Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
EcoBalance Joint Care for Dogs
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Risk Factors and Treatment Options
Anyone who owns a dog, especially a large or purebred dog, has likely heard the term “hip dysplasia.” It’s so common an ailment that even dog owners with healthy, happy pups are aware of its existence, and for many the thought of a dog developing hip dysplasia seems quite a bit like the end of that dog’s active, enjoyable lifestyle. However, a hip dysplasia diagnosis is not necessarily the end of the world and treatment options do exist that can help your dog continue his normal activities.
Familiarizing yourself with hip dysplasia is a powerful first step in ensuring you’re able to protect your dog from its advance and help him should he end up developing the disease.
Hip dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket portions of a dogs leg joints fail to form correctly. Over time, the malformed ball and socket cause damage to one another, thus limiting the functionality of the joint and causing pain to the dog. Once the joint is significantly damaged, a dog can lose the ability to use legs afflicted by the condition (most commonly the hind legs). This is why hip dysplasia is most common in older dogs; the joint has had plenty of time to degrade.
Certain dogs are at a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia. Because it is primarily driven by genetic inheritance, specific breeds carry hip dysplasia through their family lines. Large-breed dogs like German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, and Mastiffs are among the most common dogs diagnosed with hip dysplasia, but it is important to note that any dog can potentially fall prey to the disorder.
Dogs can develop hip dysplasia regardless of age, breed, gender, or previous medical history.
Identifying Hip Dysplasia
As with most medical conditions, it is important to seek the assistance of a veterinarian in getting an official, expert diagnosis if you notice any signs of pain or changes of behavior in your dog. However, hip dysplasia does have some common symptoms that should be easily identifiable as long as you’ve paid close attention to your dog as he aged from puppy to adult.
Dogs with hip dysplasia may show difficulty rising from a laying position and can seem more stiff than usual. Physical activity will also decrease, and your dog might show a sudden reluctance to jump onto your bed, climb the stairs, or run at full speed. Signs of pain from the hips are also a good indicator, as is a decreased range of hip motion or the feeling of grating in the hips (you can actually feel this with your hands in extreme cases of dysplasia).
Dealing with Dysplasia
The sad truth of hip dysplasia is that there is no preventative measure or cure, although supplementing with Glucosamine can help. Some dogs will develop hip dysplasia and some dogs will not, but a hip dysplasia diagnosis does not mean your dog’s fun days are behind him. Medicines and supplements can be administered that reduces pain and inflammation in the hips, and low-impact activities like swimming help strengthen muscles while limiting impact on affected joints. If your dog is overweight, shedding a few pounds will result in a marked improvement in the way he feels about his hips.
Approach the situation with care. Take your dog for a couple of short walks each day to help build muscle around the joint, but don’t push him past his comfort point. If you’re really lost, ask your vet to help you come up with an exercise program specific to your dog. Lay carpet down in slippery areas of your home so your dog can move comfortably — hip dysplasia makes it tough for pups to move on low-traction surfaces.
Natural supplements containing glucosamine which strengthen joints and their connective tissues are a desirable option for mitigating symptoms of hip dysplasia.
Dogs with hip dysplasia can still lead happy lives, though it is important you understand that the condition will likely worsen despite your best efforts. All you can do is ensure your dog is comfortable and give him the attention he needs to keep his joints strong for as long as you possibly can. Remember: Dogs with injuries or diseases are never depressed about them and will feed off of the energy you provide. Staying positive and happy will go a long way toward ensuring your pup feels his best, even with weakening joints.
EcoBalance Joint Care Liquid Concentrate for Dogs is an all natural liquid blend which helps stabilize and mend dogs with hip dysplasia. Just one pump in your dog’s food each day will give her the natural support her body needs to strengthen joints and help reduce inflammation and pain. Many of our customers use nothing but EcoBalance for their dog’s hip dysplasia. Order one now and get your dog the joint support he deserves.
About the Author:Craig Davis is VP of Vet Organics, a company which produces effective and safe natural remedies for dogs and cats.