Q My Chocolate Lab is of eight months. Her hind leg has been limping. Vet told me she is suffering from hip dysplasia and gave her some tablets. The treatment is going on for two months now, but she hasn’t improved at all. Please advise.

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Weakness or limping in hind legs in large breed puppies like yours develops from variety of skeletal problems including hip dysplasia. Limping can also be the result of infection or trauma, metabolic, neuromuscular or degenerative diseases. The causes of hip dysplasia are complex and involve heredity and environmental factors, such as overeating and rapid weight gain. Most often, overweight due to excess energy/overfeeding or excess calcium supplementations predispose growing puppies to develop hip and joint problems. Treatment for hip dysplasia is based on the age and size of the patient, degree of pain, physical examination, x-ray findings, and your expectations for how active your pet should be. The conservative treatment includes enforced rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain medication. Once the clinical signs are controlled, the therapy includes weight reduction if needed and an exercise programme designed to improve the strength of your pet’s rear legs.

Question by – Nagesh, Gokak