Canine Hip Dysplasia: Surgery Isn’t The Only Option

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Dog in wheelchair on beach: Canine Hip DysplasiaIs your pup showing symptoms of discomfort in their lower body or a reduction in mobility? They could be suffering from early signs of canine hip dysplasia.

Fortunately, your dog doesn’t have to suffer. There are several treatment options available. Learn how to spot symptoms and see what treatments could help your pup regain strength to live a longer, happier life.

Article Overview

What Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

This chronic condition, in which the head of the femur bone doesn’t fit correctly into the hip socket, is one of the most commonly occurring conditions in dogs, especially larger canines.

In a healthy dog, the hip socket (acetabulum) is rounded and deep enough to accommodate the femoral head so that the hip’s ball and socket joint forms correctly. These two bones should fit perfectly together, supported by a strong ligament which attaches the femoral head directly to the acetabulum. In a healthy dog, the two bone surfaces are smooth and contain a cartilage cushion and lubricant that creates a fluid and painless motion when the joint is in use.

In a dysplastic dog, the hip and femur don’t fit together correctly. Dysplastic dogs have shallow acetabulums—the head of the femur will not rest in the hip socket and instead slides around against the surface of the shallow hip socket.

Also, the ligaments aren’t as strong, allowing the two bone surfaces to grow further apart rather than hold the two bone surfaces together. As a result, the misaligned joint develops extremely painful bone spurs, which make walking difficult. As the dog walks, these bone spurs rub against each other, causing an increasing amount of pain in the hip joint. Hip dysplasia also makes a pet more susceptible to arthritis in that area.

What Causes Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Canine hip dysplasia is often attributed to bad breeding around the world. But, it’s also a hereditary disease that progressively gets worse with age and can become quite painful. Veterinarians believe that most dogs with hip dysplasia are born with normal hip joints, but a gradual subluxation (separation of the two bone surfaces) causes the development of abnormally shaped hip joints.

Osteoarthritis in older years can also exacerbate the condition as well as its associated pain. Further this condition is often bilateral, meaning it can affect both hips.

Breeds Prone To Canine Hip Dysplasia

Certain breeds are prone to developing hip dysplasia. For instance, large and giant breeds are more susceptible than smaller pups due to the stress their heavier weight puts on the hip joint.

According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the top breeds with canine hip dysplasia are:

  1. Bulldogs
  2. Pugs
  3. Dogue De Bordeaux
  4. Neapolitan Mastiff
  5. Otterhound
  6. St. Bernard
  7. Brussels Griffon
  8. Clumber Spaniel
  9. Boerboel
  10. Black Russian Terrier
  11. Sussex Spaniel
  12. Basset Hound

Dog with DNA: DNA Testing For DogsBut, more common large breeds like German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and Labs often experience this disease as well.

If you’re unsure what breed or mix of dog breeds you have you should consider a dog DNA test to find out. This information could help you identify if they are prone to hip dysplasia.

How Do I Recognize Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia?

If possible, it’s important to know your dog’s family history and whether hip dysplasia in dogs is present. If there is family history, you’ll be more watchful for any early signs of symptoms.

At first, most dogs show mild signs of hip dysplasia, but they worsen over time. And, even there is no family history or if it is unknown, here is a list of things to look for as your dog’s hip movement declines.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Pain or signs of discomfort while exercising
  • Lameness
  • Walking with stiffened back legs
  • Running with a bunny hop
  • Stiffness when getting up or running
  • Trouble rising from a prone position
  • Loss of muscle tone in the back legs
  • Reluctance to enjoy physical activities that were formerly enjoyed

Like most illnesses and disorders, dog hip dysplasia can be more successfully treated when caught early. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian. Your vet will conduct an x-ray to visualize the sockets of your dog’s hips to make a proper diagnosis.

What Are My Dog’s Treatment Options?

If your dog has canine hip dysplasia, your vet will explain a variety of solutions, ranging from how to make your dog more comfortable to surgery. Treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs varies depending on the severity of the condition. And the price can vary significantly.

Pet Insurance Reviews and 2 dogsIf you have pet insurance for your dog and hip dysplasia was not a preexisting condition, your treatment costs should be mostly covered (check with your provider to gain a better understanding of what you should expect to be reimbursed with your policy).

Surgical Options

In severe cases of canine hip dysplasia, surgery is often the best treatment. How much does dog hip dysplasia surgery cost? Surgery costs for dog hip dysplasia range from $1,700 to $4,500+.

  • Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis – A less invasive surgery that surgeons perform on dogs younger than five months old. This surgery, which involves the fusing of the two pelvic bones to allow the rest of the bones in the pelvis to develop properly, is designed to improve the movement of the hip joints by changing the angle of the hips.
  • Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) – With TPO surgery, an osteopathic surgeon breaks the pelvis to realign the head of the femur with the hip socket to correct the joint. Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) is best for dogs ten months or younger because it’s not effective once damage begins to occur to the hip socket. TPO is an expensive and painful procedure, and younger dogs tend to recover much more quickly. TPO is one of the most recommended surgeries for younger dogs with subluxation because it restores full function to the hip joints.
  • Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) and Neck Excision – A surgery that involves removing the tip of the femur (the neck and the head of the bone), replacing it with a fibrous joint. While this is a more affordable option than total hip replacement, it’s not always the best choice for some dogs. Vets usually recommended this surgery for lighter weight and older dogs. While this procedure relieves most of the dog’s pain, the joint’s original range of motion and stability isn’t fully corrected.
  • Total Hip Replacement (THP) – The most invasive surgical procedure, but it restores full function to the joint. Dog hip replacement cost is high and surgeons only perform this procedure on fully grown dogs that show signs of severe joint degeneration. The surgery involves a highly specialized surgeon removing the hip joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. Dogs that undergo a total hip replacement can recover to a pain-free life that allows them to function with a near-normal range of motion.

Alternatives To Surgery

If your dog’s hip dysplasia isn’t yet severe, or you simply can’t afford surgery, there are other treatment options available.

Hip & Joint Supplements | Anti-Inflammatory Drugs | Pain Medications | Other Medications

Hip & Joint Supplements

Hip and joint supplements are widely recommended for dogs with hip dysplasia and include glucosamine chondroitin and MSM as well as fish oils. Some of our favorite hip and joint supplements

Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Chewable TabletsDasuquin With MSM

Dasuquin with MSM is one of the preferred supplements for dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Nutramax Cosequin DS Chewable TabletsCosequin DS

Cosequin DS is another go-to supplement for those who prefer not to use Dasuquin or who cannot afford the higher prices of Dasuquin. The dosage of Dasuquin is based upon a dog’s weight. Dosage varies from half a tablet to two tablets daily.

Vetri-Science Laboratories Glyco-Flex III Bite-Sized Dog ChewsGlyco-Flex III

Glyco-Flex III is a supplement designed not only to support the joint of the leg but also the connective tissue around the joint as well. Vets highly recommend Glyco-Flex as a post-surgery nutritional support method to help the joints to recover. Dosage varies based on the dog’s size.

Bayer 120 Count Synovi G3 Soft ChewsSynovi G3

Synovi G3 is a lesser recommended supplement than both Dasuquin and Cosequin DS; however, a good number of breeders and athletes still use this product for their dogs. The dosage of Synovi G3 varies based on your dog’s weight and range between one chew every other day to two and a half chews daily as a maintenance dose following a “loading dose.”


Anti-Inflammatories help reduce the swelling in the hip joints. These medications come in either pill or injectable form.


Deramaxx is a pain medication designed to control inflammation and pain associated with both osteoarthritis and orthopedic surgery. This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) comes in various strengths that will be prescribed based upon your dog’s weight.

Deramaxx requires a valid veterinarian prescription. It is crucial to stay in contact with a veterinarian while your dog is taking Deramaxx due to the possibility of side effects or interactions with other medications that your dog may be taking. The average cost of a bottle of 30 25mg Deramaxx pills is $90, and dosage depends on your dog’s weight and your veterinarian’s recommendation.


Rimadyl is another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that lasts for 24 hours once administered. Rimadyl relieves pain and inflammation. Rimadyl comes in a variety of strengths, and your vet will recommend the appropriate dosage for your dog based on their weight. A bottle of 30 100mg Rimadyl tablets costs around $40. Rimadyl requires a valid veterinarian prescription. As with other types of pain relievers for dogs, there is a chance of side effects with Rimadyl, including digestive and liver impact as well as interaction with other medications. It’s crucial that you make your veterinarian aware of your dog’s current dosage.

Pain Medications

Pain Medications help ease the discomfort in dysplastic hip joints. The long-term effects of many pain management drugs are not known, so some owners choose to manage pain through water therapy sessions and other muscle building exercises rather than masking the pain with medications.


Aspirin may be recommended to help to control pain for dogs that have developed arthritis in their hips as a result of canine hip dysplasia. Veterinarian grade aspirin is best and comes with an artificial flavoring added to it to make it more palatable. The dosage of aspirin varies based on your dog’s weight and your vet’s recommendations, so purchasing a powdered form of may make it easier to administer. A prescription is not required to purchase veterinary aspirin; however, it is important to inform your vet if your dog is taking aspirin since it can impact blood clotting ability.


Vetprofen relieves arthritic swelling and pain. The dosage your dog needs varies upon his body weight. You must obtain a prescription from your veterinarian for Vetprofen. As with other similar types of drugs, dog owners are warned to watch for any signs of toxicity and interaction with other medications. The average cost of a bottle of 60 100mg Vetprofen tablets is around $40.


