Natural Treatment For Canine Hip Dysplasia and Arthritis
Signs that a Dog has Arthritis
Your dog is lying down and you call him but he does not come or you run up the stairs and call her but she hesitates to come up the stairs. Both of these can be signs that your dog is suffering from arthritis. Just like with humans, dog arthritis is quite painful and while a dog's pain threshold is typically higher than humans, if your dog is hesitating doing activities he always did before, you probably need to have some x-rays done to see if he or she has developed arthritis.
It is common and in fact, just like osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in people, aging or wear and tear arthritis is very common in dogs. If your dog is overweight, getting him on a good diet to shed some pounds will help his pain greatly because there will not be the added weight on his joints. Moreover, begin moderate exercise will help to keep the joints moving and lubricated, as well as adding some MSM and glucosamine to his diet, both are natural anti-inflammatories that can lessen pain and help build back the joint cartilage your dog has lost.
What Breeds Are Susceptible to Hip Dysplasia
Big dogs are most likely to develop hip dysplasia, but it seems to be especially common in German Shepherds, huskies, and Golden Retrievers. However, there are many mixed breed dogs that have genetic factors for the disease and therefore, any mid to large sized breed that is mixed is also susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.
Some dogs develop the disease very early in life, which in a sense is good because if it is caught early enough there are ways to slow down the progression to stop arthritis from occurring in the hip joint. If you have a breed that is prone to the disease or you know there is a family history of hip dysplasia in their bloodline, you should have your dog x-rayed at various intervals to check for any changes in their hip joints to see if they are developing the disease. The earlier treatment begins the better is it for your dog because it is a serious condition that can cause a great deal of pain for your dog.
Treatment for Canine Hip Dysplasia And Arthritis
In the early stages of hip dysplasia, which is a genetic looseness in the hip joint itself, conservative measures are sought such as pain medications, weight loss (if the dog is overweight), light exercise, and physical therapy. Supplements can also be used such as glucosamine and MSM, which can help control inflammation in the hip itself. As long as the dog is comfortable and still has use of his hind legs, this type of treatment can go on indefinitely.
If the disease is severe, surgery may be needed to either help prevent arthritis from occurring in the joint, or to help improve function of an already arthritic hip. Often surgery can relieve some of the pain, but in severe cases, if lameness has occurred it is irreversible and therefore, a prosthetic "wheelchair" can be attached to the dog like a harness and the dog then learns to walk moving his front legs while pulling the two-wheel "wheelchair" with his two hind legs in it. Most dogs can take to the "wheels" easily with a bit of training and can live normal life expectancies.