Hip dysplasia is a common ailment in the canine kingdom. While bigger dogs are certainly at higher risk, multiple dog breeds as well as mixed breeds are susceptible to developing hip dysplasia. The more you do to support your dogs’ holistic wellbeing from the day they move into your home – the better.
Once you’ve received a diagnosis, your veterinarian will offer and discuss a range of treatment options, including dietary/nutritional support, weight management, acupuncture for dogs with hip dysplasia, cold laser therapy, chiropractic, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, herbal and/or pharmaceutical prescription medications, surgical interventions, and so on. We like to balance natural remedies with conventional remedies to support your dog’s long term health.

Start with Holistic Treatments and Work From There

Ultimately, hip dysplasia is a condition that develops as the result of a poor anatomical fit between the ball of a dog’s femur and the hip’s socket joint. They are not “set” in proper alignment, and this causes rubbing and pain and ultimately for the joint to wear out.
The International Dysplasia Institute writes that hip dysplasia, “… can be compared to a tire on a car that is wobbling xray picture showing a dog's hip bonebecause the wheel is not parallel to the other wheels. That wheel is traveling down the highway at a slant compared to the other wheels. Attempts to make the tire stronger may help, but eventually, that tire will wear out because it is crooked. All the natural cures for hip dysplasia are similar to efforts to make the tire stronger instead of correcting the wheel that’s out of alignment.”
So, while it’s true that surgical options are often best for young dogs with severe dysplasia of the hips or whose quality of life is notably diminished by the condition, it’s also true that natural, holistic support and treatment are proven to help.
For this reason, most veterinarians who practice holistic medicine will recommend surgery whenever necessary, but support the dog’s physical and emotional health with natural remedies – such as acupuncture for dogs with hip dysplasia – whenever possible. And, of course, these same treatments also support a dog’s recovery from hip dysplasia surgery.

Acupuncture for dogs with hip dysplasia

If your dog’s size or breed makes it a more likely candidate to have hip dysplasia, we recommend treating him/her as if s/he already has it using holistic care methodology.
Acupuncture is an effective treatment modality. From pain relief and reducing inflammation to calming anxious dogs and improving joint mobility, proactively using acupuncture for dogs with hip dysplasia can improve your pet’s quality of life from start to finish.
Many dogs with hip dysplasia never require surgical intervention, but they often develop arthritis and inflammation around the joint, and acupuncture is a  proven remedy for both ailments. By starting with acupuncture earlier in the game, your dog will be a professional acupuncture patient down the road.

Weight management is key to relieving hip joints

The heavier your dog is, the more weight s/he carries, and the more strain is placed on the hip joints. As such, weight management is one of the simplest and most straightforward ways to treat hip dysplasia in dogs (and humans!) and to prevent it from becoming debilitating.
Work diligently via diet and exercise to keep your pet’s weight to your veterinarian’s recommendations. Read our post on pet weight management tips to learn more.

Use supplementation to support connective tissue

While it’s the skeleton or bony tissue that is the root of the problem, healthy connective tissue can keep hip joints stronger for longer. Speak to your veterinarian about nutritional therapy – or supplements – that are known to promote bone/joint health – as well as ingredients that relieve inflammation.
Examples include:

  • Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM
  • CBD oil
  • Herbal prescriptions 
  • Fatty acids
  • Vitamins C & E
  • Colostrum

Always consult with a licensed veterinarian who is certified in East/West healing modalities, and is experienced with pet supplementation, before administering anything to your pet. S/he will tailor the supplementation to your dog’s condition, medical history, and size/weight.

Minimize heavy impact on your dogs hips and joints

Walking and swimming are excellent forms of exercise for dogs, but exercise or activities that put an excessive impact on the joints (jumping up and down from couches or beds, routinely climbing/descending flights of stairs, catching aerial Frisbees, etc.) exacerbate canine hip dysplasia.
Just as architects and home designers focus on accessible designs so humans can age-in-place, we recommend reading, A Safe Home for Dogs With Hip Dysplasia, which outlines things you can do to create a home that is supportive of your dog’s vulnerable hips.
Would you like to learn more about how to use the best of traditional, integrative and alternative veterinary medicine to treat your dog’s hip dysplasia? Schedule an appointment with Wise & Wonderful Integrative Veterinary Center.