Exercises for dogs with hip dysplasia
The hip dysplasia is a well – known health problem that affects a large number of dogs in the world. It is usually hereditary and degenerative, so it is important to know what it is and how to help our dogs the best they can.
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If your dog was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and wants to help you with exercises or massage techniques, you’ve come to the right place! In this article by YourCatCareguide we will explain to you the exercises for hip dysplasia .
In addition, we will give you some helpful advice and pointers to help your dog better withstand this disease.
What is hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip joint: the joint or acetabulum and the femoral head do not attach properly. It is one of the most known conditions of the dog, it affects more often the dogs of certain breeds:
- Labrador Retriever
- Irish Setter
- German Shepherd
Although we have mentioned some breeds that are more prone to this condition, this does not mean that a Fox Terrier, for example, can not suffer from hip dysplasia.
What are the causes
There are several factors that may favor the appearance of hip dysplasia : an overeating or protein diet, medium or large puppies with very rapid growth, too intense physical exercise, or running or jumping the dog in a way intense when you are still too young. All of these are negative factors that may contribute to the development of hip dysplasia.
This malformation of genetic origin must always be diagnosed by a veterinarian through radiographs, but the signs that will alert the owner are : a dog that has difficulty standing after a long time lying down or a dog that gets very tired with the tours. Before these symptoms you should consult a professional to confirm to you if it is a hip dysplasia.
What can I do to make my dog with hip dysplasia?
There are several techniques you can apply to help your dog with hip dysplasia, always with the goal of strengthening and relaxing muscles (especially gluteal muscle mass, which is fundamental to hip stability and mobility) and eliminate or relieve pain .
Let’s explain to you next what exercises you can do to help your dog with hip dysplasia. Keep reading!
A dog with hip dysplasia tries not to support the affected paw, and because of this, it may suffer from muscular atrophy in that paw. Massaging the dog favors muscle recovery and corrects bad posture of the spine.
We should do a relaxing massage along the spinal column of our dog, we should do the massage towards the exerting a gentle pressure, can also make circular movements on both sides of the spine. The muscles of the hindquarters should be massaged by rubbing.
If your dog has short hair, you can also massage him with a ball of thorn. Massage in the opposite direction to hair growth, as this stimulates blood flow and prevents extreme atrophies.
Also, it is important not to touch the spine and always be on both sides of it and never on top of it.
If your dog has been operated on due to hip dysplasia, then you can carefully move the affected or operated joint one week after the procedure, always according to the veterinarian’s instructions. To do this, you have to place your dog on a soft bed or cushion the affected hip.
Passive movements are ideal for correcting joint dysfunctions such as hip dysplasia, in return these exercises should not be done by a healthy dog.
The dog owner should perform all movements on the dog and the dog should remain lying sideways, relaxed and quiet. Before starting the passive movements, we prepare the dog with a massage or applying heat to the hip area.
If the affected joint is the right hip, we put the dog on its side, lying with its left side touching the ground, and with its left hind paw perpendicular to the trunk.
- Bending / Extension : With our right hand we will hold your left rear paw the level of your knee, so your paw rests on our right arm. Then our right hands performs the movements, while the left hand, placed over the hip joint, can feel signs of pain and crepitations. We move the hip joint slowly moving from flexion extension to rhythmically about 10-15 times.
- Abduction / Adduction : Abduction is the action of removing the paw from the trunk, while the adduction consists of bringing it closer to it. Stand behind the dog, grab your knee bent and perform the movements smoothly about 10-15 times.
It is important to make sure that the leg underneath rests on the ground and does not lift by pulling. For both types of movements, we have to make sure that only the hip joint moves passively, but only this one.
As in massage, we have to develop the sensitivity of the dog, performing small and always slow movements in the beginning to allow him to relax and that the treatment does not become unpleasant. It is important to always limit the pain of the dog to the maximum!
Stabilizing or active exercises
Stabilizing exercises are good for both a dog with hip dysplasia that does not support long walks as conservative treatment to avoid an operation, as for a dog that has been operated due to hip dysplasia as muscle rehabilitation.
These exercises can be done 3 weeks after the operation, depending on the size of the dog, after talking to the veterinarian. When used in conjunction with massage and passive movements, the use of the support and trampoline must be left to the end, but the same techniques described below can be applied.
- Support : We put the dog with the front paws raised in a support, for a small dog the support can be a thick book. This position causes tension in the muscles of the spine and the hind limbs.
The exercises in support greatly weary the dog with hip dysplasia or who has had surgery. 5 repetitions of each of the three phases that we will see next are perfectly sufficient at the beginning.
- Stand behind the dog and hold it for balance, grab the dog’s shoulder blade and subject it to a slight pull toward the tail (to you). This movement strengthens almost all of the dog’s muscles: extremities, abdomen and back. Hold this position for a few seconds and relax, repeat 5 times.
- Then grasp the knee joint and pull up to the tail, you can feel in your hands the relaxation of the muscles of the hip and the hind limbs. So keep a few seconds and relax, repeat 5 times.
- Hold the knee joint high and press it forward toward the dog’s head. Hold on for a few seconds and then relax, repeat 5 times. Over time, our dog will better withstand the exercises and his muscles will progressively strengthen.
- Trampoline : The trampoline is an object unknown to the dog, it is important to use it progressively to this new object. Remember that performing these exercises with a stressed or stressed dog will not give good results.
It is essential that the trampoline can withstand a minimum weight of 100 kg as it will have to go above it, which has a minimum diameter of one meter and is marked TUV. A good way to enter the trampoline is by climbing first to it and, with the dog secure between our legs, wait a few seconds or minutes to calm down and reward you with a treat when you let it move you.
- First load the left rear paw and then the right slowly. You can perform these active movements 10 times.
- It is important to perform these alternating movements slowly and carefully. So we can feel how the dog plays with its muscles to maintain balance. This exercise is not visually impressive but actually exerts an intense action on the musculature and in turn develops the gluteal muscles of the dog, it tires you, so do not do too many repetitions.
- The owner always has to climb first and leave the trampoline last, letting the dog descend first, but without jumping to avoid injury.
- Slalom : When enough time has passed after a dysplasia operation and, according to the veterinarian, walking a slalom can be a very good exercise. The space between the cones should be 50 centimeters to 1 meter depending on the size of the dog, which should go through the Slalom slowly.
If your dog likes swimming, swimming is a great way to strengthen your muscles without overloading your joints. There is a hydrotherapy equipment that allows underwater walking, the dog walks in water which allows preserving your joints, this technique should be carried out by a physiotherapist.
For more advanced techniques you can consult a physiotherapist who, in addition to previous ones, can apply other techniques such as thermotherapy, cryotherapy and heat application, electrotherapy, ultrasound, laser and acupuncture.
Remember that throughout this process your dog will need more attention than usual, so do not hesitate to consult our article on everything about hip dysplasia to be able to offer the right care to your best friend.
Does your dog also suffer from hip dysplasia? Would you recommend some other exercise to another reader? So do not hesitate to leave in the comments your ideas or advice, the other users will thank you.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read more articles that are similar to Dog Exercises With Hip Dysplasia , we recommend that you enter our section on Degenerative Diseases .Advices
- It is important to stop the exercises if it causes pain to the dog.
- You can apply these techniques after a hip operation, or have not done so, as a conservative treatment.