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HomeTreatment For German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia

Treatment For German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia

Stage : Treating For Pain And Discomfort

German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia: Warning Signs, Treatment, Prevention

In many ways, hip dysplasia is actually a type of canine arthritis. As such, it often causes pain and inflammation that is quite similar to arthritis.

In this stage, where there is some discomfort but it is fairly mild, your veterinarian may opt for symptoms management only.

Canine NSAIDs can be helpful to lessen inflammation and ease pain.

Veterinarians today often recommend health supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin as well as pain medications.

Other German Shepherd Hip Problems

German Shepherd hip dysplasia is a common and devastating condition. However, it is not the hip disorder in this breed. Here is a short overview of some other frequent hip diagnoses in German Shepherds.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This is a chronic and fatal disease that affects the spinal cord. Degenerative myelopathy commonly affects German Shepherds and is usually detected between 5 and 14 years of age. The exact cause of the disease is unknown but dogs that have it show a genetic predisposition due to a mutation on a particular gene.

From the spinal cord, the disease spreads to the rest of the body starting with the hind legs. When the hind legs get affected, your dog may display signs similar to those of hip problems like difficulty standing up and a bunny hopping gait.

Canine Myasthenia Gravis

This is a disorder that affects the transmission of impulses from the nerves to the muscles. Since all movement requires nerve transmission to the muscles, this disease greatly affects a dogs mobility.

Unlike most mobility diseases, the signs of canine myasthenia gravis do not begin in the hind legs but rather in the face. Just like hip dysplasia, canine myasthenia gravis is irreversible.

Hock Walking

A hock is to dogs what an ankle is to humans. When dogs are hock walking, they have their hock on the ground instead of just their foot. This gait puts added stress on the hips resulting in other hip problems.



Glucosamine For Dogs With Joint Disease

Large breed dog foods often contain joint supplements like glucosamine. If your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with arthritis, glucosamine will likely be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. They will most likely recommend a chewable supplement with a veterinarian-grade dose of glucosamine and chondroitin.

You can also purchase supplements with these ingredients for dogs that might be prone to developing arthritis and hip dysplasia down the line. Joint supplements are often used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of arthritis, as they are safe for long-term use in most patients. While research is still limited, these supplements may help reduce symptoms of hip dysplasia.

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Proven German Shepherd Hip Pain Home Remedies

The fact of the matter is that at some point you may need to include German Shepherd hip pain home remedies as your companion begins to show their age.


There are plenty of natural pain relief options that you can use at home.

And, knowing how to help your German Shepherds hips doesnt mean you need to turn to costly prescription pain medication.

On the contrary, here are the best natural, prescription-free ways to help your GSD have a healthier, happier pain-free life.

What If Nsaids Don’t Help

Boone is a 6 year old German Shepherd who had crippling hip dysplasia ...

The alternative to NSAID and medical therapy is surgery. There are several surgical procedures available to treat hip dysplasia. The two most common surgical techniques for hip dysplasia are total hip replacement and femoral head ostectomy . Other less common surgical procedures used to treat hip dysplasia include triple pelvic osteotomy , juvenile pubic symphysiodesis, and DARthroplasty. The choice of surgery will be determined by your pet’s age, condition, and lifestyle. Your veterinarian will be able to provide the best recommendations for your individual pet.

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German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia Home Treatment

Use the following easy natural remedies for German Shepherd hip dysplasia home treatments. Hip dysplasia can benefit from the same type of care used for general dog hip pain home remedies.

You may tell German Shepherd hip dysplasia from other hip problems because GSDs with hip dysplasia have a slight sway when they walk.

Whether your dog has hip pain, arthritis, or hip dysplasia youll need to get a vet exam and start with home treatment to help them live a comfortable life as pain-free as possible. The best course of action after your vets exam and consultation is to start pain management early to reduce any long-term stress and damage .

At What Age Do German Shepherds Develop Hip Dysplasia

The primary cause of hip dysplasia is genetics.

Statistics suggest that a puppy born to parents with hip dysplasia is twice as likely to develop the condition. Therefore, if you are considering bringing a GSD puppy home, its always important to look for reputable breeders.

While some puppies start showing clinical signs of hip dysplasia as early as a few months old, most do not until 1 to 2 years of age.

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Home Treatments For Hip Dysplasia

There are many home remedies to choose from for a natural and non-surgical approach to hip dysplasia in dogs.

