1. What is hip dysplasia?

It is one of the most frequent diseases in dogs, especially large breeds.

2. What is the disease?

In a mismatch between the head of the femur and the acetabulum, that is, a bad gear of the hip joint. The femoral head is partially outside the acetabulum and the hip cannot work properly.

3. Does it affect some races more than others?

Yes, hip dysplasia practically does not exist in Greyhounds and yet it is very common in San Bernardo and Mastines. It is also quite common in the German Shepherd, the Golden Retriever and the Rottweiler among other breeds.

4. How to know the severity of dysplasia?

There are several degrees of dysplasia, but there are also different ways to measure it, the most common being an X-ray that should be done on dogs near the year of life. This x-ray must be performed in a very specific position and with the muscles relaxed, so it is usually necessary to anesthetize the dog.

5. What are the symptoms?

Normally lameness in dogs from 5 to 10 months but can remain without problems during youth and adulthood and debut with major problems in the geriatric period. Movement to the sides of the hips may also be indicative of hip dysplasia.

6. Does it have anything to do with osteoarthritis?

They are two different problems, but hip dysplasia, the mismatch of the joint, can cause over time that this joint degenerates and ends up suffering from osteoarthritis in the hip. Osteoarthritis is what hurts, especially in old age. Dysplasia may be more responsible for the dog’s development of osteoarthritis.

7. Is there treatment?

There are several treatments, various surgeries before the year of life and other methods such as hip prosthesis when the dog is older and has finished growing.

We also have palliative treatments such as anti-inflammatories or cartilage protectors (chondroprotectors). In very serious cases you can put a canine wheelchair and the dog continues to walk but without bearing the burden of its weight.

Ortocanis.com Technical Team

Electrostimulation for muscle potentiation

Electrostimulation is a very useful tool to enhance the muscles of a dog that has suffered an injury or surgical intervention and as a result has muscle atrophy.

We can use electric current to stimulate the muscles, enhance it and make it work, it is specifically indicated in cases of muscle atrophy, and especially in cases where the dog can not do active work. If the dog can do active work, electrotherapy will be a support, never the main source of work.

Form of the impulse that we will use will be the Rectangular, symmetrical biphasic the main authors indicate it: Thepaut Mathieu 1992, Kramer 1984, Bircan 2002


Human electrostimulation apartments can be adapted to electrostimulate dogs without too many problems, but we must ensure that we can vary the frequencies, and especially the amplitudes of the electrical impulse to adapt well to the characteristics of the dog.
There are no good studies of Cronaxia in dogs, the approximate values are 0.3 human, 0.2 Horses and in dogs by studies of less depth intuit similar values;
Sawaya – Meallier 2006, Brodart 1998, Coarasa 1999, Ramon 2007
The Intensity according to Hultaman 1983, and Ogino 2002 should be elevated with visible contraction, without reaching the limit of pain but discomfort. The dog must comfortably withstand the session but the muscles must work intensely.

The frequency will be marked according to the objective, various authors validate this option: Pougheon 1992, Busko 1989, Vanderthommen 2002.

Objective Frequency Treatment time Standby time
Relaxation: 5 Hz Continuous 0
Heating: 5 Hz Continuous 0
“Endurance”: 10-20 Hz 9 2
Atrophy: 33 Hz 6 6
Strength: 50- 100 Hz 5 25
Explosive force: 100-200 Hz 3 30

The parameters may vary slightly according to individual cases.
Rest time can be adjusted if it is active, it is advisable to use ramps before strong muscle contraction.
The intensity should always be the maximum with relative comfort.
Total time between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the phase of the injury, fatigue the muscles excessively does not help to enhance the muscles correctly.

It is important to have a device that meets all the requirements, if it is going to be used by a canine rehabilitation center or veterinary hospital, a more professional desktop apartment is recommended and with it we can use specific programs for each of our patients.

The use of rubber electrodes and contact gel is equally recommended in animals with hair.


Orthocanis Veterinary Team

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Osteoarthritis is the most frequent health problem in dogs and also in cats of a certain age. 20% of dogs over one year old suffer from joint disorders; more than 95% of cases occur in dogs aged five years or older.

