Hip and joint problems are fairly common in a variety of breeds of dog, and it can be quite painful for many of them. Some of the most common signs of these issues include trouble getting up and down, slow or stuff movements, problems with climbing stairs, excessive panting, limping, favoring one leg, and frequently holding one leg off the ground when walking or standing.
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
With hip dysplasia, the socket of hip doesn’t form properly and it results in damage as well as arthritis. This condition is usually seen in certain breeds of dogs, including Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, and golden retrievers, though it can occur in other breeds.
A veterinarian can diagnose this problem by taking an X-RAY of the hips. If a dog has this condition, there are a number of treatment options available if it is diagnosed early on.
Some of the surgical treatment options for hip dysplasia in dogs include a triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO), pubic symphodesis, femoral head ostectomy (FHO), and hip replacement. Weight management is crucial when it comes to reducing the effects of hip dysplasia.
Excess weight on a dog with this issue will irritate the condition significantly, which is why owners who have dogs with this problem need to make sure their pet’s weight is kept under control. A veterinarian may prescribe certain medication and supplements to ease the dog’s discomfort.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that is usually seen in older pets that have lots of wear and tear on the joints after years of use. This condition can have an impact on any joint in the body, including the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip and back.
There are numerous treatment options for this condition, including surgery. A hip replacement may be required in severe cases, and there are other joint replacement procedures that will be made available in the future.
The medical options for osteoarthritis in dogs are meant to treat any pain or discomfort that the dog feels, as well as keeping inflammation to a minimum in order to protect the cartilage in the joints.
It is also very important to keep your dog at a healthy weight to reduce even more problems with their hips and joints. Regular exercise can also be very effective when it comes to keeping your pet’s muscle strong.
Medications for Osteoarthritis
There are numerous supplements that can be used to help dogs with osteoarthritis, including Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Glucosamine and Chondroitin for dogs, which are used to treat and manage inflammation. There are also non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that your vet may prescribe as needed for your pet. Take a look at our article about fish oil supplements to learn more about Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
These medications can minimize inflammation around the joints, but a serum chemistry is strongly recommended before starting your dog on these medications in order to detect any possible underlying conditions that the drugs could aggravate.
Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used to help with inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, but they can come with a number of different side-effects. Before a vet will prescribe these drugs for your dog, a full blood workup is highly recommended.
Laser therapy is yet another option for dogs with this problem, and it has been proven to be very effective in reducing discomfort and improving mobility. Narcotics may be needed to help with pain that your dog is experiencing due to this condition, but they are not always required.
There are lots of different hip and joint problems that your dog can develop, and it is important to take your pet to see a veterinarian if you notice any strange changes in the way it moves so you can get it the help it needs if something is wrong.