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What is Hip Dysplasia anyway?
Hip Dysplasia is a condition causing a mal-formed joint connection between the femoral head and the pelvis in a dog. This results in irregular hip movement which can be painful and immobilizing. Dysplastic dogs often have trouble with stairs, getting up from lying down, and mobility in general. After time, arthritis can set in, making matters worse.
How does a Dog develop Hip Dysplasia?
Many times, genetics is the determining factor. Genes may be passed down from one or both parents. Reputable breeders will be sure to certify their breeding stock with the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA). This offers at least one level of assurance for prospective pet parents. Even then, recessive genes have been known to surface out of the blue resulting in dysplastic offspring.
Then there are breeders who are not-so-reputable, AKA – backyard breeders. Their primary motivation in breeding is money – pure and simple. It is not uncommon to hear of bitches that are bred too young, and too often, leaving them depleted. If the mother is stressed and emaciated, what does she have to pass on to her young? Name any popular breed and you can be guaranteed to find someone willing to make puppies for sale. Labs, Goldens, Shepherds, Rottis, Dobes, Newfies – are some of the more popular, large breed dogs, many of which are plagued with H.D. Many popular small breed dogs endure the same over-breeding scenario, and also develop hip dysplasia, but because of their smaller size, the symptoms are not as noticeable.
Can Diet play a role in developing Hip Dysplasia?
Yes. Outside of genetics, diet plays the next most critical role in ANY growing puppy. The old saying is true, “You can’t get a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. Even so, there are no shortcuts to a sound nutritional regimen. Unfortunately, many popular supermarket level foods are made with sub-par ingredients. These foods tend to be grain-based, utilize meat by-products and incorporate artificially created vitamins and poor quality minerals. Think of it this way, what if your dog were a house? These are the building materials that you are building your dog from. The saying, “You are what you eat” is true. Without quality nutrients, the body will suffer, because it cannot utilize what is being brought in. In a bone-growth survey involving over 5000 dogs, our dear friend Linda Arndt demonstrated with x-ray verification, that bone growth disorders could both be created and corrected by nutritional means.
Even if your dog is already dysplastic, getting him on a quality diet can have a powerful impact on him.
My dog has Hip Dysplasia, what can I do about it?
When a dog has Hip Dysplasia, there are 3 primary approaches to help him.
Let’s briefly consider these options.
There are a variety of surgical options to correct a mal-formed hip joint. The proper procedure depends on the severity of the individual situation. While these options have their differences, ANY surgical decision will have 3 things in common.
1. Surgery is costly. Hip surgery is a serious, medical procedure. It will require putting your dog under anesthesia. Prices can range upwards to $5000 per hip.
2. There will be a long period of convalescence afterwards.
3. There are NO Guarantees for success. Although many cases turn out wonderfully in the end, no surgeon can guarantee the certainty of the outcome.
Because of the enormous expense of surgery, it simply puts that option out of range for many people. Vets will often prescribe pain-killers to give the dogs more comfort, allowing them to move more freely. But this approach is not without its own risks. Popular medications, like Rimadyl, Duramax or others are known for their potential to cause liver damage or kidney troubles. Any dog on these meds should be routinely screened for elevated liver enzyme levels and Creatinine/BUN levels as well. It is also important to note that this approach does not fix the problem, it simply masks the pain.
There are a wide variety of natural products on the market. Some are good, others not so much. Obviously, I am writing this as a representative of Nzymes.com, so one might accuse me of being biased. Fair enough. But my hope is that the objective reader will hear me out a little bit.
I was first introduced to the concept of nutritional supplementation when my own dog, Tigger, was bothered by a luxating patella (floating kneecap). I later discovered that this is very common among the smaller breeds. Anyway, he would hobble and limp everywhere at only 1 year of age. Long story short, after only a couple of weeks on the Nzymes tablets, he ran normally! Being a nuts-and-bolts kind of guy, I had to figure out WHY he got better. The more I researched into antioxidant enzymes, and their positive effect on body systems, the more it was cementing what I was seeing right before my eyes.
What I discovered about Antioxidant Enzymes and joint function.
Simply put, antioxidant enzymes are a part of the body’s own natural defense mechanism. Their job is to rid the cells of toxic free-radicals. This has a positive effect on the lubricating Synovial Fluid in the joints, and on inflammatory responses in the surrounding tissues.
The production of antioxidant enzymes hinges in large part on diet. Without a rich source of “live food” in the diet, antioxidant enzymes production drops off, and health takes a downward spiral. This is why the introduction of a simple supplement, like the Antioxidant Treats or Granules, can have such a profound impact on pets suffering with any variety of joint related problems, like Hip Dysplasia.
As I write this piece, I am 55 years old. Outside of my faith in God, nothing has changed my life more over these last 15-16 years than my understanding of enzymes, and in helping 1000’s of people find natural answers for their pet’s maladies.
When it comes to hip dysplasia, no nutritional supplement is going to wave a magic wand over the area and correct the mal-formed joint – obviously. But antioxidant enzymes have the capacity to allow greatly improved mobility without harmful drugs or risky surgery. If quality of life is what you are looking for, then antioxidant enzymes might be your ticket.
Authored by Mike Stansbury, Operations manager Nzymes.com