Hip Problems in Older Dogs
As dogs get older, things slow down for them. While their eyes still sparkle with enthusiasm, elderly dogs may be more cautious when using the staircase or exert less strength and energy during a game of catch. As with any family member or loved one, learning to accommodate and adapt to physical changes of your canine friend can prove to be challenging. Watching a beloved pet begin to lose energy and wane is often a heartbreaking aspect of being a dog owner. If you want to help your dog age gracefully, it is important to understand the different signs of hip problems in dogs. This way, dog owners can take proactive and preventative counter measures.
Understanding Dogs’ Hip Joints
There is an array of potential hip problems that dogs might encounter, e.g., hip dysplasia (most common). Like their human counterparts, canines’ hip joints are also comprised of a ball and socket that allow for easy rotation and movement. Healthy hip joints allow dogs to play, pivot, lay down, sit, jump, and run.
Types of Hip Problems in Older Dogs
Also known as degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis, dog arthritis manifests when cartilage in joints deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm tissue that acts as a cushion between bones. Healthy cartilage promotes a comfortable range of motion within the joints. Cartilage, however, can break down due to several factors, including excessive or repetitive joint stress, size, genetics (large dog breeds), obesity, diseases, age, and injuries. It is important to note that arthritis in dogs can develop anywhere in the body. However, in canines, arthritis is typically found in the hip area.
- Hip Dysplasia
On a skeletal level, a dog's hip looks and functions similarly to that of a human hip or shoulder. In a healthy canine hip, the ball (femoral head) is supposed to fit and move comfortably in the socket (acetabulum). When these joints no longer function properly, the bones may start to grind against each other and deteriorate over time. As a result, the dog develops hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal issues among our canine companions. While large dog breeds are more susceptible to hip dysplasia, smaller-sized breeds are known to suffer from it as well. Larger dogs such as German Shepherds, Great Dane's, Labrador Retrievers, and St. Bernard dogs are naturally more likely to develop hip dysplasia. These breeds are genetically predisposed to hip issues. However, there are additional contributors to the development of dog hip dysplasia, including injuries, lack of exercise, too much exercise, excessive growth rate, improper nutrition, and obesity.
Treating Older Dog Hip Problems with Natural Supplements
Luckily, pet owners can employ a holistic approach when it comes to treating their dogs' hip problems. The three key compounds that promote homeopathic healing are turmeric, glucosamine, and vitamin C. At Barx Nutrition, our Premium Hip & Joint Care chewable supplements have the potential to alleviate dog arthritis symptoms, increase joint mobility, improve range of motion, and support healthy collagen levels.If you have any questions on how our products can help alleviate hip problems in dogs, feel free to contact us today.