Pain! How can we help our rescue dog live in comfort?

pain in dogs

Lincoln was in pain!

Pain control is an important aspect of making your whole pet happy. We’ve learned about new ways to help with pain management while trying to give Lincoln his best life.

We rescued Lincoln over a year ago and he has become a part of our family. He was wandering the streets, 20% under his ideal weight. Read my post How Can Our Dog Live a Healthy Life? for a little back story.

We knew our first goal was to help him gain weight. Once we started making progress there, he got more active. That’s when we noticed something else. Lincoln was hurting!

He didn’t want to run, jump or play with our other dogs. And he had developed a limp. We went to the vet to try to help him be comfortable and happy.

What the vet found

By now, we were figuring out just how complicated out boy was going to be. With much fuss (story in another post), the vet made the diagnosis. Lincoln has hip dysplasia. We’ll have to deal with this for the long haul since hip dysplasia is only sometimes curable with surgery.

hip dysplasia

What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint are malformed. The bones don’t meet correctly, resulting in a joint that grinds instead of sliding smoothly. I’m not going to go into depth in this post because this is a subject that deserves a post of its own, but this article on PetMed discusses hip dysplasia in more detail Hip Dysplasia in Dogs. Basically, Lincoln was going to have pain issues and we needed to come up with a strategy for keeping him pain free. Read more about hip dysplasia in this post.

What are the options?

Several options are out there to help with pain relief. The vet recommended a joint supplement like Dasuquin to decrease inflammation. We could also give an anti-inflammatory like Previcox or Rimadyl as needed when Lincoln was feeling more pain. We started there.

The pain medicine and the joint supplement didn’t control his pain well enough for Lincoln to want to run and play. We decided to check out other options to see if we could come up with a better plan. After a check with Dr. Google and the vet, here are the options I found.

Alternative approaches

Chiropractic treatment – chiropractic adjustment involves low force manual manipulation of the spinal column, joints or other affected areas to improve mobility and function and alleviate pain.

Joint supplements with glucosamine/chondroitin can help decrease inflammation. Read my post, Dog joint supplements; effective pain relief or expensive pee?

Acupunture/acupressure – acupuncture/acupressure stimulates the release of the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances.

Massage – the rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body to relieve tension or pain.

Laser – laser therapy, also known as cold laser therapy, uses light energy at specific frequencies to make changes at the cellular level.

CBD Oil – CBD oil works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help balance and decrease inflammation.

Fish Oil – fish oil has antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation and help decrease arthritis stiffness and pain.

Coconut Oil – coconut oil is also an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation.

Our pain management plan

We decided to continue with the joint supplement and previcox as needed for pain. In addition, we have added chiropractic and laser treatment and CBD oil. We’ve been using these treatments for several months now and Lincoln is playing ball and smiling a whole lot more!

If you’ve ever rescued a dog, you know that, although it’s rewarding, it also comes with some challenges. Lincoln has been quite the challenge for us, even a year later. More posts to come on this continuing saga.

Have you had a dog with hip dysplasia? Tell me how you managed it in the comments below.

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