Exercises For Canine Arthritis And Hip Dysplasia

Canine Hip Dysplasia Prone BreedsDogs with mobility problems due to hip dysplasia should engage in moderate, low contact activities. It is very important that a dog with Hip Dysplasia keeps moving. Exercising with Hip Dysplasia is a balancing act; too much can cause pain and too little makes the condition worse. Exercise is not only beneficial for a dog with this condition to aid with joint mobility – it also helps to rebuild and maintain muscle to support the joint, improves circulation to the area and contributes to weight management.

Dogs with severe mobility problems will benefit from forms of physical therapy that help to strengthen the muscles of the hind legs and the back, these muscles help support the hips and legs. Examples include sit-to-stand exercises (have the dog sit, then have him rise–this is similar to a human performing squats) and walking under obstacles such as chairs that require the dog to lower and raise his body.

Other forms of physical therapy include tissue massage and range of motion exercises that help to keep the joints in the legs fluid.

The Preferred Supplements Used To Combat Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Arthritis and hip dysplasia are very common illnesses in dogs. Though they are very different illnesses, often times a dog with hip dysplasia will develop arthritis so they both require similar treatment. One out of every five dogs will develop arthritis in their lifetimes. It is a degenerative joint disease that causes stiff painful joints. Arthritis develops when the cartilage protecting the bones of the joints wears down or is destroyed. Without cartilage, the joint has no cushion so the joints rub against one another causing pain and decreased mobility.

Hip dysplasia is when the hip joints do not develop normally. The hip joint lacks the cushioning required to function and will eventually cause deterioration, lameness, and loss of mobility. Hip dysplasia is typically a genetic disorder but can be caused by a variety of environmental factors.

Finding the best dog food supplements for arthritis and hip dysplasia can also help your dog manage these uncomfortable health issues.

Hip Dysplasia Supplement InfoWhat are joint supplements for dogs?

Joint supplements for dogs are pills that can be taken in the attempt to improve your pup’s mobility. They will contain something that is believed to keep them from having movement problems like arthritis in the future or to decrease current symptoms.

Three different basic types of joint supplements exist. You need to ask your vet which might be the most appropriate for your dog’s current and future joint health needs. It is advised to take help of the vet before providing any of the supplements.

  • Preventative supplements aim to keep your dog’s joints healthy and strong so joint problems do not develop in the future.
  • Treatment supplements work to repair joint damage.
  • Nourishing supplements support your dog’s body and immune system to continue building healthy joints.

These are some of the best known and most popular joint supplements for dogs.

1. Glucosamine / Chondroitin joint supplements for dogs

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two key ingredients in almost all dog joint health and arthritis prevention and reduction supplements. They each have benefits for your dog on their own, but when you combine them together; you can get a more powerful overall formula that can help to reduce your dog’s arthritis symptoms.

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound that forms in cartilage. In the body, its responsibilities include fighting inflammation, nourishing cartilage and creating the cushioning fluid around the joints. Glucosamine can also be made synthetically as glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate. It helps to reduce any previous damage done to your dog’s joints by injury or arthritis, and it helps to strengthen the cartilage that is there.

Chondroitin also occurs naturally in the cartilage, and can also help with reducing inflammation and forming new cartilage/reinforcing existing cartilage and connective tissues.

As your dog ages, their natural Glucosamine production slows down, and this is one of the factors that can lead to an increased wear and tear on the joints. Along with this, your dog’s cartilage cells are always renewing, and damage can lead to inflammation and the cells releasing enzymes which can lead to even more joint damage.

By giving your dog a joint supplement that contains Chondroitin or a mix of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, you may see several benefits including:

  • A decrease in inflammation and swelling.
  • Improved flexibility levels.
  • Hydrates the joint cartilage for better shock absorption.
  • Protects existing cartilage from further damage.
  • Assists with preventing any stress injuries due to damaged ligaments.

2. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring component in the body that helps to create and support the skin, eyes, connective tissues, joints and joint fluid, as well as other body systems.

When it is used as an injectable supplement for joint issues in dogs during clinical trials, Hyaluronic Acid delivered similar positive results to traditional conservative canine joint treatments.

However, researchers concluded that additional trials with more stringent controls are needed before making a firm statement that HA in supplement form can help canine joint pain and mobility issues. It is highly advised not to use it without proper suggestion from the vet.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)

Omega-3 fatty acids sometimes called simply “fish oil,” have shown some promise in reducing inflammation—certainly there is more positive research to support the use of fish oil overdosing your dog with glucosamine, making this one of the best arthritis supplements for dogs, at least in theory.

