Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition where the head of the femur does not fit snuggly in the hip socket.

What Causes It?

Hip dysplasia happens during the growth phase. If the hip socket and femur bone do not grow at equal rates, the femur bone will be loose in the joint.

Body stress, too much or too little exercise, and an unbalanced diet causing excessive weight gain can disrupt growth rates. Hip dysplasia is considered hereditary in many large breeds, but it can affect dogs of all sizes.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • “Bunny hopping” with hind legs
  • Lameness
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Difficulty rising
  • Difficulty jumping
  • Decreased activity or range of motion
  • Limping
  • Popping sound in joints

Is it Life Threatening?

No. With proper treatment you can greatly reduce the pain of the condition and help your dog live a happy full life.

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How is It Diagnosed?

Hip dysplasia is often diagnosed during routine physical exams. If you are noticing changes in your dog and suspect joint issues the earlier you reach out to a veterinarian the better. After a physical exam, your vet may suggest bloodwork. An x-ray will help determine the severity of the issue and the best course of action for treatment.

What Are The Treatments?

Non-surgical treatment includes weight loss, exercise restriction, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, joint fluid modifiers, and joint supplements. If the condition is severe there are also surgical options that depend on your dog’s age and severity of condition.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.