Lameness is the main cause of consultation with the veterinarian of dogs with osteoarthritis, immobility, refusal to take walks, difficulties getting up, persistent lameness, stiffness when waking up and chronic pain are other common signs. It may develop gradually or appear suddenly following minor trauma or excessive exercise.

perro-multimedia-600x300_6The pain is due to the loss of thickness and quality of the articular cartilage, it degenerates to produce the practical disappearance of the same, inflammation of the joint capsule and osseous reaction (osteophytes).

Chondroprotectors are food supplements that promote hydration and nutrition of articular cartilage.

The composition of the most common chondroprotectors is Glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitnin sulfate.

soporte para perro con displasia de cadera

Glucosamine increases the synthesis of matrix components by chondrocytes. The synergistic action of Chondroitin sulfate and Glucosamine enhances the effect to this chondroprotector.

Hyaluronic Acid contributes to the correct maintenance of synovial fluid, essential to recover joint mobility.

Chondroitin Sulfate is one of the main constituent elements of cartilage, together with proteoglycan, gives cartilage mechanical and elastic properties, contributes to a correct hydration of cartilage.

Vitamin E prevents against the appearance of osteochondral disorders and limits the formation of free radicals associated with arthropathy.

Chondroprotectors, being a natural product present in the body, does not produce adverse effects. It is not a medicine, therefore it is not necessary a prescription nor is it necessarily sold in pharmacies. Unlike other treatments, it can be given for prolonged periods of time without harming the body.

We can administer it both in dogs of breeds with special incidence of hip dysplasia during their growth and in older dogs that already have problems.

Administration in dogs during the growth period can be started from 3 months of age of the animal until the growth period is completed (around 8 to 10 months of age depending on the breed)

There are several chondroprotectors on the market, in Ortocanis we have made a selection of the best chondroprotectors looking for quality and effectiveness of the active ingredients.

Ortocanis technical team

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Cold is one of the most used elements for the treatment and prevention of muscle pain and joint or soft tissue inflammations.

After surgery or in cases of soft tissue injuries such as tendonitis or muscle injuries, the application of cold reduces pain, prevents the formation of excess inflammation and helps resolve it if it has appeared.

bolsas-de-agua-caliente-o-hieloThere are several studies that talk about the effectiveness of the use of cryotherapy in its different aspects, application of ice, single-use bags of instant cold , cold pack, neoprene devices for use with cold packs or crushed ice, immersion in cold water with ice cubes …

All of them have their advantages and disadvantages.

Techniques that use ice directly, or immersion in cold water have the problem of wetting the skin of the animal and transmitting too much moisture to the body of the animal, in addition the ice water that is just touching the skin of the animal can produce burns and irritations, in human it is always recommended to put a cloth between the skin of the patient and the ice.

Sometimes, in dogs we think that their own coat is enough, but we can have problems with the water, very cold, which is just touching the dog’s skin. Therefore it is better to avoid this direct contact.

There are very expensive “dry ice” equipment that are machines that emit very cold air and are used in human rehabilitation centers, especially in sports centers, they clearly lower the temperature of the tissue if they wet the skin and without creating moisture or irritation. The dog’s hair can be an impediment to the penetration of the cold of this type of devices, this factor together with the high price make this technique practically not used in dogs.

The fastening system is another important factor; exist in the marketbolsa-de-frio-instantaneovery well designed restraint systems that allow the dog up to a certain mobility without the ice falling, it is extremely advisable to use straps or other more evolved fastening systems since this way we ensure the intimate contact of the ice with the dog’s skin and that this contact will last as long as the treatment lasts.

The estimated treatment time should be between 15 and 20 minutes, the most recent studies recommend these times since they are the ones that allow to maintain for a certain time a more or less deep tissue, such as a joint capsule of the knee at a temperature considered therapeutic of 15ºC. Precisely the knee is one of the joints where more ice can be used as a treatment system and a Device that fixes the ice well to the knee can help us a lot to be more effective. If the internal tissue does not fall to 15ºC we are not taking advantage of the possibilities of cryotherapy.

