BENGALURU: Of my four adopted and rescued dogs, Sarah, my eight-year-old lab girl suffers from HD and arthritis. Hip dysplasia or HD, as it is commonly known, is very common among large breed dogs. That doesn’t mean that smaller and medium size breeds are completely free from it. In dogs, hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic trait that is affected by environmental factors. It is common in many dog breeds, particularly the larger breeds like the Dane, St Bernard Labs and German Sheperds.
This genetic predisposition can be amplified by environmental factors, such as excessive growth, exercise, your dog’s weight and nutrition. In India, the rampant unethical breeding is the main cause for prevalence of this genetic disorder. It’s not uncommon to see even pups with HD nowadays.
Some dogs begin to show signs of hip dysplasia when they are as young as four months, while other dogs develop it in conjunction with osteoarthritis as they age. In both cases, symptoms include decreased activity/difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs/lameness in the hind end/grating in the joint during movement/loss of thigh muscle mass/noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end/pain and stiffness.
There are quite a few treatment options for hip dysplasia in dogs, ranging from lifestyle modifications to surgery. Weight control is an important aspect of caring for a dog with hip dysplasia, as you do not want your dog to be overweight and put more stress on its joints. One of the simplest ways to mitigate your dog’s hip dysplasia is to change your dog’s diet. Start them on a cooked or raw meat diet. Control on the quantity of food is of utmost importance. Other ideal foods to add to your dog’s diet are fresh vegetables like carrots, beans, drumstick leaves, and pumpkin. Be sure to avoid vegetables such as those in the nightshade family (peppers, potatoes, eggplants, etc.) as they can worsen your dog’s condition.
Dietary supplementary can be an extremely effective addition to your dog’s diet. Colloidal silver has been proven to regenerate tissue and bone while colloidal gold helps reduce swelling and pain. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for joint inflammation relief. Adding herbs such as licorice, ginger, alfalfa, rosemary and cayenne to your dog’s food will also help with inflammation and promote blood circulation. Bone broth works miracle for such cases too. A calcium rich diet along with bone broth and golden paste goes a long way to heal a dog suffering from HD.
Swimming and hydrotherapy alleviates the pain, so will physiotherapy. Surgery is an option in serious cases. Avoid running and fast walking .Cover your floors with anti-skid mats or carpets. Use a heat pack or an Infrared lamp to help in your pets pain management.
Having hip dysplasia does not mean your dog should have to exercise less. In fact, it requires your dog to get more exercise than ever before as hip dysplasia makes them more prone to muscle atrophy. Choosing the appropriate form of exercise is key. Though hip dysplasia results in an abnormal gait and limping, taking your dog for a good old-fashioned walk is still very much encouraged as it gives their legs a nice workout. Just make sure to stick to routes with soft surfaces like grass or sand and avoid concrete paths. Inclined surfaces like hills also increase muscle development.
These are just some of the home remedies for such dogs. Some of these remedies may seem simple, but over time, the effects brought about by these new routines will prove itself on your next visit at the vet. Remember: your dog is counting on you to help maintain, or in this case, improve their quality of life.
Ensure that they are getting proper care, so that you get to spend more years with your best friend.