Gabapentin can be used to treat pain in dogs and, thus, it can work well to manage pain in dogs with hip conditions. Another positive of this product is that a lower dose can be given when combined with NSAIDs like Deramaxx. You may notice some lethargy as a side effect. It is also important to ween a pup off of this drug rather than stopping it abruptly. Note: this drug has not proven effective in managing pain for all dogs.


Tramadol has been used for many years to treat canine pain, especially those going through surgery or suffering from arthritis pain. This drug adapts the transmission and perception of pain, increasing a pet’s pain tolerance. So, while it has proven very effective, it is an opioid painkiller, so proceed with caution.

A schedule IV controlled substance, Tramadol is addictive and may prove too risky for some humans to have in the home (dosage is quite different for pets too). Most dogs will do well with this product but watch out for side effects, including vomiting, loss of appetite, tiredness, anxiety, tremors, etc. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these. Like all other drugs, Tramadol should only be taken under the guidance of a licensed vet. 

Other Medications


Dog with CBD oilCBD oil is a great option for many dogs, especially since it has no known side effects. You can also purchase it without a prescription for your vet, so it could be a good place to start your treatment.

CBD oil can be used therapeutically to treat pain, inflammation and arthritis, all of which are associated with hip arthritis and dysplasia.

It can also help reduce anxiety, digestive problems and even manage seizures. King Kanine is our top pick for CBD oil and they also offer treats, for an easier method to administer CBD to your pet.


Adequan is a unique medication designed to treat arthritis, a common side effect found in dogs with hip dysplasia. Adequan is injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously once a month after a “loading dose.” This medication is designed to keep the cartilage in the hip joints from wearing away so that the bones in the joint don’t end up rubbing against each other.

When the bones rub against each other in a joint, it causes pain, swelling and inflammation. There is currently no other medication that offers the benefit of cartilage preservation. The average cost for a single 5ml vial of Adequan is $50; this vial is enough for approximately three to four doses. Adequan requires a valid veterinarian prescription.

Canine Physical Therapy

Many owners of dogs with canine hip dysplasia find that their dogs thrive with a physical therapy regime. Depending on the dog and the severity of the hip dysplasia, you can combine physical therapy with pain relief medications and anti-inflammatories to make the dog as comfortable as possible.

Exercise Regime

The key to developing any exercise routine for a dog with canine hip dysplasia is to ensure that your dog is comfortable and not overdoing it. Start slowly, so his muscles and hind end gradually strengthen to better support his weight and compensate for his dysplasia.

It’s important to consult a veterinarian when establishing an exercise routine for any dog with canine hip dysplasia. As the muscles around the dog’s hips strengthen, it adds more stability to the diseased hip joints and in many cases, it can help a dog avoid surgery altogether.

Short daily walks are recommended to keep the body working, especially since movement can slow the deterioration of the muscles. If your dog is a jumper, try to limit that behavior by discouraging them from getting on the couch, into the trunk of a car or any other elevated surface. Also, reduce stair climbing.


Hydrotherapy is a controlled type of aquatic exercise used for dogs with hip dysplasia to build muscle in weak hind legs without allowing the dog to overdo it. Hydrotherapy consists of a large tank with a treadmill on the base. The therapist places your dog in an empty tank, seals the door and fills it with warm water. Walking on the treadmill in water leads to better muscle development. The heat of the water allows for the muscles to relax while the dog is exercising.

While hydrotherapy is one of the most highly recommended exercises and therapy routines for dysplastic dogs, it’s expensive, averaging $50 per session. And hydrotherapy may not be available where you live.

Check out the following video to see Baxter, a two-year-old yellow lab, undergo physical therapy and hydrotherapy as he recovers from surgery.

Other Holistic Options

We have also talked to vets who recommended acupuncture, massage or laser treatment to treat hip pain and muscle deterioration.

Prevention & Maintenance

Weight management is an important part of any dog’s life. However, it’s crucial that a dysplastic dog doesn’t carry excess weight on an already stressed hip joint. Your vet will recommend a healthy weight for your dysplastic dog and give you some tips on how to maintain that weight.

Hip Health Dog Food

Doswell Happy Hips Dry Dog FoodWhat’s the best dog food for hip dysplasia? We recommend Dogswell Happy Hips Dry Dog Food and  Dogswell Happy Hips Can Dog Food which contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin to promote healthy hips and joints.

Added Backend Support

WalkAbout Backend HarnessIf your dog stumbles on walks, going up and down stairs or getting up from a laying down position on the floor, he may benefit from a little assistance from the WalkAbout Backend Harness. It can also be useful in conjunction with a car ramp.

Reduce Slipping On Slick Floor Surfaces

LONSUNEER NonSlip Dog BootsIf your dog is slipping on tile, hardwood and other slippery surfaces, he may find added stability with booties. One of our team member’s dog has seen marked improvement with the affordable LONSUNEER NonSlip Dog Boots. Be patient while your dog gets used to wearing these on his paws. You may want to add one at a time, as they adjust and be sure to give treats to reward them.

