Hip dysplasia

Dog Food Advisor Forums Raw Dog Food Hip dysplasia

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  • #116765 Report Abuse
    Jan I

    My 8yr. old 140lb. Lab mix has recently started suffering from hip dysplasia. I am really reluctant to the idea of surgery. I started him on glucosamine Chews and switched his dog food from Purina Pro to Nitro dog food. Then I read about chicken feet and started feeding him those for his afternoon treat. That got me interested in the raw food diet and I found My Pet Carnivore web sight. I ordered a case of ground Green Beef Tripe with Trachea & Gullet and an order of pork femur bones. I am a widow on a strict budget and plan on feeding raw and kibble. I learned not to feed both at same time. Haven’t received my order yet but interested in feedback and suggestions. Also wondering if anyone feeding raw diet can tell me if this will give him any relief with his problem. Digger means the world to me. He’s been my greatest comfort through my husbands illness and recent death. I never sought his comfort he just gives. The only time this lug of a dog gives me problems is when I try and push a pill down his throat or hide it in food….he knows and refuses. He has been walked pretty much consistently since I got him.

    #116922 Report Abuse

    140 lbs! Is he over weight? Keeping our dogs lean is one of the best ways to keep their joints healthy. What is your vet recommending?

    #117118 Report Abuse

    Hi Jan-

    What you attempting to do currently for your dog would help manage symptoms of arthritis, but not really hip dysplasia. Depending on the severity of the luxity of the femoral head, you may see little to no difference with what you are doing.

    For HD dogs, keeping them lean and surgery are your best options at making them comfortable. The surgery is called a Femoral Head Osteotomy and what is done is that the head of the femor is removed and scar tissue is built up around the femur and acts as an anchor to the acetabulum. Without surgery, his pain will likely get so out of control that he would have to be on pain medication for the rest of his life.

    Also just as an aside, it is a falsehood that raw food and kibble should not be fed together.

    #117880 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    Hello Jan,

    I strongly believe that raw feeding is the healthiest diet for dogs, but it is not a panacea.

    The greatest benefit would be to reduce the weight of your lab. Reducing (or eliminating) carbohydrates via a raw diet (or mixed diet) helps. Dogs burn fat very efficiently and while it seems counter-intuitive, fat metabolism helps with weight loss.

    The pork femur bones, sadly, are a poor choice, as a bone source. They are too hard to the “eaten” and therefore pose a hazard to teeth and risk obstructions id swallowed in large pieces. Bone-in chicken pieces are far preferable.

    On a budget, you’d spend less if you find whole ingredients and feed according to the Prey Model 80/10/10 (meat/soft-edible bones/organs) formula.

    Chicken feet are a good source of edible bone and do contain a lot of glucosamine. Couldn’t hurt. But weight loss is the critical issue.

    Aim to slowly reduce weight. A raw diet promotes a lean body type. Getting rid of the carbs is key.



    #117881 Report Abuse

    I would work closely with your veterinarian for the best results.
    I would not make drastic changes in diet with a senior dog. It will have no effect on hip dysplasia and may result in gastrointestinal upset and more vet bills!
    Also, glucosamine is a supplement (not a medication) not all supplements are benign.

    If the dog is experiencing chronic pain obviously you can not increase exercise, etc.

    Decreasing intake may not be a good idea either. Seriously, have your vet call you back when he has a minute, discuss your financial concerns and see what he recommends.
    Best of luck.

    https://www.canineortho.com/index.php/treatment-hip-dysplasia (excerpt from article below)
    Canine hip dysplasia that results in chronic pain and interferes with an active lifestyle is best treated with surgery. Four surgical options exist:
    Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS)
    Double Pelvic Osteotomy (DPO)
    Total Hip Replacement (THR)
    Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) – FHO is best suited for cats and small dogs (5-30 pounds). FHO involves removal of the ball from the ball and socket joint. Scar tissue forms between the remaining bone and socket (acetabulum) forming a “false joint”. The primary advantage of the FHO is lower cost, since no implants are needed.
    The prognosis for dogs undergoing total hip replacement is good to excellent. Ninety percent of dogs are literally normal for life. There are no activity restrictions and because ongoing osteoarthritis is eliminated, very few if any require non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like carprofen.

