Last Updated on 11 months by Dr Alisha Barnes

How can chiropractic care help with hip dysplasia?I am often asked if chiropractic care can help with hip dysplasia in dogs and the answer is yes.  Let me explain how . . .

What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a flattening of the socket (acetabulum) that holds the head (ball) of the femur in place.  Dogs are born with this condition and have progressive degeneration of the joint over time due to wear from the femur on the joint cartilage.  Essentially, the “socket” does not correctly hold the “ball” in place.  Due to this instability, the soft tissues around the joint get irritated and inflamed causing hip or leg pain, abnormal  gait (adduction of limbs, bunny hopping), muscle weakening, or difficulty rising.  X-Rays are required to determine if your dog has hip dysplasia and veterinary consultation is extremely important.  The causes of hip dysplasia  include genes, environmental factors  and nutritional factors.

How does chiropractic care help?

Although we cannot change the socket once it is formed, we can give support to the body to help improve strength and decrease pain. Chiropractic care helps to strengthen the muscles by stimulating the nervous system allowing these muscles to better able  support the hip and other joints involved.  We also aim to help slow the progression of arthritis by improving motion and the overall joint health.  Activity, weight loss  and proper nutrition are also important factors in improving symptoms caused by hip dysplasia.  If conservative care is no longer effective, consultation with a veterinarian regarding medications  or surgery is also an option.

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