Many commercial dog foods already contain fish oil, but not always in sufficient quantities to treat existing joint inflammation. Be sure any supplement you choose contains both EPA and DHA.

You can talk with your veterinarian about the proper dosage.

4.  ArthriSoothe-GOLD Level 3 Advanced Joint Care for Dogs:

This highly rated supplement for dogs contains glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid (HA), plus Boswellia serrata and other ingredients.

Low Cost Treatment Options For Canine Hip Dysplasia

A suitable diagnosis can only be made using X-rays of the pelvis and hips. One of the main problems about X-ray is that the dog will be under intense anesthesia, which entails its own set of risks. If you choose to perform the test, the X-rays will allow your veterinarian to evaluate the severity of your dog hip dysplasia, which varies from moderate to severe. The diagnosis depends on placing the femur on the right position (the acetabulum). Once the situation is serious, it cannot be reversed. Lameness is erratic and may be present or unnoticeable.

There are some actions that can help your dog rest from the pain. These include chiropractic adjustments, massage, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and, if necessary, pain medication.

Acupressure: This has to do with the use of hands, elbows, and knees instead of needles by the practitioners to maintain light pressure on the same meridian point used in the acupuncture. This method is easier for those that wish to perform at home treatment for their sick dog. Just be sure to consult your veterinarian before beginning to try your own treatment.

Chiropractic care: When the hips are in poor condition, the rest of the body is often overcompensating to let go of the damaged joint. After a period of time, this uneven distribution of weight can cause an interruption of your dog’s spine. This is the reason why regular visits to a chiropractor are a good idea for your dog to correct and avoid more problems along the way.

Massage: A qualified massage therapist can help improve your dog’s aching and stiff limbs and reduce the discomfort of hip dysplasia. Many people also use massage therapy to help those suffering from muscle stress and arthritis.

Hydrotherapy: when your dog injured his hip, one of the most significant things to regulate is the dog body weight. Excess weight on the dog will increase the pressure on his hips and cause excessive pain. This often causes your dog to become more inactive, which only stimulates the condition. Hydrotherapy offers your dog a low form of exercises, which helps promote movement and weight loss, as well as reduce muscle and joint stiffness.

Alternatives To Surgery For Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine Hip Dysplasia Signs and SymptomsCanine Hip Dysplasia is an unnatural formation of the hip socket that can be quite painful for a dog. It is a form of arthritis and just like most forms of arthritis that affect humans it has no definite cure. There are several ways to improve the dogs quality of life, reduce the pain considerably and wipe out most of the clinical signs. However, it is important to note that this condition is a degenerative one so it naturally gets worse. Treatments are designed to counter the degeneration and not to cure the condition. Due to the varying degrees of Canine hip dysplasia, some dogs do not need intensive care but rather medications to assist the dog deal with the condition better.

In intense conditions, surgery is usually the first option but for those who cannot afford surgery or choose not to go with that option usually, use one of the following.

Medication – The medication for more severe conditions would not be the same for the minor degree. These medications are designed to reduce the damage, pain and possible swelling. The usual drug recommended is the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is very important to consult a veterinarian before purchasing any NSAID because the drug type varies in different species. This drug combats arthritis that has occurred because of the hip dysplasia. The veterinarian may also try glucosamine-based nutritional supplements which may help with the joint repair. The usual testing time for these supplements is three to five weeks. Your dog will probably have to try several anti-inflammatory drugs in order to find the perfect fit. This trial period lasts two to four weeks for each brand of the drug. This trial is conducted alongside the glucosamine-based supplements and if the dog doesn’t respond to treatment, medication may be ruled out.

Weight loss – An overweight dog who suffers from this condition would be placed on a strict diet in order to reduce the weight placed on the hip bone. Weight loss may reveal the hip dysplasia to be minor instead of severe. Reducing the dog’s weight is a surefire way to fight all forms of arthritis.

Exercise – Canine Hip Dysplasia can be caused by jogging with a dog under one year and repeatedly placing weight on the bones which are not fully grown yet. Thus, increasing or reducing the dog’s exercise is a great way to curb the symptoms of dysplasia. A healthy exercise system can encourage the growth of cartilage and reduce the degeneration reasonably. Long, relaxing walks are also well recommended for your dog during the early stages of canine hip dysplasia or for mild dysplasia. This will help to fight the degeneration of muscle mass.

Canine Massages – Canine massages are said to reduce the pain in the affected area. The massage reduces the discomfort and pain whilst encouraging the movement of nutrients as well as lymph in the system.

