Owners of large breed dogs often worry about dog hip dysplasia, a painful disease that can rob a dog and her owner of much of the pleasure of being companions. Hip dysplasia is caused by one or more of several factors, including a genetic pre-disposition to the disease as well as environmental influences such as cold and dampness. Ultimately, dysplasia can result in painful arthritis at the site.
If You Suspect Dysplasia
If you notice that your dog is moving differently, favoring one rear leg, or even running like a bunny, moving both legs at the same time, it’s important to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. While your pet may be good at compensating for the dysplasia by moving in an awkward manner, he may be causing severe spinal problems in the process. Never medicate your pet without a vet’s advice.
Once your vet has made a diagnosis, he or she will discuss treatment options with you. As noted above, there are several ways a pet can get dysplasia, and there are also several different types of the disease. Treatments can include everything from dietary or environment changes to medication or surgery. Pain management is a major factor in your pet’s quality of life, so be sure to discuss your concerns with your vet.
Food Supplements for Dog Hip Dysplasia
There are some healthy dog food products that have been developed for older dogs. These may include some of the same ingredients that humans are using to treat arthritis such as glucosamine and chondroitin. These elements may inhibit cartilage degeneration while helping with joint hydration. While these products cannot substitute for your vet’s treatments, they may help to limit your pet’s discomfort, and your vet will be happy to discuss them as an option for your pet.