April 24, 2020 12 min read

There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog in pain! If your dog has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia or has the risk of developing hip dysplasia, you’ll need to understand what you can do, so that you can work together with your veterinarian in making the right treatment decisions.

Achieving mobility in dogs of all ages that suffer from hip and joint issues means that you’re going to need to start preventative methods from day one. With good mobility, dogs usually have a better quality of life, more outdoor playtime, and just less pain caused by joint and hip issues. So what can you do?

Hip dysplasia is mostly seen in large and giant dog breeds, and can also affect younger dogs. It is a common disease that dogs face, but can be a frustrating challenge. Dogs that have a mild case of hip dysplasia or that are unable to have surgery may benefit from a combination of treatments.

This may include a weight loss program, natural CBD supplements for chronic pain and inflammation, restriction of exercises on hard surfaces like roads, physical therapy, traditional anti-inflammatory drugs, and joint fluid modifiers.

That said, let’s take a look at research on the possible benefits of CBD to help with lameness and extreme pain in dogs.

Causes of Hip Dysplasia

A brown shaggy dog walking down a sidewalk

A study explains that “hip dysplasia is characterized by an abnormal formation of the hip joint, causing incongruity and/or laxity of the joint, which can lead to osteoarthritis. It has been observed in several mammals, including humans, where it is referred to as developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), and in dogs where the term canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is used.

In both species delayed femoral capital ossification, hip joint laxity and subluxation are observed in dysplastic hips,” via Plos One.

The study adds that “The etiology of CHD is not understood, although two broad etiological categories have been proposed i.e., laxity of the periarticular soft tissues (ligaments, muscles, joint capsule), and an abnormal progression of the endochondral ossification in the hip joint, or a combination of both processes. A majority of 88% of the affected dogs in our sample was graded before the age of 20 months. 

We were not concerned with the possibility of including phenocopies by adding dogs that were diagnosed at a later age, because their number was small and these could not have led to falsely positive results. The combination of the candidate genes implicates bone and soft tissue development in CHD.

First, disturbances during the process of endochondral bone formation attributing to the abnormal formation of the hip joint may well be related to disturbances in the hypertrophic differentiation of the chondrocytes. Second, there are indications for soft tissue involvement (cartilage, muscles, and ligaments).”

The Institute of Canine Biology adds that “Hip dysplasia is a so-called "developmental disease" because the first signs of abnormality appear in young puppies. A key sign of early risk is "coxofemoral laxity", a loose fit of the head of the femur in the hip socket.

This looseness means the head of the femur is not held snugly in the socket but can move around, putting abnormal pressures on the sides and rim of the socket. 

This poor fit results in deformation of the socket and ultimately leads to osteoarthritis and the condition of hip dysplasia.” The study adds thatgenetics plays a part in canine hip dysplasia, and that “the condition is complex and clearly polygenic andspecific genes that are predictive of hip dysplasia across breeds have not been found.”

 An important note to keep in mind is thatHeritability is the fraction of the variation in hip phenotype that is accounted for by variation in genotype. The higher the heritability of a trait, the more it will respond to selection. Heritability of hip dysplasia varies widely depending on the breed, the sample population, and the criterion used to assess phenotype. 

Values for heritability are usually about 0.2-0.3 using the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) hip scoring method, while much higher heritability (0.8) has been reported in some dogs evaluated using PennHIP (Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program).

The key points taken from The Institute of Canine Biology include the following:

  1. The coxofemoral subluxation/laxity is the underlying cause of hip dysplasia.
  2.   Canine hip dysplasia is recognized to be a polygenic condition, with genes contributing to various aspects of the disease.
  3.   Management can have a significant impact on clinical and radiographic signs.
  4.  Risk factors for the development of clinical signs include housing on a slippery floor as a puppy and neutering.
  5. Bodyweight at birth and overweight/obesity during adulthood can influence the rate of progression of the condition.

Hip Dysplasia in dogs can be caused by the following:

  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Trauma to the hip
  • Damage to the hip’s cartilage

Joint Disease in Dogs

This will usually refer to osteoarthritis (OA), a painful and chronic condition that involves degeneration of the cartilage that lines the ends of bones and are inside the joints.

