Hip dysplasia is a condition that causes pain and discomfort for dogs who develop it. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prevent and treat this condition.
You can read more about hip dysplasia in our previous article, which you should definitely check out first! It was mentioned in that article that some breeds are more susceptible to developing these “bad” hips. If your dog is one of them, what can you do to prevent the condition, and if he develops it, how can it be managed?
Firstly, pay attention to nutrition. Feeding a dog appropriately without overfeeding can make a huge difference for many health conditions! In fact, a study in Labradors proved that dogs who ate 25% less than others showed a noteworthy decrease in the severity of their hip dysplasia. How can you tell if your dog is eating too much and growing too fast? Well, make sure you can always feel your dog’s waist and spine and see that he is tucked in at the waist. Talk to your vet for diet options if your dog shows signs of developing dysplasia!
Next, be sure not to overexercise your dog. This doesn’t mean that they should get no physical activity at all, of course. Just steer clear of vigorous exercises and long runs – at least until your dog is fully grown! Try to stick to a lot of short walks than one marathon run. If you notice that your dog seems sore after a day of exercise, reduce the length of walks. You can try alternative therapies such as acupuncture or physiotherapy to improve movement and reduce pain, too.
Supplements can also help reduce symptoms of hip dysplasia. It’s worth noting, however, that over-supplementing your dog with vitamin D and calcium can actually make things worse. Fish oils are an excellent supplement for their anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, glucosamine and chondroitin are two supplements that help form healthy cartilage and have been found to be very helpful. This hip & joint supplement provides a good mix of both for proper support. It is recommended as a preventative in adult dogs and is also helpful to senior dogs who may already be experiencing some issues.
Your vet can also provide other forms of non-surgical treatments. Pentosan or Cartrophen improves joint health and is administered as a series of 4 injections at weekly intervals every 6 months. Pain relief and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) can also be provided to dogs to reduce discomfort.
You can also opt for surgical treatment – but not all dogs need this! A young pup can undergo either a juvenile pubic symphodesis at 16-20 weeks or a triple pelvic osteotomy at 8-18 months if signs of osteoarthritis or “bad” hips are seen. If your dog is older and has severe hip damage, a total hip replacement can be done, although this is quite expensive! Older dogs can also undergo a femoral head and neck ostectomy, which is a relatively inexpensive and highly effective procedure that allows a false joint to form.
There you have it – plenty of treatment options for hip dysplasia! Your dog can still enjoy a pain-free, happy, long life despite this condition. Do like and share if this was useful!
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