Hip dysplasia is a serious genetic condition that will greatly affect your dog’s quality of life. This genetic disease is the most studied in veterinary medicine, and is the most common cause of early dog arthritis in the hips.
For dog owners, it is important to know that dogs which are genetically at risk can be born without any signs of hip abnormalities but can develop signs at a later age. Dog owners and breeders should be vigilant as the disease can manifest itself in puppies as early as five months of age.
If your dog is genetically at risk for hip dysplasia, there are several dog arthritis treatments that owners can do to slow down the progress of the disease.
Weight management and nutrition is very important.
Use supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, Omega-3 acids, or Avocado and Soybean Unsaponifiables;
Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or cortisone injections can also help.
Surgery is considered when there are no signs of improvement even with the administered medications.
A largely overlooked option is physical therapy. Giving your affected dog a specific exercise program can defer an invasive surgical option.
How Physical Therapy Works
Physical therapy will work against this disease because it can break the pain-inflammation-pain cycle and strengthen the muscles around the hips. By coming up with an exercise regimen that strengthens your dog’s muscles around the hips, the joints get more stable and eliminate the possibility of surgery.
The following are some things to consider in your dog’s exercise program:
Perform the exercise program everyday. It should be moderated on how your dog tolerates the amount and type of exercise. Gradually increase the amount of exercise; during and after the exercise regimen, closely observe how your dog’s hips cope with the session.
Passive movement exercises
Moving the hips backwards and forwards
Stretching and massaging
Carts and slings can help
Early swimming or some sort of water therapy
Encourage weight bearing
Increasing Muscle Strength
Poles & figure of eights
Tunnels & treadmills
Trigger point therapy
Pulse signal therapy
Physical therapy helps your dog’s muscles gain strength through increased exercise. If you want to see results, you must maintain this exercise program for life. If done properly and carefully, you can avoid expensive treatments like surgeries and save your dog the trauma.
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