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I'm looking for ways to help build muscle in my dogs hindquarters. She is a very active dog loves to run and play with the other dogs. She loves to work and is just over a year old. Sadly she does has a mild case of hip dysplasia. I really want to build up her leg muscle to help prolong the inevitable and keep her happy. Is there anything else specifically I can do to help her gain more muscle in the rear. I'm thinking a wobble board? We do have a good size pond on our property but have yet to be able to get her to swim. Some times she does follow another dog out but is mostly content to just splash around about knee deep. She knows how to play fetch but gets board within about 3 retrieves. She pretty much just loves to play with her fellow doggy friends. Any ideas or exercises to help gain muscle in this area?
 

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Do you have her on glucosamin? If not, I would get her on it, it help my old dog out in ways you wont believe.

Can you get a pool, or some thing for her to swim in? Ponds can be gross, and if its any thing like FL once standing water gets to hot the amiba come out, and they can kill dogs and people.

Maybe a tredmil? Not at full speet, but a good trot for 5-10 minutes is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. Yes I have her on Glucosamine, fish oil and vitamin E. Understandable about ponds. It's a large pond I'd even say a small lake, but yes I wouldn't drink out of it. I would just love for her to swim which would be a low impact way to exercise.
 

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Thanks for the response. Yes I have her on Glucosamine, fish oil and vitamin E. Understandable about ponds. It's a large pond I'd even say a small lake, but yes I wouldn't drink out of it. I would just love for her to swim which would be a low impact way to exercise.
Maybe you could try and find a equine aqua therapy place near you? they have big long pools, would be great if you could get her in one of them! We have one here, but I like in Ocala FL. lol
 

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I love Wobble Boards. Or even a skate board. Because the surface is unstable, a dog has to shift and use their bodies in different ways. This strengthens the core muscles and the support muscles that tend to be used less. I use both. When teaching the skateboard, I begin with it stable and add motion, then I add the instablity too.

Number one most important thing to do with a dog with hip dysplasia is keep the dog LEAN. Lean to real lean. The next most important thing to do is keep the dog ACTIVE. Lean and active are almost everything. Supplements are great and I use cosequin and fish oil, but lean and active are the magic bullets.

My current competition dog has hip dysplasia. He does agility. He looks a little more lean than the public likes, but so do most other agility dogs. He is a jogging partner to my husband as long as he isn't going more than 3 miles. I work him daily and hike him most days of the week.

My last dog had extremely severe hip dysplasia and was a bull dog/bull mastiff/pit bull looking thing and even she made it to 10 years old, very active until the last 3 months.

Fetch scares the crap out of me for a dog with hip issues. I've lamed my dog up a handful of times playing fetch. We still play sometimes and he does formal retrieves, but there's a ton of pressure on those legs if your dog is a retrieving monster.
 

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I was advised by the vet for my GSD, to keep his hind legs strong in case he gets HD in the future, and they recommended a lot jumping and high speed running and climbing. I live in a mountainy area and there is a big area where I can let my dog off leash, he chases rabbits, does a lot of climbing and sometimes he replaces his climbing for like jump climbing, its weird. Whenever they try to do a non x-ray test on his hind legs, he has enough strength so they can't move his legs, so I think I'm doing a good job.
I'm not sure if all that high speed running, and jumping and climbing is good for a dog with HD, it might be too much strain, but I know that's a good way to build the muscle back there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the great ideas! Ever since we found out about her HD I've really tried to lean her up. I am shooting for her to be as lean as possible while still being healthy. My dog is very active and I really try to encourage that. I enjoy hearing about healthy working/agility dogs with HD. My dog will always be a working dog and want her to have a long life.

I myself have worried about fetch and the sudden movements and jolts in the joints. I also worry about her playing with the other dogs. They are all herding breeds and play pretty rough. She is always right in there with them and she seems to enjoy it.

She does love to run. We live in the mountains and do a lot of hiking and climbing. I suppose I'll just keep that up!
 

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Swimming is by far and away the best exercise you can do for HD. Best way to ensure she does enough is for you to get in the water until she is swimming next to you, so probably knee deep for you. Just make sure she is using the back legs to swim as well. If she tires give her a rest.

Hold her tail and keep her pointing ahead of you and let her swim for 10 minutes then give her a break. A 10 minute swim is equal to a 5 kilometer walk.

If you cannot swim her but have a steep grassy slope, throw a tennis ball up the hill . Driving up the hill will develop those back end muscles.

Another exercise you can use is teaching her to beg and then stand on her back legs from the beg. Get her to sit, use a treat to bring her into the classic beg stance and then lift the food straight up and make her rise upwards following the food. Do not overdo this exercise as it is a tough one for untrained muscles. Max of 3 reps to start.
 

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Regardless of what else you do, also provide a 30 min. walk twice a day for regular, gentle exercise. This helps with stabilization...
 

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Hiking up hills/playing fetch uphill works the hind end. You can also teach her to sit up on her hind end and work towards having her stand on her back legs. Swimming is awesome. If you have a treadmill put it on a gentle slope and teach her to go on that. Nash does half an hour on the treadmill at a fast walk mostly, with some trotting.
 

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I was advised by the vet for my GSD, to keep his hind legs strong in case he gets HD in the future, and they recommended a lot jumping and high speed running and climbing. I live in a mountainy area and there is a big area where I can let my dog off leash, he chases rabbits, does a lot of climbing and sometimes he replaces his climbing for like jump climbing, its weird. Whenever they try to do a non x-ray test on his hind legs, he has enough strength so they can't move his legs, so I think I'm doing a good job.
I'm not sure if all that high speed running, and jumping and climbing is good for a dog with HD, it might be too much strain, but I know that's a good way to build the muscle back there.
Dogs don't just get HD. It's a genetic disease though can be influenced by environmental factors. A radiograph can be performed to give you a conclusive answer vs a "non x-ray test".
 

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Dogs don't just get HD. It's a genetic disease though can be influenced by environmental factors. A radiograph can be performed to give you a conclusive answer vs a "non x-ray test".
Ah then in that case the vet was advising me to keep the muscles strong so any condition that may be there won't get worse. The test without the radiograph is where the vet tries to stretch the hind legs back and see if the dog struggles at all to do it. We've never actually completed a test since he's not a fan of anyone but me moving his legs, and I'm no vet so I'm not sure what to look for.
Hopefully in the future I can get the radiograph to know for sure.
Thanks for the information.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I imagine jumping is bad for a dog with hip dysplasia? My pup tends to always jump over things rather than go around. The other day I saw her impressively jump the fence into the pasture I think it's a 4 ft fence. Is this something I should try to put a stop to?
 

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Well if the dog is comfortable doing so, I personally wouldn't worry about it. It's not like the jumping will cause hip dysplasia. If the hips are unstable enough to result in arthritis later in life, it's going to happen whether the dog jumps or not and it's not like you're trying to turn the dog into a competitive jumper or anything. JMO.
 
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