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How To Prevent Hip Problems In German Shepherds

Give Them The Gold Standard Glucosamine

German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia: Warning Signs, Treatment, Prevention

Go for the gold with glucosamine for the win!

If youre looking for the gold standard in joint pain relief for German Shepherds here it is


Glucosamine helps relieve disease symptoms, such as pain and stiffness, and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate combined are especially effective against arthritis.

There are two popular forms of this potent supplement:

  • liquid
  • tablet

The tablet is by far the easiest to give your dog, and the best known of the supplements manufactured on the market for home use is this maximum strength Cosequin Max.

As a matter of fact, Cosequin is a number one veterinarian-recommended brand. Cosequin Max contains a therapeutic amount of active ingredients that are shown to have a significant impact on joint care, specifically made to reduce joint pain.

If youre looking for one of the best German Shepherd hip pain home remedies, this is a must-have product to treat pain and discomfort as supported by clinical veterinary studies.

Keep Their Nails Trimmed

Many owners dont know this, but your dog walks on their toes or digits, called digitigrade walking. This means they need to feel the surface beneath their toes in order to provide feedback for their balance and prevent falls.

Keeping your dogs nails trimmed isnt only healthy paw care, but it allows them to maintain their natural gait and smooth walking, which assists in their balance.

Ignoring your dogs foot health, especially when they have hip problems, can create a multitude of additional health and joint pain down the road. When their nails are too long, they may change their gait which can cause skeletal changes and aggravate arthritis in their feet and toes .

Dont let overgrown nails cause your dog pain!

You can trim their nails at home or ask your vets off to trim their nails. This is usually a small price and sometimes free with a regular visit.

And many dog groomers offer mobile services that cater specifically to older dogs or dogs with special care needs. Its not as expensive as you think and its free to call and ask the groomer for a quote.

Trust me, its better than keeping your dog in pain with overgrown nails.

How Is Hip Dysplasia Diagnosed

Though the signs listed above can point to hip dysplasia, the condition is usually diagnosed via hip x-rays in both young and adult dogs, says Sarah Kirkwood, DVM, of Kansas City Veterinary Care in Kansas City, Mo. Your veterinarian may also use their hands to examine the hip and check for looseness.

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What Symptoms Should I Look For

Weakness and pain in the hind legs are the usual clinical signs. The dog appears wobbly and is reluctant to rise from a sitting or lying position. Some dogs will limp or be reluctant to climb stairs. These signs can be seen in puppies as early as a few months old but are most common in dogs one to two years of age. Dogs with mild hip dysplasia on radiographs may develop minimal arthritis without clinical signs until they are older. In fact, although hip dysplasia begins in puppyhood, most dogs do not develop clinical signs until they are older. It often takes years of gradual bone degeneration until a dog becomes symptomatic.

At What Age Can Hip Dysplasia Develop In German Shepherds

Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherds

Dysplasia may occur in dogs at any stage of their life, but it is true that puppies are more likely than adults to suffer. It is a disease in which other factors intervene that we will analyze later.

This ailment in young dogs usually appears between 5 and 6 months of age and is marked by a significant limp.

German Shepherds are not considered dysplasia-free until they are two years old and problems are no longer seen on follow-up radiographs.

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Where Can You Buy A German Shepherd Puppy

The best place to get a German Shepherd puppy is through a German Shepherd breeder, and it it best to go through a reputable one.

If you plan on showing your dog or using them as a working dog, you may want to purchase from a breeder that specifically deals with this.

Breeders are not your only option. Some other reputable places you may be able to pick up a German Shepherd is through a shelter or charity.

However, due to the demand of purebreds, youre more likely to find a German Shepherd mix than a purebred through these means.

Equally, you must remember that while a good thing to do, going through a shelter or charity often gives you little insight into the previous owner. Even if it was for a short while, you do not know how your potential puppy was previously treated.

Also Puppies are often rare in shelters but you can find them from time to time.

Some not as reputable places, and not recommended, are to buy a German Shepherd puppy at bespoke pet stores, online, and through places like Craigslist.

You may be able to find a perfectly healthy purebred puppy through these means, however, there are quite a few reports of horror stories from these purchases.

You may have a friend who has a litter of German Shepherd puppies for sale, and though they may not be a breeder, you might feel confident purchasing from them as you know the puppies are pure and healthy.

Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

At your dogs regular checkup, your veterinarian will perform a physical exam. Sometimes this exam is enough for your veterinarian to suspect hip dysplasia. In other cases, its up to owners to let veterinarians know that when dogs are experiencing discomfort.

One of the first things that your veterinarian may do is manipulate your dogs hind legs to test the looseness of the joint and to check for any grinding, pain, or reduced range of motion. Your dogs physical exam may include blood work because inflammation due to joint disease can be indicated in the complete blood count. Your veterinarian will also need a history of your dogs health and symptoms, any possible incidents or injuries that may have contributed to these symptoms, and any information you have about your dogs parentage.