Monitor Your Dysplastic Dog

Whether you choose for your dog to undergo surgery, physical therapy or hydrotherapy, it’s important to monitor your dog for progress and signs of pain and discomfort. By nature, dogs want to please which often means pushing through pain and overworking their joints and muscles. As your dog’s owner, it’s important to identify signs that your dog could be in pain after surgery or while undergoing therapy. Some signs that your dog could be uncomfortable with his canine hip dysplasia include:

  • Difficulty getting up or lying down
  • Inability to climb stairs
  • Tail tucking, especially during an activity that they usually enjoy
  • Carrying the head or body slinked downwards and not seeming “like themselves”
  • A reduction or reluctance to take part in activity
  • An inability to get comfortable

As your pet’s parent, it’s your job to keep an eye out for these signs and treat them accordingly.

Depending on your dog and your vet’s plan of action, these symptoms can be controlled with ice and heat, administration of anti-inflammatory drugs and in some cases pain killers. It is important not to administer these medications without veterinary supervision (since many of them have potentially dangerous side effects).

A Healthy Dog Is A Happy Dog

Dealing with a dog who has dysplasia isn’t easy, but there are other things you can do to help them feel more comfortable. One thing that you should consider is an orthopedic dog bed to help with your dog’s pain. With your vet’s approval, you can also look into a dog wheelchair to extend your dog’s active years but remember, this will further deteriorate your dog’s muscle tone, so this will probably be the last resort.

Pet insurance is another way to save on potential costs for any dog illnesses that aren’t already known (i.e., pre-existing conditions). So sign up early when your dog is young to get reimbursed for part or all of your associated costs, depending on your company and policy coverage.

How are you managing your dog’s discomfort with canine hip dysplasia and arthritis?

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets). Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

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January 23, 2020 8:14 am

can a young female dog with hip surgery still have puppies?

Kimberly Alt
January 24, 2020 11:31 am
Reply to  Ana

That’s an excellent question. If the dog has surgery for hip dysplasia, it’s typically not recommended that they have puppies because there’s a high risk that their pups will have hip dysplasia during their lifetime. Hip dysplasia can be very painful, so most people try not to breed dogs who are diagnosed with the disease.

Suvarna nalapat
November 23, 2019 12:23 am

My golden retriever is 6months old. For two days he doesn’t put his right paw firmly on floor. When we consulted a doctor he gave a drug for epilepsy and says it is suspected dysplasia. But no xray was taken. Should I give the antiepileptic drug to my dog with this symptom

Emily Jones
November 5, 2019 9:53 pm

My dog has seizures. She usually has 1 every month. Now she is getting them like every 7-15 days… I want to try CBD oil… Where to buy the best quality CBD for her?

Kimberly Alt
November 6, 2019 10:39 am
Reply to  Emily Jones

I’m sorry to hear your dog is experiencing seizures. I recommend this article to you, Best CBD Oil For Dogs. You’ll notice we rank King Kanine as our #1 pick. Let me know if you have any follow up questions.

Travis Kyle Durrette
October 26, 2019 11:27 pm

I hope for some direction, after reading this article it gives me hope foe my families 6yr old siberian husky with dreadfull disease. But our vet is saying that the surgery is upwards $7500. Is there any resources to find a more reasonable cost? Or any other assistance available? I looked to see if there were any close rehab places but no luck within 2 hrs out. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks a bunch, Travis

Melissa Pursel
October 30, 2019 9:56 am

Hi Travis,
I also have a 3 year old Rottweiler with hip dysplasia. He was a little under a year old when he dislocated his left hip and we found out that he had severe hip dysplasia in both hips. Since he was young he had the FHO surgery on the left hip. I am assuming that your vets price of $7500 is for a total hip replacement? I don’t know if your Vet said anything to you about checking into a veterinary college? Where I live in PA the one school in particular has a animal hospital and does orthopedic and all kinds of specialty surgeries. I would check around your area you may have to drive 2 hrs, but the surgery is cheaper and they are not beginning students they know what they are doing. Good luck!

Morgan Fisher
March 15, 2019 4:39 pm

hi my name is Morgan i am starting a business for animals its an animal shelter and i had a question about hip Dysplasia do you give them shots for it or no and do you know any other diseases that dogs or cats can get that need shots or vaccines?

Kimberly Alt
March 18, 2019 8:58 am
Reply to  Morgan Fisher

Hi Morgan, there is no vaccine for hip dysplasia. Here’s an article about dog vaccines. Best of luck with your business.

