Labrador Hip Dysplasia

by Rose Franklin
(Marahau, Motueka, Nelson, n.z)

Our Labrador retriever Bella is nearly 11 months old and we have just had her x-rayed and discovered she has hip dysplasia. Our concerns came after exercise then rest and she would struggle to get up and would limp.


Bella is a large white lab and my question is, are there any natural products on the market for her to take instead of Metacam for the pain and swelling.

Her weight is 27kgs and we feed her 2 and a half cups of ekuanubas for large puppies with a small piece of dog sausage with her night feed. Is there anything else we can do for Bella to assist with her development and making sure we do not overfeed her? We are very upset by this situation with Bella as our last dog Ruby had to be put to sleep after suffering form crusial knee ligament problems in her two back legs.

Thank-you kindly,
Rose Franklin


Vet Suggestion for Hip Dysplasia


Hello Rose,

I’m sorry to hear about your puppy’s diagnosis of
hip dysplasia
. The bad news is that this is a serious condition. The good news is that veterinarians now have many options available for treatment.

In my opinion, all dogs with hip dysplasia should receive a nutritional supplement (Cosequin)that contains some combination of the following:

• chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and manganese ascorbate
• Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)
• Omega 3 Fatty Acids
• green-lipped mussel extracts

If these oral products don’t help, I’ve found that some dogs respond better to injectable polysulfatedglycosaminoglycans(you can easily learn to give the injections at home).

Other treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (like theMetacam your dog is already on), other types of pain relievers (e.g. Tramadol), acupuncture, cold laser therapy, massage, physical therapy, and/or stem cell therapy. Surgery can help in some cases where medical management proves unsatisfactory. It is also incredibly important that your dog remain thin to decrease the wear and tear on her joints and the adverse hormonal effects of too much body fat.

Aveterinary specialist in the management of arthritis and dysplasia (e.g., an orthopedist or pain management expert)may be in the best position to determine what combination of treatments stands the best chance of success in your dog.


Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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