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What is Hip Dysplasia?


By Puppy Petite

When you are searching for a dog breed, you will often come across breeds that are prone to a condition known as “Hip Dysplasia.” Hip Dysplasia is a condition that affects human beings as well, but is most commonly associated with various dog breeds of all shapes and sizes.

How Does Hip Dysplasia Occur?

Hip Dysplasia occurs when the dog’s hip socket experiences an irregular formation to the rest of its body. Though referred to as “formation,” Hip Dysplasia is not entirely genetic and not necessarily known by birth. Instead, it occurs over the course of a dog’s life based on the way they move and the environment they are in.

Though most common in larger breed dogs (due to the excessive weight placed on their hips), smaller breeds also experience Hip Dysplasia as well. Shelties, for example, are commonly associated with Hip Dysplasia problems, as are Shih Tzus.

Hip Dysplasia can occur for various reasons, but its primary cause is a lack of muscles in certain parts of the hip, forcing the hip bone to be pushed oddly. This also leads to the dog favoring one side of its body, leading to further muscle and tissue problems and ultimately more Hip Dysplasia (as well as other health concerns). In addition, a great deal of pressure on the hip due to excessive irregular movements can exacerbate the condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia

For some dogs, Hip Dysplasia can occur at a young age – as early as 1½ years. Still, some owners may not notice it until their dogs are considerably older. Any of the following symptoms may be a sign that your dog has Hip Dysplasia:

  • Signs of discomfort when they are resting.
  • Lack of enjoyment of regular exercise or activity.
  • Pain when forced to stand on their back legs.
  • Odd running pattern that appears more like a hopping.
  • Reluctance to jump or climb stairs.

All of these can be slightly difficult to notice, but over time their symptoms become easier to see, because the worse they get the more your dog will exhibit the above displayed symptoms. Hip Dysplasia is very painful for your pet, and their discomfort should be clear as it starts to get worse.

Treatment for Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is not easily treated with any type of medicine, because it involves a change in body structure. It can be treated using surgery, but the best course of “treatment” is prevention. You can prevent Hip Dysplasia by ensuring your dog is not obese, is getting plenty of nutrients that help improve bone and joint health, and possibly medicine to prevent inflammation. Surgery is the best expensive option available and may result in a complete reduction in all pain provided you start the surgery at a young enough age for your pet.

Should Hip Dysplasia Risk Change Your Mind About A Dog Breed?

Though Hip Dysplasia can be a serious condition that results in a great deal of pain for your pet, it shouldn’t necessarily be enough to change your mind about a specific dog breed. Most dogs have some Hip Dysplasia risk, and since you can often catch it early and there are surgeries to help fix it, it doesn’t represent a serious long term problem for most pet owners.

But surgeries are expensive, and if you have a huge number of stairs or anything that can make Hip Dysplasia even worse for your pet, then it may be something you should watch out for. You should be fine, but if you are worried about the risk, there is no reason to take it.

Puppy Petite has the most beautiful puppies available right now, including Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Chihuahuas, and Shih Tzu puppies. Come see them for yourself! Call PuppyPetite for more information: 718-236-2635. Or, visit us on the web at:

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