57 Clinical Facts About Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a common concern.  Some people lean towards natural or holistic therapy for treatments, and others opt for more traditional treatment options.

Hip Dysplasia is caused by the abnormal development of the hip. This condition creates instability in the joint. In severe cases, dislocation of the thigh bone is possible.

Eager to grab quick information? The following list is designed just for that purpose.  Have a look and be sure to follow the links for more detailed analysis.

  1. GENETICS

The most common cause of hip dysplasia in dogs is genetics.  

  1. THE GENE POOL

Dogs might not show signs of hip dysplasia, but they can still be carrying the gene, which can be passed on to the pup.

3. BIG DOGS

Hip Dysplasia tends to occur in large dog breeds.

4. FEMALE DOGS

Hip Dysplasia occurs more often in female dog breeds.

5. MALE DOGS

Males are not immune to hip dysplasia either, although it is less frequent.

6. FAST GROWING BREEDS

Hip Dysplasia is common in fast-growing breeds like:

  • German Shepherds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Great Danes
  • Saint Bernards
  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • American Staffordshire Terriers

7. SMALL BREEDS

Hip Dysplasia in small breed dogs can occur as young as four months old.

8. EARLY ONSET HIP DYSPLASIA

When a dog breed develops hip dysplasia as a puppy, it is called “early onset” hip dysplasia.

9. THEY GROW LIKE WEEDS

Breeds with fast-growth patterns, like Greyhounds, German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Borzois, and retrievers, are more susceptible to hip dysplasia.

10. ARTHRITIS

“Late onset” hip dysplasia is usually caused by osteoarthritis in dogs.

11. POOR DIET

Hip dysplasia can be caused – among other things – by poor nutrition.

12. MUSCLES

Hip dysplasia can be caused by poor muscle development.

13. REPETITIVE STRAIN

Sometimes, hip dysplasia results from repetitive strain injuries.

14. PACKING ON THE POUNDS

Hip dysplasia can be caused by rapid weight gain.

15. OBESITY

Dogs with weight issues can develop hip dysplasia more easily.

16. PELVIC INJURIES

Dogs who have experience pelvic injuries may be more susceptible to hip dysplasia.

 17. WARNING SIGNS

Stiffness and pain when walking are warning signs of hip dysplasia in dogs.

18. EXERCISE

If your dog used to exercise without problems, but suddenly develops an intolerance, he/she may be experiencing hip dysplasia.

19. WALK THIS WAY

You know your dog better than anybody else, so if you notice he/she suddenly develops an unusual gait, it could be a sign of hip dysplasia.

20.  HELP ME UP!

 If you notice your senior dog struggling to stand up smoothy, suspect hip dysplasia.

21. STAIRWAY TO HIP DYSPLASIA

If your normally limber dog suddenly has difficulty managing the stairs, you should suspect the onset of hip dysplasia.

22. CLICKETY-CLICK

If you notice a sudden clicking noise when your dog walks, he/she could be exhibiting signs of hip dysplasia.

23. SIT BOY!

The next time you offer a treat to your dog, watch how easily he sits and stands on command. Sometimes a reluctance to move might have to do with the development of hip dysplasia. 

24. WEAKNESS

Lack of exercise, inability to climb, and difficulty moving positions prevent your dog’s muscles from working. As a result, the thigh muscles might begin to atrophy.

25. OFF-BALANCED LOAD

If your dog has hip dysplasia, he/she will tend to put more weight on the front legs. That added load will cause the front legs to thicken.

26. HIP DISTANCE

Something doesn’t look quite right with your dog? If you can’t identify the problem right away, have a look at your dog’s stance. Increased width between the hips could be caused by hip dysplasia.

27. DIAGNOSIS

If a physical exam doesn’t show hip dysplasia, the veterinarian may require a radiograph (x-ray).

28. PREVENTION

Keeping your dog’s weight under control is one way to help prevent hip dysplasia.

29. THERAPY

Once hip dysplasia is established, your dog may require extensive physical therapy to improve mobility.

