Dog Tips

Dog Hip Dysplasia: What You Need to Know?

What is Dog Hip Dysplasia?

Dog hip dysplasia is a health condition that usually affects large or giant dog breeds. While smaller dogs can have it, it’s much more common in big dogs. This illness directly deals with the hip joint. This joint is a ball and socket just like ours as humans. When a dog has hip dysplasia, the ball and socket of their hip joint have grown abnormally and don’t fit together as they should. This can be very painful for the dog and is usually caused by the animal’s genetics.

What Are the Signs for Dog Hip Dysplasia?

There’s a wide range of symptoms for dogs with hip dysplasia. Many telltale signs can begin to occur as soon as the puppy is four months old. One key to this illness is recognizing and treating it early on. This will save your dog a lot of suffering down the road. Here’s what you should look out for…

Symptoms of dog hip dysplasia include:

  • Limping.

  • Stiffness.

  • Decreased range of motion.

  • Reluctance to move or exercise.

  • Leg lameness.

  • Loss of muscle mass.

If you notice any of these dog hip dysplasia signs in your pup, let your veterinarian know. They will be able to diagnose your dog and treat them correctly based on the severity of the animal’s condition.

What Are the Treatment Options for Dog Hip Dysplasia?

Luckily, there are many ways to take care of your special pup when they have hip dysplasia. Remember that consistent care early on is the best way to take care of your pet.

Can I Treat my Dog for Hip Dysplasia at Home?

You sure can. Beginning treatment at home is a great way to be proactive about your pup’s diagnosis. This can help them continue to live a happy and healthy life.

Home treatment options for dog hip dysplasia include:

  • Weight management.

  • Exercise restriction.

The simplest way to help your dog with hip dysplasia is by helping them manage their weight. It makes sense, right? The less weight on your dog’s joints, the less pain they will be in. So, how do you accomplish this? The best way is with the proper diet. This means no table scraps or human foods. We know it’s hard to deny them at the moment, but their joints will thank you in the long run. Your dog needs a healthy diet of dog food. Remember, everything in moderation. Limit the amount of food your dog eats each day. Talk to your vet about how much is a good amount for your pup.

While your dog might love long walks in the park or around your neighborhood, this could be killing its hips! Limit the amount of exercise your dog gets each day to save their hips from the pain of overworking. Take note of when they slow down on walks or seem to be in pain. Shorten exercise time to an amount they can handle. Also, keep their mind busy with enrichment activities and games. This will help your dog burn some mental energy without hurting its hips.

How Will the Vet Treat my Dog’s Hip Dysplasia?

As the dog’s condition progresses, home treatment for hip dysplasia may not be enough to keep your dog from pain. Thankfully, there are many ways a licensed veterinarian can help your furry friend.

Professional treatment options for dog hip dysplasia include:

  • Physical therapy.

  • Anti-inflammatory medication.

  • Surgery.

We’ve all seen the adorable videos of dogs in swimming pools being aided by a physical therapist. You can see the pup’s legs kicking underwater and a big smile on its face. This is an example of doggy physical therapy. It helps the dog exercise and use the mobility of their legs without the pain of their full weight. The dogs love it, and you’ll love to see the big smile on their face.

As the hip joint uncomfortably rubs together, the joint will increasingly become inflamed. To combat this, the vet will prescribe your dog an anti-inflammatory medication. This will greatly reduce your dog’s pain and help them live a happy and relatively normal life.

In severe cases of dog hip dysplasia, a vet may recommend surgery. If prescribed by your vet, your dog could have one of many different procedures. These surgeries range from cutting bits of the pelvic bone to help the joint fit better, to a total hip replacement. The cost of dog hip dysplasia surgery could be from $2,000 to $6,000. Luckily, with an accident & illness Spot Pet Insurance plan, you would be covered for the eligible vet expenses.

How can I Prevent Hip Dysplasia in my Dog?

Keep in mind that hip dysplasia is a genetic disease. Unfortunately, this is mainly caused by inbreeding during the breeding process. So, the best way to prevent hip dysplasia in your dog is to work with a reputable and responsible dog breeder. Often, breeders will test both parent dogs before the breeding process begins. Don’t be afraid to ask the breeder about tests done on both parent dogs. Also, ask for references from past buyers. It’s likely that the parent dogs have been bred before and previous buyers will be able to tell you about any genetic problems their dog currently has.

What Dog Breeds are Prone to Hip Dysplasia?

While most people think dog hip dysplasia only affects large dog breeds, it can greatly impact small dog breeds too. Yet not all breeds are created equal. Some are at a much greater risk of the disease than others. Here are some to be aware of…

Dog breeds that most commonly have hip dysplasia include:


Hip Dysplasia in dogs is a painful genetic disorder in dogs both big and small. If you notice your dog limping or moving around less and less, call your licensed veterinarian. Dog hip dysplasia can be treated, and your dog can live a happy and healthy life.

Spot Pet Insurance has your back. We believe that pets make us better people. That’s why we are dedicated to helping protect your pet with the best-in-breed pet insurance plan options we offer.




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