Sarah Crislip
February 21, 2019 9:11 am

My13 year old long haired weimerainer Leigh La has had hip dysplasia close to her whole life. She has been through hell and back not w the hips but she twisted her stomach when she was around 4, she had 14 puppies from 2 litters, she was picked on by my patents male weimerainer shadow (until we had to put him to sleep bc he bit my son at 9yrs), when she was a puppy she was so clumsy she would trio over her own feet all the time. Her and i also failed obedience school. She has real bad separation anxiety (one time she ate a hole in my Cleveland browns jersey 4 Dawson that I won for being fan of the game. Yes I still have it. She would take remotes, eat shoes, etc… so her nickname is lanky Leigh la. She still can get on couch is alert and aware and still tries to attack the cars because she is jealous. She has always been my human dog bc she’s always thought and acted as human 60lb lap dog, kisses, follow me around 24/7 till this day. She is very smart and alert and aware. She takes anti-inflammatory plus pain medicine and she is 13. I don’t want to put her to sleep just for hips she’s made it thus far and as long as she’s not suffering and giving he’ll I want. Her to finish her life out. She be the 1st dog that we didn’t have to put to sleep. What else can I do for her?? I’m thinking wheelchair and probably making it myself I receive disability from Traumatic Brain Injury. Can someone guide me on how to get started and if anyone knows somebody or place that donates chairs or could tell me how to build a wheelchair??? Please and Thank you it’s not her time yet. Love miss Leigh-La and mom [sarah].

Kimberly Alt
February 21, 2019 1:02 pm
Reply to  Sarah Crislip

Hi Sarah, I’m sorry your dog has hip dysplasia. I’m not sure how to make a wheelchair, but we do have an article reviewing them that may be helpful. Perhaps one fits into your budget? You can read about the best dog wheelchairs here. Best of luck to you and your dog!

February 7, 2019 7:22 pm

It’s really unfortunate that the THR is painted in such a positive manner. It’s an absolute last resort operation. I’ve witnessed first hand a number of failed THRs. They are a disaster and are no where near as successful as the outdated data reflects.

Many vetinary offices are not sanitary enough for an operation that leaves a prosthetic in the body. It is impossible to clear an infection once it attaches to the prosthetic.

Get an FHO before a THR

December 7, 2018 7:51 am

I have a 7 month old English Springer Spaniel. He took a small tumble off the couch the other night and couldn’t use one of his back legs. After x-rays, we find out that there is a potential that he my have hip dysplasia. The vet is submitting the x-rays to a surgeon and we find out in a couple of days what the diagnosis will be. We researched our breeder before we bought our dog and he has fantastic records. He strives to make sure that no blood lines cross to have the best temperament and to avoid genetic issues. My question is, could this just be a fluke? Are the litter mates of my dog at risk for this issue too? If this is a definite disorder I do feel that it’s important that I follow through with the breeder and let him know. Thank you for any feedback.

Sandra Smith
October 1, 2018 6:25 pm

My girl, Emma Rose, a 5 year old Great Dane has been diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia and I’ve taken her to the vet numerous times in the last 3 months and to an ortho surgeon who doesn’t believe she is ready for surgery yet. She cannot get in or out of the car without difficulty and getting onto the bed at night is a chore for her. I have a wide step that my husband had built and she uses that now to get in and out of bed. She is sleeping all the time now and will whimper when she attempts to get up. I have her on Adequan injections now, MSM, glucosamine, fish oil and Boswellia, and rarely give her the Carprofen 100 mg. for pain. I usually give her 50 mg. when she needs it. She is 34″ at the shoulder and weighs in at 157# and is currently on a diet. I have insurance that will probably help with surgery, but if she were to have it, I’m positive it would be the bilateral total hip. She acts like there might be something else wrong with her, but the vets are telling me that this is what is going on. This is killing me to see her like this. She was a gift to me from my husband prior to his death…we had one for him as a service dog that passed at 10 yrs old…3 days after my husband died. My husband told me that she was for me and that I’d never have to worry as long as I had her. This is so hard. Her quality of life is spiraling downward…this has happened so fast I can’t believe it…she had no symptoms and within three months she has gotten to this point. I’m traveling and will be gone two weeks, and my son and a couple friends will be watching her here for me. I had booked the kennels I usually use, but she is so traumatized by what is happening to her, I didn’t want to take her out of the home. I guess I’m just looking for some moral support. As fast as she is going downhill, I don’t know if she’ll be here before I leave. This is awful. Thanks for the ear.

Sandra Smith
February 1, 2019 7:15 pm
Reply to  Sandra Smith

Apologies…your Girl…not boy!

Sandra Smith
February 1, 2019 7:13 pm
Reply to  Sandra Smith

Hi fellow ‘Sandra Smith’!
I feel your pain, my Belgian Shepherd is going through the same thing…along with digestive issues & allergies. It breaks my heart to see him trying to walk & he is so good he never moans about it! Definitely get a second opinion if you want the surgery sooner. I came on here to look for tips & ideas as I am loosing the plot trying to help my poor boy! wierd that I should find another ‘Sandra Smith’ with the same issues…. Sending you love and healing to your boy.

