Hip Problems In German Shepherds: Everything You Need To Know
Are you the owner of a German Shepherd? If so, youre lucky. You have one of the most intelligent, trainable, and loyal dogs known to man. However, they are one of the several large-breed dogs, along with Golden Retrievers, that are prone to debilitating hip problems.
Left unaddressed, hip problems in dogs can cause discomfort and shorten your pups lifespan. However, if you are aware of these issues and know what symptoms to look out for, you can take both preventative measures like hip and joint supplements for dogs. So, read on to find out more about common hip problems in German Shepherds and arm yourself with the knowledge that could mitigate the chances of these problems developing.
How To Recognize Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia
These are the main signs of HD, but its not to say that all of them will be present at the same time.
- General pain and discomfort Keeping the hind legs close together to counter poor balanceBunny hopping when running instead of the signature trot of the GSD Struggling to get up after lying down Loss of muscle tone Reluctance to use full range of motion in hind legs General lameness Whining or crying when getting up quickly Not as excited to enjoy regular physical activities Visible signs of depression
Often, dogs will nibble at their hind legs. Im not 100% sure why, but my guess the nibbling helps with pain relief.
Signs Of Pain In Dogs
Though we feel deeply connected to our dogs, its sometimes hard to tell when theyre in pain since they cant talk to us about it. If you see any of the following signs of pain in your dog, its time to call your vet to determine the cause of pain and find a safe remedy.
- Antisocial or aggressive behavior
- Shaking or trembling
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Heres A Simple Test: Stand And Look Down At Your Feet If Your Toes Point Outward Rather Than Straight Ahead Your Hip Muscles Are Probably Overworked And Need To Be Stretchedwhat Can I Give My German Shepherd For Hip Pain
If youre lucky, you wont notice your hips are tight until youre trying to do the Half Pigeon pose in your yoga class. But if youre not so fortunate, your tight hips are making themselves known every time you so much as walk to the bathroom or sit on the couch-expressing themselves in the form of lower back pain and muscle stiffness. Tight hips can even shorten your stride, slowing your 5K goal time!
Its a common issue, says Prevention advisor Rob Danoff, director of family and emergency medicine residency programs at Aria Health in Philadelphia. For people who sit a long time at work, the hip flexors and rotators become tight, and the gluteal muscles become weak, he says. This combination negatively affects our ability to walk, maintain proper posture, and the stability of our spine.What Can I Give My German Shepherd For Hip Pain
New York City-based yoga teacher Amanda McDonald agrees that tight hips are a widespread issue: Hip openers are actually the most-requested moves in my yoga classes. If you never move in certain directions, she says, youll reduce your range of motion over time.
What Is Hip Dysplasia
The hip joint consists of two parts: the socket on the pelvis and the ball on the femur. In hip dysplasia, a malformed socket doesnt allow the ball to sit deep inside.
This leads to instability, pain, and other symptoms which well cover in more details later.
Early intervention gives dogs with hip dysplasia the best chance at a long, comfortable life. So, if you have a dog breed that is prone to hip dysplasia, you need to look for symptoms to start managing the condition.
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How To Help German Shepherds With Hip Problems
Hip problems plague German shepherds, but helping an individual dog depends on his actual diagnosis. The two most common hip issues affecting the breed are hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy, which are very different conditions. Like many dogs, German shepherds are prone to arthritis as they age, which often afflicts the hips.
Ways To Help Your German Shepherd With Arthritis
Now that weve gone over causes, signs, and diagnosis of arthritis in German Shepherds, we will move on to some very caring things that you can do to help your GSD manage his arthritis.
While some of these actions may seem small, its important to keep your eye on the big picture. In combination, the following methods will have a very large and helpful impact on your German Shepherds quality of life while managing arthritis.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Hip Dysplasia
It is important to identify and treat hip dysplasia as early as possible, because it can eventually cause osteoarthritis and dramatically impact your dogs mobility. Some of the warning signs to look for include:
- Bunny hopping or an unusual gait
- Struggling to get up after lying down or sitting
- Struggling to walk up stairs
- An audible sound when walking
- Their thigh muscles begin to atrophy while the muscles their front legs grow larger
- Increased width between the sides of their hips
To diagnose the presence of hip dysplasia, your vet will perform a complete physical exam and may take some x-rays. It some cases, it is possible to diagnose the condition based solely on the symptoms and looseness in the dogs hip joint. A laxity test is often performed, which assesses how far the hip joint can be rotated without causing discomfort to the dog.
