Canine hip dysplasia is a painful condition that requires extra love and care. With our canine companions being the center of our world, we want to explore every avenue possible to offer them comfort. Thankfully, there are many home treatment options available.
In this article we’ll discuss the details of hip dysplasia in dogs and offer you a list of effective home treatment options to apply going forward.
What is hip dysplasia?
So what exactly is this uncomfortable hip condition that plagues our canine companion? Hip dysplasia is classified by the improper alignment of the hip joint in dogs. A healthy dog’s hip is a ball and socket joint, which allows the hip to glide smoothly with each movement. When a dog has hip dysplasia, the improper alignment of the joint causes the hip joint to rub and grind. Not only does this cause severe pain for the dog affected, but it can result in joint damage over time.
Though there are a few possible causes of hip dysplasia, it is most often passed down from dog to dog. Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition that can impact dogs with genetic predispositions, and can be exacerbated by other factors. Some of the most common factors that worsen hip dysplasia in at risk dogs include:
- Fast growth periods (large and giant breed dogs)
- Improper diet and nutrition
- Canine obesity
- Excessive exercise
Some vets do believe that these factors can cause hip dysplasia itself; however, most veterinarians believe that they only bring out the condition in dogs that have already been genetically exposed. Though this may be true, it’s still best to avoid the above complications whenever possible.
In order to make sure that your furry friend is free of the condition, it’s important to choose a responsible breeder and understand each parent’s medical history. If you are unsure of your dog’s genetic background, ask your veterinarian to examine them for any signs of dysplasia.
Common signs of hip dysplasia in dogs
Though hip dysplasia is a painful condition of the hip joints, it can be challenging to know when your dog is struggling. It’s up to us to advocate for our dog’s aches and pains, so we need to understand what hip dysplasia can look like. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include:
- Decrease in daily activity
- Weakness in their hind legs
- Stiffness or decrease in flexibility
- Limited mobility
- Difficulty getting up and down
- Decrease in the thigh muscle mass
- Disinterest in activity they once enjoyed
- Crying out or whining during physical activity
- Change in their normal gait
- Sensitivity in their back end
If you ever notice any of the above symptoms in your canine friend, it’s best to have them seen by your veterinarian. The sooner you diagnose hip dysplasia in your pup, the better chance they have at proper pain management.
Home treatment options for hip dysplasia
Though there are medical options that can improve your dog’s life with hip dysplasia, some of the best ways to manage their condition are through helpful home treatments. In order to offer your dog the relief they deserve, let’s dive into the most successful ways to treat hip dysplasia at home.
Joint supplements are an essential in dogs that struggle with hip dysplasia and other painful joint conditions. Joint supplements are enriched with ingredients that target inflammation within the body, repair damaged cartilage, and prevent future damage going forward. Some of the ingredients that you can find in joint supplements on the market include glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, green lipped mussels, and more. Joint supplements are proven to be so effective in preventing joint damage that many vets recommend them for all large breed dogs once they reach adulthood.
Omega fatty acids
Omega fatty acids are another beneficial dietary supplement that can offer your dog relief. Omega fatty acids are a chain of nutritional fats that target inflammation within the joints and offer immune support. Not only will omega fatty acids bring relief to dogs with hip dysplasia, but they are also known to work wonders in dogs with chronic allergies.
Since dogs with hip dysplasia struggle with pain due to inflammation, it only makes sense that you offer them a diet with as few inflammation-causing ingredients as possible. Many diets on the market are filled with ingredients that trigger inflammation and immune response. This makes them a trigger for dogs with chronic joint pain. Studies suggest that raw diets can help dogs with inflammatory conditions. This means that a raw diet may also be beneficial to dogs with hip dysplasia. It can also offer additional immune support, which is especially important in aging canines.
Canine obesity is a great threat to your dog’s health, but it can also exacerbate their hip dysplasia pain. Excess weight can put extra stress on your dog’s joints, resulting in even more pain than they already experience. Keeping your dog at a manageable weight is an easy way to make their lives as comfortable as possible.
Physical therapy is important, and hydrotherapy is a popular method of light exercise in dogs with hip dysplasia. Water therapy can help your dog build strength in their weakened muscles, all while doing so in a low impact manner. Hydrotherapy can involve swimming in a shallow pool, swimming in a kiddie pool, or even swimming in the shallow end of a lake.
Light exercise is one of the best ways to keep your dog in tip top shape. Low-impact exercise will allow your dog to squeeze in some extra exercise, all while building the strength and stamina they may have lost due to their painful condition. Light exercise can include short walks in the park, stretching, mobility exercises, and any other form of mild activity.