Osteoarthritis in dogs is usually characterized by the formation of bony outgrowths in the joint area, a buildup of fluid inside the joint, thinning cartilage, and chronic pain. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that comes in 4 stages.

 Stage One: Bony spur development with cartilage breakdown.

Stage Two: Erosion of the bone with cartilage lesions.

Stage Three: Cartilage loses cushioning between the bones due to thinning.

Stage Four: The joint space is drastically reduced with almost no cartilage left for cushioning. Joint mobility is also very reduced.

With one in five dogs diagnosed with OA, dog breeds that are most affected are the large breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Goldens, German Shepherds. Small dog breeds are also affected, and sporting/working dogs that are more vulnerable to musculoskeletal injuries. These will include dogs that have the following conditions:

  • Ruptured cranial cruciate ligaments
  • Wear and tear from regular sporting activities like running on hard surfaces, exercising uphill during puppyhood, and even strenuous exercise during puppyhood.
  • Dogs that have hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Overweight or obese dogs

Dogs Breed Most Susceptible to Osteoarthritis

  • German Shepherds
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Bloodhound
  • Golden Retriever
  •  Pug
  •  Old English Sheepdog
  • Samoyed
  •  Dogue de Bordeaux
  •  Rottweilers
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Pit Bull
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Springer Spaniel
  • Scottish Collie
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Great Dane

Your veterinarian may do the following:

A vet holding the head of a brown dog.

Today, techniques for diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders have advanced. Your veterinarian will do x-rays to check for lameness, and may also do the following tests:

  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Suggest a weight management plan
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery
  • Prescribe meds to control pain and inflammation- NSAID’s
  • Recommend the use of supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to reduce pain and inflammation in joints.

Young dogs should be on a joint supplement to protect joint tissue, most especially agility dogs, and hardworking dogs that take part in other sports like fly ball sports, running, dock diving, hiking, canicross, search and rescue, and police dogs.

Swimming is also beneficial to all puppies and dogs and helps to prevent sporting injuries. Swimming helps to maintain a regular physical therapy program for your furry best friend and can become part of a daily exercise schedule for dogs to maintain muscle mass, and fitness.

CBD as a Natural Supplement for Joint Disorders in Dogs

“The CBD movement is fast becoming a lifestyle offering an array of holistic treatments to boost health and wellness, help with inflammation, seizures, arthritis, anxiety and more.

With millions of pet parents wanting a more natural lifestyle for themselves and their pets, CBD pet companies are rapidly expanding their product lines, offering non-psychoactive, full-spectrum hemp CBD pet products by way of treats, tinctures, capsules, lotions, shampoos, and even transdermal patches., “ via Fido Friendly.

We use natural supplements like CBD for pets for numerous reasons. One of the main benefits is to relieve pain and inflammation from canine hip dysplasia. Supplements are good for managing joint conditions and providing anti-inflammatory support.

Cannabidiol helps to provide comfort and benefit with increasing mobility in dogs. Consult with your veterinarian for CBD dosage and product information.

Today, pet parents can do the following to allow for optimal efficacy when using CBD for pets.

  • Opt for canine dietary supplementation with fish oils containing Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA; which are anti-inflammatory, and help to promote joint health by reducing inflammation.
  • Look for supplements with added chondroitin, glucosamine, & MSM for optimal results.
  • Choose supplements with CBD hemp oil that is free of THC. This has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain via numerous studies.
  • Your role as a pet parent is to choose the right combination of ingredients in your CBD supplements so that they’re effective from the get-go.

A dog that suffers from OA may benefit from traditional veterinary care that is combined with joint supplementation, and a few of the following: massage therapy, laser therapy, prolotherapy, stem cell therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture and pain relief meds, and drugs.

Young Dogs Benefit from Preventative Measures

When you administer a joint supplement to a young dog or puppy before they are affected by the joint disease (prophylactically), you’ll be providing protection against sensitive joint tissue issues. 

