What Are the Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia in dogs is one of the most common orthopedic conditions we see at the clinics, and it’s a condition that affects all breeds of dogs. While it’s sometimes referred to as a “geriatric” condition, the reality is that hip dysplasia can affect dogs from an early age.

That makes diagnosis of this progressive disease particularly important in order to manage your dog’s pain and discomfort. The signs of canine hip dysplasia vary from dog to dog, but here are some general indicators you should keep an eye out for when assessing your pup:

Knowing the signs of canine hip dysplasia will help you understand your dog’s condition.

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition that causes an animal’s joints to wear out prematurely. It is not curable, but it can be managed with medication and other treatments. If you know how to identify the signs of canine hip dysplasia, you will be able to better understand your dog’s condition.

Some signs of canine hip dysplasia include lameness, difficulty bending the hips, and pain. There are several factors that contribute to the development of this disease in dogs: genetics play a large role, as does diet and exercise level throughout their lives.

Large breed dogs are more likely than small breed dogs (under 15 pounds) to develop this condition; however any breed can be affected by canine hip dysplasia if they have poor muscle tone or genetic predisposition for the disease

Range of Motion Limitations Around the Hips

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint is not formed properly, causing pain in the joint. Hip dysplasia is often accompanied by arthritis. A dog with hip dysplasia may have trouble walking due to pain and inflammation caused by this condition.

If you notice that your dog is limping, it could be because of hip dysplasia or another orthopedic problem. If your dog has difficulty getting up from laying down or sitting on his haunches, he may have hip dysplasia as well.

Lameness in One or Both Rear Limbs

Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects the hip joint, which is located between the thighbone (femur) and the pelvis. Hip dysplasia can cause lameness in one or both rear limbs. The signs of pain may be subtle at first, but they will increase as your dog ages. The following are some ways to identify whether or not your dog has hip dysplasia:

  • Difficulty walking – You should be able to notice any changes in how your dog walks over time by comparing it with videos from before you noticed anything different about their gait.
  • Difficulty standing up from lying down – This can be a sign that something is wrong with your pet’s hips if you notice them struggling to get up from lying down more than usual.
  • Difficulty getting up from lying down – This might happen when he/she feels pain, so try watching for this behavior when coming in for dinner and after playtime outside with other dogs!

Pain in the Joint

The pain can be a sign of other problems, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. It’s important for you to know the difference between these conditions so that you will be able to recognize them and seek treatment accordingly.

Arthritis is an inflammation of your dog’s joints, usually caused by age or injury. As it progresses, the cartilage in your pet’s joints starts to wear down and cause discomfort. Hip arthritis is a common form of arthritis that affects dogs over five years old. While it can be painful and debilitating, it is not contagious nor fatal (unless untreated).

Difficulty Bending the Hips

If your dog experiences difficulty bending his or her hips, it may mean that he or she has hip dysplasia. This can make it difficult for your dog to get down on the floor and get up again. It may also make it difficult to climb stairs and jump up onto furniture or into a car.

Your dog’s mobility may be limited because of this condition, but there are ways that you can help him stay active even with his physical limitations. Try giving him lots of toys that allow him to move around without straining his joints—a treat dispenser toy like the Busy Buddy Twist ‘N Treat will keep him occupied while also exercising his body through play!

Unwillingness to Exercise

A dog with hip dysplasia may show signs of discomfort when it tries to move, and this can lead to a lack of willingness to play or walk without the aid of a human. The dog may also find it difficult to run around the yard or go up and down stairs. If you notice that your dog is becoming uncharacteristically quiet and not playing much, he or she may be experiencing pain from his or her hips.


By now, you should have a better idea of whether your pup is suffering from hip dysplasia. We hope that you’ve found this information helpful and that it gives you direction as to how to approach the situation. If your dog shows signs of hip dysplasia, we recommend consulting a veterinarian first, then considering treatment options.