Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Natural Treatments That Help!
13 June, 2017
We hate to see our dogs have trouble moving and ageing right before our eyes. Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal diseases in dogs. Both male and female dogs can have it, but some breeds are more likely to have the genetic predisposition for hip dysplasia than others. Larger breeds, such as the Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd are most commonly affected. It is rare for smaller breed dogs to have the condition.
Hip Dysplasia symptoms can go from mild to severe
Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition that results from an improperly formed hip joint. Because the joint is loose, the dog’s leg bone moves around too much, causing painful wear and tear.
Some cases of hip dysplasia are so mild there are no symptoms, but if your dog seems stiff or sore in the hips when getting up, if he seems hesitant to exercise, stand on his hind legs or climb stairs, or if he’s limping or bunny-hopping, a visit to the vet is in order. Some of the more obvious symptoms are difficulty in getting up; your dog’s reluctance to run, jump, or climb stairs, and hobbling.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to help alleviate your dog’s pain. Homeopathic remedies are an option before giving pain medication, since pain medication has potentially dangerous side effects.
As always, discuss any new regimen with your veterinarian to see if your dog is a good candidate for any of the below:
Natural remedies for dogs with hip dysplasia
You can help ease your dog’s pain if he or she suffers from hip dysplasia. Because hip dysplasia is a form of degenerative arthritis, joint supplements, which help dogs with arthritis, can also help your dog with hip dysplasia. Other options include homeopathic remedies, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, NSAIDs, and as a last resort, pain medications (steroids).
Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Glucosamine and chondroitin are two remedies that have recently become widely used in treating both human and animals that have joint or bone issues.
Glucosamine is important in the building blocks in the maintenance of cartilage in the joint. Chondroitin tends to inhibit the damaging enzymes in the joint.
When a dog has hip dysplasia the joint wears abnormally and the protective cartilage on the surface of the joint gets worn away and the resultant bone to bone contact creates pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin give the cartilage-forming cells (chondrocytes) the building blocks they need to synthesize new cartilage and to repair the existing damaged cartilage. These products are not painkillers; they work by actually healing the damage. Some products such as Drs. Foster and Smith Joint Care Chews provide Glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and antioxidants support your dog’s ongoing joint health or the veterinary-sold product Cosequin are several that fit this category. As always, ask your vet for a recommendation.
Buffered Aspirin: Buffered aspirin is an excellent anti-inflammatory and painkiller in dogs (Do NOT give your cat aspirin unless prescribed by your veterinarian). It can be used along with glucosamine/chondroitin products and is safe for long term use. With all aspirin products used in dogs there is a risk of intestinal upset or in rare cases gastric ulceration. If your dog has gastric upset, talk to your veterinarian for a recommendation.
Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids have been used for many years to treat the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. Corticosteroids act as an anti-inflammatory but unfortunately have many undesirable short and long term side effects. Because of these side effects and the advent of newer, more specific drugs, corticosteroids are generally only used in older animals where all other pain control products have failed. Corticosteroids are a prescription product and come in both a pill and injectable form.
Everyday tips to help dogs with hip dysplasia:
1. Feed your dog pet food formulated for weight control. Weight plays an important role in the comfort of your dog’s hips. Extra weight can add stress to hip joints, so make sure your dog is on a healthy diet, especially if he’s a large breed.
2. Consider gentle exercises like swimming. Include frequent exercises for short periods each day. Ten minute increments three times a day is better than 30 minutes a day.
3. Decrease your dog’s jumping by using pet steps and ramps.
4. Provide a firm supportive orthopedic dog bed.
5. Elevate your dog’s food and water bowls.
6. Use a supportive harness when walking your dog.
7. Massage the muscles around his or hip joints, gently rubbing in a circular motion with your fingertips for ten minutes at the most. (Pay attention to his response. If massage seems to irritate your dog’s hip, don’t continue.)
8. Provide traction on slippery floors: Dogs with hip dysplasia often have a hard time on slippery floors, so lay carpet down, and if he needs to climb stairs or jump up into the car, a carpeted ramp will make it a lot easier on him.
If none of the recommended treatment works for your dog and surgery is not an option, just try to make your pup as comfortable as possible. If you like this article, you will this related post: Treating arthritis in dogs naturally.
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