Hip Dysplasia in dogs is a very common disease and it shows signs in early age, but also occurs widely in old age dogs. To understand what Hip Dysplasia is, you should have a complete understanding of the hip joint that is affected. The hip joint is composed of a ball and socket joint. In the normal one, the ball, head of the femur, freely rotates within the socket, which is located on the pelvis. The socket perfectly surrounds the ball, so that the two bones are held together. Further stability is added with a joint capsule, a band of connective tissues and the ligament. The articular surface, where the bones connect with each other is a smooth area supported by spongy cartilage. The articular surfaces are properly lubricated with the viscous fluids. All of the above-mentioned factors work together and the stability is maintained.
However, in diseased dogs, the laxity of connective tissues and ligaments affect the normal joint structure. As the laxity expands, the ball and socket bones lose contact with each other; this condition is called subluxation. This is the reason why the size and shape of the articular surface become abnormal and cause stiffness with pain.
- Genetics: This disease is mostly genetic, which is affected by the environmental conditions. If the parent has hip dysplasia, then the child has maximum risks to carry this disease as well. It can be avoided by selective breeding but if the dog is the disease carrier, then its coming generations are more prone to have hip dysplasia in future.
- Nutrition: Obesity in the carrier dogs can increase the severity of the disease and according to a study; the free choice food to puppies can greatly increase the incidence. The overweight dogs, who are susceptible to hip dysplasia have the risk to worsen this degeneration of the hip joints. The food should be of the balanced diet with the proper amounts of calcium.
- Exercise: If the disease carrier dogs are over-exercised in young age, they are susceptible to the hip dysplasia. However, this condition is especially for large breed and heavy mass dogs, as they are more prone to the disease. Moderate exercise, which is necessary to maintain their muscle mass and strengthen the gluteal muscles is a good idea.
Once a dog has received a diagnosis of Hip Dysplasia, the vet may offer different solutions that may vary in price. One solution is surgery for severe conditions, but it is not the only option. In some cases, if the disease is not severe or the family doesn’t afford the surgical cost, then other alternatives are considered. The most efficient and helpful of them is taking the correct supplements.
The most famous and commonly used supplements are Glucosamine & Chondroitin.
They are common substances present in the animal body and are in higher concentrations in the cartilage. The body synthesizes them to maintain the cartilage’s health, but the diseased dogs lack this, so they need them in supplemental form.
- Supplemental Glucosamine: It is the 2 amino derives of natural glucose, obtained through the chitin hydrolysis. It is specifically found in the shell of crustaceans as they have high amounts of chitin. However, newer vegetarian sources of glucosamine for dogs are starting to be used in supplements. This form is good for dog with allergies and has a better assimilation into the body to be used.
- Supplemental Chondroitin: It is derived from the cow cartilage along with the sharks & whale cartilage. However, the cow or bovine source is more preferred.
How do they work?
Vets recommend Glucosamine and Chondroitin for dogs with Hip Dysplasia because they are the building blocks of the cartilage. Chondrocytes use these blocks to synthesize the new cartilage and affected dog’s cells can’t keep up with the new cartilage. Supplemental glucosamine for dogs is important because it produces the glycosaminoglycans that combine with the hyalauric acids to form proteoglycans. These proteoglycans are the basic unit of cartilage.
Chondroitin works by neutralizing the destructive enzymes found in the joints. The number of destructive enzymes increases during joint injury, so this supplement is added in the body to minimize hip and joint damage.
They are most effective when taken together than when used separately. You should start at a smaller dose and work up to the recommended dose of between 1000-1500 mg of each ingredient. This will allow your pet to acclimate to the new substances.
- Most authorized veterinarians are getting awareness about the benefits of these two supplements. However, Europe has been using Glucosamine and Chondroitin for dogs from over 20 years.
- In Hip Dysplasia, they significantly help in healing the cartilage and reducing the pain involved.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin can be magical remedies for hip dysplasia in your dog; their mobility and relief can be increased or even restored as they are the major sources of pain relief for dogs.