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 improper fitting of the ball 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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Hip Dysplasia In Dogs Infographic

Hip Dysplasia For Dogs Infographics

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) – Skeletal Disease In Dogs

CHD is a skeletal disease that inflicts dogs of various breeds, mainly the larger breeds. It is also a causative of arthritis in a dog’s hips. The larger breed dogs like German Shepherd, White German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Saint Bernard, and Great Dane are the major sufferers of hip dysplasia.




The hip joint comprises a ball and a socket. Hip dysplasia is mainly believed to be caused by a usual inheritance pattern developed due to the abnormal working of genes.

In short, hip dysplasia occurs due to the abnormal or malformation of the hip joints that shows some weaknesses initially and then becomes dysfunctional. Hip dysplasia occurs in dogs from a very young stage of life after it is four months old.

However, this disease might even exist at a later stage because of osteoarthritis, a condition that 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 some of its daily activities
  • The looseness of the joints
  • Difficulty in getting up to a standing position
  • It shows an unwillingness to run, jump or climb the stairs in the house
  • Feels pain in its hind joints
  • A grating of joints while moving
  • Unsteady walk
  • The hip joints are not utilized fully during movement
  • The thigh muscles lose some weight
  • Narrow stance of its hind limbs
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Shoulder muscles of the dog 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

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 basic 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 connect

Treatment For Hip Dysplasia In Dogs




Based on the stage of hip dysplasia disease of the dog, a veterinarian will recommend treatment. It could be non-surgical methods like therapy or medication and only if required, a 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

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 normally. 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. Normally 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 tremendous outcome of surgical treatment for DDH with short-term follow-up has been improved in the last decade.

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