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Canine hip dysplasia is the abnormal development and growth of a dog's hip joint. It occurs commonly in large breed dogs such as Labrador retrievers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Saint Bernards, but it can occur in dogs of any breed and size, and even in cats. There is no single cause of hip dysplasia; rather it is caused by multiple factors, some of which include genetics and nutrition. The abnormal development of the hip joint that occurs in young dogs with dysplasia leads to excessive hip joint laxity (looseness). This laxity causes stretching of the supporting ligaments, joint capsule, and muscles around the hip joint, leading to joint instability, pain, and permanent damage to the anatomy of the affected hip joint. If left untreated, dogs with hip dysplasia usually develop osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).
Dogs with hip dysplasia commonly show clinical signs of hind limb lameness, pain, and muscle wasting (atrophy). Owners report that their dogs are lame after exercise, run with a "bunny-hopping" gait, are reluctant to rise or jump, or aren't as active as other puppies. Many dysplastic dogs will show these signs early in life (6-12 months of age), but some dogs do not show signs of pain until they are older.
Diagnosis: Examination by touch and confirmation by radiographs.
Treatment and care: Conservative treatment benefits many patients when they experience signs of hip dysplasia. This treatment includes enforced rest, anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication. Once the clinical signs are controlled, the therapy includes weight reduction if needed and an exercise program designed to improve the strength of your pet’s rear legs. Such an exercise program might include swimming and walking uphill. Surgical treatment being more invasive, is not practiced regularly, and does not preclude the need of conservative therapy.
The signs may aggravate during the season transition and patients may need support of pain medications during such period.
Nutrition: For younger patients – food that supports development and tissue repair may be offered. Optimal nutrition is also targeted to reduce health risks associated with excessive calcium and phosphorus (which may cause skeletal problems), and excess calories (which may cause obesity). Dietary therapy for dogs with hip dysplasia includes a diet that will help dogs run better, play better and rise more easily while maintaining optimal body weight. A joint diet should have added EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to help maintain joint function, enhanced levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to provide the building blocks of healthy cartilage
and L-carnitine to maintain optimal weight.
Pets with hip dysplasia should not be mated/bred, as they can potentially transmit the “Defective Gene” to their progeny!
The use of herbs and spices has been important through the course of history. Modern scientific research has shown that many herbs and spices offer various health benefits and are known for their medicinal properties even before they were used for cooking.
- Cinnamon: Helps in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is widely used in various types of culinary creations, particularly baked goods. Cinnamon is rich in a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which endows the herb with its medicinal properties. This spice contains the highest level of antioxidants than other spices, which helps in fighting inflammation and has been proved to lower down levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood. Many studies have also shown that cinnamon can lower down your blood sugar level by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates as well as improving insulin sensitivity.
- Sage: Helps in improving memory and brain functions. The name “sage” is derived from the Latin word Salvere, meaning “to save.” In recent times, several researches have been conducted that show the efficacy of sage in improving functions of the brain and memory, particularly in individuals who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies have indicated that sage can improve the function of the brain, both in young and old.
- Peppermint: Aids in reducing nausea. Peppermint is well known for its medicinal usage, which makes it a critical component of aromatherapy. Many studies have shown that use of peppermint oil helps in alleviating the pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome. There are some studies that indicate peppermint can also help in fighting the problem of nausea among women in labour.
- Turmeric: Endowed with anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is a popular spice that is used for giving the yellow colour to the curry, but it also contains several medicinal properties. Turmeric is rich in curcumin content, which is an anti-oxidant that not only helps in preventing damage from oxidation, but also boosts the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can match to that of many anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Holy basil: Helps in fighting infection. Basil, one of the sacred herbs in India, is known for inhibiting the growth of numerous bacteria, molds and yeasts. It can also reduce the blood sugar levels, both before and after meals. Holy basil also aids in fighting anxiety and depression.
- Cayenne pepper: Aids in controlling appetite. Those individuals who are looking to lose weight can use the cayenne pepper as it not only helps in controlling appetite, but also increases the amount of fat burned. This is the primary reason why it has been included in many commercial weight loss supplements. Some animal studies have indicated that the capsaicin content in cayenne pepper also helps in fighting liver, lung and even prostate cancer.
All the herbs and spices come from different parts of the plants such as flowers, fruits, barks, seeds, leaves, and roots as well. These essential parts of the plant not only make the dishes taste better, but also aid in preserving them for a longer span of time. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
How to Teach Your Dog to Walk Nicely on a Leash
You’ve probably seen dogs at shows or on TV who prance alongside their handlers, staring up with rapt attention. These dogs have received extensive training in precision heeling. It’s impressive but demanding work. Precision heeling demands constant attention from both dog and handler and is not appropriate for long periods of time, like for your daily walks around the block or to the park. Even dogs trained to heel need to learn to walk on leash without pulling when they’re not formally heeling.
You can use various methods to teach dogs to walk without pulling on leash. No single method works for all dogs. Here are some overall guidelines before we look at several methods:
Until your dog learns to walk without pulling, consider all walks training sessions. Keep training sessions frequent, short and fun for your dog.
Since loose-leash training sessions will be too short and slow to provide adequate exercise, find other ways to exercise your dog until he’s mastered loose-leash walking. In fact, you’ll succeed more quickly if you find a way to tire your dog out before taking him on a training walk. Dogs pull, in part, because they’re full of excess energy. So unless you can expend that energy, your dog will find it hard to control himself. Before you train, play fetch in a hallway or your backyard, play a vigorous game of tug, or drive your dog to the park so that he can play with his buddies.
Teaching a dog to walk without pulling requires plenty of rewards. Use highly desirable treats that your dog doesn’t get at other times. Soft treats are best so your dog can eat them quickly and continue training. Most dogs love wieners, cheese, cooked chicken or ham, small jerky treats or freeze-dried liver. Chop all treats into small peanut-sized cubes.
Walk at a quick pace. If your dog trots or runs, she’ll have fewer opportunities to catch a whiff of something enticing, and she’ll be less inclined to stop and eliminate every few steps. Additionally, you are far more interesting to your dog when you move quickly.
If you expect your dog to control herself while walking on leash, you must also expect her to control herself before you go for a walk. If she gets wildly excited as you prepare for a walk, you need to focus on that first. Walk to the door and pick up the leash. If your dog races around, barks, whines, spins or jumps up, just stand completely still. Do and say absolutely nothing until your dog calms down a bit. As soon as she has all four paws on the floor, slowly reach toward her to clip on the leash. If she starts to bounce around or jump up on you, quickly bring your hands (and the leash) back toward your body. Wait until your dog has all four paws on the floor again. Then slowly reach toward her again to attach her leash. Repeat this sequence until your dog can stand in front of you, without jumping up or running around, while you clip on her leash. This may seem like a tedious exercise at first, but if you’re consistent, your hard work will pay off. Eventually, your dog will learn to stand still while you attach her leash.