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Hello German Shepherd lovers, welcome to K9 SuperHeroes, my name is David and today we are looking at 9 Proven Tips to Stopping German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia.
Firstly, we are going to take a look at what this condition is, how it affects your GSD, what you can do to spot it, treat it and ultimately reduce its development.
If your GSD already struggles with this condition, stay around because we are going to look at some tips that reduce pain and improve mobility.
What is Hip Dysplasia?
According to the American Kennel Club, Hip Dysplasia is a common skeletal condition that is seen in large or giant dog breeds such as German Shepherds. It can also affect smaller breeds too.
The hip functions as a ball and socket joint. Hip Dysplasia develops when the ball and socket do not fit or develops incorrectly, they will then rub and grind against one another instead of sliding smoothly. This will result in deterioration of the joint over time and eventual loss of the function altogether.
So why does this happen?
There are multiple factors to consider with Hip Dysplasia.
The foremost is genetics, as the condition is hereditary.
Factors like growth rate, types of exercise, being overweight and poor nutrition can amplify the problem within their genetics.
Unfortunately, around 15%-20% of all German Shepherds will suffer from hip dysplasia.
It will cause, pain, discomfort, reduce mobility and in many cases cause early death.
So, what can be done about German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia?
There are a variety of different ways you can approach treating and reducing this.
Ultimately, it’s a combination of many elements that need to be approached.
Let’s take a look at the 9 Proven Tips to Stopping German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia.
1.) Buy Your German Shepherd from A Professional Breeder
This is an incredibly important factor when it comes to overall German Shepherd health and the chances of hip dysplasia developing in your dog.
It doesn’t matter if you do everything else correctly when it comes to nutrition, training, obedience, love, and care.
If this isn’t done right from the beginning nothing can fix it later on down the line.
This makes it essential that you buy your puppy from a professional German Shepherd dog breeder where they are ensuring that only healthy dogs are being used for parent animals.
The United States has a huge problem when it comes to Backyard breeders across all breeds, and the main motivation in breeders like this is money with almost no love or care taken for the breed whatsoever.
This results in GSD’s that are extremely prone to illness and disease especially later on in life, including Hip Dysplasia.
This being said, buying a German Shepherd puppy from even a professional license breeder is no guarantee that they aren’t going to suffer hip dysplasia down the line. However, the odds of hip dysplasia developing will be much lower, as well as other health complication.
2.) Get Your GSD’s hips checked early by a vet
Most owners wait until there is already immobility and pain before doing this. It is key, whatever age your GSD is, to make sure you take them to a vet as soon as you get them.
They will be able to undertake checks on their hips to see whether your dog is going to be susceptible to hip dysplasia at a young age.
From there, your vet will be able to guide you through exercise routines, nutrition and supplemental regimes to drastically slow and reduce the development of this condition.
3.) Get a German Shepherd DNA test to spot German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia at a Young Age
This is a niche tip that not many owners know of.
You can get a DNA test for your German Shepherd that will give you loads of important information regarding their heritage and health.
It can make you aware of any hereditary diseases like Hip Dysplasia within their DNA so you can take the correct steps to get on top of them early. The most popular DNA test is made by EmbarkVet.com, learn more here.
4.) Reduce Impact on Hard Surfaces and Irregularly Hip Movement on Slippery Surfaces
This is a simple change you can make around the house.
As the constant impact on hard surfaces and irregular movement of the hip joint when your dog is slipping around the house will be a contributor to hip dysplasia over a long period of time.
When your dog is slipping around on a wooden or tiled surface their ball and socket joint will move in irregularly position.
You can stop this by making sure you have plenty of rugs station across the house, especially where they sleep or a position they like to sit on a lot of the time.
Another factor is your GSD jumping up and down from high places, this causes an impact on their joints & hips.
Try to stop them from jumping up on your bed and couches, so they can’t jump off. The same goes if you take them for a walk and they are in the back of your car, try and carry them off in you can instead of jumping.
Another factor is how they sleep.
If your GSD is sleeping on an old hard bed, or on the floor, this will result in pressure on their hips & joints.
