Preventative Measures for Your Dog’s Orthopedic Problems

Orthopedic ailments are a common cause of why dogs visit a veterinary hospital. Orthopedic veterinary concerns pertain to your dog’s bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and joints, among other structures. Although these health problems are common in dogs of all sizes, specific breeds may be predisposed to certain orthopedic health problems. Large dogs, in particular, tend to acquire bone and joint abnormalities as they age due to their increased body mass. Here are some vital guidelines for preventing orthopedic disorders in your dog.

Provide your puppy with an adequate diet.

When you buy dog food, you’re undoubtedly overwhelmed by alternatives. Food formulated specifically for your puppy’s breed may appear to be a gimmick to catch your attention, but it can prevent orthopedic issues in your dog. Hip dysplasia, one of the dogs’ most common orthopedic issues, is influenced by genetics and growth pace. While you cannot alter your puppy’s inherited propensity for joint illness, you may control its growth by feeding it food appropriate for its breed. Hip dysplasia primarily affects large-breed dogs, and it is more likely to arise in genetically predisposed puppies who consume excessive amounts of minerals such as calcium throughout their growing period. If a puppy’s bones grow too quickly for the muscles and ligaments around them, the joint will not be efficiently supported and will wear out with repeated use.

If your puppy is predicted to weigh more than 40 pounds as an adult, one of the best things you can do to preserve their future joint health is to feed them large-breed puppy food. Request that your family veterinarian provides you with more information on a feeding plan that balances your puppy’s caloric and mineral intake and prevents the development of hip dysplasia.

Get your puppy spayed or neutered at the right time.

Historically, doctors recommended spaying or neutering puppies at around six months of age. However, new evidence suggests that removing crucial sex hormones too early may put your child at risk for future orthopedic diseases. Estrogen and testosterone play vital roles in bone growth in puppies by affecting the time at which bones stop developing. These hormones are diminished when your puppy is spayed or neutered before their bone growth is complete, leading the bones to grow longer than normal and resulting in modifications to their overall conformation and joint mechanics. According to research, orthopedic diseases such as hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate ligament disease are less prevalent in intact dogs than in spayed or neutered dogs.

Varying dog breeds mature at different rates, with larger breeds typically taking longer than smaller ones to reach skeletal maturity. Your puppy should not be spayed or neutered until their bones are fully developed to reduce the likelihood of future orthopedic issues. Family vets in Waxhaw, NC will prescribe the ideal age for therapy based on the projected development rate of your puppy.

Keep your dog at a healthy weight.

Obesity increases joint stress, which can cause excessive wear and tear or worsen preexisting arthritis. Maintaining your dog’s ideal body condition throughout life can significantly reduce the likelihood and severity of arthritis. Ask your family doctor to provide your dog with a body condition score (BCS), which you may compare to their ideal BCS, to determine if a weight loss strategy is required. Regular exercise and a calorie-restricted diet can assist your dog in regaining a healthy weight and reducing joint pain. Many owners of obese dogs are startled to learn that their pets are more active and content after decreasing weight.

Conduct regular low-impact exercise.

Regular exercise is necessary for your dog’s pet wellness plans in Waxhaw, but the wrong type of movement can create joint problems. Growing puppies should avoid running on hard surfaces since the repeated impact might hinder bone and joint development. If you have an athletic dog breed, such as a Labrador retriever, in mind as a running partner, see your family doctor to determine when it is safe to start jogging with them. Once your dog’s bones are fully developed, which might take up to 18 months for big breeds, they can withstand more severe exercise.


Surgery may be necessary to alleviate your dog’s discomfort and enhance its quality of life, although many orthopedic illnesses are treatable with medication and/or non-surgical methods. You can make informed judgments, plan, and get your dog through treatment and rehabilitation so that it can resume chasing balls and jumping on the couch.