Holistic Therapies for Canine Hip Dysplasia
Many remedies are available to help treat a dog's symptoms by reducing swelling and minimizing pain.
Joan Hustace Walker
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Therapy #3: Supplements
Nutritional supplements serve as the building blocks of the body so their inclusion in a dysplastic dogs diet is critical for the production of joint fluid and collagen matrix that forms the cushioning of the hip joint, as well as the maintenance of joint cartilage. The market for supplements is huge and includes vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Often several nutrients are combined in a supplement to form a more effective therapy. Owners should be aware of the following points when dealing with supplements:
- All supplements are not created equally, some are higher quality products than others.
- Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, causing more harm than no therapy at all.
- There are individuals in this world who feed on an owners susceptibility, so know what you are buying and from whom you are buying itpreferably from a reputable, holistic veterinarian.
The following list, though not inclusive, includes several nutrients that holistic veterinarians have found most helpful when working with dogs and hip dysplasia. Talk to your vet before giving your pet any of the following supplements.
Vitamin C: One of the antioxidants that helps to seek out and destroy free radicals, those pesky molecules that have a mission to find and replace missing electrical charges. Free radicals replace these missing charges from proteins, cell membranes, organ cells, and DNAweakening the attacked body part.
As a water-soluble vitamin, correct vitamin C levels are difficult to maintain in a dysplastic dog without supplementation for the simple reason that all water-soluble nutrients are the first to go when a dog is under stress or in severe pain. (It is for this reason that veterinariansboth traditional and holisticmix water-soluble vitamins into an intravenous drip for dogs recovering from surgery or other forms of stress or pain.)
Vitamin C is made of five components, of which ascorbic acid is just one. In order to reap the full benefits of vitamin C, holistic practitioners stress the use of a supplement that contains all five components. When the complete vitamin is used, this nutritional therapy helps strengthen the collagen matrix, serves as an anti-inflammatory, improves the dogs immune system, and promotes healing. The vitamin may be valuable in preventing the symptoms of hip dysplasia if it is given to the pregnant dam and then continued immediately with the puppies after they are born.
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