A Guide To Common Joint And Hip Problems In Dogs
Have you noticed your dog limping or moving more slowly than normal? If so, your dog may be experiencing joint or hip discomfort. At any age, joint and hip problems in dogs can develop. It doesn't matter if they are big or small, old or young. Old dogs do, however, seem to be more affected and certain breeds are more likely than others to develop joint and hip problems.
Aging dogs may develop joint and hip pain because of the natural deterioration of bone and joint health. Again, however, this affliction is not only suffered by old dogs. Joint and hip problems do not discriminate, and though it's most common for these areas to experience discomfort, other areas can be affected. Dogs can suffer pain in their elbows, knees, and shoulders, as well. The spinal vertebrae of some dogs (the joints between them) may also develop stiffness.
To effectively treat your dog’s discomfort, it is crucial they be properly diagnosed. Over the long term, you may simply need to manage your dog’s discomfort if the problem cannot be fully eradicated.
Joint Discomfort – Signs and Symptoms
The age of a dog can have everything to do with the signs and symptoms they exhibit. Generally speaking, however, watch for this:
- Muscle loss
- Behavioral changes like depression or irritation
- Excessive panting
- Whimpering or whining
- Accidental urination
- Cracking or audible popping in the joint
- Joint swelling
- Excessive joint area licking
- Problems jumping
- Unwilling to climb, jump, or walk
- Problems with common activities or movements
- Has trouble laying down or getting up
- Moves slowly and stiffly
- While running, hopping like a bunny
- Frequently picking one leg up
- Favoring one leg over another
Dog Breeds Prone To Joint and Hip Stiffness
Some dog breeds are more prone than others to this type of affliction. Here are some of them:
- Old English Sheepdog
- Great Dane
- Labrador Retriever
- Alaskan Malamute
- Golden Retriever
- German Shepherd
Canine Joint and Hip Issues – The Causes
Though the development of joint and hip issues can be caused by numerous things, here, we will narrow it down to the more common culprits:
- HOD (Hypertropic Osteodystrophy)
- Leg-Calf-Perthes Disease
- OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans)
- Hip Dysplasia
For proper evaluation, x-rays will be needed to confirm a diagnosis of joint and hip issues. Remember that dogs hide their pain, so being in tune with your dog and their normal behavior is paramount to diagnosing this type of condition as early as possible.
Treatment approaches come in many types. As early as one year of age, you can start your dog on hip and joint care supplements. This can help head off problems in the future. Just because a dog is over one year of age, however, do not hesitate to start them on a regiment of these supplements.
If your dog is already diagnosed with this problem, however, simple pain management may help improve the quality of life for your dog. A vet may recommend corticosteroids, a pain reliever, or combination of both.
Injections may be administered if necessary, to lubricate the dog’s joints. Becoming more and more popular is Chinese acupuncture. Warm compresses are another way to provide your dog with some relief, as well as massages. Treatments may be combined in many cases.
While not a first choice, surgery may be necessary to provide relief. This is in severe cases where other treatment options may not work, and the joint appears malformed.
Speaking of Supplements for Your Dog’s Joints…
So, you can enjoy time with your furry friend for as long as possible, we at Barx Nutrition would like to introduce our Premium Hip and Joint Care formula. To help your dog live a longer and fuller life – and spend more quality time with you – check out our all-natural dog joint and hip supplements that were manufactured in an FDA approved, GMP certified facility.
Contact us today if you have any questions about our Premium Hip and Joint Care formula.