Hip dysplasia in dogs is a painful condition that can deeply impact your furry friend’s life. With the potential to cause so much chronic discomfort, many pet owners are looking for effective ways to ease their pain. So are there any supplements that can make a dog’s life easier?
In this article we’ll discuss the potential benefits of joint supplements in dogs with hip dysplasia, and offer some additional tips on bringing them comfort.
What Is Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a joint condition in dogs that is classified by the irregular formation of the hip joint. In a dog without the condition, their hips consist of ball and socket joints that glide freely with each step. When a dog has hip dysplasia, the ball and socket joint does not glide with ease as it should.
This abnormal formation of the joint causes the hip to rub and grind, leading to joint deterioration and pain. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable for our canine companions, but it can lead to severe joint damage over time. If a dog’s hip dysplasia is not addressed, they will often begin to show signs of chronic pain.
Hip dysplasia in dogs has been tied to a few possible factors, but it is most commonly understood to be a hereditary condition that can be exacerbated by other triggers. The possible causes of hip dysplasia in dogs include:
- Hereditary condition that is passed down from dog to dog. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to choose a breeder that screens their breeding adults for signs of this condition and other abnormalities.
- Excessive exercise, especially during puppyhood
- Fast growth periods, often in large or giant breed dogs
- Improper nutrition that impacts a dog’s normal growth
- Lack of appropriate nutrition for a dog’s age range
Signs Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
Our canine companions can’t tell us when they are hurting, making it difficult to know when they need our help. To offer your pup the comfort they need, let’s discuss the most common signs of joint and hip discomfort in our furry friends.
Signs of hip dysplasia in dogs include:
- Decrease in daily activity
- Difficulty getting up and down
- Decrease in the thigh muscle mass
- Decreased range of motion
- Change in their normal gait
- Sensitivity in their back end
- Weakness in the hind legs
- Crying out or whining during activity
Supplements For Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
As we mentioned above, hip dysplasia can lead to serious discomfort and joint deterioration in our furry friends. In any condition that causes inflammation and pain within the joints, it’s ideal to offer daily supplements that can target these issues at the source and help to bring relief. So what supplement options should you be aware of? Let’s dive into the best supplements for hip dysplasia!
While a prescription diet does not fall into the daily supplement category, it can be the most beneficial tool in your dog’s fight against hip dysplasia pain. Prescription joint diets are created specifically for dogs with chronic joint conditions and discomfort, even being used in place of daily joint supplements.
These prescription joint diets often contain the ingredients that we will discuss below, as well as other anti-inflammatory agents that can help relieve discomfort over time. If your dog is struggling with hip dysplasia or chronic joint pain in general, we recommend discussing prescription diet options with your veterinarian.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are a team of natural components that are often found in canine joint supplements. To help you better understand how to help your pup going forward, let’s introduce both ingredients and how they can potentially help your dog’s chronic pain.
Glucosamine: Glucosamine is a naturally compound that is found in the healthy cartilage of a dog. Glucosamine aids in repairing damaged cartilage within a dog’s joints, as well as helping to repair other tissues as well. When a dog ages, the glucosamine levels in their joints will begin to decline. Due to this, dogs can experience increased joint pain as they get older.
Chondroitin: Chondroitin is one more naturally occurring substance that is found in canine cartilage. Chondroitin’s job is to promote water retention and elasticity of the cartilage, in turn helping to promote shock absorption in the joints. Just like with glucosamine, our pups are more at risk of joint deterioration as their chondroitin levels decline.
Glucosamine and chondroitin both help to promote joint and cartilage health in our furry friends, so it makes sense that these two compounds are often joined together in canine supplements. This joint supporting duo can be used as a relief option in dogs that have already been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and joint pain, or dogs that are at risk of developing these issues down the line.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are another dietary supplement that can potentially ease your dog’s hip dysplasia symptoms over time. Omega fatty acids are a chain of nutritional fats that not only target inflammation within the joints, but also offer additional immune support.
Omega fatty acids can act as a lubricant for stiff joints, aiding in comfort for pups that have become stiff or have lost some range of motion. If you have a dog with hip dysplasia or joint pain, omega fatty acids are worth discussing!
Other Ways To Help Your Dog
While diet changes and dietary supplements can offer your dog extra support throughout their condition, there are other ways to improve their life as well! To best help your furry friend with their pain, let’s discuss other ways to help your dog going forward.
Weight management may be the most effective way to help your dog’s hip dysplasia pain. Excess weight can put extra stress on your dog’s joints, further exacerbating their painful symptoms each day. If your dog has hip dysplasia or joint pain, it is extremely important to make sure they stay at an appropriate weight. If you think your dog may need to lose a couple pounds, it’s best to discuss a safe plan of action with your veterinarian.
Adjusting Your Home
Hip dysplasia can make your dog’s life challenging, so it’s up to us to make our home as accommodating as possible. You can do this by adding rugs to slippery floors for extra traction, raising their food and water bowls to decrease their need to bend over, making sure their dog bed is supportive enough for their comfort, and any other added measures that can make your dog’s life easier.
Prescription Medications & Professional Therapy
If you think your dog’s hip dysplasia is severe and needs additional help, you can always speak to your veterinarian about prescription medications and professional physical therapy options. Some dogs have severe cases of hip dysplasia that require extra assistance, and we always recommend exploring every avenue to help your furry friend.
As you can see, there are a few different options to help a dog with hip dysplasia. Be sure to review the information that we discussed above, and you can better assist your beloved companion going forward!
The article was written by Amber LaRock, RVT