The latest novelty in cryotherapy treatment is to agree with compression and the latest evolution of compression is that it is alternating. There is only one machine on the market that provides these two components, cryotherapy and intermittent compression in a single device, the cold and compression system.

Ortocanis technical team

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It is one of the most used instruments in physiotherapy. It is a device that emits acoustic waves of much higher frequencies than those audible by humans. The frequency used as a therapeutic tool is 1×106 Hertz, i.e. 1 Mega-Hertz (MHz), so they are not audible by any mammal.
Usually in veterinary clinics and hospitals, ultrasound is used for ultrasound scans that use the same type of wave. The difference is power, frequency and application time.
In therapeutics we use frequencies of 1MHz for deep treatments, up to 8 cm and frequencies of 3MHz for more superficial problems. The power ranges between 0.2 and 3 Watts / square centimeter.

Effects on tissues:

The main effect of ultrasound on tissues is anti-inflammatory. We usually use it in tendons, joints or inflamed muscles; it has excellent results in both acute injuries and chronic injuries, although we must adjust the powers.

The analgesic effect is another of the most sought after in rehabilitation, normally when we deflate a structure we manage to reduce the pressure in the nociceptors that are the receptors in the body that send the painful signals, by reducing the pressure in these receptors, we reduce their stimulation and therefore decrease the intensity of the signals they send until they disappear. If there is no sign of pain, there is no perception of it.

soporte para perro con displasia de caderaWhen we have a fibrosis in the different soft tissues: muscles, tendons or ligaments, we can apply continuous and then pulsating ultrasound at maximum power. This way we will find a good defibrosing effect.

Another of the classic applications of ultrasound is the application in muscle contractures, with ultrasound we can reduce and even eliminate them.

Continuous ultrasound generates heat by the vibration of the molecules and both the pulsating and the continuous increase the permeability of the membrane, which is what favors together with the mobilization of the molecules the anti-inflammatory effect.


Ultrasound must be applied by moving the head all the time that the treatment lasts, either making small circles or following the direction of the treated tissues rectilinearly. If we do not do so, especially in continuous mode, we can damage tissues and produce significant burns.
It is necessary to use a means of contact, either contact gel or directly in direct immersion (sub-aquatic ultrasound).
It is also important to take into account the hair of the animal, this hinders the transmission of ultrasound and therefore it is very interesting to be able to shave the dog before applying the ultrasound sessionperro-multimedia-600x300_6

Approximate time between 5 and 15 minutes
Power between 0.2 and 3 Wats/cm2
There are different head measurements depending on the needs.


Ultrasounds can be used in any pathology of the dog that occurs with joint or soft tissue pain, such as tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, bruises or major bruises.

We can also use ultrasound in chronic problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, knee osteoarthritis, or hip osteoarthritis.

All surgical interventions produce an inflammation of the tissues that have been operated, ultrasound is a very good tool to control inflammation and post-surgical problems such as rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament, patella dislocation or others.

Ortocanis technical team

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Owners often ask themselves questions about whether to shelter their pets in winter, this question at the same time comes with many others of this type:

Don’t dogs already have enough hair?
Is it a bit ridiculous?
Does it depend on the breed?
Does it depend on the area?

Is it normal in small dogs that are colder and silly in large breed dogs and especially with long hair?

All these questions may have more than one answer, but in general we SHOULD shelter dogs in winter, especially if we are in cold areas.

Older dogs are more likely to suffer from cold than younger dogs, who have more vitality. Older dogs especially with problems such as osteoarthritis suffer a lot with the drop in temperatures, we must do something to protect dogs with osteoarthritis from cold weather.
Dogs small breeds are more prone to cold than large ones, so they should be warmer.
There are some large breeds that are very prone to suffer cold and have a very bad time especially very short-haired dogs such as greyhounds.
The amount of hair influences, we will not shelter a Nordic dog in a Mediterranean city, but perhaps yes, if we go to the snow at sub-zero temperatures and do not do physical activity.

