Signs and Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs


When it comes to keeping your dog happy and healthy, it’s best to spot ailments of common diseases early in order to increase the success of treatment. One of the most common and painful diseases in dogs is hip dysplasia. Find out what pet owners should look for when identifying hip discomfort and pain in their dogs. In this article, you will learn the common signs of hip dysplasia and the various treatment options available. Before we dive into the signs and symptoms, here is a brief description of hip dysplasia.


What is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

Hip dysplasia is a common disease that affects the joint and skeletal condition of dogs. It most commonly affects larger breeds, but dogs of any size can also suffer from it. Hip dysplasia often causes ligaments to weaken resulting in bones moving out of place as they grow. Throughout this process calcium accumulates in the wrong places of the body causing painful bone spurs to develop.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

This condition can be caused by genetics and passed down to puppies. Apart from genes, hip dysplasia may also develop from lifestyle factors such as; too much or too little exercise, weight gain, and a low nutritional diet.

Signs and Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Since your dog cannot inform you verbally of the pain they are experiencing, it is your responsibility to look out for clues that indicate the discomfort level of your dog. Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty climbing stairs, laying down, or getting up from a prone position.
  • Popping or cracking sounds from their joints.
  • A swaying walk or a strange stride.
  • Standing with their hind legs much closer than their front legs.
  • Limping with both hind legs.
  • Apathy toward play or exercise.
  • Swollen or sensitive hips or joints.

    Visit Your Vet for a Professional Diagnoses

    These signs and symptoms will point you in the right direction, but if you want to be certain, a trip to the vet will let you know if your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia. The sooner you identify the signs, the better chance your dog has of recovering. In order to properly diagnose, the vet will perform a routine blood chemical profile followed with a joint laxity and x-rays. Once diagnosed, your vet will recommend the best treatment based upon the severity. These treatments range from adding a hip and joint supplement into their daily routine to surgery to repair serious damage.

    Surgeries for Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    Depending on the age of your dog and the severity of their hip dysplasia, your vet may recommend surgery. If surgery is not recommended, most vets will recommend a hip and joint supplement containing glucosamine and other natural ingredients that can greatly improve their condition as long as the severity doesn't require surgery. Even after surgery, it is important for dog owners to provide a hip and joint supplement in order to maintain mobility and flexibility. 

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