    #117884 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    Keeping a Lab that’s experiencing hip pain or hip dysplasia at 140 lbs isn’t sustainable.

    That means something needs to be done to gradually reduce the dog’s weight. The best way to accomplish the weight loss is to eliminate the portion of the diet that provides non-essential calories. Namely, carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are nor essential in a canine diet according to the Nation Reseach Council (which is the world’s recognized authority).

    There is nothing “drastic” about feeding a dog the sort of diet it was shaped by evolution to consume. An unnatural carb-rich diet is literally crippling this dog.

    A balanced PRM-style diet is the best thing one could do for this dog in portions designed to promote slow weight loss.


    #117924 Report Abuse

    Hi SpyCar,

    It is a common internet myth that eliminating carbohydrate promotes weight loss. The key to weight loss is to decrease calories which is best done by eliminating non essential fats as fats have a much higher calorie/gram than do carbohydrate.

    Take a look at Romsos’s research. The dogs on the highest carbohydrate diets had the leanest body weights Also in the fat fed dog model decreasing carbohydrate and increasing calories fed as fat ( some overall number of calories fed) resulted in higher fat levels in the dog.

    Jan. Please work with a veterinarian for a proper diet for your dog during weight loss.

    #117928 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    @aimee, with due respect it isn’t an “internet myth” that dogs metabolize fats with an efficiency that contrasts markedly with the boom-and-bust energy release of carbohydrate metabolism.

    This scientific fact has been demonstrated in dozens of scientific studies (nearly all funded by the pet food industry).

    Fat isn’t “non-essential.” LOL. Fats are essential to canine nutrition, carbohydrates are not. This has been established by the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The NRC is the world’s recognized leading authority on canine nutrition.

    Calories do need to be reduced, so it is best to eliminate non-essential calories from carbohydrates rather than cutting essential protein and fat.

    Fat metabolism increases stamina. In one study funded by Iams, dogs ate a high-carb ration and who were de-conditioned “couch potato types) had their VO2 max (aerobic capacity) measured on a treadmill. As expected the results were very poor.

    Then, the same dogs were put on a high-protein/high-fat diet. After a time (during which there was no alteration in their lifestyles) they were re-tested on the treadmills. The VO2 Max scores rocketed up nearly as high as those of elite highly-conditioned dogs.

    Cutting non-essential empty calories, promoting weight loss, and increasing stamina is the smart path to weight reduction.

    I doubt a surgeon would like to perform a hip replacement on a Lab carrying 140 lbs. Getting the weight down is critical.


    #118129 Report Abuse

    Hi Spycar,

    From your response it appears that you misinterpreted my intent. I didn’t say fats are non essential, I said to remove non essential fats. A certain amount of fat is essential to meet essential fatty acids and allow for fat soluble vitamin absorption. After meeting those needs the balance just serves as a calorie source and as such can be trimmed for weight loss.

    Are you referring to Reynolds and Taylor’s work? If so seems you are misapplying it here.
    As you reported much of the work on metabolism has been funded by pet food companies. A clue that the results of this work doesn’t support a recommendation of preferentially removing carbs and for weight loss is that the weight loss diets made by the companies doing the research are low fat.

    Have you read Borne’s paper on weight loss? Keeping the percentage of calories from protein the same and altering the fat and carb content, the dogs on the higher carb, lower fat diet lost more weight and a greater percentage of body fat then those on the lower carb, higher fat diet.

    #118130 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    @aimee, there is no such thing as “nonessential fats.” Using the term in this fashion is scientifically incorrect. The fact is any level of carbohydrates in a canine diet is what is nonessential. Dogs do not require ANY carbohydrates in their diets to thrive. And the calories are better derived from essential fat and protein sources.

    Optimal calories from fat are about 50-60% of calories (remembering fat has 2.25 times as many calories per gram as either protein or carbohydrates.

    Replacing too many calories from protein with carbs leads to muscle tears and inadequate protein to build and repair muscle tissues and carbohydrate calories replacing fat reduces aerobic capacity and endurance, while promoting weight gain and tooth decay.

    The reason pet food companies have so-called “weight loss” formulas built around high carb foods (besides the low-quality and low-cost carbs being a way to maximize profits) is that too many people don’t cut back on the amount of food when they feed higher-quality high-protein/high-fat alternatives. But stuffing a dog with a high carb diet is the path to obesity, It doesn’t work.

