Dogs have the time of their life enjoying simple joys like running to fetch a ball or playing with their favorite toy. When a dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia (also known as…), by the time he is taken to the veterinarian, it’s usually because he can barely get up the stairs or his activity level has already significantly decreased taking away many of the simple joys of life.
What is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?
In order to fully understand the detrimental effects of hip dysplasia (often referred to as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip or DDH) and weighing out the available options, it’s important to understand what hip dysplasia actually is medical.
Dysplasia is derived from Greek words meaning “bad formation.” Basically, that’s the description in a nutshell. Bad formation.
If you take a look at the hip, you’ll see the hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The head of the femur bone is the ball. The groove on the pelvic bone (acetabulum) is the socket. When the ball doesn’t fit snug inside the socket, damage starts to occur. The bones grind together partially because the fit isn’t snug, but also because the cartilage is continuously being worn down.
This isn’t usually immediately seen. Dogs instinctively hide pain, so they aren’t likely to show it until it’s to the point where they are struggling. Think about it. In the wild, animals who are ‘least fit’ are left behind. The animal instinctively ‘appears fit’ for as long as possible in a ‘survival of the fittest’ type of way.
Getting back to the hip dysplasia, once your dog is showing the pain, the cartilage has been worn and the muscles have been strained. In severe cases of hip dysplasia, dogs may experience decreased mobility, arthritis in their joints, and a degree of lameness generally in their hind end.
The Cause of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
It’s important to note that hip dysplasia is not your fault. Dogs usually don’t get hip dysplasia due to you not spending enough time or you not giving her enough ‘stuff.’
Hip dysplasia is genetic and, for many dogs, it’s just a matter of age and time. Hip dysplasia is also more commonly found in larger breeds due to the speed of their growth and the effects of weight on their ball and socket. Not all dog breeds are prone to hip dysplasia, but those that are can experience a great deal of pain by the time they are showing their symptoms.
Recognizing the Signs of Hip Dysplasia
If you aren’t sure if your dog has hip dysplasia, it’s best to consult with a holistic veterinarian to obtain a diagnosis, but the most common symptoms include the following:
- Activity levels slowing: Dogs with hip dysplasia who were once active may appear to be too tired to get up. You’ll likely notice a significant decrease in activity levels over time. Your dog might sleep more and have less of an urge to go fetch the stick or play her favorite ball game.
- The stairs are too much: This is one of the top complaints when a dog lover brings her dog into the veterinarian’s office. My dog can’t get up the stairs or stops walking halfway through the journey. The inflammation can cause a decreased range of motion in your dog’s ‘ball and socket.’ You may also notice your dog’s hesitation or lack of ability to jump into the car or jump onto your bed as well.
- Weakness in the back legs: Depending on how bad your dog has instinctively allowed hip dysplasia to become, you may notice her back legs giving out from under her. Over time, the wear and tear from the bones rubbing against one another may result in your dog’s ball and socket not working at all. This results in inflammation and pain and/or the inability to use one of her back legs.
- Trouble Getting Up: You may begin to notice your dog has lost the ‘pep in her step’ and now has trouble getting up on her own. It may take her a few extra moments or she could struggle for a significant duration of time depending on the severity of the condition.
Conventional Options: NSAIDs to Reduce Inflammation
Traditionally, a veterinarian would recommend NSAIDs to reduce painful inflammation, but these carry a wide range of side effects. Their baggage is heavy. For some dogs, the disadvantages of NSAIDs outweigh the advantages.
Dogs who take conventional anti-inflammatory drugs may experience vomiting, lack of appetite, depression, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, kidney failure, and/or liver failure.
Alternative Options: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and CBD as Options
Chondroitin and Glucosamine are excellent for assisting with inflammation, but unfortunately, we have yet to find a reliable source for these. All the supplements we have found thus far have not been high in purity and will therefore be less effective.
Inflammation is the root cause for hundreds of issues. Any time you (or your pet) experience chronic pain, arthritis, allergies, anxiety, pancreatitis (or any diagnosis ending in “itis”), diabetes, autoimmune diseases, IBD, and other GI issues– it is inflammation that causes the symptoms to worsen, or even the cause of the issue itself.
Full Spectrum CBD is also great for reducing pain. Cannabis has been used as an effective analgesic dating back thousands of years. One of the ways it does this is actually by changing the way their central nervous system communicates the sensation of pain to our brains.
CBD ‘talks to’ specific receptors in a dog’s body to help reduce the inflammation caused by the wear and tear, and damage of the ball and socket joint (and other joints you may not be aware of being damaged).
In CBD’s ‘talk’ with a dog’s body, the receptors, pain is also reduced significantly.
Tater: Renewing the Joys of Life
Tater, an adorable Chihuahua, has two luxating patellas and hip dysplasia in both hips. To add to it, he also has arthritis. Tater was barely able to walk when he was brought in by his foster parents. The effects from his health were so severe he barely had an appetite.
The recommendation? Tater was provided with 1 mL of HEAL 1100 mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract once daily each morning.
When we asked the foster parents how he was doing, the update was sensational. Tater is now able to walk, AND RUN, without pain! His foster family added his appetite has increased and his arthritis has improved. Before CBD was introduced, his quality of life was extremely low. He is now soaking up the simple, but BIG, joys in life, as he continues to take HEAL daily.
Miss daisy’s success story
14 year old Black Lab, Miss Daisy, could barely use her back legs prior to starting a CBD regimen. What was her recommendation? A full drop of HEAL in the morning and another full dropper at night. She was provided a heavier dose than average due the severity of her pain each day.
When we asked the foster parents how she was doing, we received the following testimonial:
“She could barely use her back legs and was dragging them behind her – although she wanted to be part of the pack, she could barely keep up. She is given a dropper full of HEAL in the am and PM. Its a heavier dose but she was also suffering from a tumor and was in a lot of pain. Today she can run, play, and even jump on the couch.”
The success stories shared with us are critical to understanding how much CBD can change your dog’s life. From severe pain to the ability to willingly and happily play, run, and jump? We couldn’t be happier.
Take Action Now
The sooner you take action, the more successful the outcome with be, and the less damage your dog inflicts on her ‘ball and socket.’ This is particularly true for large-breed dogs. Since they are more prone to hip dysplasia, it’s definitely a condition to watch for. Look for symptoms so you’re able to take action swiftly. We want to make sure we help as quickly as possible to allow our pups to live longer, happier, and healthier.
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.
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Written by Amber at cbddoghealth.com