If your dog doesn’t want to walk or get up, your dog is really in pain a lot. The first thing you need to do is you need to talk with your veterinarian about getting the pain managed. It can be managed with a combination of oral medication and with injections. There are lots of different ways to help your best friend feel better.
Once the pain is managed, then we need to look at other factors. Oftentimes, dogs with hip dysplasia will not want to use their back legs for so long that they start to lose muscle strength in those back legs, in which case, you’ll want to work with your veterinarian or a canine rehabilitation specialist or a canine physical therapist to start to build muscle in those back legs again. Even the most debilitated, geriatric dog can build muscle in the back legs, and muscle is the framework that supports the rest of the skeletal system, so the muscle development in the back legs is super, super important.
If your dog can’t walk, then you need to do some physical therapy with your dog, and you need to make sure that your dog’s pain is managed. There are also other alternative therapies that help manage pain in arthritic dogs, everything from cold laser therapy to acupuncture to hydrotherapy to walking on an underwater treadmill, and you would be amazed at the difference that these alternative therapies can do to help your dog walk and not be in pain and enjoy life again.
If your dog cannot walk or get up, with hip dysplasia, call your veterinarian immediately. Get your dog on some pain medication. Once the pain is managed, start to look at physical therapy and canine rehabilitation.
Author: Dr. Sarah Wooten
A graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and a member of the American Society of Veterinary Journalists, Dr. Wooten has 16 years of experience in small animal general practice, and 9 years experience of writing and vlogging. You may have seen her speak at Fetch DVM360 conference, NAVC (or VMX), AAHA, AVMA, or WVC, or you may have seen her articles and videos on DVM360, Firstline, Vetted, Healthy Pet Magazine, The Bark Magazine, Vetstreet, Chewy. or PetMD.