When Canine Hips Go Bad
By Louise Louis
Unfortunately, old age and often arthritis catches up to our canine companions as easily as it does to us. You may notice your dog has trouble going up stairs or getting down from a car seat.
First, make sure this is not a disease or condition that can corrected surgically. If itâ€™s chronic or the effects of aging, however, Louise Louis of www.ToyBreeds.com reminds us that we can lessen the negative impacts with a few simple techniques.
1. Donâ€™t let your dog get overweight. This is the most important thing you can do for him. Excess weight puts more pressure on his joints just as it does to you. Make sure you can feel his ribs and put him on a diet if need be.
2. Avoid activities that tax his joints. Never let a Toy breed jump down from a sofa (or anywhere) or jump up to catch something. Leave the Frisbees to Labradors and rely on walking or swimming for your petâ€™s exercise.
3. If Fido seems to be in pain, talk to your vet about using glucosamine. In the veterinary form, it is sold as Synoquin. However, the animal brand is very expensive compared to the generic brands that humans take.
Ask your vet about using the human version provided the tablets can be purchased or cut into a proper dosage for a small dog and have the quantity of glucosamine required.
Depending on the degree of pain your dog is suffering, a buffered aspirin may provide all the relief thatâ€™s needed.
If your dog is going lame, your vet my prescribe Rimadyl or Meloxicam for when he is stiff. These can be upset a dogâ€™s stomach and are also expensive. Be sure to check the Internet veterinary pharmacies for prices.
4. Many dog owners try other natural, non-harmful treatments such as magnetic collars, acupuncture, massage, homeopathy and herbs. While Iâ€™ve heard anecdotal information on how well these work, I know of no scientific studies that support them.
That doesnâ€™t mean I wouldnâ€™t try one especially acupuncture. Ask for your vet or friends/breeders/trainer/groomer for recommendations of practitioners of these techniques.
5. Control his environment for his comfort. Make sure he sleeps on a warm, soft bed. Avoid cold, damp climates and over activity. If you have uncarpeted floors, beware of throw rugs and slippery areas where Fido can slide, twist and injure his hip.
6. As a last resort, consider a total hip replacement surgery (THR). In addition to the expense (up to $5,000), there is a lengthy recovery period which is often difficult for dogs and their owners and post-surgical checkups for the rest of your dogâ€™s life.
Do the best you can to control your dogâ€™s mobility problems and identify the least medication that relieves his pain. When that doesnâ€™t work anymore, then consider some form of surgery.
Louise Louis is a certified canine specialist and creator of the popular website on small dogs, http://www.ToyBreeds.com
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