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  • Writer's pictureDr. Maya Pande

Hip Dysplasia

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

What is Hip Dysplasia? If you're the owner of a larger dog, this might be a topic you're already well aware of. Hip Dysplasia or HD is a condition that affects the hips of dogs. The hip is a ball and socket joint. In order for the hip to function properly, both of them have to be healthy. (See the picture below, taken from

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

HD causes both the ball and socket to be misshapen, which increases the instability of the entire hip joint. The joint can no longer move smoothly which can cause inflammation, misalignments, and degeneration. It can be caused by quick growth, overexercise, nutritional deficiencies and/or heredity.


  • Although we tend to think of HD as affecting big dogs (and it is very common in Goldens, Labs, Rotties, Chows, German Shepherds and Bernese Mountain Dogs), hip dysplasia can affect ANY breed, mix or size of dog.

  • And while it usually shows up between the ages of 2 to 6, you might see it as early as 12 months old!

  • You cannot tell if your dog has HD by symptoms alone. It can only be diagnosed via x-rays taken at your veterinarian's. However, if you see any of the following signs, it's a good time to make an appointment with your animal clinic:

Bunny hopping when running

Lameness that is worse after exercise

Preferring to lay/sit instead of playing

Acting like they're walking on eggs

Very nervous on slippery surfaces.

  • Even though animal chiropractic can't reverse hip dysplasia, chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the pain your pet may be feeling. In addition, because your dog is walking differently, HD can also lead to knee, pelvis and back issues. Chiropractic can help decrease the impact of these compensatory changes.

Does your dog have hip dysplasia? Call or email us to see how animal chiropractic can help.


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