In any condition, the best possible thing you can do for your pet is to visit your vet. A vet has the necessary experience and resources to help your pet get back to full health.
However, as a pet owner, you can play a very big role in your dog’s health and wellness. Your role as the owner is especially important in the prevention of disease but you can still be instrumental in case your dog gets ill.
Home remedies are especially important for dogs with chronic diseases as they have to live with the illness for a very long time.
Learn how you can help your dog with hip dysplasia at home in addition to your vet’s recommendations.
Signs and Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia
If you suspect that your dog might have hip dysplasia, here some signs and symptoms that you should expect:
- Bunny hopping gait. You may notice your dog start to walk like a bunny as she puts more weight on the front limbs
- Lameness or limping
- Difficulty moving for example climbing the stairs, getting out of the car, or climbing furniture
- Loss of muscle mass in the hind legs
- Inability to exercise for long periods
- Clicking or popping sound at the joint as the dog tries to move
- Pain while moving. In later stages of hip dysplasia, your dog will experience pain that may greatly affect her quality of life
After observing the signs and symptoms in your dog, you should first confirm the diagnosis with a vet before proceeding to treatment. Many other conditions have similar signs and symptoms to hip dysplasia.
Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia
After you get your dog to the vet, she will be inspected to confirm if she really has the disease. The vet will start with a physical examination of the body to look for physical signs like swelling and muscle loss. Physical examination is usually not enough to confirm the diagnosis.
The vet will then proceed to perform x-rays on the dog. Regular x-rays are usually adequate to confirm hip dysplasia. If not, a special kind of x-rays designed for hip dysplasia may be used.
Your vet may also request other tests like blood work and a urinalysis to rule out other conditions.
Identifying the Cause
To choose the best treatment for your dog, knowing the cause of the hip dysplasia might help. As the disease develops over time, it may be hard to pinpoint what exactly caused it.
Common causes of hip dysplasia include:
- Obesity or overweight
- Lack of physical exercise
- Too much physical exercise
Breeds Prone to Hip Dysplasia
All dogs can be affected by hip dysplasia. However, some breeds are at a much higher risk of developing the condition than others. Larger breeds have a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia. Some of the breeds that are very likely to get hip dysplasia include:
- Labrador retriever
- Golden retriever
- German shepherd
- Saint Bernard
Dog owners with dogs of such breeds should take extra care to minimize their dog’s risk of getting the condition. They should also be aware of the signs and symptoms to help them identify the condition as soon as possible.
Natural Ways to Treat Hip Dysplasia
In overweight dogs, losing some of their body weight is very important for their recovery. This is especially true if the excess weight is the cause of the hip dysplasia.
Even if another cause were identified, being overweight may slow down recovery. This is because an overweight body puts excess pressure on the joints than they are designed to handle.
Diet modification and physical exercise are the two most effective ways of promoting weight loss in an overweight dog. Seek your vet’s advice or that of a nutrition expert before starting your dog on any type of weight loss diet.
The quality of food your dog eats largely influences her health. Poor quality food low in nutrients increases your dog’s risk of acquiring chronic diseases. Good quality nutritious food, on the other hand, not only protects your dog from disease but can also promote healing in dogs that are already sick.
Bones, just like any other body tissue require a good nutrient supply to stay healthy. Nutrients like calcium and vitamin D promote the development of strong healthy bones.
You may also need to put your dog on a low-calorie weight loss diet if she is overweight. Ensure to consult your vet or a qualified nutrition expert before cutting your dog’s food intake.
Even though your dog might start to dislike physical exercise as the hip dysplasia progresses, you will have to find ways to make sure she gets some every day. Exercise is not only great for weight loss and management but can also improve joint mobility and promote recovery.
Remember with your dog’s condition, she may not be able to exercise as she normally would. Do not push your dog to do more than she can handle. Too much exercise is just as bad for your dog as too little exercise.
Some of the exercises that can help hip dysplasia in dogs include swimming, light walks, and mobility exercises. Mobility exercises are light exercises that help improve the joint’s range of motion. For example, you can perform mobility exercises on your dog by flexing and relaxing your dog’s legs 3 to 5 times.
Physical therapy is a type of treatment that relies on the power of touch and movement to promote healing. The primary benefit of physical therapy is to improve mobility. Physical therapy is able to do this by improving the limb’s strength, range of motion, and endurance.
There are so many forms of physical therapy for example massage, applying cold or heat packs, and mobility exercises.
For whatever type of physical therapy you choose for your dog, ensure to do it properly. A consultation with an expert might be beneficial in improving your dog’s chances of recovery.