They help your dog lose a couple of pounds and investing in anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate pain stiffness in the hip joint with a high-quality orthopedic dog bed.

Let’s take a look at 8 of the most popular home treatments for canine hip dysplasia and how they can improve their quality of life.

Treatment Begins With Getting Your Dog Help For Hip Dysplasia

Our male gsd with hip dysplasia, what we notice the most.

Finally, you know your dog better than anyone. If your dog with hip dysplasia is painful , talk with your veterinarian about options. Pain is the number one inhibitor to quality of life for my canine patients, and perhaps for your dog too. Improving a dogs physical and mental well-being through pain management brings my clients and patients relief and brings me great joy as a veterinarian.

Of this Im confident: when it comes to treating the pain in dogs associated with hip dysplasia, multimodal therapy is best. In other words, some combination of the 11 tips on this list will yield the greatest success. Dogs may respond differently to different products and therapies, expressing a type of individual variation, much like humans.

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How Long Can A Dog Live With Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia should not shorten your dogs life at all. As long as it receives treatment and is well taken care of at home, any dog with the condition should go on to lead a full and active life.

Problems only occur if the dog eats too much or discomfort prevents them from exercising enough to keep their weight down. Weight gain can make the effects of hip dysplasia worse, which will in turn further reduce their ability to exercise, climb stairs and could cause heart problems.

Proper pain relief will prevent this from happening and will allow your dog to be as active as ever.

Toegrips Dog Nail Grips

Dogs with hip dysplasia often struggle to rise from and walk on slippery floors. Dr. Buzbys ToeGrips® dog nail grips help dogs that slip and slide on slick floors with both their footing and confidence. ToeGrips® dog nail grips fit snugly on dogs toenails to restore their traction on hardwood floors and smooth surfaces.

The non-slip grips can make a huge difference in comfort and mobility for dogs with hip dysplasia.

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How Can You Tell If A German Shepherd Is Purebred

How to tell if a German Shepherd puppy is purebred? To know if a puppy is purebred due to its physical appearance, you must wait up to 3 months, unless you are an expert in the breed. Therefore, in very young puppies it is difficult to recognize if they are purebred or mixed because they are often very similar.

Consider Taking Your Dog To Water Therapy:

An In

Even though German Shepherds may encounter hip pain and other joint-related issues as they age, it doesnt mean that they lose any of their energy!

German Shepherds are known for being young at heart and will keep their playful spirit throughout all of their lives.

One of the best ways that a German Shepherd can release pent-up aggression without causing any undue pressure on their hip joints is through swimming.

While swimming in the water, all the weight will be taken off the hip area, while allowing your German Shepherd to work out their muscles and get active.

More often than not, for German Shepherds suffering from hip dysplasia, most owners will take their dogs to a water rehabilitation clinic designed specifically for animals suffering from these types of joint issues.

However, if you have a pool or local swimming lake that is suitable for dogs, you could also choose to take your dog here.

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Common Causes Of Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds

There are several causes of this condition which is hereditary and very common in large dogs. Dr. Wayne Riser conducted a lengthy study in 1975 on Canine Hip Dysplasia or CHD called Observations and Research on Hip Dysplasia.

He determined that several factors contributed to the disease. They included: accelerated growth as a puppy, enlarged head and feet, excessive appetite, thickset body with loose skin, and poor coordination in the gait.

Provide A Comfortable Bed

Hard floors and thin dog beds are no place for a German Shepherd with hip and joint pain.

Hard floors and thin dog beds are no place for a German Shepherd with hip and joint pain to relax or sleep for hours on end.

German Shepherds with arthritis or hip dysplasia often have their worst moments:

  • after theyve been lying down for a while
  • first thing in the morning after a nights long rest

You can help your German Shepherd with the transition from the floor and reduce their hip pain by providing them the right bed. Invest in an orthopedic bed to support your dogs aching body that is thick and well-padded and made for dogs with aches and pains, like this plush orthopedic dog bed.

Getting your dog onto an orthopedic bed not only gives them joint support to relieve pressure, but the bed also helps keep them warm. The warmth from drafts or cold nights sleeping on a floor can reduce inflammation and help support the joints while your dog sleeps comfortably.

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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.

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Other Common Australian Shepherd Hip Problems

German Shepherd hip dysplasia?

