The extent of the development of dysplasia and the resulting clinical symptoms can be significantly reduced. The solution lies in proper nutrition.
The development of dysplasia is fundamentally attributed to genetic reasons. In the case of dogs inheriting genetically inappropriate hip joint formation, the extent of the disease development and the clinical symptoms arising from it can be adversely affected by improper nutrition.
Incorrect nutrition can contribute to the development of dysplasia and worsen an existing condition, but it is never the sole cause of the disease.
The two most significant nutritional errors are protein and calcium overfeeding.
Feeding a higher proportion of both protein and calcium than the recommended amount, i.e., higher than the quantity present in high-quality food, leads to excessively rapid, premature growth of long tubular bones. The soft tissue components of the joints and the development of muscles cannot keep up with the excessive bone growth. Consequently, loose joint formation, muscle deficits, and movement disorders may occur, providing an ideal basis for the development and deterioration of the disease. Calcium and protein overfeeding can also fundamentally contribute to the development of other musculoskeletal diseases such as periostitis, joint cartilage separations (OCD), elbow dysplasia, etc.
- To avoid protein overdose, only feed your dog the amount of food specified on the packaging of dog food during the growth stage. If the dog eats anything else besides this, the additional food should be relatively low in protein (meat), and the little protein (meat) it contains should be of good quality, such as lean meat. Any excess food should be rich in fiber (vegetable fibers, rice, vegetables).
- To prevent calcium overdose, do not use additional bone-strengthening supplements alongside complete food, as so-called complete dog foods already contain a large amount of bone-strengthening agents. It is also crucial that when feeding mixed or non-complete dog food or canned food, only use registered, available at veterinarians or pet stores, bone-strengthening supplements as calcium supplements. The calcium-phosphorus ratio of bone-strengthening powders and tablets used for human medical purposes in regular pharmacies is not suitable for dogs; never use such products! It is also important to use bone-strengthening tablets for calcium supplementation only in a course-like manner. Do not use them continuously for months, as this can lead to calcium overdose. When using the tablets, it is advisable to use the lower dosage recommended on the box.
It is important to note that the above applies only to genuinely high-quality, complete dog foods!
Supplements for Proper Nutrition
To contribute to the healthy development of joint cartilage, two types of (osteoarthritis inhibiting) substances available in the veterinary market can be used. These are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
Glucosamine is present in numerous animal medicines and dietary supplements. These products are generally distinguished by the concentration of glucosamine contained in them and their absorption.
Chondroitin sulfate is present in only a few veterinary preparations.
These cartilage-building substances, once incorporated into the joint cartilage, enhance its resistance and improve its regenerative ability. Ideally, when using these products, do not use similar human preparations with the same active ingredients, as their absorption and effectiveness in dogs are not precisely known.