Hip dysplasia is the leading cause of hip pain in dogs. With symptoms ranging from mild to severe with chronic hip pain this painful hip condition can make every step your dog takes painful. So, what's the best way to help ease your dog's pain? Here are a few ways that you can educate yourself about hip dysplasia and how you can help your dog deal with hip dysplasia pain.
Understanding Hip Dysplasia Symptoms in Dogs
Signs of hip dysplasia can begin when a puppy is only a few months old. Educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia can be beneficial in providing your dog with the best care possible.
Common Signs of Hip Dysplasia Include:
- Struggling to stand up
- Hind leg weakness
- Walking with a hopping step or showing an unwillingness to move
- Swaying and staggering while walking
- Pain, leg stiffness, and limping
- Difficulty running, jumping, and climbing stairs
In more advanced stages of hip dysplasia your dog may show a decreased range of motion along with significant loss of muscle in the rear.
3 Ways to Treat Your Dog's Hip Pain
Here are a few simple at-home methods for reducing your dog's joint pain and helping your dog to move with ease.
1. Provide Hip Support and Bracing
Canine hip support, also known as a hip brace for dogs, gently hug your dog's hips. This supports your dog's hip and applies pressure which makes it easier to walk and relieves hip pain. Don't expect your dog's new hip dysplasia brace to work overnight. Be patient, it will take some time until you notice a difference in your dog's mobility.
For best results combine canine hip support with regular exercise. By building up leg strength and muscle tone while wearing a brace your dog will see noticeable improvement in their hip strength.
A hip brace will only benefit your dog if your dog is still able to walk and stand on their own. Non-ambulatory dogs should consider a mobility device such as a dog wheelchair.
2. Structured Exercise & Physiotherapy
Physical therapy and regular exercise will not only help your dog build up leg strength and muscle tone, it can actually help relieve pain and prevent further muscle atrophy. Low impact exercise, like swimming is ideal for a dog with bad hips. Not only is it easier for a dog to move in the water, but it reduces the weight their placing on their joints as they exercise. Work with a certified canine rehab therapist to develop a workout plan to build up your dog's strength and endurance without hurting their aching joints.
3. Avoid Strenuous Exercise
Dogs with bad hips or chronic hip pain should avoid strenuous exercise that involve running and jumping. In a game of frisbee your dog may overexert themselves, every time your dog jumps to catch the disc the impact when they land can worsen their hip condition. Too much exercise can actually increase the risk of your dog developing hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis when they're older.