Dietary Recommendations for Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia is a polygenic disorder commonly seen in large breed dogs. A polygenic disorder is an inherited condition that's caused by several genes. However, the disorder may skip several generations of pets and develop in future generations. Hip dysplasia is a condition that occurs in the hip joint. 

Pets suffering from hip dysplasia have an abnormal ball and socket movement in the hip which results in subluxation. Subluxation is the term used to describe ball and socket joints that lose proper connectivity. Healthy dogs with proper bone structure may also develop the condition as they age due to their genetic predisposition.

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

  • Limp in the hind leg
  • Difficulty standing, jumping or running
  • Reduced playfulness
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Muscle loss

Breeds Predisposed to Hip Dysplasia

  • Great Danes
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers

Diagnosis of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Other large breed dogs may also develop hip dysplasia. Since the symptoms of arthritis are similar to hip dysplasia it's important to differentiate them during a vet diagnosis and start treatment at the earliest. The vet will perform an x-ray to obtain radiographs of the hip joint in ailing pets. The hip joint may also be positioned in different ways to obtain a clear understanding of joint laxity through radiographs. Although blood tests cannot reveal or detect hip dysplasia, the vet may perform other diagnostic tests to rule out underlying pet health concerns.

Treatment of Canine Hip Dysplasia

Surgical intervention is necessary to help pets that show severe signs of hip dysplasia. Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis or pelvic surgery is performed in young pets that exhibit hip joint abnormalities. A procedure termed as total hip replacement is another surgery performed to help dogs suffering from frequent symptoms of hip dysplasia. The surgery is performed under anesthesia by trained specialists. It involves the replacement of the dog's natural hip joint with an artificial aid. Pet owners should discuss with the vet, treatment options that suit the dog. The surgery and anesthesia is also expensive. However, most pets respond favorably to total hip replacement surgery.

Dietary Recommendations

An important factor that reduces pain and discomfort in dogs suffering from hip dysplasia is weight management. Overweight dogs or pets suffering from obesity require a proper diet plan to help reduce weight on the joints and hind legs. Ideal weight also increases the success rate of surgical intervention. Pets should be fed nutritious and high quality food that matches the feed standards for their breed and age. Diets high in calories or fats and food too rich in protein may lead to obesity. There are several commercially available diet plans to help pets reduce or maintain ideal weight.

Diet Foods for Dogs

Some brands of diet food for dogs include:

  • Dogswell happy hips stew canned dog food
  • Eukanuba healthy joints adult dog food
  • Beneful adult dog food healthy weight formula
  • Hill's science diet adult light dog food
  • Iams healthy naturals weight control adult dog food
  • Iams weight control large breed dog food

Gradually Incorporate New Diet

Any new diet food should be incorporated gradually to the pet's normal food to prevent food intolerance. Within one week, the food may be completely switched to diet food. Pet owners should administer all prescribed medication on time and follow up with scheduled vet checks.

Other treatment options for hip dysplasia include acupuncture, massage therapy and joint supplements. It's best to obtain vet approval before following any other treatment procedure.