A study conducted at the Department of Clinical Sciences and Comparative Pain and Orthopedic Research Laboratories at North Carolina State University has found that longer daily exercise duration was associated with lower lameness scores in dogs with hip dysplasia. Researchers found “a significantly lower mean lameness score was found for dogs with greater than 60 minutes of daily exercise, compared with that for dogs with less than 20 minutes of daily exercise.”
This study helps confirm that the “use it or lose it” approach to aging in humans may also apply to dogs. The researchers also felt that even high impact activity was as beneficial as low impact activity. Our recommendation for clients with pets with hip dysplasia and other age related arthritic conditions is “keep them lean, get out there and have fun.” Be sensitive to your dogs arthritis pain but and don’t push them beyond their own desire to be active.
For more advice on pain management in older patients feel free to call or email us.