Hip dysplasia is an abnormality of the articulation of the hip and leg due to an uneven growth of the bones involved in the joint. A healthy hip has a perfectly round shaped femur head and a perfectly matching socket in the hip bone -called acetabulum. When this growth is not even, or there’s a deformity from birth, dogs start suffering from deluxation of the bone – meaning that the femur head comes off of the acetabulum producing an acute pain and damaging the cartilage that surrounds the femur head. In the long term, these micro-fractures of the cartilage produce inflammation, arthritis and chronic pain.

Hip dysplasia is not a disease that can be treated or prevented, but there are some medical procedures that can ease or repair the damages caused by it.

The main issue with hip dysplasia is what veterinarians call hip laxity -which is weakness or looseness of the joint, and osteoarthritis in the long term. So -in young dogs, effects can be diminished by medication and physical therapy.

Surgery is recommended in more advanced cases -when pain is constant or stronger. Surgical procedures include the substitution of the articulation by a biocompatible prosthesis (hip replacement) or removal of the femur head that stops the contact of bare bones of the articulation and -after proper therapy, the muscle produces a pseudo articulation that maintains the leg in place.

If you see your dog limping, take it to your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and timely treatment.  If done properly and on time, the quality of life of dogs with hip dysplasia is very good!

For more information consult: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/hip-dysplasia-in-dogs