    It is much better to serve smaller portions of high-calorie food. The fat in high-protein/high-fat meals satisfies a dogs hunger (and provides sustainable energy) where a dog fed high carb meals is always hungry and lacks the energy stores for sustained activity.

    Trying to get a dog to lose weight on high carb rations is a recipe for failure. It doesn’t work.

    Best to get rid of the nonessential calories from carbohydrates that are unnecessary in a canine diet. Just look at the body type of any PMR-style raw fed dog to see the drastic difference eating no carbohydrates makes in promoting a lean muscular body type.

    The best thing one can do for a dog for a dog with disk or hip issues is to get it lean and strong. A high-protein/high-fat diet is the key to that end. High-carb diets cut vitality, crowd our essential nutrients, and lead to obesity and health issues.


    #118138 Report Abuse


    I don’t see anything “scientifically” wrong with saying that not all fat is essential, just as not all protein being fed is essential. Once protein needs are met, the rest will be burned for energy. We need to meet the dog’s essential needs for protein and fat and energy.
    Energy can come from protein, fat or carbohydrate.

    Dogs don’t have an essential need for carbohydrate. People don’t either. Perhaps you don’t incorporate vegetables, fruits or whole grains in your diet, I do. You may think I will suffer from that choice as carbohydrates are not essential to humans.

    In regards to optimal calories from fat I don’t think you’ll find any agreement on that topic. I’ve read that veterinary nutritionists prefer not to go above 40% calories fed as fat. I can confidently say if I had fed my fat intolerant dog the 50-60% calories as fat as you feel is optimal she would have died an untimely death.

    You seem to be ignoring the data on this topic : Body composition studies, fat fed dog model, weight loss studies, satiety studies… why is that??

    #118139 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    @aimee, presuming by “Borne’s paper on weight loss” you mean: Differential metabolic effects of energy restriction in dogs using diets varying in fat and fiber content by AT Bourne?

    If so this is a supremely flawed study (for reasons I’ll get into below) using only 6 dogs in each cohort and it concludes by saying the differences in weight loss “did not reach statistical significance.” LOL.
    If this is the best argument for a high carb diet for weight loss it is entirely unconvincing in the first place.

    But let’s delve further. Borne didn’t actually compare a high carb diet with a high-fat diet. The so-called “high-fat” diet only had 32% of calories from fat. Way below the optimal 50-60% of calories from fat that I mentioned in an earlier post as optimal.

    Instead, we have two low-fat formulas, one at 35.4% of calories from fat and the other at 24.5% of calories from fat. So both high carb rations. Then they added massive amounts of fiber to the lower-fat formula as a way to stuff the dog with fillers it would need to process and excrete as waste (imagine the about of poop!) vs low fiber in the less-high carb meal. They did this to trick dogs into feeling satisfied when they were actually deprived of essential nutrients.

    In a “real diet,” (neither of these qualifies as such) a dog feels full when it consumes fat. There isn’t a need to overstuff the dogs with fillers and fiber.

    The Borne study tried to game the outcome by having two variables going, different fat/carb ratios and also very different fiber ratios. Notan even playing field, and still the results “did not reach statistical significance.”

    It certainly did not prove the contention that a high-carb diet is superior to a more natural high-protein/high-fat diet for maintaining an optimal weight and lean muscle mass in dogs.

    I’d pity the dogs fed the higher-carb high fiber ration long term. A most uncomfortable, GI tract irritating, poop generating, vitality and stamina eliminating diet.



    #118140 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    @ aimee, dogs are not people. We have evolved with very different nutritional needs.

    Human beings have salivary amylase, for example, the digestive enzyme necessary to convert starches. Dog’s lack salivary amylase.

    it is a common problem that pet owners anthropomorphize their dogs and (wrongly) believe they have the same nutritional requirements and same metabolism we do, but that runs against evidence-based science.

    Fat is an essential nutrient for dogs, as is protein. Carbohydrates are nonessential. Completely unnecessary in a canine diet. Their needs are not the same as those of humans.

    Your accusations of ignoring the veterinary literature are false. Satiety studies involving low-fat rations require loading rations with fiber, which is hellish for dogs. Moving that much waste (and creating that much poop) is very hard on dogs vs the efficiency of metabolizing much smaller quantities of fat and protein.

