Does your dog suffer from hip dysplasia? Or, is your dog’s breed known for being more susceptible to hip dysplasia or other joint-related conditions? If so, acupuncture provides safe, non-toxic treatment for relieving pain, eliminating the anxiety related to painful hips or joints, and increasing mobility and activity.
This is why acupuncture is one of the most commonly natural therapies used to treat hip dysplasia by holistic veterinarians.
How Does Acupuncture for Dogs With Hip Dysplasia Work?
First, it’s important that you understand how acupuncture works. If you are new to the idea of acupuncture for pets, Click Here for detailed facts and statistics about its animal health and treatment benefits. We also recommend reading, 4 Interesting & Truthful Facts About Acupuncture for Pets.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) considers acupuncture to have “proven, positive effects” that pets benefit from, as long as the veterinarian providing the treatment is a licensed veterinarian and has formalized training/certification in veterinary acupuncture.
The quick list of acupuncture benefits for dogs and other pets (and their human companions, too) includes:
- Increased oxygenation of tissues
- Reduced inflammation
- Pain relief
- Reduced anxiety
- Relief for musculoskeletal conditions (including hip dysplasia, arthritis and or trauma to the bones/joints/connective tissue)
- Support for the nervous system and acute nerve damage
- Improved mobility and energy levels
- Boosts immune system function
- Improved appetite
And, pet caretakers can rest assured knowing the risk of negative side effects or outcomes from acupuncture are incredibly rare.
Augment – Or Prevent – Standard Treatment Options
Choosing acupuncture for dogs with hip dysplasia doesn’t mean ruling out standard remedies. Acupuncture is often used in tandem with other treatments to support their healing benefits.
The seven, most common methods used to treat canine hip dysplasia include:
- Weight loss/weight management to reduce stress on affected joints
- Exercise restriction, particularly limiting exercise on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt
- Nutritional supplementation, including the use of glucosamine
- Physical therapy (including aquatherapy!) and/or laser therapy
- Medications, including non steroidal anti-inflammatories and others, and herbal prescriptions can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Injectable joint fluid modifiers (like manual lubrication from the joints – helping the ball/socket hip joint to move without the bones rubbing against one another)
- Surgical intervention(s)
While the first four options have little to no risks or harmful side effects, the final three are not risk-free. Using acupuncture, along with the least invasive treatment methods supports your dog’s hip health and comfort without other, harmful potentials. As a result, acupuncture for dogs with hip dysplasia can prolong the need for more invasive or risk-laden treatments, or could eliminate the need altogether.
On the flip side of the equation, acupuncture also supports hip health and healing when other treatments are used. For example, a dog requiring anti-inflammatory medications may find routine acupuncture sessions reduce medication dosage, frequency or the length of time they need to be on meds. The less medication ingested, the lower the risk of known side-effects.
Similarly, dogs who require surgical intervention to treat dysplasia often recover better, faster and more fully when acupuncture is used before and after surgery as it supports and facilitates the body’s natural healing processes. In these examples, acupuncture is not only used to treat a dog with dysplasia, but to augment other treatment modalities.
Things You Can Do to Support Your Dog With Dysplasia
Here are some of the things you can do to support the holistic wellbeing of your dog with dysplasia:
- Work on weight management. More than 50% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and this takes a heavy toll on their health and wellbeing. Use a combination of nutritional therapy and vet-approved exercise to reduce the weight on compromised hip joints.
- Use chiropractic, massage, and acupressure treatments. The more your dog’s hips enjoy healthy circulation, oxygenation, stability/postural correction, and reduced inflammation, the better off they are. Your dog may show notable benefit from chiropractic treatments. With some helpful guidelines, you can expertly massage your dog at home as part of your DIY physical therapy plan, and your veterinarian can share tips on providing acupressure specifically for hip dysplasia, arthritis and/or pain.
- Joint-supportive diet. Breeds prone to hip dysplasia do best when they’re offered a joint-supportive diet from the get-go. If you know you have a large-breed dog, or your dog shows characteristics of breeds with a known genetic tendency toward dysplasia, we recommend using a combination of foods and supplements that support joint health right from the start.
Are you interested in taking a proactive approach to treat your dog’s discomfort? Schedule a consultation at Wise and Wonderful Integrative Veterinary Center to learn more about acupuncture for dogs with hip dysplasia, along with other treatments that bridge the gap between Eastern and Western healing modalities. We believe this full-spectrum approach provides the best care for pets, optimizing their health and wellness.