Hip Dysplasia and Hydrotherapy
Hip dysplasia is a lack of congruity between the socket side of the joint (acetabulum) and the ball on the end of the femur. Because of the abnormal rubbing of the joint surfaces, cartilage breaks down, arthritis occurs and the hip becomes painful. Hip dysplasia is considered to be a congenital issue.
Some possible indications of hip dysplasia are:
. A waddle gait
. An unwillingness to jump into the car or onto the bed
. Difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor
. Limping, as the problem becomes more severe
There are other problems that can have similar symptoms so it is extremely important to have your veterinarian examine the dog.
. Medications, surgery and rehabilitation
. Hydrotherapy. Often times the dog’s pain can be reduced with a program of hydrotherapy and functioncan be increased, which decreases the need for medication and surgery
Benefits of Hydrotherapy:
. Muscle strength is important to stabilize the joint. Exercising in water is a way to build strength without exacerbating the friction between the joint surfaces. Walking or swimming in water helps to strengthen as well as provides exercise for weight management. Swimming provides a non-weight bearing environment. Without the body weight on the joints, there is less pain during exercising. The gentle motion in the hips lubricates the joints and the swimming stroke builds muscle. The underwater treadmill offers a partial weight bearing environment for decreased stress on the joints, the resistance of the water strengthens and the movement of the treadmill stretches the hips. Hydrotherapy equipment typically includes an endless pool and underwater treadmill that have heated water supplies for treatments.
. Weight Control. Losing those excess pounds is also important in the management of hip dysplasia to decrease the stress on the joints.
Article written and submitted by Marty Pease, PT, CCRP
Marty Pease PT, CCRP received her physical therapy degree from Columbia University in 1982. Most of her human career was in outpatient orthopedics. She started doing physical therapy with animals in 1999 and was in the first class certified by the University of Tennessee in rehabilitation for canines in 2003. She is the managing partner of Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Group (CRCG) www.dog-swim.com which opened its doors in 2005. Her contact information is 303-762-7946 and email@example.com.