There is no cure for canine hip dysplasia. Current therapy can be: medical, surgical plus supportive care at home. Many animals are in acute pain so anti-inflammatories are prescribed such as Rimadyl®. In severe cases, animals may be given an appropriate dose of a corticosteroid for acute relief of signs. Either of these drugs will reduce inflammation and indirectly a lot of the associated pain. Some animals may require short term use of pain killers such as Tramadol®.
In animals that are obese, a weight loss program has to be instituted. Older dogs that are overweight may also be hypothyroid. In addition to a weight loss regimen, T4 and FT4 should be performed to rule out the thyroid issue.
Animals receive a tremendous boost and benefit from neutraceuticals that stimulate production of joint cartilage. One of the more popular versions is Dasuquin®. The loading period for this nutritional supplement is about 3 weeks. That is when most dogs start to show an improvement. By employing neutraceuticals, the veterinarian is often able to reduce or eliminate the dependence on anti-inflammatory drugs that almost always have an influence on liver function. All animals that are to be placed on Rimadyl® should always have their liver enzymes checked every 6 months while on the drug.
Some owners may elect a complete hip replacement. This is performed by a board certified orthopedic surgeon. The first procedure performed on a dog (and before humans) was done at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Supportive care at home is important. Owners should do as much as possible about slippery tile or wood floors. Make sure the animals bedding is thick and comfortable. Employ a gate to keep animals from falling down stairs. Clinical signs of hip dysplasia are also exacerbated in climates that have wet, cold and damp weather. Move to Florida!