Regarding the ridicule is very opinionable, I could be more embarrassed to see the dog shiver and do nothing to help him.abrigo-para-perro
Elderly dogs are very grateful for a blanket in winter, and even in warmer times if they suffer from osteoarthritis in the spine or hips, the typical hip dysplasias of Golden, German Shepherd … they improve a lot with special thermal blankets. In winter especially if the dogs live in cold areas, or very humid or mountain, when we do not want the dogs to get wet on their outings, we can use waterproof blankets that also protect the muscles and joints from the inclemencies of the weather.

In summary, if we have a small breed dog or a large breed with short hair, or an elderly animal in any of its breeds and sizes , we must shelter it in winter.


Ortocanis technical team

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Hip dysplasia Irresponsible breeders, feeding, environment?

Currently, with only three months of age it is possible to know the existence of small anomalies in the conformation of the hip/femur joint, which will lead to dysplasia.

Origin of hip dysplasia in dogs:

In colloquial language (today we avoid veterinary terms) hip dysplasia is a “failure” in the head joint of the femur-hip. If the head of the femur is not lodged in the hip perfectly, there is a deterioration of the cartilage that protects the joint, and that deterioration is degenerative and irreversible. But why does hip dysplasia occur?
Genetic inheritance. Hip dysplasia is inherited, and if breeders do not perform the necessary tests to know that their dogs are free (certified X-ray) and that previous generations too, puppies can suffer from it. Many breeders (and more particular) ignore these x-rays (eye, there is no breed safe from the disease). Hopefully they include a clause in the sales contract in which they will give you a puppy if you prove that the one you have bought has dysplasia (as if they were appliances).
Environmental factors. In the period of growth (until the year, but especially critical the first six months of life), slippery floors, sudden exercises, jumps … Puppies with a limit hip can aggravate their situation if care is not taken in these critical months, and vice versa, they will be able to lead a perfectly normal life if they develop correctly in these months (even if their hips are not perfect).
Feeding. The months in which dysplasia develops are those of growth, and the slower the puppy grows the better. Foods very high in protein have been linked to the onset of dysplasia. Chondroprodectors help during growth (in predisposed individuals or breeds, always under veterinary supervision).
About prevention in line with the above, if the breeder is responsible and has all the controls done we still can not sing victory. It is very important that the puppy has a good diet according to his growth needs, which does not get fat (the image we all have of a rolly puppy is typical, but not healthy), supported by chondroprotectors if necessary, that the exercise is restrained (avoiding strange movements, and especially jumps and forced postures of the back three), be careful with the floors of the house (if they are slippery it is not a bad idea to get some old carpets that last us a few months).

Some exercises and “tricks” are very demanding with the hip, and therefore dangerous in puppies and young dogs.

And the greatest prevention: radiography There are many puppies that can limp for causes that have nothing to do with dysplasia, and in the same way, there are asymptomatic with serious femur and hip problems. The plate is painless, economical, and the only truly reliable method. At present we can know the state of the hips of our puppy from as early as three months (PennHip method), so that conservative treatments can be established, or in the case of an intervention being necessary, which is not drastic but reconstructive, preserving the joint. Until the year of age it is not possible to ensure that the hip has had a perfect development and, therefore, it will not be until then when the dog can start in canine sports (“start” is to go little by little) performing more demanding exercises with his body.

Source: www.doogweb.es



Ortesis de codo para perros con higromas o callosThe five keys to having a healthy and happy dog at home and enjoy it

There are different aspects that are important when we have a dog as a pet at home. Having a healthy pet means not only having it in good health but also other aspects.

The care of the health of the pet, hygiene and a correct education of the dog are the three pillars of the good coexistence of dogs and people.

The health of the pet is an aspect of vital importance, a healthy dog can bring us problems but a sick dog or with a weak state of health will surely bring them to us.

