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Chronic Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: How to Help Your Furry Friend

Greyhound on a couch with chronic hip dysplasia

We have all seen dogs as they age start having trouble getting up and moving around. Large dogs can have a genetic disease called Hip Dysplasia that can cause pain as they age. This article will give you all the information on Hip Dysplasia and things you can do to help your furry friend live a pain-free life.

What is Chronic Hip Dysplasia (CHD)

Hip Dysplasia is the looseness or instability of the hip joint. This is a genetic condition that usually progresses as a dog gets older. This condition is observed more commonly in large and giant breed dogs. Small dogs can also develop hip dysplasia but this is very uncommon.

What Causes CHD

Bulldog with chronic hip dysplasia

The main cause of hip dysplasia in a dog is genetics. Most dogs who have hip dysplasia their parents and grandparents also had the disease. Other causes of hip dysplasia are improper nutrition, being overweight, and too much or to little exercise.

How Do You Diagnose Chronic Hip Dysplasia

There are several different ways to diagnose hip dysplasia. If your dog is young and a breed that is known for having hip dysplasia it is recommended to have their hips evaluated early on as there are some preventive measures that can be taken in young puppies to decrease the severity of hip dysplasia.


Old lab that is overweight

While dogs may show a variety of symptoms, most people will notice that their dogs are now limping a little more than normal, having trouble standing after laying down for an extended period of time or decrease in the muscle in their back legs. These are all signs that warrant an examination by a veterinarian to see if your dog suffers from hip dysplasia.  

Veterinarian Methods

A veterinarian diagnoses hip dysplasia. They will perform a physical examination and take radiographs of the hips. These radiographs will show how the femur (the long bone in the leg) fits into the hip socket. With hip dysplasia, the head of the femur will barely fit into the hip socket and can be pushed out of place.

Preventative Methods

Old dog limping on a walk due to chronic hip dysplasia

Young large to giant breed puppies should have their hips evaluated around 2-3 months of age. Radiographs can be sent off to be evaluated to see if your dog is predisposed for hip dysplasia. If they are predisposed, then there are surgical options that can be done to decrease the severity of the disease.

Treatment Options You Can Do (exercise, dietary, and surgery)

Golden retriever looking tired on a walk

While there are many different ways to treat Hip Dysplasia in dogs. These are a few of the most common things that can be done to help your dog.


Exercise will greatly help strengthen the muscles around the hip joints. It is best to do low impact exercises. Things like swimming in a pool or lake will really help strengthen the joints.  

Diet Changes

Most dog food companies offer a diet aimed at helping the dogs joints. These diets are high in Omega 3’s, Glucosamine and Chondroitin. These ingredients have been shown to help decrease joint pain and help with mobility.


Old Beagle With CHD

There are 4 different surgical procedures that can be done to help with hip dysplasia. In puppies, two different procedures can be done depending on the age of the dog.  

  1. A Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) is done in puppies under 4 months of age. This procedure causes the pubic symphysis, the tissue between both sides of the pelvis, to fuse together earlier. This fusion will alter the conformation of the pelvis and will increase the coverage of the femur in the hip joint.
  2. A Double or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (DPO/TPO) is done in puppies around 8 to 10 months old. This procedure you cut the pelvis and rotate the pieces to help with the confirmation of the hip joint.
  3. A total hip replacement can be done to fix the whole problem. While this is the most expensive way to fix hip dysplasia.
  4. A Femoral Head and Neck Ostectomy (FHO) can be done if a total hip replacement is not a feasible expense for your dog. In an FHO the head and neck of the femur are removed and soft tissue will for a fake joint allowing your dog to walk normal and pain-free.

How to Help With Comfort

Old Boxer with Hip Dysplasia

While surgical correction may not always be an option there are many ways to help your dog with comfort from the pain.

CBD Oil For Dogs

Studies published from Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine show that CBD is great at helping decrease pain associated with arthritis. CBD is the non-psychotropic part of the hemp plant that acts on the body helping with homeostasis. These studies have shown that CBD decreases the inflammation and pain around the joint. CBD would be a great supplement to give to your dog if they have hip dysplasia.



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Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed

Your dog may also experience pain when laying down. Getting them an Orthopedic Memory Foam dog bed will help alleviate the pressure on their hips while they are sleeping. These beds are on the firmer side and help support your dog when they are changing from the laying down position to the standing position. While these dog beds may cost a little bit more than a tradition dog bed, they are worth the extra expense, so your furry friend does not have to be in pain.



From $349.99

While Hip Dysplasia is a chronic disease that a dog can suffer from their whole life there are many things that can be done to help decrease the pain and inflammation at the joints. Whether you choose surgical procedures, joint supplements or a comfy bed, it is always our goal to give your pet every possibility to live a long and pain-free life with Hip Dysplasia.

For More SitStay Works Check Out

Chronic Hip Dysplasia In Dogs By Sara Ochoa

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