Carolyn Powers
December 19, 2018 11:16 am
Reply to  Sandra Smith

My boy Ricky, a retired racing greyhound, was just diagnosed with hip dysplasia as well. He is 7 years old, and we were under the impression that Greys aren’t prone to the illness, because of being bred to be athletes. He has also declined so quickly. He started a minor limp one night, and now is totally holding his hind leg off the ground, won’t go up stairs, and just cries at the bottom of them. It kills me inside, I just wish I could fix him. He’s been my constant in two years full of awful experiences. We’re about to take him to another vet for a second opinion. I, of course, can’t know your individual situation, but the sadness is so incredibly real, and I understand that. I am so sorry you are experiencing this pain as well. I hope nothing but good things for your Emma Rose ☺️.

Amy Nelson
November 10, 2018 11:48 am
Reply to  Sandra Smith

Sandra, If I could explain my dogs situation it would be word for word. I have a Shepadoodle who is 6 years old and out of nowhere one day she yelped hysterically when getting up. I immediately went to her for assistance and watched her for a couple of days. She would seem “better” at times but not even near to herself. She stopped greeting me at the door when I would come home and does nothing but lay in the chair (where she seems most comforatable). I took her to the vet (that was horrible as she is in too much pain to be comfortable in the car) and they explained that it was hip dysplasia. I was given steroids, supplements, and pain medication. It has been a little over a week since and no improvement. I am shocked how this came out of nowhere and understand when you say it is going downhill quickly. I feel so bad for her and my lack of making it better. I don’t think surgery is an option for us as well but my next step is a second opinion. I am sorry your baby is hurting and would be interested in knowing if you found out any more information. Praying for your situation.

Janet Holden
December 5, 2018 10:13 pm
Reply to  Amy Nelson

Amy, we also have a Sheepadoodle who is about 7 years old. He has severe hip dysplasia and I am so so sad. I don’t know what we can do for him. he is no longer his happy go luck self. If you find a great treatment option that does not involve surgery, please let me know.

November 6, 2018 3:46 am
Reply to  Sandra Smith

I have a 9 year old English Mastiff and found out he had hip dysphasia as a puppy. Vets told me his hips would break the question was “when”. Waited untill he reached a eligible age for hip replacement and vets told me it wasn’t necessary “yet”. I’ve always kept a watchful eye on his play & exercise time as well as his diet. Fed him all the “miracle joint supplements” on and off. When he was 6 years old he was playing with another dog and he collapsed. He was stuck in the “sitting position”. I assumed his hips broke. Took him to emergency animal hospitol prepared myself for the worst news. Turns out; my dogs hips had actually improved over time and the problem was his knees. Had to replace both knees (which was a much simpler surgery and less expensive). My dog is now 9 years old and although he still has hip dysphasia, his knees were the real problem and had been overlooked for years. My dog is active, happy and though I have to assist his big butt to get in my truck and he’s not the fastest moving dog in the world he doesn’t show signs of pain or discomfort unless he has a hard play date with a squirrel. If you sense that it may be something other than your dogs hips then my advice is to you is to try the other problem. Nobody knows your dog better than you.

Kind Regards

Kimberly Alt
October 2, 2018 11:49 am
Reply to  Sandra Smith

Sandra, I am so sorry Emma Rose is going through this. Unfortunately, hip dysplasia is common in Great Danes. If you think she should have surgery sooner than what your vet is saying you could get another vet’s opinion. I’m sending good thoughts Emma’s way and hope she starts feeling better soon.

Bruce (hip dysplasia Corgi Dad)
September 19, 2018 9:21 pm

What about CBD Oil? What’s the scoop on that?

Sandra Smith
October 1, 2018 6:29 pm

I used CBD with Thc and followed the recommended dose but my girl got tremors with it…a common side effect, so I stopped it. She seemed really happy when I first start her on it, but it must have an accummulative effect….I may try it again now that she’s been off of it a while.

September 23, 2018 12:21 pm

After my vet told ms our elderly rescue Rottweilers hips were “shot to hell” I started using Loveburgh 1000mg CBD paste on him and it seems to help him a lot. £49 but we get 3 months out of it.

Susan (devastated momma)
August 9, 2018 12:34 pm

I’m just beyond devastated. My 5 month part terrior & part unknown rescue was just diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. I noticed the “bunny hop” and her “spider crawl” a few weeks ago although I’ve never had this breed so I thought it was normal. Her walk became more “wiggly” so I took her. She’s so young to have such a debilitating diagnosis. What is the best course of action that others have taken with younger puppies with early diagnosis? Thank you all.

K. Stout
July 19, 2018 7:37 pm

My 7 month old Chow has hip dysplasia. The only reason we found out was because our vet does a routine xray on bigger dogs hips. We are going next month for a consultation with a veterinarian surgeon. The whole thing has me so upset!

