Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

January 18, 2019
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs


Making great family dogs, not to mention, the most playful of the lot, large breed dogs are a go-to choice for many aspiring pet owners. But their size comes with its share of care and concern. In this article, we throw light on one of the most prevalent conditions of large breed dogs, Hip Dysplasia.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

In essence, hip dysplasia is a developmental disorder in some dogs mostly caused by genetic disposition. Genetic disposition, simply means a dog’s inherent qualities of genetics. This condition affects the hip joint or the coxofemoral joint and is dreaded by dog owners due to the following reasons it subjects to their dogs-

  • Painful and impaired movement
  • Weight gain
  • Overexertion of other joints
  • Eventual osteoarthritis


Primarily observed in large breed dogs, Hip Dysplasia is not limited to them. Even the smaller pooches can incur them based on their genetics. To further understand this ailment, one needs to know more about the hip joint’s basic anatomy. Dogs too possess ball and socket functionality like that in a human’s shoulders and hip. A disorder of this joint causes abrasion in the joint, subsequently causing deterioration and impaired functionality.


What causes Hip Dysplasia?

Mainly believed to be a cause of genetic disposition, recent studies hold even the below-listed causes accountable.

  • Improper nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Excessive exercise
  • Injury of hip joint
  • Ligament tears
  • Forced formative motion


Like any other disease, there is no better way to curb hip dysplasia’s extremity than to start taking early precautions. Here’s a list of symptoms of Canine Hip Dysplasia to watch out for in your dog-

  • A gait that appears to be like that a bunny hopping (or anything that’s not like your dog’s usual gait)
  • Mild to severe lameness in one or both hind legs
  • Amplified stiffness in the joint movements to flex or extend
  • A crackling sound and swelling of the joint
  • Muscle mass that is diminished around the joint, if it's a long-standing, unrecognised case
  • Arthritis is seen in older dogs


What is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs Diagnosis?

While your dog’s vet performs a usual physical test at the regular checkup, it is not the most efficient in diagnosing Hip Dysplasia. Should there be any discomfort in your dog, you must let the vet know in order to further conduct a complete physical exam.


Flexibility test of the joint, manipulation of hind legs, and range of motion will be determined in the complete physical exam. However, the ultimate confirmation will only come from an x-ray. The x-ray will indicate how severe is the development of the condition thus deciding appropriate treatment.


How to treat Canine Hip Dysplasia?

If the case is in its initial stages, nutrition, exercise and weight monitoring along with a substantial lifestyle difference can be sufficient. For all other cases, the following have proven to be highly efficient -


  • Physiotherapy
  • Medicinal intake of nerve tonics and joint supplements
  • Femur Head Osteotomy (FHO)
  • Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
  • Total hip replacement (THR)



How to prevent Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Prevention of Canine Hip Dysplasia can be quite subjective. Listed below are a few basic measure dog owners may take, in order to curb its development.

  • A healthy skeletal system
  • Good nutrition from early on
  • Exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Supplements like glucosamine


Despite the acquisition of Hip Dysplasia, dogs continue to live their expected number of years. Treatment and care only make the experience little more bearable. Last but not least, remember to treat your dog with love through his condition (and otherwise); it makes a world of a difference!

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