Has your pet been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, and are you seeking the best hip pain relief for dogs?
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition common in large breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds. However, the disease also affects some small breeds.
Hip dysplasia is painful and drastically reduces the quality of a dog’s life, which is usually quite difficult for owners to watch.
The good news is that there are ways to help your canine friend feel comfortable and naturally treat and manage hip dysplasia. And here is how you can do that.
Hip Pain Relief for Dogs
Surgery is one of the solutions to hip dysplasia. But your vet might recommend natural treatments if the hip dysplasia isn’t severe. Below are some of the best ways to relieve pain and naturally treat hip dysplasia in your dog.
- Use a Special Mattress
The hip pain makes sleeping quite uncomfortable in dogs at times. That’s because the mattress puts unnecessary pressure on its joints. You can buy an orthopedic dog bed to improve comfort and reduce pain.
The primary material in orthopedic dog beds is memory foam. It’s designed to distribute pressure evenly across the entire dog’s body.
This helps take the stress off the dog’s joints, thus relieving pain and allowing the dog to rest more efficiently and comfortably.
In addition, you can also place rugs in your home to ease the movement of your pup. Or cushion the stairs to help them access the bed or couch without jumping.
Various physical therapy approaches can help reduce hip pain and improve your puppy’s mobility. But hydrotherapy is the most common of all.
With hydrotherapy, your dog can exercise using underwater equipment like treadmill. Water reduces pressure from the dog’s joints and allows them to exercise the leg and joint muscles without discomfort.
Hydrotherapy will help your dog regain mobility and also lose some weight.
- Physical Therapy
This rehabilitation is excellent for dogs with hip dysplasia. It’ll ease hip pain, maintain or build muscle mass, enhance mobility, and improve the motion range of their hips.
There are various active and passive stretches, range-of-motion exercises, and massages that a doctor can perform on your dog. They’ll help strengthen the hip joints and support their muscles.
Your vet can also help you create a personalized treatment plan you can easily follow at home.
- Modify the Dog’s Diet
If your dog has hip dysplasia, the one crucial thing you need to do is help it to control its weight. That’s because the more the weight, the more pressure is put on the joints, leading to more pain and discomfort.
You can consult your vet about the best weight management plan for your canine. The vet will probably tell you to give the dog high-quality food fresh diet and add more human food to the dog’s meal.
Human foods tend to have higher minerals and vitamins that can reduce inflammation of the dog’s joints. The best human foods that you can add to your dog’s meal include;
- Ginger root
- Fish and other food that contains omega-3 fatty acids
There are many nutritious foods that you can offer your dog; the vet should give you more information on this.
- Moderate Exercises
The exercises are vital to your dog as they help control its weight and keep the muscles active. However, running and other intense activities can increase joint pains and inflammation.
But moderate exercises such as walking on soft surfaces like sand or grass can be ideal for your dog. Walking the dog uphill will also improve the dog’s overall mobility and muscle development.
So, consider a hilly route when walking your feline friend. It’ll give your dog the best hip and leg workout.
- Chiropractic Treatments
Acupuncture treatments and therapeutic massages have proven to be quite effective. They’ll help reduce your dog’s pain.
Acupuncture will stimulate your dog to release anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving chemicals. In addition, massages will help improve the dog’s blood circulation and flow and remove toxins and metabolic wastes from its body.
- Heat Treatments
Heat treatment is usually effective in humans but also works well on dogs. It’ll help loosen the dog’s muscles and increase blood circulation into its joints.
Using a heated towel or hot water bottle, you can apply heat to your dog’s joints. Apply the hot towel or water bottle to the dog’s hip or where it’s experiencing pain. Please do this for a few minutes daily before the dog rests.
You can bathe the dog using warm water to soothe its aching joints. Ensure the hot towel, bottle, or bath water isn’t too hot. You should immediately stop using heat treatment if the dog reacts painfully to it.
- Herbs and Natural Supplements
In addition to therapy treatments and a healthy, balanced diet, you can also use natural supplements and herbs to reduce joint inflammation.
Chondroitin and glucosamine are some of the common ingredients used as supplements. These compounds are naturally occurring and are proven to boost cartilage repair in dogs, maintain joint fluid thickness, etc.
There’s still little veterinary research on glucosamine and chondroitin, but these compounds offer moderate comfort levels for dogs. Other supplements that can help your dog include;
- Omega-3 fatty acids supplements
- Dog Wheelchair
If the hip pain makes your dog have trouble keeping balance or standing for long hours, a wheelchair will help.
If the hip problem isn’t severe, you can use a support sling; it’ll offer gentle support to the center of your dog’s body when needed.
But if the hip pain has progressed to a point where your dog needs support, it can significantly benefit from using a wheelchair.
A wheelchair will support the dog’s weight, relieve pressure from the waist, and help them regain independence.
If the dog is in the early stages of hip dysplasia, the wheelchair can be helpful in rehabilitation therapy. It can also help your dog complete short walks and more.
What are The Causes of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?
The dog’s hip pain can be either constant or chronic. If it’s chronic pain, it might be because of hip dysplasia or canine arthritis.
On the other hand, acute pain can be due to injury. However, most dogs with hip pain usually suffer from chronic pain.
The common cause of canine hip pain is osteoarthritis which is the natural tear and wear of a dog’s hip joints. The areas that are usually affected by osteoarthritis are;
In addition, hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease that can occur at any age. But it’s common in large dog breeds such as saint Bernards, great Danes, German shepherds, rottweilers, etc.
What Are The Signs of Hip Dysplasia?
Some dog breeds begin showing hip dysplasia at very young ages. Others do develop the issue due to osteoarthritis as they age. But in both cases, there are always a few symptoms that the owner should be familiar with.
These symptoms will vary according to the severity of the condition. Which include how long the dog has suffered, the degree of looseness in the joints, and much more.
The common symptoms include:
- Bunny hopping or limping
- Trouble climbing stairs
- Discomfort and pain
- Favoring one leg over the other
- Soreness and stiffness in the hips
- Hesitancy to train or exercise
- Can’t stand for long hours
Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
If you notice any or most of the above signs on your dog, you should take it to a vet for a physical examination. Tell the doctor what your dog is experiencing for them knows precisely what to check for.
In other cases, the doctor might suspect your dog has hip dysplasia while doing regular checkups. Once the vet suspects that your dog has this issue, the first thing they’ll probably do is manipulate its hind legs.
They do this to test the joint’s looseness and find out if there’s any pain, grinding, or reduced motion range.
The physical exam conducted by the vet may include blood work since a complete blood count can show inflammation because of joint disease. The vet might also ask you about the dog’s health history and if it showed any symptoms.
For example, you can inform them if your dog experienced any possible injuries or incidents that caused these symptoms. Plus, you should add any information you think caused the issue.
The final diagnosis usually comes after a radiograph or X-ray. The vet will take radiographs on your pet to determine how severe the hip dysplasia is. This will choose the type of treatment to offer for hip pain relief for dogs.
There are several hip pain relief for dogs, but there’s no known way to prevent hip dysplasia. This is because it’s a hereditary condition, and most giant breed dogs are born with it.
If you have a large breed dog, it’s recommended that you start giving it joint supplements as early as three months. It ensures the dog has excellent joint health and protects the joint’s cartilage.
You should also work with the vet to ensure the dog maintains a healthy weight. A great weight will help reduce the stress on the dog’s joints.