    I think you are confusing healthful salads and greens that are great for people with what’s good for dogs. And that ain’t a high carb diet. Nothing could be a less appropriate choice for good canine health.

    Carbs are in modern processed dog food to make food inexpensive. That comes at a cost to dog’s health. A dog fed a balanced raw diet will have a dramatically better condition, less body fat and more muscle. A high protein/high-fat diet that reduces carbs as much as possible is a distant second choice, but miles ahead of an unhealthful fiber and cereal-based “low-fat” diet.


    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Spy Car.
    #118147 Report Abuse


    All studies are flawed and this is no exception . There wasn’t a significant difference in amount of weight lost .. controlling calories is still key… but the authors did report a significant difference in % fat lost. ” the low fat diet group lost a significantly greater amount of total body fat than the high fat group.” This outcome is not consistent with your beliefs.

    I don’t disagree that people and dogs have different requirements. It is just that people like to drag out the “Dog’s don’t require carbs” mantra as if that is somehow proof that carbohydrate shouldn’t be fed to dogs…Just pointing out the argument falls apart as people don’t need them either.

    Maybe you’ll like this one better comparing ad lib access to either high fat or high carb diet full text may tell more but the high fat didn’t satiate the dogs to the point that they didn’t overeat and gain weight

    Adult female dogs were fed ad libitum for 25 weeks a high-fat diet (51% of energy from fat) or a high-carbohydrate diet (59% of energy from carbohydrate). Dogs fed the high-fat diet gained more body weight than did dogs fed the high-carbohydrate diet. In both groups of dogs 78-80% of the increase in body weight was fat. The high-fat diet may have been utilized more efficiently for body fat gain than the high-carbohydrate diet; alternatively, it is possible to explain the increased body fat accumulation in dogs fed the high-fat diet on the basis of the small observed difference in energy intake. Dogs fed the high-fat diet consumed slightly more energy (13%) which resulted in the accumulation of more than twice the amount of fat accumulated in dogs fed the high-carbohydrate diet during the 25 week study.

    Have you read Schauf’s studies on satiety comparing high fat to high carb? No difference found

    Oh my…. you certainly haven’t seen the same high fat raw fed dogs as I have “A dog fed a balanced raw diet will have a dramatically better condition, less body fat and more muscle.” Do you have any references to support that statement?

    I’m pretty carb neutral neither for or against. For weight loss I like to see a high percent of calories coming from protein and lower fat levels to allow for the dog to be able to eat a decent volume of food and for owner satiety and the carbs fall where they may.

    In general i’m not a fan of high fat diets I see way too much canine obesity as owners don’t control portions, so I’m all for a less energy dense diets.


    #118156 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    @aimee, they did not measure a high-fat ration vs a high-carb ration.

    They measured two high carb rations (both of which lack the benefits of a high-protein/high-fat-diet) against each other and found a very marginal difference in weight loss. Differences likely attributable to the drastic differences in fiber in the two meals.

    This study doesn’t resolve anything.

    The reason that people like myself who’ve read the literature don’t endorse carbohydrates in the diet is due to the demonstrated consequences of high-carb diets negatively impacting aerobic capacity and cutting endurance in dogs, in addition to the obesity, bad skin, bad teeth, and stresses on GI tract and organ health.

    There are no advantages to feeding carbs (aside from reducing costs of the feed). Only downsides to health.

    I’m not going to take seriously a study that allows domestic dogs to consume as much raw food as they want as satiety test. LOL. There is enough of the primitive canine mind resident in dogs that I’d be shocked if a dog didn’t gorge when given the opportunity to eat raw meat, fat, organs, and bone. LOL.

    But a raw-fed dog given calorically appropriate meals will not act food crazed. Ask me how I know?

    Such dogs will be lean, vital, and hard-muscled vs the de-condition that results directly from feeding a high-carb cereal-based diet.

    I’ve seen the differences with my own eyes. No comparison.

    Thank you for your interest.


