Hip Dysplasia In Dogs – A Fearful Skeletal Disease

Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
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Hip dysplasia is a disease that dogs suffer due to the ball’s improper fitting and the socket bone areas in their hip. Hip dysplasia in dogs causes the grating of their joint and results in their difficulty to walk.

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Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) – Skeletal Disease In Dogs

CHD is a skeletal disease that inflicts dogs of various breeds, mainly the larger species. It is also causative of Arthritis in a dog’s hips. The larger breed dogs like German Shepherd, White German ShepherdLabrador RetrieverSaint Bernard, and Great Dane are the significant sufferers of hip dysplasia.




The hip joint comprises a ball and a socket. When there is an abnormal formation of ball and socket joints, it ends up in Hip Dysplasia. CHD is mainly believed to be caused by the malfunctioning of genes.

The misformed Hip joints show some weaknesses initially and then become dysfunctional, causing lameness & Arthritis. Hip dysplasia occurs in dogs from a very early stage of life after it is four months old.

However, this disease might even exist at a later stage because of osteoarthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints in a dog. Osteoarthritis will cause chronic deterioration of the cartilage in the joint.

Canine HD is a major veterinary problem of approximately 70 million dogs in American households.

Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs




  • The dog avoids its daily activities
  • The looseness and subluxation in the joints are visibly seen.
  • Dogs face difficulty in getting up or standing.
  • Dog shows an unwillingness to run, jump, or climb the stairs in the house. Even if it walks, dogs do “Bunny hopping.”
  • An extreme amount of pain in the Hind joints is suffered by the dogs that avoid hip movements.
  • A grating of joints while moving and Unsteady walk and Bunny hopping.
  • The thigh muscles lose mass and weight.
  • Narrow stance of its hind limbs
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Shoulder muscles get enlarged due to placing heavy pressure on its front legs to bear its body weight. It tries to avoid its hips from facing the burden

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Causes Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

Hip dysplasia could exist in dogs due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

  • Genetic factors may be involved in the defect of the loosening of joints
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Heavy development of pelvic muscles

Hip dysplasia – Diagnosis

The necessary steps that a veterinarian will perform while diagnosing a dog to notify if it is suffering from hip dysplasia or not:

  • Physical Exam of the dog
  • Complete blood count
  • Blood chemical profile
  • Electrolyte panel
  • Urinalysis
  • The dog’s health history
  • Initial symptoms that occurred
  • Any injury that the dog suffered
  • Information about the parentage of the dog to identify the possibility of a genetic connection.
  • Radiography of the dog’s pelvis.

Treatment For Hip Dysplasia In Dogs




Based on the stages and severity of hip dysplasia, a veterinarian will recommend treatment.

The treatments include non-surgical methods like therapy or medication, while if and only if required, surgery might be recommended for the dog.

Non-surgical treatment

  • Weight loss recommendation to lower the stress on the hips
  • Limited exercise, only on soft surfaces
  • Physiotherapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, corticosteroids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Dietary supplements to the dog to incorporate omega 3 fatty acids like DHA or EPA.

Surgical Treatment

  • Femoral Head Ostectomy
  • Double or triple pelvic osteotomy
  • Total hip replacement

Developmental Dislocation (Dysplasia) of the Hip (DDH) In Dogs

Canine DDH is a common health condition noticeable in larger sized dogs. It is associated with hip pain and other essential agility functional difficulties.

In dogs with DDH, the ball and socket joint of the hip joint are not formed naturally. The ball portion may be loose in the socket and has all the possibility to get loosened and dislocated.

DDH is a form of pre-osteoarthritis. If left unnoticed and untreated, it will lead to canine osteoarthritis. Usually, this form of Arthritis progresses faster in dogs than humans and certainly shakes the lifespan.

There are two types of DDH, the infantile DDH, and the adolescent/adult acetabular dysplasia.

Major Causes Of DDH and CHD

  • Hereditary
  • Overweight


  • Weight Check
  • The excellent outcome of surgical treatment for DDH with short-term follow-up has been improved in the last decade.

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