Healthy Habits are essential to maintain the good health of our pets:

  • Routine veterinary visits and vaccinations
  • Regular physical activity

duc-i-ana-2If we complement it with a correct hygiene (also important for health) and a careful education of the dog important for the family-dog relationship, we will have a set of aspects that will greatly improve the relationship with our dog, its quality of life and that of the whole family.

The correct feeding:

Dogs must eat feed, many times we wonder if it would not be better for dogs to eat homemade food, or if they can live well with what is left over from a house, as it was done before. The answer is always the same, canine feed is a complete, balanced food, formulated by veterinary nutritionists who determine the needs of each dog according to their breed, age and physical activity and develop the most balanced and complete diet.

Canine feed, as long as we buy the type that best suits our animal, will be the best food we can give our pet. We must respect the measures recommended by the same brand or ask for help from our veterinarian, he will be the most suitable to explain the amount of feed you should eat and in cases where necessary if we can complement it with a special dietary supplement.

Routine visits and vaccinations:

Not only for our pet but also for everyone else in the neighborhood, even for our own safety and those of the people who live with us or our neighbors it is extremely important that we keep the dog’s vaccination card up to date.

Proper vaccination prevents diseases that can become very serious for our animals.


It is another important aspect, although sometimes forgotten about pets, hygiene not only means taking the dog clean, but taking care of its skin, its hooves, its mouth and therefore its breath, and that it has the appropriate place to relieve itself without staining and where we can pick them up and deposit them in the appropriate place.

Depending on the type of dog, the breed, its physical activity we must wash it more or less, and in certain breeds we must have special attention to specific points. For example, Cockers have a special tendency to make recurrent otitis, even chronic, this is because due to the position of their ears and their size, the ears breathe very little and it is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and fungi; it is avoided with a simple spray every so often and a correct washing of the dog’s ears much more commonly than is necessary in other breeds.PastedGraphic-1

It is good to be informed of these aspects when we adopt or incorporate a new member into the family. You can consult in many forums specific to dog breeds, kennels, dog clubs and of course whenever you have doubts to the Veterinarian.

Physical activity:

It is the great forgotten in Spanish dogs, I feel envious when I see in American movies the dogs doing physical activity with their owners in Central Park …

Some privileged Spanish dogs go for a walk three or four times a day, but they go for a walk to relieve themselves and especially in winter these walks are limited almost exclusively to this activity. It’s not that it’s wrong to take the dog out to urinate or defecate, the problem is that too many dogs ONLY come out to urinate and defecate.

The walk should be an important part of the owner’s relationship with his animal, the dog should feel free, satisfied, happy with the walk and should serve for him to do physical activity. Therefore it is important that one or two of the walks that the dog takes throughout the day is much longer and the dog, especially if it is young, can run freely, jump, play with other dogs …


Another aspect in which, as a whole, although it hurts to recognize it, we have been a few years behind Western Europe and the United States in Spain, even with certain Latin American countries, is the education of our dogs.

Many times we complain that they do not let us enter hotels, restaurants, shops or cafes with our dog. It is true that we can oppose many problems if we look for a hotel where pets are accepted in certain Spanish cities. On the other hand, many of us have traveled to Holland, Belgium or of course the United Kingdom and have seen small dogs on planes, and larger dogs in Perro en silla de ruedascafes and restaurants. We have seen them but we have not heard them, nor have we smelled them nor have we noticed their presence until the owners of the animal have left the premises. The dog was missing the entire time he was in the restaurant. Nothing like the dogs that you can find in beach bars, which is one of the few places where they accept them, and not always, competing for the neighbor’s croquette or for the piece of ham that has fallen to the lady or for directly the grilled cuttlefish that have brought you and smell wonderful.

We must sing a collective mea culpa about the education of the Spanish canine cabin, to more and better education more and better respect and understanding on the part of people who do not have pets. A dog that does not bother anyone would not count anyone and few people oppose its presence. A dirty dog, with a foul breath when he throws it directly to the face of the neighbor’s baby who in his stroller filling it with drool and scaring the child is normal to provoke the upset reaction of the child’s parents.