30. MASSAGE THERAPY

Canine massage is a good way to aid in your dog’s mobility once diagnosed with hip dysplasia.

31. CRANK UP THE HEAT

Heat packs are useful for dog’s with osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia.

32. BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

Alternatively, dog’s will benefit from cold pack application to reduce any swelling.

33. RUNNING – THE SAFE WAY

Dog’s with hip dysplasia still need to get exercise, although it’s significantly harder. Hydrotherapy offers underwater treadmill exercise as a solution. 

34. FOOD

Diet modification with wholesome foods that are prepared at home can help ease, or possibly prevent, hip dysplasia in dogs.

35. PUPPY DIET

Specially formulated diets are a good option for puppies prone to hip dysplasia as they help regulate fast growth.

 36. NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS

Natural supplements recommended by a healthcare professional may aide in reducing joint inflammation.

37. SLICK AS ICE

Ask your veterinarian about natural supplements that act as joint lubricators for your dog.

38. CARTILAGE.

Dogs with hip dysplasia can also benefit from natural supplements designed to rebuild cartilage.

39. KEEP IT ON THE DOWN LOW

Exercise is important with all dogs, even dogs with hip dysplasia. However, the safest bet is low impact exercise.

40. LET’S MARATHON!

Or maybe not. All dogs are not made the same and some can withstand high intensity exercise, where others cannot. Too much exercise in dogs with low tolerance may hasten the development of hip dysplasia.

41. SOFT SURFACES

Dogs prone to hip dysplasia, or who have hip dysplasia, should be walked on soft surfaces like grassed or dirt trails.

42. SWIMMING

Most dogs enjoy a good swim and it’s especially beneficial for dogs with hip dysplasia because of the zero-impact on joints.

43. THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE

One way to keep your dog mobile is to practice limited amounts of targeted exercise. For example, “sit” and “stand” are good choices. Start slowly and do not overwork the dog. 

44. GOING UP?

Dogs with hip dysplasia will favour the front limbs, causing the rear to become weak and atrophied. One way to prevent or reverse this is to take your dog on short walks on an incline. Hiking trails are best.

45. DOWN THE PATH

What goes up must come down, but don’t worry…that downward incline helps your dog to equally work the front limbs for balanced muscle control.

46. SHAKE PAW?

A good way to practice balance control in a dog with hip dysplasia is to play the “shake paw” game.  Alternate low-calorie treats with non-food rewards such as love and affection.

47. DOGGIE BEDS

Specialty orthopaedic mattresses are available for dogs with hip dysplasia.

48. PIN IT 

Acupuncture is an excellent, natural way to relieve pain due to hip dysplasia.

49. GET TO IT RIGHT AWAY

An early diagnosis of hip dysplasia provides the best outcomes and treatment options.

50. HISTORY

Hip dysplasia in dogs was first identified in 1935.

51. THE DYNAMICS OF HIP DYSPLASIA

Hip dysplasia happens with the hip socket is too shallow or there is a deformity in the femur head. 

52.  PRIMARY CAUSE

The primary cause of hip dysplasia is subluxation, which is a partial dislocation of a joint.

53. SECONDARY

Osteoarthritis is the second cause of hip dysplasia in dogs. 

54. SPURS – NOT JUST FOR COWBOYS

Spurs are painful, bony projections that develop along the bone edge. Bone spurs are caused by the joint damage caused by osteoarthritis.

55. BONE SPUR STATS

In a study involving 5 different dog breeds, 60 out of 605 dogs had a greater frequency (54%) of bone spurs.

56. THAT’S NOT GRAVEL

If your dog has hip dysplasia, you may hear a grating noise as he/she walks. It might sound gritty, like sand being rubbed across a hard surface.

57. THE DOG WAS BORN WITH IT

Puppies born with hip dysplasia likely won’t show signs in the beginning, but as the puppy grows, you might notice structural abnormalities. Watch for swivelling hips from behind, a “bunny-hop” when the puppy jumps . If you suspect hip dysplasia, bring your puppy to the veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. 

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