Find a trusted vet
There are quite a few illnesses that can mimic hip dysplasia in dogs, including cancer, which is why it’s absolutely necessary to get a thorough evaluation and diagnosis from a trusted veterinarian. A veterinarian will also be able to determine what stage of the illness your specific dog has and what steps you can take to manage the issues that typically accompany the symptoms as well as how to prevent further progression of the symptoms. Simply put, just like with disease processes that affect humans, there are various factors and treatment options that will be specific to your dog’s needs. Although there are several environmental variables that can affect hip dysplasia, it’s often times a genetic factor that plays the biggest role. If you have a larger breed dog who’s more susceptible to these sorts of conditions, it’s always good to know the ins and outs of prevention and treatment. This is why talking to your vet is so helpful! We also highly recommend finding a trusted dog sitter to care for your pup anytime you're away.
Next, you’ll want to take some time on your own to research the common problems that are associated with hip dysplasia so that you can be aware of any related issues that may arise. In addition, educating yourself will give you an even more in-depth understanding of the condition that your vet will likely not be able to cover in a single vet appointment. Knowing how to prevent the progression of the condition is probably the most important thing to focus on as this will give you the overall best improvement with your pet, as long as you’ve caught the condition early enough. On the flip side of this, once your dog has already developed serious symptoms of the condition, there’s much more that needs to go into their daily care. Basic things like diet and exercise are going to need to be properly adjusted for your dog. Usually, having a healthy diet will help decrease current weight issues and avoid weight gain in the future which puts extra stress on their joints resulting in increased pain. Exercise is also a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle with hip dysplasia as a body in motion, tends to stay in motion. There are many supplements that can also help with joints these days like glucosamine and chondroitin. Many of the commonly recommended supplements are thankfully easy to purchase online and at local pet shops.
Take care of the dog in front of you
Although this tip sounds straight forward, it becomes more complex once you start to understand what it’s truly like to care for a pet with a disability. Especially if you’ve had to watch your pet deteriorate in front of you. It’s easy to research the symptoms but it’s much more mentally challenging to watch someone you love struggle. This is why we always recommend taking care of the dog in front of you. Not the dog you had yesterday, or the dog who your vet saw last week. Simply put, it’s ok to adjust their care as you see fit daily or even in the moment. Your dogs health will vary and so will their care needs, so remember that being flexible with them and with yourself should always be a priority.