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Early Signs Of Hip Dysplasia

November 1, 2022

 Did you know that hip dysplasia is the most common orthopedic issue we see in medium and large dogs? This painful condition can happen to any pooch, though it’s most common in big dogs. In fact, some large breeds have as much as a 70% incidence rate. While some pups don’t show signs of hip dysplasia until they’re older, others display indications as early as six months. The disease isn’t curable, but it can be managed. However, early diagnosis and treatment can be extremely beneficial. A local vet lists some things to watch for below.

Reduced Activity

Hip pain can really put a damper on Fido’s playful antics. Your canine buddy may not be as interested in playing Fetch or jumping for Frisbees. When your pooch does feel frisky, he may tap out after just a few minutes.

Reduced Range Of Motion

You may notice pain and/or lameness, particularly in your furry pal’s back legs. Fido may also not be able to turn or bend easily. 

Loss Of Muscle Mass

As hip dysplasia takes its toll, your four-legged friend will become less active. That will lead to a loss of muscle mass and, eventually, muscle atrophy. You may also notice your canine buddy becoming bulkier on the front end. This is because he’ll try to take weight off his rear, and will hold his weight differently.

Unusual Gait

Hip dysplasia may also affect your furry buddy’s gait. Fido may walk with a swaying stride. Or, he may hop, almost like a bunny.

Reduced Mobility

Hip dysplasia can make even small movements difficult for your beloved pet. You may notice your furry best friend having trouble climbing stairs, getting in and out of the car, or even just getting up or down. Fido may act wobbly, and he may not want to leave his bed.


If your canine pal shows any of these symptoms, contact your vet right away. Fido will need exams and tests to determine if he does have hip dysplasia and, if so, how severe it is. Once your pooch has been diagnosed, your vet will be able discuss specific treatments with you. These may entail nutritional options, such as supplements or a specific diet; a doggy workout regime; medication; and/or other options. 

Do you know or suspect that your dog has hip dysplasia? Contact us, your animal clinic, today! 

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