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Regular exercise is essential for pets as it makes them healthy and fit and keeps them happy and active. However, like humans, dogs are susceptible to injuries when they exercise.
If your pooch enjoys jumping or running, his hock joint on the back legs is particularly vulnerable to injury. A dog hock injury is not something you may not be familiar with until your canine deals with it.
Dog Hock Injury – A Complete Guide
A hock injury is one of the most common injuries that dogs suffer from, regardless of their breed. The hock is much like an ankle on human legs, connecting the shin bone with the paw to create a sharp angle at the dog’s rear legs. The anatomy of the hock joint makes it susceptible to injuries from play and strenuous activities.
When your dog has a hock injury, you get clear indications with symptoms like swelling in the affected limb and sudden lameness. Joint instability occurs when the ligaments tear, making it difficult for your dog to walk. Most hock injuries happen from accidents and falls. If your dog fails to get up in the middle of play or exercise, you should check the joints to find a hock injury. These injuries are generally accompanied by swelling and change in behaviour.
A small hock injury can become bigger and cause much pain and discomfort if not addressed on time. Consulting your veterinarian is the best way to identify the type of injury and its implications, even if it is minor.
Dog Swollen Hock Joint – What It Means?
A swollen hock joint in your dog is often a sign of a torn ligament. The hock joint injury is accompanied by other symptoms like the inability to put weight on the paw and limping. You may see the hock moving oddly as the dog walks, indicating that there is a problem with the joint. If you think the dog has an injury, a trip to your vet is the best way to ensure the dog heals well. The vet may get an x-ray of the hock to see if there are torn ligaments or bone fractures.
The most common reason for a swollen dog hock joint is hock dislocation. The injury often happens when dogs run around playing and stop suddenly. Such a sudden reaction causes ligament tears. Hock dislocation is also seen in cases of accidents like getting hit by a car or accidentally falling off. Several other minor injuries of the hock joint could result in swelling.
Sometimes, the dog may have developed a form of arthritis from worn cartilage. Osteoarthritis of the hock joint is a degenerative disease generally seen in older dogs and may need proper treatment to deal with pain and discomfort. A trip to the vet may help you diagnose and treat the condition quickly.
Dog Hock Joint Swelling? Here’s What To Do
Swelling in the hock joint may indicate a hock injury or a condition affecting the hock joint. Your vet may examine the pet to see if he has a sprained hock or muscle pull. These minor hock injuries may still cause discomfort to your pooch. When the pup runs speedily and the back paw gets stuck in a hole, the hock may get sprained. A muscle pull or sprained hock affects ligaments and can result in lameness.
Your vet can confirm the condition with blood work and x-rays as required. If your dog has been diagnosed with a condition like OCD, he may need surgery to recover. Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) is an inflammatory condition generally seen in young dogs. It is a developmental condition arising from cartilage damage or abnormal cartilage development. This condition can affect the hock, elbow, or knee.
In other cases, non-surgical treatment may be advised. This may include medication to help the pup deal with pain and swelling. Some alternative therapies may also help the canine feel better. You can even try applying cold packs to reduce the swelling on the hock joint.
Feeling Hard Lump On Dog’s Hock?
You may feel a hard lump on the dog’s hock for several reasons. It can be nothing too serious or something you should be concerned about. Your dog may have developed a hock injury or arthritis that could result in swelling or hardness. You should book an appointment with your vet to confirm the cause of the lump and identify the treatment options available.
Depending on what other symptoms your dog experiences and the type of lump on the hock, the vet may rule out the possibilities and recommend the best approach to treat the dog. If there is a hock injury like a sprain or strain, your doctor may suggest treatment options like medication for swelling, arnica for tissue injuries, acupuncture, and orthopaedic bracing.
Dog Hock Surgery Cost – UPDATED 2021
While most dog hock injuries don’t require surgical treatments, surgery may sometimes be recommended. Hock surgery uses screws, pins, and wires to treat a fracture. Torn hock ligaments are replaced with synthetic ligaments using metal screws. Your vet may recommend surgery only when no other treatment methods seem to work.
Like any other operation, a dog hock surgery requires anaesthesia and advanced equipment, adding to the cost. Depending on the severity and location, a dog hock surgery may cost anywhere between $1000 and $2000. The price can also vary based on the dog’s age and additional medical conditions they may have.
In conclusion, dog hock injuries are common and treatable. If you notice any hock injury in your four-legged friend, it is best to consult your vet to find out how serious it is and resolve it at the earliest to avoid further complications.