- Lifestyle

Lifestyle For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

My seven year old Black Labrador has hip dysplasia he has been on anti-inflammatory medications since he was six months old.

His medication include an anti-inflammatory drug and a Glucosamine supplement. I am not a vet and therefore I will not give any advice on medication.

I am happy to suggest on the other most important aspect of treatment.

Your Dogs lifestyle.

Any dog with hip dysplasia should be kept fit and trim as any excess weight will obviously aggravate the condition, good muscle tone will help to support the dog’s weight. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise which builds up the muscle without stress.

As the owner of a dog walking service my next point may seem a little strange. Dogs do not need to be “Walked” No wild canine goes for a walk for the sake of it. From your dogs point of view the purpose of a walk is to check out his territory for animal activity and to socialise, meeting members of his wider pack. It is therefore possible to give your dog an enjoyable walk without marching him for miles. Many people walk dogs on a lead pulling them away from natural smells and other dogs this is a pointless walk. The straining against the lead is also bad for your dog’s joints.

Walks should be regular but not too long. Try to avoid over excitement, running, ball throwing etc. This will reduce the impact stress on his joints. Don’t forget the purpose of the walk is to give your dog the natural stimulus he craves and does not get at home.

If you use a dog walking service, make sure that they are aware of your dog’s condition and know his requirements and limitations.

Get to know your dogs body language, watch his gait and the way he is moving generally. If your dog has over exerted himself you will notice, just let him rest maybe skip his next walk or just take him out for a quick sniff and toilet.

The best piece of advice given to me by our Vet is to treat the dog and not the condition.

Dogs with HD find it very difficult to cope with hard floors. I have carpet runners in the kitchen and a large mat in his feeding area this is a must.

Hip Dysplasia is a serious condition but it is not the end of the world your dog can have a great life with just a little extra care and attention.

The above is my opinion as a dog owner please discuss any changes in the way you treat your dog with your Vet.