Dog Hip dysplasia- Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Canine hip dysplasia (CHD), commonly known as dog hip dysplasia, is the abnormal growth of the hips. Although most puppies have healthy hips at birth, some go on to develop improperly, leading to a distortion of the hip joint. Because a malformed hip joint is less stable than a normal one, the body tries to stabilize the joint later in life by developing arthritis. The femur (thigh bone) and pelvis make up the hip joint. The femur and pelvis are connected by a ball and socket structure, with the pelvis’ socket enclosing the femur’s ball, or head. A loose joint occurs when the head of the femur is not completely encircled by the pelvis in a dysplastic hip. Subluxation is the medical term for this. The severity of the distortion varies greatly in impacted dogs, but sadly, the intensity of the distortion does not directly match with the symptoms which the affected dog shows.

Dog One of the most prevalent orthopedic diseases in dogs is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is referred to as abnormal expansion and growth of the hip joint. Although a hereditary component to the disease has been identified, many aspects of its etiology and pathogenesis remain unknown.

Most canines with hip dysplasia are born with morphologically normal joints, but after a few months of their life, faulty hip joints start to form. Though one hip may be more aberrant than the other, both hips are typically damaged. The majority of the time, symptoms appear by the age of 8 months.

Dog Hip Dysplasia

Dog Hip dysplasia Causes

Hip dysplasia in dogs is caused by a number of reasons, starting with genetics. Larger dogs(ex: Great Dane, Labrador etc) are more prone to hip dysplasia than smaller dogs. This hereditary tendency can be exacerbated by elements like an excessive growth, some forms of sports, an excessive weight, and an unhealthy diet.

Some pups require food that is specifically prepared for large-breed puppies because they have special food requirements. These meals aid in preventing rapid development, which can cause joint and skeletal problems including elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. By limiting the growth of these breeds, it is possible to prevent future issues by allowing their joints to mature without being too stressed.

Incomplete diet, as well as excessive or too little activity, can increase a dog’s chances of getting hip dysplasia. In addition to causing hip dysplasia, obesity places a great deal of strain on your dog’s joints, which can aggravate an already existing disease. Consult your vet to determine the ideal food for your dog and the quantity of daily activity they should receive to maintain excellent health.


Symptoms of Hip dysplasia in Dogs

Although affected dogs can exhibit clinical symptoms as young as seven months old, the majority do not until they are one to two years old. This is due in part to the fact that the underlying hip disease may be mild or severe, stable or deteriorating, and the body may be more or less able to maintain the joint in repair adequately to handle the situation. The following symptoms may be present in dogs with hip dysplasia:

  • Pain.
  • Reduced activity
  • A smaller range of motion
  • Problem with jumping, running, or ascending stairs.
  • Lameness at the back.
  • Lumpiness in the joint.
  • Narrow stance.
  • “Bunny hopping,” swaying gait
  • Friction in the joint when moves.
  • Reduction in thigh muscle mass.
  • As they make up for the back end, the shoulder muscles increase noticeably.
  • Discomfort or stiffness when getting out of bed.
  • Hip joint subluxation or dislocation

Hip Dysplasia XRay

Dog Hip dysplasia Diagnosis

The best way to diagnose hip dysplasia is to use a hip radiograph while under local anesthesia. Hip dysplasia may also be indicated by clinical symptoms and palpable joint laxity. A radiograph should be taken as soon as possible on any dog suspected of having hip dysplasia.


Treatments of Dog Hip dysplasia

There is no treatment for canine hip dysplasia. However, there are several therapies that have been shown to be successful in relieving pain in adult dogs and stopping further damage in young dogs. Maintaining a balanced diet and daily exercise are the most fundamental therapies and also the most crucial.



Consult your dog’s vet for advice on an appropriate exercise routine. The muscles around the joint can be improved with mild running and walking. Your doctor might advise you to attempt two daily 20-minute walks; just remember to let your dog decide the pace.

