Hip dysplasia in Dogs – 
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Hip dysplasia in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Hip Dysplasia is a congenital condition in which the normal anatomy of the hip joint is altered. Normally, the thigh bone joints with the pelvis at the hip joint in a way in which the convexity of the femur head fits completely into the concavity of the hip known as acetabulum. The surface of this joint is covered in cartilage, an avascular tissue that provides cushion for mechanical impacts on the joint, as well as a wider range of motion.

Older dogs, particularly of large breeds, commonly suffer from this degenerative condition of the hip joint that directly affects their quality of life.

Older Labrador Retriever Dog

Dogs with Hip Dysplasia show a partial joint of the femur head into the acetabulum, as well as anatomical variations on the acetabulum itself as an uneven surface that causes abnormal and continuous friction on the cartilage as the joint moves.

The cause of Hip Dysplasia was commonly believed to be purely genetic. Multiple genes expressing in abnormal ways would lead to malformation on the hip joint, leading to dysplasia. However, in the past decades, researchers have found that environmental factors also contribute to the development as well as the severity of the condition.

For instance, neutering a dog while it is still a puppy or before it reaches its full developmental maturity doubles the odds for it to develop Hip Dysplasia when compared to non-neutered dogs and dogs that were neutered after they developed, according to a recent study.

Overweight and injuries involving the hip joint at a young age are also considered risk factors for Hip Dysplasia.