The definitive diagnosis usually comes with a radiograph or X-ray. Your veterinarian will take radiographs of your dogs hips to determine the degree and severity of the hip dysplasia, which will help determine the best course of treatment for your dog.

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German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia Is Hereditary

Theres no preventing a German Shepherds hip dysplasia. The same goes for curing such a disorder. As far as statistics is concerned, 20% of dogs in this breed are diagnosed with hip dysplasia.

They inherit the trait from their parents, but the severity may depend on the owner of the German shepherd.

For example, a well-trained and health dog may experience less pain, while those that are often neglected may have it worse than others.

Theres more than one way to determine how severe a German shepherds hip dysplasia may be. One such factor is their breed.

In fact, DDR German shepherds or East German shepherds, are known for being immune to severe hip dysplasia, although they can still inherit such a trait if bred with other breeds.

Thats precisely why a responsible owner should know how to find out the presence of a German shepherds hip dysplasia.

Flea Dermatitis Or Flea Allergy In German Shepherd

german shepherd – hip dysplasia

Flea dermatitis is one of the most common skin problems in German shepherds and this becomes a flea allergy in this breed because shepherds are allergic to fleas and flea saliva.

When your pup is bitten they will develop symptoms of inflamed skin and itchy skin that they will constantly lick, bite, chew and rub. They can end up with open sores which can, in turn, lead to a secondary infection.

Prevention is the key to avoiding flea dermatitis by using flea products to repel fleas such as a collar, drops, or pills. Discuss this with your pups veterinarian first to make sure the products you choose are safe.

If you end up with a full-blown flea infestation, your whole house will need to be treated preferably by an exterminator. Your shepherd will need a flea bath to rid them of the fleas and dont forget to wash your pups bedding as fleas gather there. Eliminating all fleas is essential.

As well as skin problems, fleas can cause bacterial infections, anemia, and tapeworms.

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The Issues With Bad Breeders

When looking for German shepherd puppies, make sure the breeder checks their parents. Otherwise, look for another breeder.

You might need to learn about the reasons why you should make this call:

  • Many breeders dont check the hips of the dogs. As long as theyre sure its a German shepherd, theres nothing they will do.
  • Bad breeders tend to breed dogs that are 2 years old or younger. You may confirm that their parents dont have hip dysplasia, but they may be not old enough to show signs yet.
  • They breed German shepherds knowing that they have the genes for hip dysplasia, all for commercial purposes.

These three issues push these breeders to lower their prices. The normal price ranges from $700 $1000. It may be lower from a breeder who knows of the hip issue of the German shepherd.

This is why its crucial that you buy from a good breeder. In addition to more expenses, you might have less play time with a German shepherd suffering from hip dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds

I am a writer with a great interest in German Shepherds, cats, and animals in general. I hope you enjoy my articles.

Hip dysplasia is a fairly common hereditary ailment that commonly affects larger breeds, especially German Shepherds.

German Shepherds make wonderful pets. They are smart, athletic, and loyal, making them great pets and working dogs. Unfortunately, like most large breed dogs, they are prone to a number of health problems.

One of the most common of these problems is hip dysplasia according to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, about 19% of German Shepherds have the ailment. Hip dysplasia is a joint problem which can cause pain and mobility problems for your dog and lead to the development of arthritis later in life.

German Shepherds can often live happily with the condition for some time, but its important to provide treatment and proper care to minimize their discomfort. Every owner should be familiar with hip dysplasia so that they can look out for warning signs, keep their pet healthy, and pursue treatment options if necessary.

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How To Treat Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherd Dogs

If you have or are planning on getting a German Shepherd, you are probably aware that hip dysplasia is something to worry about.

Canine hip dysplasia is an orthopedic disease that affects the hip joints of dogs. In a normal hip joint, the femur fits perfectly into a socket on the hip bone. In hip dysplasia, this fit is disturbed resulting in wear on the bones.

Hip dysplasia affects dogs differently with some barely experiencing any signs and symptoms while others may have to be put down. It is extremely helpful to educate yourself on the condition so you can make the best decisions for your dog.

Make Sure They Get Annual Check

Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherds

Dog wheelchairs help GSD dealing with DM or hip issues to improve mobility & stay active.

Another great way to increase German Shepherd life expectancy is to make sure that you take them for check-ups with the veterinarian at least once a year. For young puppies you will want to take them twice a year.

Large dog breeds are more prone to hip and joint problems. German Shepherd hip dysplasia is one of the more common ones. Taking them for annual check-ups increases your chances of finding certain conditions or diseases early on in some cases.

