Introduction To Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia is a terrible, painful disease. I wish that no dog would have to go through it, but we can make them more comfortable by diet, supplement, and lifestyle changes, with or without surgery. Here are some tips on helping your dog live with dysplasia, some I have used on my GSD cross Tabasco, and some I have merely heard about. The ones I have used are asterisked.

(This post was originally written expressly for dogs with hip problems, but most of the supplements/treatments can be utilized for many kinds of joint or bone pains, in humans as well as other animals. For those of you with dogs with DM, you might want to check out Dr. Clemmons’ site at

  1. Keep your dog light and lean. Excess weight can put even more strain on the already sore joints. Keep your dog a bit lighter than maybe what you think he/she should weigh.

  2. Ample exercise. Walks and swimming are 2 great exercises for dogs with hip problems. Catching Frisbees and tearing around retrieving are NOT good ideas.

  3. Massages seem to help lots too, as well as improving blood flow to the area and helping sore muscles. Try this essential oil rub with the massage. Try to rub down to the skin, and if the dog licks it off later that is ok too:) Take 2 drops of lavender oil, 3 drops ginger oil, 4 drops rosemary oil and dilute in 30 ml vegetable oil. This rub can be used on any affected joints. Caution – rosemary oil can induce seizures in seizure-prone animals. And you always want to get the highest quality oils – ones without synthetic ingredients. Never use essential oils on cats or around birds.

Supplements. Below are a list of supplements that have either proven to help dysplasia or haven’t been proven to help but may (anecdotal) –

  • Cosequin*