While hip dysplasia is the most prevalent canine hip issue, there may be other issues if your pup is displaying pain or discomfort in its hips or legs and CHD is not the cause. Panosteitis is another common issue that occurs in Australian shepherds. It is different from hip dysplasia in that it primarily affects the front legs, is temporary, and affects the long bones of the legs. It is most common in younger dogs, and like CHD, it can result in limping, lameness, swelling, etc.

Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is another growth-related leg issue that causes inflammation of the long bones. Osteoarthritis is a common ailment in older dogs caused by age-related muscle and joint degeneration. Other leg and joint diseases include osteochondritis dissecans and Legg-Calve-Perths Disease. Always consult with a veterinary professional for the correct diagnosis before moving forward with any treatment plan for your beloved pet.

It is never fun to watch your dog struggle with hip or leg pain, and it can be especially frustrating to watch pain limit your Australian shepherds natural love of running and playing. However, CHD is a treatable condition and there are many options that can ensure your Aussie is able to live a long, pain-free life.

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Give Them The Gold Standard Glucosamine

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:

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.

Total Hip Replacement :

Total hip replacement is the most effective technique used by vets. In this surgery, Your vet or surgeon replaces the entire joint with metal or plastic implants. This very technique allows your German Shepherd to bring back to the normal functionality of their hip joints as it also reduces all the discomforts that your German Shepherd suffers from hip dysplasia.

The condition of hip dysplasia cant be ignored and you should meet your vets as soon as possible. They will start their treatment by performing a physical examination and trying to know the reason behind the discomfort your German Shepherd is facing due to hip dysplasia. Being a professional they do the needful for your German Shepherd to bring normal life to your German Shepherd but as a good dog owner, you should also take care of them physically and mentally.

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How To Tell If Your German Shepherd Has Hip Dysplasia

It is important to recognize symptoms of hip dysplasia as early as possible.

These symptoms can vary from dog to dog, and some dogs/puppies may show no symptoms at all until the condition has progressed. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Limping, waddling, or unsteadiness when walking
  • Swinging both its legs forward instead of moving them independently.
  • Difficulty getting up, lying down, or going up stairs
  • Narrowing hips when seen from behind
  • Reduced activity

The most effective way to diagnose hip dysplasia is with a radiograph or X-ray.

Your veterinarian will x-ray your dogs hips to determine the degree and severity of hip dysplasia. Only then theyll be able to determine the best course of treatment for your dog.

Infinite Hip & Joint Supplement

German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia Life Expectancy  Shepherddogsite

The third joint supplement on our list, Infinite Hip & Joint Supplement, is an all-natural option that contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.

It also contains turmeric, which can help reduce inflammation in your dogs body.

This supplement is manufactured in the USA and is very affordable but comes with a catch.

Theres no hyaluronic acid and significantly fewer active ingredients than TRI-ACTA H.A. for pets.

As such, this may be a better option for pet parents who are simply looking to maintain overall joint health, rather than treat hip dysplasia.

Price $24.97 as of September 2021

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Hip Certifications To Check With German Shepherds

The OFA is the go-to organization for several health screenings, especially regarding hip health. The OFA recommends an OFA standard evaluation and an SV evaluation for German Shepherds. An elbow dysplasia evaluation is also recommended with the same two tests. PennHIP is a less common form of screening for Osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia but is also an acceptable screening.

Your breeder doesn’t have to perform the screenings with all their puppies. This may not be a realistic expectation, and more accurate screenings are unavailable until the puppy is about 16 weeks old. However, for German Shepherds, having some hip certification from the parents should be a top priority. The score for each adult dog should be “acceptable” at the very least, and of course, the higher the score, the better.

If It Is Hereditary Are Certain Breeds Affected More Than Others

Yes, although any dog can be affected, it is predominantly seen in larger dogs such as German Shepherds, Saint Bernards, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Old English Sheepdogs, and Bulldogs. Large mixed-breed dogs are also at risk for developing hip dysplasia and should be fed a special large breed growth diet their first year.

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How To Treat Dysplasia In German Shepherds

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 15,150 times.

German Shepherds are large, lovable dogs. They are also intelligent, protective, and athletic.XResearch source Unfortunately, German Shepherds are prone to developing a joint condition called dysplasia in their elbows and hips in fact, nearly 20% of German Shepherds will develop hip dysplasia during their lifetimes.XResearch source If your German Shepherd isnt able to move around like he used to, he may have dysplasia and will need veterinary treatment.


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