July 20, 2018 12:52 pm
Reply to  K. Stout

I know how you feel, we are dealing with the same diagnosisI’m really sorryWe just found out our 10 month old red bone coon hound Whiskey has hip dysphasia tooHe was bunny hoping with his back legs and I knew something wasn’t right. He wasn’t able to jump on the couch and bed like he used to. We had x rays done Friday then my husband has to go out of town. We are going to a specialist next week. My heart broke, I lost it in front of the vet when she showed us his x rays. We rescued him in honor of our lab Jackson that we lost last summer, I’m not ready to lose another baby.
I don’t know what to think. Part of me feels it would be cruel to put him through hip replacement surgery, I cannot imagine the recovery process for a dog. Then there’s the other part of me that knows he’s so young and has a long life ahead of him. It’s going to be a hard journey, that’s for sure. If you want to talk about it with somebody who’s going through the same thing, feel free to email me.

July 21, 2020 4:41 pm
Reply to  Karly

My black mouth cur, Ellie, at 15 months has been diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. Vet recommends THR for both. He would also need to fix her luxating patella on her left knee (caused by the hip issue). Total cost $25,000. I don’t have that kind of money laying around so I’m looking for alternatives. She is a very happy dog and gets around fine except needing help to get in cars and bed (puts her front legs up and turns for help with the rest). She does not seem to be in pain, but the vet said if she’s not jumping up she’s in pain…personally I think she just knows her limitations. The vet considers her situation severe. I don’t want her to have to suffer in the years ahead of her. Would the other treatments recommended help her with the severity? She basically has no socket for the ball to go in and an irregular shaped ball. I so would appreciate any and all feedback.

Troy Alexander
February 13, 2019 9:09 pm
Reply to  Karly

How’s your pup doing now. I just noticed some slack in my huskys back legs. She cant jump and struggles to get up. It makes me wanna break down everytime I see her. These problems just arose and were going to the vet very soon to get a diagnosis. I saw this was a year ago 2anted to know how everything is going.

August 15, 2018 2:39 pm
Reply to  Karly

Hi Karly I would love to chat with you. I have a 14 month old GSD that I have decided I’m going to have the surgery done. Its a matter of when. I’m totally sick over it and I am TERRIFIED of the recovery time and how to deal with this. Hence the procrastination. I didn’t see an email for you,,hopefully you get mine.

August 19, 2018 9:36 am
Reply to  Paula

Hi Paula my litle puppy have to do the surger as well. How was the recovery? Is your dog 100% now?

July 25, 2018 1:03 pm
Reply to  Karly

Our 7 month old goldendoodle was diagnosed. He bunny hops, can’t jump into a car,doesn’t exercise as much as he did. I too am wondering what to do.

June 26, 2018 1:49 am

My 4 year old Pit Bull runt he is starting to show signs of hip dysplasia, I’m giving him MSM and pain medication but my question is this, does this happen this early? He’s only 4 and he’s hesitant to go upstairs, he hobbles, and sometimes he can’t get up or off the couch without help.

Just seeing him like this hurts, I thought it would’ve developed later on in his life.

June 28, 2018 9:44 pm
Reply to  Noctis

My bull dog was diagnosed at 13 months. She is now 3.5 yrs old. She takes medicam but it is starting to become less effective

Kimberly Alt
June 26, 2018 9:34 am
Reply to  Noctis

Unfortunately, hip dysplasia can show up in a puppy’s first year or it can present itself later in life. There’s really no restriction for it. It is commonly thought to develop later in life, but that isn’t the case every time. I would recommend contacting your vet and seeing if there’s anything you can do to help maintain your dog’s quality of life at this stage. The sooner you get help the more likely you are to maintain some of his abilities. I’m sorry he’s facing this, best of luck.

May 10, 2018 10:55 pm

our 13-year-old yorker has a full hip dislocation which has been popped back into place. he’s really good in the am, then as the day passes, he slows down and his walk indicates he’s buggin. unfortunately he is not a candidate for surgery due to liver and gall bladder issues so we’ve opted for a wheelchair and pain meds. he still walks okay, but it’s not greeeeat. eventually he’ll need the wheelchair more and more. anti inflammatory meds are no good as they harm the liver. he prefers the cold floor over the temperpedic mat, but it’s more painful when he gets up. 🙁 anyone have more info on hot/cold packs to provide him some extra relief? he’s a brave little dude for sure – but we feel so badly for him. life other than this damn hip is pretty good. 🙂

Kathreen Miller
February 16, 2018 5:45 am

It was a great article.We should feed our pets with food that is best suited for them.Supplements are very essential for treatment of dogs from various health issues.I have been using supplement like pet bounce for dogs for my 11 years old dog who was suffering from Hip dysplasia.It turned out to be very effective as it is a natural pain relief for dogs.

