Q: Grandma, My 60-pound German Shorthaired Pointer is suffering from hip dysplasia. I am looking for home remedies that include vitamin supplements and tips on food preparation to help treat joint inflammation.
A: Dear M, Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease common among large breeds of dogs like German Shorthaired Pointer. It is a debilitating canine arthritis accompanied by intense pain and swelling in both right and left hips that greatly reduce the dog’s mobility. Loose hip joints are usually blamed for the occurrence of this condition. Although it is difficult to treat, many dogs have shown remarkable improvement through some natural remedies that can be applied at home.
HOME REMEDIES FOR HIP DYSPLASIA IN DOGS
1. Keep the dog in ideal weight – Feed the dog with a diet high in fiber and low in fat. Avoid giving food scraps and unhealthy treats to prevent the development of obesity. Excessive weight puts so much strain on the joints and aggravates the painful condtion.
2. Adequate exercise – Subject the dog to light exercise routines like walking, moderate running or thread mill workout. Swimming is one beneficial therapy to treat dogs with arthritis. Avoid implementing strenuous activities like ball chasing or jumping rope.
3. Massage – Gently massage the affected area in circular motion for ten minutes daily. Observe how the dog responds every time the delicate spot is touched. If the dog appears uncomfortable, lessen the massage pressure or stop the therapy.
4. Heat compress – Pour warm water in a bottle. Use a towel to wrap the bottle and gently press on the hips for about 15 minutes.
5. Foam bed – Provide the dog with a comfortable sleeping or resting area propped by a foam bed. It prevents the cold dampness of the floor to penetrate through the layers and helps avoid morning stiffness.
6. Rugs – Spread out rugs in areas where the dog usually stays. This is to prevent the animal from slipping and to help it from getting around the place more safely.
7. Aspirin – Give buffered aspirin after the dog’s meal. Make sure to consult with the dog’s veterinarian for the proper dosage to be administered for the canine companion.
8. Vitamin C supplement – Give the dog with vitamin C supplement together with sodium ascorbate. Avoid giving plain vitamin C supplement alone as this may result to stomach upset. For large breeds, give 75 mg for the first 10 days then increase to 150 mg until the weaning period. From six months onwards, increase the dosage recommended for adult dogs suffering from joint pain.
9. Omega-3 fatty acid supplement – Give the dog with this supplement that contains anti-inflammatory properties. Ask your veterinarian about the correct dosage appropriate to the age and size of your dog.
10. Glucosamine and Chondroitin – Both are natural remedies that promote cartilage production and have been proven to delay the complications of hip dysplasia. Considered as preventive medication, the supplements are recommended to be given to dogs prone to canine arthritis while they are still young puppies.