The best thing to do is invest in an orthopedic bed, as this will soften their joints into a more natural sleeping position.
Take a look at the orthopaedic beds made by MyKopeks.com that GSD owners seem to love. Learn more about them here.
The correct nutrition over their lifetime will be the second biggest factor towards stopping overall health complications and a reduced chance of hip dysplasia.
Their joints & hips need to be fed the right nutrients over their lifetime.
So many owners buy poor-quality food with a severe lack of nutrients just to save money. Don’t be one of these owners.
You can spot poor quality foods because they are made mainly from fillers like grain and corn. And meat made from meats like kidneys, liver, and spleen.
GSD’s need a balance of protein, fiber, carbs, and fat. The protein needs to come from real muscle meat from chicken, turkey, and lamb ideally.
It can be tough to know exactly where to get great quality food.
A lot of our GSD community get their food from a breed-tailored delivery service called MyOllie.com.
They will create the highest quality food for your dog’s breed, size, and age and deliver it straight to your dog so you don’t have to worry about anything. Learn more about MyOllie.com here and get 50% OFF your first order.
Also, check our blog post on 11 Proven German Shepherd Diet Tips for more useful information.
6.) Manage Their Weight Effectively
An overweight or underweight GSD is an unhappy GSD.
If they are overweight, this will cause a further impact on their joints and extra pressure on their hips as well as further health complications.
If you can reduce their weight it will take the pressure off the hips and reduce any pain or discomfort.
An underweight GSD is most likely not getting enough nutrients to their joints & hips.
It is critical that you maintain a healthy weight in your dog at all times. If you are unsure about what quantities to give them. Consult a vet.
Again, MyOllie.com can support you in finding the right quantities you should be feeding them.
7.) Get a Health and GPS Tracker to Monitor Their Hip Health
This is another niche tip that owners are using.
Sometimes it can be hard to spot how your dog is behaving over time making it harder to spot potential problems.
You can buy health & GPS tracker collars for your GSD that will link up to an app on your phone. These trackers will give you tons of useful information that you can share with your vet.
Such as an activity tracker that will let you see how your GSD is moving over a period of time.
If this is reducing consistently, there could be something wrong, such as the development of hip dysplasia.
The most popular trackers are made by FitBark.com, learn more about them here.
8.) Laser Therapy is a new way to tackle German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia
This is another niche tip many owners are not aware of. This is a non-invasive, pain-free, surgery-free, and drug-free treatment that is very popular in dealing with hip dysplasia.
Laser treatment for dogs employs deep-penetrating light to promote a chain of chemical reactions known as photobiostimulation. This process helps relieve pain through the release of endorphins, and it stimulates injured cells to heal at an accelerated pace.
Google specialist laser therapy center’s in your area, ask your vet if they provide this service.
You can also do your own dog laser therapy from home whilst sitting on the couch with the handheld Dog Med Laser, learn more here at DogMedLaser.com
9.) Joint Care Supplements are Crucial in battling against German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia
Just like your dog’s nutrition, joint care supplements are going to have a huge impact on reducing the development of hip dysplasia.
Think of them as hundreds of little vets working inside of your GSD’s hips, keeping them lubricated and healthy at all times.
Even for dogs already experiencing these problems, they can have great pain relief and mobility improvement qualities.
Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM are the main ingredients you should look out for in a joint care supplement such as the Maximum Joint Protection Supplement for German Shepherds.
We are also hearing that hemp oils & CBD treats are very effective in battling hip dysplasia amongst other conditions. So far there is no scientific evidence to back this up. However, the anecdotal evidence is huge and in the next couple of years the science should also back them up, so look at for those well.
As you can see, there is a lot that can be done to treat this awful disease.
Truth be told you can never guarantee that it won’t develop, some dogs will just be unlucky.
But so much can be done to reduce its development, treat it, and give your pup a comfortable life.
Make sure you identify it early and take the necessary steps at a young age to reduce its development. If nothing else, the nutrition, weight and supplements will make the biggest contribution so get on them ASAP.
We hope this was useful for you.
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