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Does My Dog Have Hip Dysplasia? What Should I Do?

Does My Dog Have Hip Dysplasia? What Should I Do?

Hip dysplasia in dogs is the single most common inherited orthopaedic problem dogs experience. 

Hip dysplasia in dogs is where abnormalities occur in the hip joint(s), usually while your dog is young. These abnormalities are related to the shape of the hip, ball and socket, and the development of arthritis/osteoarthritis.

Early signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs:

  • Being reluctant to exercise, or a wobbly or swaying gait
  • A bunny-hopping gait (using both hind legs together)
  • Stiffness, lameness or limping, particularly in the hind legs
  • Difficulty in getting up or lying down, as well as difficulty in going up or down stairs or jumping
  • Skinny hips, a sign of a lack of muscle wastage and weakness in the hindquarters
  • Pain or sensitivity in the hip area
  • Audible clicking or popping sounds in the hip joint
  • Decreased activity

Vet examination

If there are signs of hip dysplasia in your dog, it's important that you take them to your vet to be properly assessed. This should involve a physical examination and x-rays, to help determine the level of dysplasia present. An x-ray is the only definitive way of diagnosing hip dysplasia. Once hip dysplasia is confirmed, the x-rays will be examined to determine severity. Once the level of severity is identified, you and your vet can discuss and form the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual dog.

The severity of hip dysplasia for dogs can vary from a poorly shaped hip joint with osteoarthritis (a common form of arthritis), to a very deformed hip joint with advanced and very painful osteoarthritis.

Treatment options

Treatment for hip dysplasia in a dog varies depending on the severity of the hip dysplasia and the level of pain a dog's experiencing from it. Sadly, once a dog has developed hip dysplasia, it cannot be reversed and so treatment and management is either surgical or conservative (non-surgical).

Read more on treatment for hip dysplasia in a dog here

Further reading

Read more about Dog Hip Dysplasia Causes, Prevention and How to Help at home 

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What is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs? Causes, Prevention and How to Help

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally

Read About Hip Dysplasia

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Best Hip Braces
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