Even on the best diet, your dog may not be able to meet all the recommended nutrient targets. Luckily, you can use supplements to help your dog meet her needs. Ther are two types of supplements that will be of use to a dog with hip dysplasia:
These are supplements made to provide more nutrients. In a dog with hip dysplasia, supplements that boost bone health are especially crucial. Anti-inflammatory nutrients might also help reduce inflammation levels and pain.
Supplements for bone health include vitamin D and calcium. Anti-inflammatory nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Always remember that supplements are not a replacement for a healthy balanced diet. Supplements are meant to work with a good diet, not in place of it.
Supplements are not always about traditional nutrients. Food, especially plant-based food is loaded with so many compounds that are beneficial to the body but are not considered nutrients. Such compounds include phytochemicals and antioxidants.
You can get such compounds from supplements such as turmeric, ginger, and natural eggshell membrane.
Holistic Ways to Relieve Joint Pain
It is always difficult to see your dog in pain. Unfortunately, if your dog has hip dysplasia, she is very likely going to experience some pain as the disease progresses.
The amount of pain varies among dogs. Some dogs can live pain-free for all their lives while some go through excruciating pain. If your dog is in pain. your vet will most likely prescribe pain medication for her.
As your dog’s owner, you can also do something to ease your dog’s pain. Some of the ways you can holistically help your dog include:
Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil
CBD oil has been praised for its health benefits for a good reason. CBD has been shown to be effective in relieving pain in both humans and pets. The endocannabinoid system, the system through which CBD exerts its effects on the body controls many life aspects one of which is pain.
CBD also has many other health benefits that could help a dog with hip dysplasia like:
- Reducing anxiety
- Improving mood
- Reducing inflammation
Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Hyaluronic Acid
Glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid are very important for the treatment of joint diseases. Glucosamine and chondroitin are important components of cartilage. Cartilage is a soft tissue found at the tips of bones to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
Hyaluronic acid is a water-loving substance in the joint space. It attracts water to the joint keeping it moist and lubricated.
As hip dysplasia progresses, you may start to notice your dog sit uncomfortably. This is a sign that the legs are becoming too painful for the dog to rest on.
While seated or asleep both the ground and the dog’s bodyweight press on the dog’s legs. If the ground is too hard, it may hurt your dog. Eventually, a regular sleeping surface like a mattress or cushion may become inadequate for your dog’s comfort.
At this point, it may be time for an orthopedic mattress. An orthopedic mattress is designed to provide maximal comfort to your dog as she rests.
Helping Your Dog Live Comfortably
Unlike acute diseases like infections, hip dysplasia is not going to disappear in a week if it does at all. Hip dysplasia may take years to resolve even with surgical interventions.
You may not be able to cure your dog but you can design her surroundings to simplify her life. Some of the steps you can take to improve your dog’s life include:
- Cushioning her favorite places
- Placing everything a dog might need within sight and reach for example toys
Other ways to help your dog include following the vet’s instructions, spending more time with her, and minimizing her stress.
Our Final Thoughts
In conclusion, you can treat your dog’s hip dysplasia at home. You can provide different types of treatment such as physical therapy, weight management, physical exercise, diet therapy, and so on.
Weight management should be a first resort treatment in dogs that are overweight. A good diet and physical exercise are essential in the maintenance of a healthy weight.
Supplements can be of great help to your dog but only if you choose the best quality products.
As you treat your dog’s hip dysplasia, you should try to manage her pain as well. Your vet will most likely provide a prescription for pain medication. You can also help relieve your dog of some pain by giving her CBD oil, supplement, and providing an orthopedic mattress.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I treat my dog’s hip dysplasia at home?
Some of the ways you can treat your dog’s hip dysplasia at home include weight management, providing a healthy diet, physical exercise, physical therapy, giving pain relievers like CBD oil, and dietary supplements.
What is the best treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs?
The most effective measure against hip dysplasia is surgery. However, other types of treatment can also provide relief for dogs with hip dysplasia. Such treatments include physical therapy, diet therapy, weight loss, and supplementation.
How long can a dog live with hip dysplasia?
A dog can live a full healthy life with hip dysplasia. Your dog may however experience painful signs and symptoms in later stages that may make you consider euthanization.
Can hip dysplasia correct itself in dogs?
Some dog owners say that hip dysplasia corrected itself in their dogs. However, you should never leave your dog’s hip dysplasia untreated hoping for it to resolve itself.
Can exercise cause hip dysplasia?
Yes, if a dog gets too much exercise, she may develop hip dysplasia. Too much exercise can also worsen a dog’s condition if she already has hip dysplasia.