Treating Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

If you are a dog breeder or a dog owner, you must be aware of hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a very horrible condition found in large breed dogs. It can literally reduce the quality of a dog’s life. It is not only painful for the dogs, it is also painful for the owners to watch their dogs suffer. This is why it is crucial for dog owners to be aware of hip dysplasia.

What Is Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia occurs more commonly in larger dog breeds. That, however, does not mean that smaller dog breeds do not develop it. They can but they are not as prone as larger dog breeds. In hip dysplasia, the hip joint fails to develop and function properly. The joint does not slide smoothly, instead, it grinds and rubs. Slowly, its function deteriorates and the dog may not be able to walk properly.

Cause Of Hip Dysplasia

The most common cause of hip dysplasia is genetics. It develops in dogs such as Labradors, German shepherds, Great Dane, etc. Hip dysplasia is further intensified by other factors such as the dog’s nutrition, weight, too much or too less exercise. Exercising too much or too little can increase the chances of your dog developing hip dysplasia. Even obesity can be a contributing factor. Too much weight exerts too much force on the hip joint. It is also important to give your dog adequate nutrition. Improper nutrition can exacerbate the effects of hip dysplasia.

Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia

The symptoms depend upon the condition and severity of the joint, the looseness and inflammation of the joint and as to how long the dog has been suffering from hip dysplasia. The symptoms include decreased activity, reluctance in running or jumping or climbing stairs, stiffness, pain, looseness of joint, decreased muscle mass, walking in a hopping manner. The vet performs a physical exam which involves manipulating and moving the hind legs to check the looseness, he/she will check the flexibility of the joint and whether there is grinding. The vet then takes an x-ray of your dog to determine the accurate severity and degree of hip dysplasia.


The vet may recommend a surgical or non-surgical treatment depending on whether your dog qualifies for surgery. If not, your dog may be suggested to lose weight, given anti-inflammatory medication, joint fluid modifiers, less or more physical therapy.

If your dog qualifies for surgery, double/tripe pelvic osteotomy, femoral head ostectomy or total hip replacement may be performed.

In DPO/TPO, the pelvic bone of the dog is cut selectively. This is performed in young dogs under 10 months. FHO is performed on mature dogs. The femoral head is cut which helps create a ‘false joint’. This surgery is good for managing pain. In THR, the hip is replaced with metal or plastic implants.

Make sure you give your diet adequate nutritional food and do not cause him/her to become obese. Start taking care of your dog when the dog is young so that he/she has a healthy start. You can purchase supplements such as glucosamine which help in hip dysplasia.

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