This allows the vet to take certain preventative measures when catching the problem early on. Often times a dog may cover up the fact that they are in pain. The vet may be able to notice specific symptoms during the early stages.

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Provide Dietary Supplements For Healthy Joint Development

Daily supplements can help prevent and lower the risk of hip dysplasia in dogs. Consider supplementing your dogs nutrition with vitamins and minerals. Including antioxidant vitamin C and E as well as Perna Supplements are known to strengthen a dogs joints.

Its a good idea to consult the vet for appropriate dosage for these supplements before dishing them out to your dog. Once you get this dosage, you can crash them and mix them into your dogs food.

Common Health Problems For German Shepherds

We view German Shepherds as intelligent, loyal, and brave dogs who can take on even the toughest of tasks. As a breed that works with military and police personnel, its hard to imagine these dogs as anything but tough. But like all other dogs, German Shepherds have their fair share of health issues that slowly arise as they start to age. Lets look at some of the most common health problems associated with the German Shepherd breed.

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Best Dog Exercises For Healthy Hips

An active dog is a happy dog. Talk with your veterinarian about creating a customized exercise program for your dog as every breed is different. Certain breeds will need to strengthen the muscles around the hip joint to eliminate pain.

Start with a 20-minute walk, twice a day. Make sure your dog avoids jumping and running long distances. And always avoid exercising on hard surfaces.

Swimming is actually a great exercise for your dog and can help with hip problems as well. Like a form of physical therapy.

What Is The Treatment For Hip Dysplasia

The Best German Shepherd Hip Pain Home Remedies: Natural & Safe Solutions

There are many options available for treating hip dysplasia, Kirkwood says, and the best treatment depends on the age, condition, and lifestyle of the dog. She typically recommends surgery for young dogs with long, active lives ahead, as it provides the most long-term comfort. Two common surgical options for dogs with hip dysplasia are total hip replacement and femoral head ostectomy, in which the head and neck of the femur are removed.

For older dogs and dogs for whom surgery isnt an option, Kirkwood says medical management at home can effectively manage pain. The most commonly used medications to help with joint pain from hip dysplasia are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , she explains. However, its important to note that NSAIDs can have significant side effects and must be closely monitored. Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can help prevent cartilage breakdown in the joint, which can ease pain as well, Kirkwood adds.

Other potential treatments include cold laser therapy, acupuncture, and physical therapy. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the best options for you and your pet.

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Genetic Predisposition For Hip Problems

German Shepherds are one of the many large-breed dogs that are prone to hip problems.

Some shepherds are born with a genetic disorder called hip dysplasia, which results in a misaligned hip joint.

They also are more prone to a condition called Degenerative Myelopathy as they get olderand often develop significant pain and weakness in their hips as a result.

German Shepherds commonly develop arthritis, which can cause significant hip pain and inflammation.

Before buying a puppy, be sure your breeder has disclosed information about all of these conditions.

If you are adopting a German Shepherd, anticipate experiencing some of these issues with your new pet.

Should I Get A Male Or Female German Shepherd

While it depends on your preferences, female German Shepherds are friendlier companions and make better family pets. They are easier to train and more sensitive. They are also smaller, have better agility, and also mature quicker than males. Male German shepherds are more territorial, protective, and likely to show aggression. This makes them more suitable as guard dogs.

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Prevention Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

One way breeders prevent hip dysplasia is selective breeding. Obviously, this option is off the table for parents of affected dogs, but there are ways to help keep the condition under control.

Proper care can delay the onset of hip dysplasia in genetically predisposed dogs, perhaps resulting in a less severe form of the disease. In the best scenario, your dog may never develop any clinical symptoms.

Here are some possible ways to reduce the severity or even prevent hip dysplasia in dogs:

Does your dog suffer from hip dysplasia? What steps do you take to reduce their symptoms and keep them comfortable? Let us know in the comments below!

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What Breeds Are More Prone To Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds

Due to the importance of genetic predisposition, there are breeds of dogs that are more sensitive to developing this illness. They are as follows:

  • Argentine Dog

For small breeds they are:

  • French bulldog
  • English bulldog
  • Pugs

Remember that even if your pet is not on the list, it can suffer from hip dysplasia. In the next section, we will look at the different classifications of hip dysplasia.

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Using German Shepherd Hip Pain Home Remedies

Using a natural German Shepherd hip pain home remedy is a smart choice to provide a more natural approach than typical prescription medications, or as a complement with your vets approval.

Home treatments are readily available and offer owners and dogs options that produce noticeable results.

A German Shepherds ability to get around is likely to diminish when he becomes a senior or impacted with hip dysplasia. But that doesnt mean his activity should stop or his life becomes less interesting for him.

With you by his side using these dog hip pain home remedies he can still get on the couch to keep you company. Of course, I cant stop him from requesting to watch Animal Planet again!


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