Q: Hi, we have a 11 year old German Shepard with severe hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis in all four legs. Please could you advise on a supportive brace and harness or something that will give her support and comfort to help with walking etc?
A: Firstly, for the hip dysplasia, there are hip braces, such as the Orthodog hip brace. Separately, if you have wooden floors, you may want to think about non-slip socks so that she has a bit more grip walking around indoors. If the dysplasia is really interfering with mobility, it may be worth considering a wheelchair. They're an investment but they can be amazing for giving dogs their mobility back. If you want any further information on this, as we know it can feel a bit overwhelming to consider one at first, please let us know and we can talk you through it all.
Q: Hi, I am considering buying a hip brace for my elderly lab - he has hind leg hip weakness and is losing muscle mass and sways when walking and trying to run - I want to prevent collapse as long as possible and wondered whether you thought this was the right product or could you recommend something else?
A: Thank you for the email. The Orthodog hip brace is very good at holding the hips and giving them firm support, most dogs who benefit have hip joint weakness or hip dysplasia. If your Lab has either of these, then the hip brace would be a very good aid as he can wear it around the house or on walks all day long.
Q: Hi, I have a 13 year old Staffie. She has a right hip dislocation which was only diagnosed about 5 years ago, she's never limped but I noticed she had muscle wastage on that Rt leg. Because it was so long ago, surgery was not advised. She also has arthritis in both back legs. She is quite wobbly when walking and I use a sling to help her move around at the moment but wondered if a wheelchair would be better? and if would be painful?
A: We have many dogs going onto wheels who they have hip weakness, hip arthritis or severe hip dislocation/dysplasia.
Wheels can be a very good idea as they will take the weight off her back legs (and you won’t need to use a sling) but she can still put her back legs on the floor and therefore will keep some tone in her leg muscles and keep the legs active for as long as possible but there is less weight on her back legs.
In terms of pain - they should reduce her pain as her hips will be supported and carry less weight and therefore be under less stress and pressure.