Full Title: Hip Problems, Canine
Author: Jean Ramalho
Date of Publication: December 19, 2011
Research Paper Text:
We all love our dogs and want to give them the best life possible – a life where they are happy, healthy and pain free. We are constantly monitoring their body language – from the way they walk (their gait), run and jump, to how they act during “play time”. We are always looking for a limp or something out of the ordinary. When it comes to senior dogs, most animal owners do not realize how their older dogs are subject to chronic pain. Most pet owners don’t see chronic pain as actual pain. Chronic pain will cause your dog to slow down. They are very good at hiding pain. Their survival skills make them tough, so you need to watch for the early signs of pain.
Some of the signs are:
- Not as active
- Less interaction with others in home
- Eating less and starting to lose weight
- Not going up or down stairs as frequent
- Not going in and out of vehicles with ease
Just because genetics is mostly to blame for hip problems, it does not necessarily mean that we have control over whether or not our dogs have hip issues. It is also very important that we make sure they get enough exercise and that we watch their diet. Continuing proper nutrition throughout their life will benefit them greatly as they become older. One of the most important things we can do for our dogs is to keep them FIT! Do not let your dog put on any extra weight. The extra weight will put more pressure on any already unstable and painful hip joints, resulting in weakening the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joints. The ligament most affected is the thick “Capital Ligament” also known as the “Round Ligament”. This ligament holds the femoral head in place. It is the main tissue anchoring the femur to the hip. The hip joints are the most important in retaining balance, so it is extremely important to pay careful attention to the health of these joints.
The health of the “Capital Ligament” plays a key role in the development of Chronic Hip Disease. The earliest sign of hip problems is not the wear and tear of cartilage, but the swelling and inflammation of this ligament. Eventually, the ligament stretches, frays and finally ruptures as Chronic Hip Disease progresses. Then the severity of joint damage in Chronic Hip Disease is strongly correlated to the integrity of the Capital Ligament. The strength of this ligament varies greatly in different dogs. Exercise will strengthen the muscles around the joint to help stabilize it.
What can we do to help keep our dog’s Capital Ligament and hip joints flexible? As a pet owner, we can do a few things. A basic home health care of massaging the hip area with the capital Ligament, will prolong your dog’s quality of life. This daily home health care routine for your dog will play a major role in making your dog live a much more enjoyable life with less pain and with and with more ease of movements.
Lightly massaging this area will assist the blood and lymph circulation to bring more oxygen and nutrients to the various body parts, especially in the hip joint area.
Doing gentle stretching exercises will also help your dog’s joints stay flexible. However, be careful not to over exercise your dog, as this will make the hip joints painful.
- Jean-Pierre Hourdebait, LMT: Animal Awareness Article
- Wikipedia: Hip Dysplesia