How Can Hip Dysplasia Be Treated?
Because hip dysplasia is caused by an inherited defect, there are no products that can prevent its development. There are several surgical options, including a complete hip replacement. However, a combination of healthy diet, maintaining a normal weight, exercise, massage, warm and dry sleeping areas, joint supplements, anti-inflammatories and pain-relieving medication can help manage the condition. Your vet will help you with a daily pain-relieving program that is right for your dog.
Should Dogs with Hip Dysplasia Exercise?
Talk to your dog’s veterinarian about a good exercise program. Walking and moderate running can help strengthen the muscles around the joint. Your vet may recommend that you try for two 20-minute walks each day—just be sure to let your dog set the pace. As a general rule, it’s smart to avoid jumping or running for long distances. If you can, consider letting your dog swim for exercise—swimming is excellent for the muscles surrounding his joints.
Can Proper Diet Help Alleviate Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia?
Weight plays an important role in the comfort of your dog’s hips. Extra weight can add stress to hip joints, so make sure your dog is on a healthy diet, especially if he’s a large breed. You can work with your vet to find the right eating regimen for your dog.
What Else Can I Do to Ease My Dog’s Pain?
Talk to your vet about the following tips:
Apply a warm water bottle for 15 minutes twice a day.
Massage the muscles around his hip joints, gently rubbing in a circular motion with your fingertips for ten minutes at the most. (Pay attention to his response. If massage seems to irritate your dog’s hip, don’t continue.)
Buffered aspirin may take the pain away, too, but speak with your vet first about proper dosage, administration and side effects. There are many newer prescription painkillers available as well to help keep your dog pain-free.
Keep your dog out of damp, chilly weather.
Provide traction on slippery floors: Dogs with hip dysplasia often have a hard time on slippery floors, so lay carpet down, and if he needs to climb stairs or jump up into the car, a carpeted ramp will make it a lot easier on him.
Provide a firm, orthopedic bed for your dog.
What Are Some Other Health Issues Associated With Hip Dysplasia?
When a dog has hip dysplasia, the looseness of the hip can cause painful wear and tear on the joint that can result in arthritis. So if your dog has hip dysplasia, it’s important to keep up a daily regimen to relieve pain and help prevent the condition from progressing.