Try to stay away from long distance running or hopping as a basic guideline. If you can locate a place for them to swim, consider allowing your dog swim as exercise. Swimming is great for the muscles that move the joints.

Hip Dysplasia Treatment

Healthy Diet

The amount of damage that occurs on your dog’s hips is significantly influenced by their weight. Make sure your dog is eating a balanced diet, especially if they are a large breed, since extra weight puts stress on the hip joints. To come up with the ideal eating schedule for your dog, consult with your veterinarian. The onset of dysplasia can be slowed by maintaining your dog at their appropriate weight.



Do not assume that your pet must endure their discomfort if they are struggling. The veterinarian can suggest appropriate medications, such as anti-inflammatories, to assist a dog with hip dysplasia feel less pain.



In order to strengthen their weak rear legs and prevent overexertion, dogs with hip dysplasia undergo hydrotherapy, a controlled kind of aquatic training. In a canine rehabilitation facility, hydrotherapy is carried out in a sizable tank with a treadmill at the bottom. Your dog is put in an empty tank by the physical therapist, who then seals the door and adds warm water.



Your dog might occasionally require hip surgery. There are various surgical procedures; some try to correct the ball and socket alignment while others provide a full hip replacement. The optimum surgical procedure for your dog’s condition will be suggested by the vet. The surgical procedures outlined below can only be carried out by an orthopedic surgeon trained in veterinary medicine.


Pubic Symphysiodesis

A less intrusive procedure that vets carry out on puppies under the age of five months. By altering the angle of the hips, this procedure, which entails fusing the two hip bones to allow the remaining of the bones to develop normally, is intended to enhance the mobility of the hip joints.


Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO)

To rectify the architecture of the joint, the surgeon performing TPO surgery makes bone cuts in the pelvis. These cuts are used to realign the femur’s head with the hip socket. TPO works best in puppies under ten months old because it loses its efficacy once deterioration to the hip socket starts to take place. Younger dogs typically heal considerably more rapidly from the pricey and unpleasant treatment. For younger dogs with subluxation, TPO is one of the operations that is most frequently advised since it restores the hip joints’ complete functionality.


Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) and Neck Excision

The femoral head from the hip joint is removed during this procedure. To maintain the femur in place in the hip joint, fibrous scar tissue will eventually form a “false joint.” Although it improves pain and is less expensive than a total hip replacement, this isn’t always the best solution for all dogs. Veterinarians typically advise older dogs and lighter-weight canines to have this procedure. The majority of the dog’s pain is reduced by this operation, but the joint’s original range of motion and stability aren’t completely restored.


Total Hip Replacement (THP)

The most invasive surgical approach, THP, restores the joint’s complete functionality. Dog hip replacement surgery is expensive, and veterinarians only recommend it for fully developed canines who exhibit severe or advanced hip dysplasia. The hip joint is removed during surgery, and a prosthetic joint is put in its place. Dogs who receive a THP can live pain-free lives and resume activities with a motion range that is close to normal.


Bottom Line

Hip dysplasia in your dog or puppy can be alarming, but it’s vital to keep in mind that with the correct education, advice from a doctor, and application of therapies and lifestyle modifications, your dog can have a long, happy, and healthy life!

When your dog is young, it is important to purchase a pet health insurance plan. But it’s also possible to do it later in life. Pet insurance assists with the cost of medical care so that you won’t have to worry about finding the money or depleting your savings. Make sure to compare policies before deciding which is best for your dog depending on both your lifestyle and its needs.

Riya Agarwal
Riya Agarwal
Riya Agarwal is an experienced content writer who loves animals. She is the proud owner of a Labrador, who she loves to take on long walks. Riya works hard to bring fresh and creative content to her clients, blending her knowledge and experience with her passion for animals. Riya is committed to creating content that sparks conversations and encourages readers to think more deeply about the world around them.

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