Mesenchymal stem cell therapy – Another form of non-surgical treatment which has been proven to increase the dog’s range of motion, reduce the crippling and alleviate discomfort.

Why Do Dogs Develop Hip Dysplasia

If you have a pet, the chances that you are very attached to them are high. Most dog owners love their furry friends to a fault and they want only the best for their pets. Dogs on an average live for thirteen years and in order to optimize the time you will be spending with them you must be well educated on dogs. This article will be discussing Canine hip dysplasia. This is a condition that affects dogs and makes movement very painful for them. It is an unnatural development of the hip bone that could end up crippling your dog or causing them to suffer from painful arthritis. It is important to note that it is a genetic trait and it is very common in larger breeds. For working dogs it is the most common source of hip arthritis. Here is a list of the top 100 breeds most susceptible to canine hip dysplasia. It is maintained by Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. There are several causes of this condition. Some of which are:

Poor Development – It can be caused by a bad formation of muscles in the pelvic area whilst the dog was growing. This can be caused by a number of things. The first is injury at a young age (12 months and below), stressing or putting pressure at a young age which could also lead to a ligament tear. It is advised not to run or jog with a dog that is less than a year because the repetitive and straining motions might damage the developing muscles.

Canine Hip Dysplasia Treatment OptionsOverweight – It can be quite hard to resist giving your dog a treat especially when they are still puppies but discipline must be enforced. The chances your dog would ever reject a bowl of their favorite food or treats are very slim. Even if they do not deal particularly hungry they will still rush to eat it up. Your dog must be well exercised and healthily fed.

Neutering and Spaying – These are great ways to avoid your dog fathering or giving birth to little puppies that you won’t be able to take care of. There are several dogs being euthanized daily because they do not have a home. Neutering your male dog and spaying your female dog help to reduce that statistic as well as other benefits. However, neutering your male dog before they have reached sexual maturity can cause canine hip dysplasia. Some veterinarians recommend neutering your dog eight weeks after they are born while some strongly insist on six months. It is preferable to go with the latter and if you want to be extra sure, ask your vet what is best suited for your dog.

If your dog has difficulty moving, walks stiffly, lethargic behavior, reluctant to walk up stairs they eagerly climbed before, walking without putting pressure on the rear legs and is constantly chewing, licking or even biting at the hip joint, then there is a chance your dog may suffer from canine hip dysplasia. Canine hip dysplasia can only reflect on an x-ray by the time the dog is 18 months old which is also the time the condition usually appears.

Tips For Making Life Easier For Your Dog With Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia is often very painful for a dog and because it is a degenerative condition, which means it steadily gets worse without treatment, it cannot be totally cured. There are medications and ways to help your furry friend have the best quality of life possible. These tips are not extravagant, expensive things. Most times it’s the little things that matter. Here are ten things you can do to make life easier for your dog with this form of arthritis.

Exercise – A reasonable amount of exercise is a perfect way to reduce the degeneration of muscle mass. Recommended types of exercise are long walks that will build the hip muscle and fight degeneration by encouraging cartilage growth. It is important that your dog is not overworked and underworked. The key is to be perceptive to the dog’s body language and keep the exercise optimized.

Massages – A veterinarian should be able to give your dog a massage.  Massages will ease discomfort and encourage the spread of nutrients and lymph. Massaging the affected hip bone/area will reduce the pain and curb soreness.

Happy Life With Canine Hip Dysplasia Facts

Watching your dogs weight – It is said that a weight loss can almost cure any type of arthritis in dogs. Due to their build, most joint pains can be mitigated by weight loss. They walk on all four legs so losing weight would remove pressure on the hip bone and sometimes reduce the level of dysplasia they suffer from. It is the single most effective way to fight canine hip dysplasia.

No Stairs – If your dog suffers from this condition, it is highly advised for them to avoid using stairs. The movement will cause strain on the already sensitive hip bone, make the pain worse and increase swelling. If it is absolutely necessary for the dog to use the stairs, try carrying them or using ramps.

Medication – If you are not going to consider surgery, especially if your dog doesn’t suffer from a severe case of canine hip dysplasia, there are several options of medication available. This should be discussed in depth with your veterinarian because some dog breeds may be allergic to drug brands that work for other dogs.

Reduce Stress – If your dog is under stress, try to reduce the amount of work or places they can run to. If you have a large compound, consider investing in some borders so that the dog doesn’t run off and further endanger their hip bone. Their exercise must be monitored by you in order to achieve desirable results.