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German shepherds are amazing dogs to watch. Their bodies seem to glide over the ground as they run. Unfortunately, these loyal and protective dogs are prone to joint pain caused by hip dysplasia and arthritis. Surgery, medication, supplements and exercise are some means of easing the dog’s joint pain.
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German Shepherd Joint Pain
A German Shepherd with joint pain is generally due to age-related disease.
Nearly all dogs get a little stiff as they get older due to gradual wear-and-tear on the joints that take its toll on their body. Furthermore, as your GSD ages, they generally become less active, so their muscles, tendons, and ligaments lose some of their flexibility and strength.
While there are many reasons why your German Shepherd has hip problems and hip pain which can make them stiff there are some common health issues that you should consider.
German Shepherds, even puppies, may develop conditions that can cause long-term, fatiguing pain, such as:
- age-related joint or muscular degeneration pain
- hip dysplasia
Did you know that 20% of the canine population over one year old is affected by arthritis ?
Or that 19.8% of German shepherds born between 2011 and 2015 suffer from hip dysplasia in some form ?
But, hip problems arent the end of an active life for you and your dog. There are many home treatment options available to you, even for hip dysplasia.
What Are The Common Signs Of Arthritis In Gsds
As a dog owner, you most likely get worried about your dog when they get sick. However, you may not know how to tell when your German Shepherd has osteoarthritis.
You can tell whether your dog has arthritis by observing the behavioral changes of your dog. As already mentioned, arthritis causes stiffness, and this affects the way a dog walks.
Therefore, if you notice lameness or stiffness as your dog walks, then he may have arthritis.
Below are other common signs that your German Shepherd may have arthritis:
- The dog seems off or stressed
- The dog does not eat as much
- Difficulties in moving
- Tenderness, trembling, or limping when walking.
- The dog is less interested in walks or taking part in any other physical activities
- Difficulty lying down or getting up
If your German Shepherd has mobility issues, it does not necessarily mean that they have arthritis.
For instance, if your dog struggles to climb into the car or leave and enter a dog bed, it does not necessarily imply they have arthritis. However, you need to find out why your dog is showing these signs.
Still, you should not assume that your dog is undergoing some of these symptoms because of old age, especially when it is an aging one.
It is also important to remember that not all mobility problems are caused by joint problems.
A dog may experience lameness, some pain, and stiffness, all of which are symptoms that can be similarly portrayed by a spinal disease, injury to soft tissues, or cancer of the bone.
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Treatment Of Joint Problems In German Shepherds
The first thing I recommend you do when you start noticing symptoms of joint problems in your German Shepherd is to take her to the vet. The vet will access the dogs case and suggest the best remedies.
A very important step in the treatment of joint problems in any dog is weight loss.
Ive written a great article for you right here all about how to tell if your German Shepherd is overweight.
Joint problems usually occur in older dogs. But unfortunately, older dogs also tend to be bulkier than younger dogs since they get less exercise.
As an owner, it is your responsibility to help your German Shepherd lose weight using dietary control and exercise.
This can go a long way in relieving your dogs pain as more weight tends to affect problematic joints. Try getting your dog some exercise everyday even if they seem hesitant.
Also, you might want to decrease the overall amount of food you give to your German Shepherd. Older dogs live a more sedentary lifestyle. So as a result, a lot of the food she consumes gets stored as extra fat.
You can also try adding some anti-inflammatory ingredients such as meat or fish high in Omega 3 fats to help your dog cope.
Anti-inflammatory foods are exactly like they sound: they help reduce the inflammation caused by joint problems.
Besides omega 3 rich meat and fish, other anti-inflammatory foods include vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, kale, and berries, such as blueberries and cherries.
Picking The Right Cbd Products For German Shepherds
Whether your German Shepherd suffers from one of the conditions I listed above or could simply benefit from a healthy, natural dietary supplement, I suggest you give CBD a try.
I discovered CBD after our Golden Retriever got sick.
As soon as we got the diagnosis , I began hunting for ways to help my dog Rosie cope.
Long story short, CBD was recommended to me, and I began to research it.
After spending countless days researching CBD and hassling my vet, I finally decided to give it a shot.
Over the years Ive tried several brands on my own dogs, and other dogs in my family. We found products from Honest Paws to be great.
For a large breed like yours, you will want to make sure you get a quality CBD product, and enough of it.
Normally German Shepherds use CBD to treat pain, and this requires a larger dose than say a Toy Poodle suffering from anxiety.
Ive used this on my dogs and saw great results. The Large Size Oil is ideal for dogs over 50 pounds.
My sister in law has also seen good results with this on her Dobermann who suffers from anxiety.
If you decide to try it on your Shepherd, I really hope you see good results too.
