• Mar 01, 2016
  • by Chrissy Millen

What is Hip Dysplasia?

hip dysplasia in dogs xray image

When hips develop or grow abnormally, the condition results in hip dysplasia in dogs. The ball and socket in a dog's hips don't fit properly, and the resulting friction causes varying degrees of damage.  This variation can make it tricky when diagnosing hip dysplasia in your dog.

How to Diagnose Canine Hip Dysplasia

If you haven't dealt with hip problems in dogs in the past, you might not know what the symptoms and treatment of hip dysplasia are. Veterinary Partner says that hip dysplasia typically affects large breed dogs, and the larger the dog, the more likely he is to develop the problem. However, develop hip dysplasia can also affect small-breed dogs. The disease is more likely to appear in older dogs but be aware that it can show up in puppies, too. Knowing the symptoms and treatment of hip dysplasia, as well as preventative measures, will arm you to be proactive in dealing with your dog's pain and improving his quality of life.

Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Every dog is different, and the level of hip dysplasia can vary from so mild that you don't even notice the signs up to debilitating pain. If you're the parent of a large breed, WebMD advises that you be on the alert for signs of hip dysplasia in dogs such as;

  • limping
  • problems standing from a lying position
  • reluctance to exercise or climb stairs
  • increased pain and stiffness in the morning

Body Mass: A Weighty Issue

Watching your dog's weight is always important, but it's even more vital for dogs who are prone to having hip dysplasia. Veterinary Partner outlines a study revealing that German shepherds who had above average adult weight were two times as likely to develop the abnormal hip condition. It's logical, though. Excess weight puts a strain on hip joints, and dogs who are lighter have an easier time living with hip dysplasia.

Typical Treatment for Hip Dysplasia

While surgery is an option for treating hip dysplasia in dogs, there are different procedures and it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Talk to your vet about which ones may be appropriate for your dog, as some are better for younger dogs and others are better for older dogs. Additionally, your dog's individual circumstances may eliminate him as a candidate for surgery. Whether or not he undergoes a surgical procedure, there are prescription pain-relieving medications to help alleviate pain, although side effects should be taken into consideration.

hip dysplasia dog- supplement

Alternatives to Surgery and Medication 

In conjunction with surgery and medication, or as a natural alternative to those courses of treatment, WebMD lists exercise, massage and a warm, dry bed as treatments for hip problems in dogs. DogChannel.com also recommends joint supplements for dogs to relieve pain, stiffness and inflammation. Some of these natural treatments include;

  • chondroitin sulphate,
  • glucosamine
  • Omega fatty acids
  • anti-oxidant vitamins


Your pet-care bill would certainly go off-budget if you were to stock a medicine cabinet full of these individual supplements. Plus, you'd have to figure things like vitamin and glucosamine dosage for dogs. There's an easier, more affordable solution, though. H3 Essentials Hip and Joint Max Supplement is formulated with everything the experts recommend to alleviate the symptoms of hip dysplasia, for dogs of any age and size.

Check out all of our supplements here.