Orthocanis Veterinary Team


Ayudas para perros con artrosis

TENS is the acronym for (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), which stands for transcutaneous electrical stimulation. It is the most used electric current in analgesia for its safety, its comfort for the patient and its excellent results.

For its correct application we must take into account the following parameters: From 3-4Hz (up to 10) and high amplitude 250μs or more we will act on the stimulation of the secretion of endorphins.

The device should work between 25 and 30 minutes at a very high intensity, we must clearly see the muscle contractions. The effect can reach up to 24 hours. From 10-20Hz and an approximate amplitude of 250μs we will be generating a muscle recreation, increase in muscle trophism.


We would work about 15-20 minutes at a medium intensity, seeing some muscle contraction.

Between 80 and 100Hz and an amplitude of 100-150μs we would be working in the ideal way to treat localized pain in a knee, elbow, etc … it is what we call “conventional TENS”. In this case and to do local “sedation” we must work at least 20 minutes and we can leave the Tens up to a few hours. The intensity is low, without fasciculations or contractions in the skin and the effect is short from the end of the application.

We must monitor “the habit”, regularly raise the intensity or slightly modify the amplitude without leaving the parameters. There are devices that allow an amplitude modulation that decreases the habit.

To treat according to the “localized pain” we have placed the electrodes in the area of pain regardless of the tissue that is under the electrodes, on the contrary to treat dogs looking for the effect of “stimulation of endorphins” we must put them on beams of large muscle groups since we will stimulate the musculature looking for the contraction of this and it will be much more comfortable and effective if we do it on a large muscle beam.

When we must achieve muscle contractions we will place an electrode proximally and another distal, but within the muscle group we want to treat. Do not put the “positive” Red and the “negative” Black always in the same location, but symmetrical and never crossed. For use in dogs we recommend rubber electrodes and contact gel, since silicone electrodes, widely used in humans, will lose their adhesive capacity and part of the conductivity very quickly.

There are complete packs on the market to perform electrostimulation in dogs.

Watch video of electrotherapy in dogs

Toni Ramon
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How to use canine splints

Canine splints are the new contribution to the treatment of lesions in the distal limbs of dogs.

Splints are useful both in neurological problems, where they position the dog’s foot or hand well; as in traumatological problems where they support and immobilize.

Before using a splint it is important that we make sure that the size is correct, a small splint would compress too much and a very wide one would dance and not give a good support, being able to generate chafing. Splints can be trimmed in some cases where necessary but the angle of the natural position of the limb should not be modified.

Splint placement

The first few times the splint is placed, it is better to have the help of another person who holds or distracts the dog.

We can put the splint of the anterior limb with the dog sitting or with the dog in station (standing with all four limbs on the ground; it is not advisable to put the splint with the dog lying down neither in lateral decubitus nor in ventral decubitus.


The splints of the posterior ones should be placed with the dog in season.

Of course, the dog’s skin should be clean and dry, it is very important that the hair is dry since otherwise it can cause skin irritations, redness or small ulcers.

It is advisable to put a tubular bandage or a cohesive elastic bandage around the dog’s paw. The function of this bandage is to increase comfort, it should not be too tight and will make the dog tolerate the splint better.

The splint is placed on the back of the forelimb leaving the Velcro straps on the front, first place the dog’s pads on the bottom of the splint, leaving the fingers relaxed, these should protrude from the splint.

Once put in situation, the protectors of the front of the straps will have to be right in the middle of the front of the dog’s leg for greater comfort. Adjust the lower Velcro first making sure that the dog’s leg is fully adjusted to the splint, then adjust the middle strap and finally the upper one.

Inmovilizador pata perro

Unless instructed by your veterinarian should not wear the splint throughout the day, normally at night the dog can sleep without it, and during the day we will put it on especially in the moments of more exercise. In certain neurological problems or after fissures or fractures, according to the advice of your veterinarian, it may be indicated to wear it permanently. In the latter case we must regularly monitor the skin of the animal.

Its use is solving cases in which traditional immobilization had failed and many animals can regain their mobility thanks to the invention. We hope that in the future it will help many more dogs.


Orthocanis Team

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