A high-quality nutraceutical will enhance hip and joint health in pups and dogs, and also increase the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen in the joints. Here’s the take on what you should go for:

  • Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM may relieve joint discomfort & stiffness
  • MSM may help chronic joint pain & may fight joint health deterioration
  • Omega-3 fatty acids with EPA & DHA may reduce inflammation from the osteoarthritis
  • Shark Cartilage to support connective tissue, fortify joints, bones, ligaments, and tendons.
  • CBD for chronic pain relief 

What is CBD?

A damp brown dog, standing in a field of green plants

CBD is a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid and offers both therapeutic and medicinal purposes for humans and pets. CBD is natural, safe, and is derived from hemp and cannabis.

Most CBD dog treats will use CBD from hemp. That said, there is no “high” and your dog will not consume THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, resulting in psychoactive effects with your dog getting “high”.

CBD Oil Benefits For Pets With Hip Dysplasia

  • Pain reliever
  • May help with canine depression
  • May provide relief from cancer side effects like chemotherapy and radiation
  • Promotes skin health by preventing sebaceous gland cells from secreting too much sebum
  • May provide benefits dogs with neurological disorders
  • Helps decrease inflammation in pets
  • May help prevent cognitive decline
  • May be beneficial for cardiac health
  • CBD may be beneficial in preventing tumor growth
  • CBD helps with diabetes prevention by reducing diabetes up to 56% and reducing associated inflammation in diabetic pets.
  • Digestive issues
  • Blood disorders
  • Fights off free radicals and may prevent the development of cancer

Cornell CBD 2018 research about canine arthritis and CBD at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine by Dr. Joe Wakshlag tested to see whether pain from osteoarthritis and multi-joint pain could be eliminated with CBD oil.

The CBD oil was made from industrial hemp or placebo hemp and dogs received every 12 hours for 4 weeks. Cornell worked together with ElleVet Sciences that created soft CBD ElleVet Mobility chews, which are hemp-based. The chews also contained chondroitin and glucosamine which are two natural compounds that help with movement in arthritic dogs.

The results of this study demonstrated that over 80% of the participating dogs that used the chews had significant improvement in mobility. The product was referred to by veterinarians in the study as “a game-changer that will change the face of veterinary medicine,” via Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Hemp mobility dog chews may be effective in reducing pain and inflammation in all dogs suffering from hip dysplasia and joint issues. That said, some dogs will need to have surgical treatments which may include a wide variety of procedures from reducing pain and arthritis to a full hip replacement surgery.

Medical Hemp Supplements for Dogs

If you have a dog suffering from mild hip dysplasia, and for your pooch to run and move without pain, it’s worth considering the use of a natural hemp supplement for pets. By opting for hemp supplements with glucosamine, you’ll help stimulate the growth of new cartilage, and also help protect your dog’s cartilage in the joints.

Keep in mind that as with all supplements they take a while to reach therapeutic levels, so you’ll need to be patient. CBD dog treats provide pain relief and ward off anxiety and canine depression. With most CBD dog treats having less than 1% THC to no THC, dogs will not experience any “high” after consuming CBD treats.

All-in-all, you’ll need to zero in on your dog’s joint issues with your vet to find out what treatments will work best. Balanced joint care supplements that have CBD may include ingredients that have hemp, collagen, MSM, chondroitin, and glucosamine.

Discuss accurate dosage levels that may be beneficial for all joint issues in dogs with your veterinarian. Also keep in mind that the sooner you begin using joint supplements on pus, the better the long-term outcomes are.

What to Look for in CBD Dog Treats?

  • Hemp CBD should be 100% food grade
  • Should be made using CO2 extraction
  • No solvents like butane
  • Full-spectrum lab testing by a third party for purity and potency
  • Lab certificates available for pet owners to examine prior to a purchase
  • Pesticide and herbicide free
  • Made with non-GMO hemp
  • Grain-free functional chews
  • Numerous flavors like pumpkin, turkey, sweet potato, blueberry

With CBD dog biscuits or edibles, the dosage will vary according to the brand you choose. Dogs will need a different dosage to humans, so it’s important to note that human and pet CBD products have different dosages.

