Skip to content Skip to footer

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

You’ve probably heard about dogs with hip dysplasia, it is a
common cause of lameness and discomfort.

Hip dysplasia is abnormal development of the hip ball and socket
joint. Instead of the ball fitting evenly into the socket, the thigh bone and the pelvis don’t sit neatly together. Then, as the leg moves the bones tend to grind away at each other.  This wears away the smooth shiny cartilage on the joint surfaces and leads to further changing
of the shape of the bones in the joints and leads to arthritis inflammation and pain.  Hip dysplasia tends to worsen with age.

Just like us, once a dog has sore hips they’ll often get a sore back also from not being able to walk evenly on all four legs. As a dog with hip dysplasia gets older they might also end up with elbow or shoulder issues as they tend to carry more weight in their forelimbs.

Dogs with long-term painful conditions rarely yelp or cry, they tend to show more subtle signs.

Dogs with long-term painful conditions like hip dysplasia generally
don’t tend to yelp or cry out in pain, instead they’ll show more subtle signs like –

  • An abnormal hind leg gait. Sometimes dogs will swivel their
    hips or swing their hind legs around to try to reduce discomfort when they walk
  • Limping
  • Difficulty getting up after rest, or difficulty getting down into sitting or lying positions
  • Bunny-hopping when running or going up stairs
  • Tiring easily after short walks
  • Reluctance to jump up into the car or onto furniture

If your dog is showing any of these signs, have a chat with your vet about the different options for diagnosing and treating hip dysplasia.
Depending on the age of your dog and the severity of symptoms there are a range of medical and surgical options. 

Dogs with more severe hip dysplasia may need surgery, there are different surgical techniques used depending on the age of your dog, their size and symptoms.

If your dog has mild hip dysplasia, or if surgery is not an option, you can look at a few options to get good pain management and keep them happy and healthy with

  • Acupuncture
  • Dietary supplements
  • Physio or rehab
  • Gentle exercise and / or hydrotherapy
  • Weight loss

As your pooch ages, or if the pain is more severe, they may also need anti-inflammatories or other medications from your vet. 

Acupuncture is a great option for helping reduce the discomfort of hip dysplasia, it won’t interfere with other treatments or medications and can even be used to help recovery after surgery.

If you’d like to know more about how acupuncture can help your pet, please call us at Beaches Pet Therapies.

Leave a comment

Subscribe to the updates!

Subscribe to the updates!