Dog hip dysplasia: this condition is pretty common in large breed dogs. Responsible breeders try their best in reducing the chances of this disorder by screening their breeding dogs for Hip Dysplasia and having them OFA certified.
This condition occurs when the hip joint bone do not fit well together. An x-ray is necessary to diagnose this problem. At home, owners may help their dogs in various ways:
Keep your pet lean
If you pet is sort of chunky, you may want him/her to go on a diet. Cut off those treats and table scraps and look for a pet food that is high in fiber and low in fat. This will help put less strain on the joint, while allowing your dog to live healthier and happier. If you own a puppy do not allow it to eat free choice. Doing so may cause the puppy to grow too fast and develop obesity. Both predisposing factors of hip dysplasia.
Exercise but do not overdo it
Dogs with hip dysplaysia benefit from moderate yet regular daily exercise. This helps strenghten the joint, while keeping the pet’s moral high. Of course, walks benefit even owners! Recommended exercises are walking, light jogging and the use of a thread mill. Warming up before exercise is helpful and so is cooling down after exercise. Avoid activities that put too much strain on the hips such as jumping or playing frisbee.
Swimming can be extremely beneficial to dogs suffering from Hip dysplasia. The water helps the dog exercise while not allowing too much wear and tear on the joint as it would occur on land.
Many dogs love swimming and if you do not own a swimming pool, consider looking for facilities that offer swimming area as a therapy for dogs.
You can try to massage your dog’s joint muscles for about ten minutes each day. Watch carefully the dog’s response, if he seems to have discomfort, try to be more gentle or stop giving the massage. Circular motions seem to be the most beneficial.
Most dogs will benfit from the application of a warm water bottle to the hips. Wrap the water bottle in a towel and apply for about 15 minutes.
Foam beds are very helpful for dogs suffering from hip dysplasia. They are firm and make the dog less prone to the typical morning stiffness upon getting up. Keep the bed in an area free of drafts.
Invest in Ramps
Dogs suffering from hip dysplasia find it particularly painful to climb up stairs and jump into cars. Invest in a good ramp.
Slippery floors may difficult for dogs to get up on. Some rugs around your home may help your dog get around better.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine supplements are very helpful. They stimulate the production of cartiladge around the ball and socket bones that reduce friction in the joint. Expect results in about 6 weeks.
Aspirin can be given to dogs with hip dysplasia. Consult with your vet for proper dosing instructions and learn what symptoms to watch for that may suggest stomach upset or stomach ulcers. It is best to use buffered aspirin and to give with a meal.
Your veterinarian may provide further relief by prescribing effective anti-inflammatory drugs and prescribing prescription diets such as Hill’s J/D. Acupuncture may be helpful in some cases. Surgery is usually necessary for severe cases.