The Natural Doggie CBD-Infused Bacon Flavor Soft Chews use only the best ingredients nature has to offer. The perfect treat to promote calmness, reduce inflammation and pain and stimulate appetite in your pet. This is a perfect supplement to add to your dog’s diet. This Colorado-grown, hemp-derived oil is legal in all 50 states and contains no THC. The non-GMO oil in every treat is derived from the finest non-GMO hemp the world has to offer. Your dog will love these bacon-flavored dog chews and you will see a major difference in your animal and if you don’t, your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Sold out

What to Look for in CBD Tinctures for Dogs?

The most important question to ask yourself when choosing a CBD oil for your dog is whether the product uses an isolate or a full-spectrum oil. That said, there are plenty of premium full plant hemp extract products that don’t carry the CBD letters on the packaging. These products are labeled premium hemp oil extract products. Look for hemp products that offer the following:

  • A full spectrum of Phyto-cannabinoids,
  • Offer fatty acids and terpenes in their products to help with mobility, anxiety, joint pain nausea, digestive disorders, and seizures.
  • Uses USDA certified hemp that is organically grown in Colorado or elsewhere in the US.
  • Uses a CBD oil that is more concentrated, and specifically targets dogs that may benefit from a higher CBD dose. It’s necessary to read the potency and dosage instructions carefully because all CBD products are different. Always consult with your veterinarian as to the most appropriate CBD dosage for your pets. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and must be administered in the correct doses to be effective.
  • Certificate of Analysis is most important to ensure a high-quality product that is safe for your pet.
  • Opt for a full-spectrum CBD oil. These may be combined with CBG, CBN, and CBDA to work simultaneously to help with pain and anxiety, to reduce tumor growth, to help with skin conditions like hot spots, and to also reduce bacteria.
  • CBD oil needs to be made from non-GMO hemp. Read your ingredients.
  • CBD should always be pesticide and herbicide-free.
  • CBD tinctures work much faster than CBD dog treats, and are also more potent.
  • CBD products that contain natural or virgin coconut oil offer digestive aid, skin, and coat optimal health, and contain superfood benefits.
  • CBD products like Natural Doggie Hemp CBD infused virgin coconut oil also supports relief of chronic pain and inflammation, so

If your furry best friend has hip dysplasia or is at risk for developing this, you’ll need to keep your dog trim and at a healthy weight. Obesity may contribute to strain on a dog’s joints. You’ll need to work with your veterinarian to slow down the progress of osteoarthritis. By doing so you can help delay hip dysplasia by up to two years.

Lastly, understanding that vigorous exercise, most especially in young dogs may contribute to hip dysplasia. Physical therapy when done correctly with a certified canine rehabilitation therapist will help your dog immensely by teaching the correct fitness program. This is especially important for all dogs with hip dysplasia. Daily swimming is also beneficial to dogs suffering from joint issues.

With no cure on hand for hip dysplasia, pet parents need to work together with their veterinarians to slow the progression of this very painful condition. Learning how to use natural hemp supplements for dogs by working with a CBD expert will also help to reduce pain and inflammation, and may allow for your pooch to lead a relatively normal life with less pain.

Keep in mind that quality is always paramount when it comes down to choosing an effective and safe hemp supplement for your pet. Opt for reputable and well-known CBD brands that are passionate about pets, and that have had many years of experience in the pet industry.

Claudia Bensimoun

Claudia Bensimoun author of The Natural Doggie CBD-Infused Bacon Flavor Soft Chews use only the best ingredients nature has to offer. The perfect treat to promote calmness, reduce inflammation and pain and stimulate appetite in your pet. This is a perfect supplement to add to your dog’s diet. This Colorado-grown, hemp-derived oil is legal in all 50 states and contains no THC. The non-GMO oil in every treat is derived from the finest non-GMO hemp the world has to offer. Your dog will love these bacon-flavored dog chews and you will see a major difference in your animal and if you don’t, your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.

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