    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Spy Car.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Spy Car.
    #118159 Report Abuse

    @ Jan I
    Just took my terrier in for some x-rays to rule out hip dysplasia and other anomilies. Will get the results tomorrow.
    I am thinking it is arthritis, I will let you know what the vet recommends, just in case it may help you.
    His weight is within normal limits and he is not a senior, so we’ll see…….
    Some of these things are congenital/genetic and or related to how they were treated as puppies ie: diet, exercise. Pediatric neuter is another thing that may (according to science based research) contribute to these disorders.

    #118197 Report Abuse

    @ Jan I
    X-rays and exams were unremarkable.
    So……it may be mild arthritis.
    Vet suggested I start a glucosamine supplement and daily fish oil.
    Supplements are not regulated by the FDA (lots of junk out there), therefore he prefers I only use the products recommended for veterinary use and purchase through the vet clinic.

    Some dog foods have some glucosamine in them, it may help? Example https://www.chewy.com/dogswell-happy-hips-chicken-oats/dp/42571

    See what your vet recommends. If your dog needs surgery, then changing his diet and adding supplements may have no effect on his hip dysplasia.

    Another thought, if you have pet insurance, hydrotherapy. Swimming is the best for dogs with arthritis, also good for weight management.
    Again, discuss with your vet.
    Best of luck

    #118198 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    I’m a little confused on your position here @anon101.

    Upthread, in your response to Jan’s question about feeding glucosamine-rich foods (like chicken feet) you linked to a website that featured a host of articles that question the efficacy of glucosamine.

    Now, if I understand you, you are looking at glucosamine supplementation and are linking to glucosamine-rich dog food formulas.

    Has something changed? Have you broken with Skeptvet on this issue?


    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Spy Car.
    #118200 Report Abuse

    I would not feed “chicken feet” in any form to any living thing, even if it was starving.

    Regarding Skeptvet’s views on glucosamine, obviously you haven’t read them.

    Now, I ask you politely to please stop attacking my posts.
    Your opinion is no more valid than mine.

    I did not say I would buy the glucosamine, did I?
    No, I just passed on the vet recommendations for my dog so that the OP could take a look at them.
    If the dog has hip dysplasia, no food changes or supplements are going to undo the joint damage that is already there.

    However, it is not clear if the OP’s dog has had x-rays? Bloodwork? Been examined by a vet? Did a vet actually diagnose the dog? Is anything being done for pain management? Prescription medication? Basic care and comfort?
    I suggest that the OP start there.

    PS: I have used Dogswell products before (Nutrisca) with good effect, that’s why I mentioned it. The OP seems to think glucosamine might help….

    #118203 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    @anon101, on the contrary, I did read the linked articles on the Skeptvet site. He is quite dubious of the efficacy. Now you have written that your vet recommended supplementation and you linked to a formula that claims to be rich in glucosamine.

    So I asked if your thoughts had changed? A legitimate question in my book. That’s not an “attack”(LOL) but a request for clarification. Please don’t mischaracterize my posts. Adding the word “politely” to a mischaracterization doesn’t make it acceptable.

    I don’t really have a fixed position on glucosamine. I’m dubious that taking it would reverse joint damage. So other than surgery (which is sometimes necessary) the best option in my estimation is to drop body fat while preserving muscle mass.


    #118204 Report Abuse

    I am on the fence about glucosamine. It probably doesn’t do anything, but side effects are minimal.
    So, I am thinking that it may help the pet owner feel better, they will think they are doing something good for the dog.
    If buying a dog food that helps the pet owner sleep better at night…I guess that’s something.

    I can’t afford to buy any more useless junk right now, so I will think about it for a while.

    #118223 Report Abuse

    Glucosamine as proven positive effects, but the problem is that it’s often looked at as a miracle supplement and given past the point where it will benefit the dog. Once damage has already begun or set in it will not reverse it, but it can aid in preventing further damage to the joint.

    If the dog has been clearly diagnosed with HD, losing weight and surgery are going to be the best options.

    #118702 Report Abuse

    I agree Their needs are not the same as those of humans.

    #118792 Report Abuse

    Great this is !!

    #119860 Report Abuse

    Update: Tried the glucosamine per the vet’s recommendation. Possible side effects include GI upset, vomiting.
    Yup, you guessed it, 2 weeks in and the occasional vomiting started. Glucosamine stopped immediately, hope it resolves soon (within 72 hours) as I would like to avoid a visit to the vet $….

    Threw the crap (glucosamine) away. Buyer beware.

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