Layer – During the colder months, the pain may get worse so you should invest in sweaters or blankets for your dog. Keeping them warm will help fight the cold that would end up seeping into their bones and causing pain and friction

Adjust the environment – There isn’t much you can do about the external environment especially when it is not your property but the house can be adjusted for the dog. If you have tiled floors consider investing in rugs or maybe some dog socks so they don’t fall down whenever they’re running or playing. Make your living space more conducive so that they’re not at risk of worsening the condition.

Treatment Of Canine Hip Dysplasia

Medications For Canine Hip DysplasiaTreatment for hip dysplasia varies on the case at hand. Some dogs will never need surgery but may require anti-inflammatory medications like Rimadyl, Etogesic or Deramaxx later in their later years while others will require surgery depending on the age and severity of the case. Varying impacts and severity of hip dysplasia make it hard to determine what proper steps to take for your dog, especially if symptoms are mild and many options can be taken to either reduce the pain or surgically prevent the issue from developing. Some dogs can live relatively happy lives just by taking anti-inflammatory drugs and introducing supplemental regimens of important vitamins and minerals your dog needs. The expense of surgery also usually plays an influence on the viable options that can be performed on a dog.


There are a variety of medications given to dogs with hip dysplasia. Much like humans, anti-inflammatory medication is the primary drug given to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with the joints. Pills and shots are the two main methods for medicating dogs with hip dysplasia. Rimadyl, Etogesic, and Rimadyl, Etogesic, Deramaxx are some of the most common anti-inflammatory medications given to dogs. It is never ok to give a dog human pain reducers like ibuprofen or aspirin.


There are several different methods of surgery depending on your dog’s age, health and overall severity of the issue. The types of surgery operations are broken into two groups. The Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) and Canine Pubic Symphysiodesis (CPS) are both surgeries typically used very early in a dog’s life when hip dysplasia has been diagnosed but no damage to the hip joints are present. For dogs already diagnosed with hip dysplasia, there are two types of surgeries available to relieve most, if not all of your dog’s pain. The total hip replacement has been the primary surgery used for dogs over 50 pounds with mild to severe signs of hip dysplasia. If the total hip replacement surgery is not viable, the Femoral Head Osteotomy is primarily used. However, results vary on dogs over 50 pounds. Typically, dogs that undergo this surgery are primarily fit, well-muscled dogs due to the intensive healing process.

Juvenile Public Symphysiodesis (JPS) is the surgery used for puppies between 2 and 4 months of age that have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia but have no physical signs of degeneration yet. Advancements in medicine and surgical procedures in the last years to defend against hip dysplasia have proved to benefit the success rate of this surgery. JPS is now a relatively simple, but costly procedure. However, the puppies must be refrained from running and jumping for at least four weeks after surgery which can be quite a task. Re-evaluation usually occurs around three months after surgery by another radiographic test. During a JPS surgery, two pelvic bones are fused together, allowing the rest of the hip and resulting in a tighter, more accurate hip ball-in-socket. Early diagnosis is crucial for this surgery to be viable, usually between 16-20 weeks of age before any damage to the joints has occurred.

For young dogs, a Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) is used. The procedures involve surgically breaking and realigning much of the hips ball-and-socket joint structure. Note, this is an intensive surgery with high expenses but has proven successful for many puppies. During a TPO surgery, three bone cuts are made to free the acetabular component (socket) from the pelvis. The actebulum is then rotated and a bone plate is applied to maintain the new position of the ball-in-socket. This surgery allows for correct joint congruity and stops friction and grinding of the ball-in-socket.

In older dogs, a Total Hip Replacement is typically used as a very promising option to getting your dog back to a healthy condition. The surgery replaces the deformed joints with a prosthetic hip joint. Most dogs that go under this type of surgery recover well, however, it is relatively costly and requires extended periods of rest and recuperation but add on years of healthy, active life for your dog. Total hip replacement is the primary surgical operation for dogs over 50 pounds and has a remarkable 95% success rate in dogs and is the only surgery that returns complete normal hip-joint function after severe arthritis has set in. This surgery is very intensive, and highly trained surgeons are required to perform that operation — making it relatively expensive.

Typically, for dogs under 50 pounds, a Femoral Head Excision/Ostectomy is the surgery of choice, however, it has been performed on dogs over 50 pounds with varying results. During a femoral head excision, the femoral head (or the ball of the ball-in-socket) is removed, allowing the femur to freely float. As scar tissue forms from the moving femur, it hardens and creates a false-joint (a pseudoarthrosis). This is a last resort procedure, due to intense post-op recovery. Dogs to undergo this surgery are typically well muscled, fit dogs that can handle the recovery period without further injuring themselves. Best results have been seen in dogs 50 pounds or less, and results vary in dogs which weigh more or are out of shape.