Does your pug ‘bunny hop’ when running or getting up the stairs? Are they reluctant to exercise or have difficulties to get up after rest? Do they sway their back end back and forth when walking or have their hind legs straight out behind when lying down? And do they avoid playing rough with other dogs or even snap at them?
Unfortunately, there is a high likelihood that your pug is displaying signs of hip dysplasia. This is a shattering prognosis no dog owner wishes upon their beloved pug and I would like to show you how Canine Massage Therapy can help your pug to slow down the degenerative process and alleviate the associated pain.
What is hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition that affects the hip joints of your pug. The hip is a ‘ball-and-socket’ joint where the ball of the top end of the femur (thigh bone) fits firmly into the socket of the hip. In dogs with developmental hip dysplasia, the hip joint has not formed properly, in other words, the hip socket is not perfectly rounded and deep enough to accommodate the femoral head. This allows the head of the femur to slide around rather than glide smoothly in the socket, leading to pain and eventually to bone spurs and arthritis. While it is commonly believed that arthritis is related to old age, it can start when a dog is as young as one year old as the continued use of the affected joint causes abnormal wear of the joint’s cartilage, leading to a self-perpetuating degenerative process.
How can Canine Massage Therapy help your pug?
Due to pain in the affected joint, your pug is most likely not using the surrounding muscles to their full potential. Muscles that are not used to full potential lack in blood circulation which hampers the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the cells. Not only will your pug feel sluggish and tired as a consequence of this, their underused and undernourished muscles will also get tight and short.
Tight and shortened muscles put uneven pressure on the joint, causing the bones of the joint to ride closer which leads to an acceleration of the degenerative process inside the joint. The cartilage wears downs quicker and leaves only the bones exposed, leading to discomfort and, more often than not, severe pain.
Canine Massage Therapy can slow down the degenerative process by loosening the tight muscles that surround the affected joint and restoring them to their normal resting length. This results in more even pressure and thus diminishes the degenerative process in the cartilage of the joint and alleviates the pain caused by the bone surfaces rubbing together. Massage will also increase blood circulation leading to increased nutrient and oxygen intake so your pug feels healthier, stronger and happier.
To learn more about canine massage therapy, head to www.paws4paws.com.au and get in contact with Sandra. If Paws4Paws isn’t in your area, have a search for canine massage therapists in your local area and be wowed by the way the can help your pug.