint deteriorates or is weaken. It is thought to be genetic. When a Poodle has hip dysplasia, the socket is not formed correctly or the ligaments that hold the 2 sections together do not have enough integrity. This causes the ball to become dislocated.
While this is inherited, there are other factors that can make this problem worse:
• Being overweight – any excess weight will put more of a strain on the Poodle's hips
• Too much exercise before a Poodle enters into adulthood – which causes prolonged stress on the hip
• A faster than average growth rate – which a dog owner has no control over
Symptoms may begin to show as young as 5 to 10 months old. A Poodle of any age can be diagnosed with this, as the condition may be very subtle in the dog’s early life and only as the dog grows older will an owner notice the signs:
• Weakness in the limbs, usually in the hind legs and often after activity such as walking briskly for a moderate amount of time
• Difficulty rising up off of the floor
• Hopping – walking by bringing both rear legs up at the same time similar to how a rabbit hops
• Rising using front legs only and dragging rear end as if the legs are limp or numb
•Taking very small, hesitant steps
• Unwillingness to jump, exercise, climb stairs or walk uphill
There are treatments. Medication is usually tried first, before surgery would be done. Medication includes anti-inflammatory medications, often coupled with bed rest. This works well for minor cases. Some dogs will suffer from ongoing dislocation issues which become progressively worse as the bones wear down. If a Poodle does not show recovery with medicine and bed rest, surgery may be warranted.