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Natural Relief For Pain
You can ease your German shepherd’s joint pain to a small extent by supplementing his diet. The two most important supplements for joint support are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. While these supplements won’t cure any damage caused by dysplasia, arthritis or injury, they will help your pup’s body repair damaged tissues in the joints. Natural anti-inflammatory supplements like omega-3s and vitamin E can help, too. If you decide to add a natural supplement to your pooch’s diet, talk to a veterinarian or pet nutritionist first to get the right combination and dose of supplements.
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More strength, faster gains – having looser hips increases speed and strength, which combine to give you power. When you increase power, you increase performance in sports and competition. In sports, all of your power comes from the hips.
Sleep like a baby – one of the most powerful effects of the program is giving you back a good night’s sleep. When your body is better aligned, less discomfort means better sleep for your body to rejuvenate so you feel fresher, stronger and full of energy.
Fire your therapist say goodbye to expensive trips to your physical therapist to treat the same old injury over and over again. Treat the root cause and you’ll save a small fortune in treatment bills.
Get back in the gym- no more laying off in the vain hope your condition will get better by itself. After just a few days of using the sequential flow of Unlock Your Hip Flexors, you’ll feel much better, stronger and ready to return to the gym.
Throw out those pain killers – no longer will you need to down pill after pill to stave off the pain in your back, legs and hips. Unlock Your Hip Flexors shows you how to deal with the CAUSE of your strength and flexibility problems, not the EFFECTS.
If you’ve been struggling with nagging aches and pains stopping you from working out like a boss, fixing your hip flexor problem will bring life back to your body.
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Tight Hips May Also Be Caused By:
- standing after long periods of sitting
- A tipped pelvis, which creates a structural imbalance
- Postural habits like leaning over into one hip or leaning forward into both hips when standing
- sleeping all night on the same side of the body
- having one leg longer than the other
- Tight hips may also flare up when you perform lower body exercises, like squats and deadlifts.
What Others Are Saying About Unlock Your Hip Flexors
Stronger & Faster Than Ever
“Being an athlete all my life and having endured multiple knee surgeries due to blowing out ACL’s in both knees, I later started to develop a hip issue in my right hip due to the years of wear and tear. It actually got so bad it was hard for me to perform as an athlete as well as be a productive coach for my clients.
After getting an MRI to have it checked out, I realized I had a degenerative arthritic condition in the hip that is not reversible. Surgery was not an option I wanted to go through so I contacted Rick Kaselj to see if he had something for me. When I started to apply the strategies from Unlock Your Hip Flexors it helped me re-balance my pelvis and hip joint to where I couldn’t even tell I had an issue anymore.
These days I’m stronger and faster than ever and still competing in sports. Rick gave me the ability to perform at my highest level as a coach and regain the athletic ability I had lost over the years from wear and tear. I’ve been using Rick’s strategies for years to help myself manage and recover from injuries as well as countless members of the fitness community. I couldn’t recommend this product enough!”
Frank Daniels, CPT
Helped Me Deadlift 500 Pounds
If you do any kind of explosive lifting Unlock Your Hip Flexors can definitely help you add pounds to your max!”
Chris Wilson, SNC, RKC, CPT Head Strength Coach, Critical Bench
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Prognosis For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia
Dogs with hip dysplasia often lead long, full lives, especially with treatment. If you think that your dog may be affected, talk to your veterinarian. Treatment options and lifestyle changes you can make to keep your dog comfortable well into old age.
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German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia: What Is It
The simplest explanation for hip dysplasia is that the ball and socket of the hip dont form and work properly.
If you are not familiar with canine anatomy , the canine hip has two main parts:
1. The ball at the top of the femur, the largest leg bone.
2. The socket in the hip bone where it connects with the ball.
Of course there are a lot of other moving parts that are required to make a hip joint work the way it should, including ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, and more.
But hip dysplasia specifically concerns the ball and socket parts. When the socket doesnt form properly into a cup or circle shape, the ball of the femur cant fit into it the way it should.
If you would like to see this explanation visually, the Vet Depot offers an excellent infographic you can take a look at.
This causes all kinds of problems, which we will discuss in the next section here.
Just so you are aware, there is a related condition that German Shepherds can also inherit from their parents. This condition is called elbow dysplasia.
Here, you may be wondering, do German Shepherd dogs have elbows? The elbow that is being referred to here is actually the shoulder joint so where the femur of the front leg meets the socket of the shoulder girdle.
We wont discuss elbow dysplasia further here, but it is good to know about it. Also, the information you are about to read can apply quite well to elbow dysplasia also.
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