One of the most common causes of canine hip pain is Hip Dysplasia, an inherited condition where the hip joint is improperly formed. This allows the hip joint to sit loosely in the socket, and as the dog’s leg bone shifts around it causes painful wear and tear on the joint.
Causes of Hip Pain in Dogs
A dog’s hip pain can be a chronic and constant pain. Chronic hip pain is usually attributed to canine arthritis or hip dysplasia. Acute hip pain is usually short term pain caused by an injury. Most dogs with hip pain suffer from chronic pain.
Often caused by the natural wear and tear on a dog’s hip joints, osteoarthritis is a common cause of canine hip pain. Common areas affected by osteoarthritis include:
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease that can occur at any age. Although, commonly found in large breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Great Danes or Saint Bernards, hip dysplasia affects small breeds as well. Luckily, it is easy to treat and manage, if you know what signs to look for.
Signs of Hip Dysplasia
Hip pain from dysplasia will impact the way a dog walks first. Pet parents should look for a change in their gait, which may appear awkward or favors one side over the other. Other signs of hip pain in dogs include the following:
- Stiffness or soreness in the hips
- Hesitancy to exercise
- Difficulty standing for extended periods
- Pain and discomfort
- Favoring one leg over the other
- Inability to climb stairs
- Limping or “bunny hopping”
4 Ways to Ease Canine Hip Pain
1. Joint Health:
Improve your pet’s overall joint health by adding a daily supplement with Glucosamine and chondroitin into your dog’s daily routine. Glucosamine helps to rebuild cartilage and helps to ease the pain caused by arthritis. Chondroitin helps to relieve joint pain and increase overall mobility in the joint.
2. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can greatly reduce their joint pain. An overweight or obese pet puts more strain on their joints. Maintaining a healthy diet and keeping fit are key to your dog’s overall health.
A low impact exercise like swimming is ideal for dogs suffering from joint pain. Hydrotherapy can deliver excellent results for dogs with hip dysplasia. Swimming increases strength in their rear legs. Allowing your pet to work their muscles, helping them to stay fit without placing any additional stress on their hips.
3. Create a Dog Friendly Space
Make it easy for your dog to navigate around your home. Give them a clear, obstacle free path to move around the house. Traveling across slippery floors can be a challenge for pets with bad hips. Wearing pet boots or traction socks with a non-slip grip will help your dog grip the floor and keep their feet underneath them. Helping them to avoid further injury caused by a slip and fall.
Dogs with weak hips may struggle going up and down the stairs. A simple rear lifting harness allows you to give them the boost the need to get up the stairs.
4. Mobility Aids for Dog’s With Bad Hips
Dog Wheelchairs for Hip Pain
Your dog may have trouble keeping their balance or standing for longer periods of time. With the help of a support sling you can gently support the center of your dog’s body on days when its needed. If your dog’s hip pain had progressed to the point where they require assistance on a more consistent basis, they may benefit from using a wheelchair.
A Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair will help to support their weight, relieve pressure on the hips, and help to give them back their independence. If your pet is in the early stages of hip dysplasia, a dog wheelchair can be used as a part of their rehabilitation therapy or for short walks when their hip aches. As their hip dysplasia worsens, your pet can slowly transition to using the wheelchair on a regular basis when needed.
Dog Hip Support Brace
For ambulatory pets with mild to moderate hip dysplasia a hip support brace can be beneficial and work nicely for a wide range of dogs. From young dogs showing early signs of hip problems up through senior dogs suffering from arthritis.
The Walkin’ Hip-EEZ is the first interchangeable system of it’s kind to aide in keeping pets comfortable and mobile. And allows pets to continue with their normal daily activities while promoting active range of motion.
4 Ways to Customize Your Dog’s Hip Support
Use the Walkin’ Hip-EEZ Support System on its own or combine it one of its four attachments to perfectly fit your dog’s hip support needs:
1. Hip Support for Amputee Dogs:
The Hip-EEZ is the first ever hip support created to support rear leg amputees needing hip support. Supporting the remaining hip is crucial to help prevent further injury in the remaining limb.
Each amputee panel features a sherpa-lined pouch, that’s comfortable and works for most amputations! Prevent further damage to your dog’s remaining back leg and keep their hip supported. The Hip-EEZ Amputee system is made to fit either right or left leg rear tripod dogs!
2. Hip Subluxation:
For pups with mild to moderate Hip Subluxation, use the Hip-EEZ Bridge attachment on the inside of the Hip-EEZ brace, where it comfortably conforms directly over the hip, applying pressure on the top of the joint and pushes inward to keep the Coxo-Femoral joint from subluxating out of place as the pet stands or moves.
Tip: For best results, the bridge should be used in a rehab setting and combined with structured exercise to build strength in the muscles around the joint.
3. Decubital Ulcer Recovery & Prevention:
Simply attach the Hip-EEZ Donut attachment to the inside of your dog’s Hip-EEZ to alleviate pressure and weight from being distributed directly over the hip joint when a pet is laying down. This cushioning donut allows for comfortable prevention and healing of pressure sores or ulcers that can form on the hip and surrounding tissues.
The hip donut is designed to help older dogs or pets dealing with mobility conditions that limit their mobility and spend a lot of time laying on their side.
4. Prevent Hind Leg Crossing:
The Hip-EEZ Cross-Assist attachment sits high up between your dog’s thighs as a training tool to keep pet’s from crossing their hind legs. By providing a barrier between your dog’s upper thighs, the Cross-Assist helps to promote a proper standing stance. This is ideal for pets suffering from hind end weakness, neurological disease, strokes, spinal compression and post-surgical procedures that may be affected by hind leg crossing. This training tool is the perfect way help pets regain strength and teach them how to prevent rear leg crossing when walking and standing.
If your dog is showing any signs of hip or joint pain, don’t wait. Speak with your Veterinarian to set up the best treatment plan for your pet. It’s never too early to promote good joint health. With proper treatment and care dogs with hip dysplasia lead long, happy lives.