April 4, 2017 3:38 pm

How long should a total hip replacement last? Is it better to get it done sooner rather than later or should you wait until it is the only remedy left? How do you know what a reasonable fee would be? Any help would be appreciated

December 10, 2017 12:11 pm
Reply to  Kel

I have a Catahoula and at 2 it has been recommended to us to go ahead with a double total hip replacement. We were quoted at about $15,000. Very expensive. We are looking into other options as we cannot afford this right now =[

January 31, 2018 1:01 pm
Reply to  Brooke

Try another doctor. There are plenty of them that will do it for about 11k

Bill palin
February 26, 2017 6:05 pm

My 8 yr old best friend and family member was born the runt and didn’t get enough milk. He was finally seen dragging his hind legs before they started him on a bottle. When he came in to our life he acted normal. A recent x-ray showed his spine and hips never had a chance to completely form and is having much difficulty walking and just getting around. Mentally perfect and still has a lot of life left. Anything to help him is greatly and deeply appreciated.

Chuck Dobovsky
February 13, 2017 11:57 pm

My Rotty has had hip displasia since he was a puppy. his left rear leg gets stiff and he bunny hops when he runs. I massage him every day but sometimes he winces when he gets up. He’s now 6 years old. The vet gave me meloxicam but I rarely give it to him . I read about EXTEND and also a product called Pet Bounce which has a better rating. Anybody have opinion on these products.

December 28, 2017 6:55 pm
Reply to  Chuck Dobovsky

I have a 13 year old overweight mutt with a slight limp. I tried extend for 6 months and it made no difference. Good luck.

October 18, 2017 1:53 pm
Reply to  Chuck Dobovsky

Try Galliprant! It’s a relatively new drug, but worked great for my dog. It is easier on the organs that Meloxicam or Rimadyl. Also acupuncture!

December 31, 2018 4:13 pm
Reply to  Laura

I have an Airedale with hip dysplasia she is 6 now. We have used Galliprant for about a year I consider it to be very good. We also have her brother and she out runs him.

Anna L. West
March 13, 2018 5:31 pm
Reply to  Laura

My now 10 Y/O Lab was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at age 8. I have tried different supplements like Glycoflex III, MSM, Chondrite…(however you spell that), etc. and even tumeric supplements which she grew tired of eating. I do believe it was better than nothing but this past year she didn’t want to get off her bed to eat until I had made the food and set her bowl down, all ready for her. Only then would she get up. 🙁

I took her in to the vet to talk about options. It was recommended to put her on Galliprant and after a couple of days of that she is a whole different dog, back to being a silly, active, happy girl! At that same vet visit I had her Senior Blood Work done and her results were very good, “very healthy for a ten year old dog” according to her vet, so she is still rearing to go and play. Since she’s been on the Galliprant she wants to run around and play ball and chase the birdies in the trees. Even so, I have to keep her active life low-key because if she runs and chases the birdies and the ball one morning, she’ll be sore from that the next morning. Although she is not nearly in as much pain – thanks to Galliprant – the dysplasia is still there so I keep her mentally and physically active with her favorite *less* physically demanding activities which she loves and they always make her smile.

Galliprant is expensive compared to OTC Supplements but those did not work for her. I get the RX for Galliprant filled trough Costco Pharmacy on their Costco Member Prescription Program (CMPP). It is free to members and only requires filling out a form at Customer Service. From their website:
“Since pets are not eligible under their owner’s medical plan, essentially they are uninsured and qualify for CMPP. Your Costco pharmacy will automatically initiate CMPP for your pet prescription, and you will get the lowest possible Costco price for that medication.”

Thank you Costco and thanks to this program, it saves $17 per RX vs getting it from her vet.

Scott Hammond
June 4, 2017 8:54 pm
Reply to  Chuck Dobovsky

Hey bud, my Rott is 6 and a half and he has pretty bad hip dysplasia. Was just wondering how you made out.

October 23, 2017 6:05 pm
Reply to  Scott Hammond

My rotty Diesel was about 6 months old when we found out he had pretty bad hip dysplasia. A month later his left hip dislocated while he was getting out of his crate. He didn’t slip, didn’t fall just yelped and I could see it was bulged on the left side. I took him right into the vet and they placed it back in the socket, we got home and it came back out. A week later he had the FHO surgery, and after that he had laser therapy and hydrotherapy for months. That was 8 months ago. He is done with therapy and he runs and jumps and plays like a puppy. He turned a 1 year in June. His other hip also has dysplasia but for now he has been ok.

Akshay satish
February 8, 2017 11:24 am

I have great Dane female 7months old she is very active but I feel she is having less muscle in her thighs so I am giving HD tablets bephar so can I get any good suggestions to build thighs

Michael Hyde
December 19, 2016 1:38 pm

My Afghan hound has just had two hip replacements he is 23 months old, just going through his second replacement at present and is half way through 6 weeks crate rest, we lost his brother to it at 9 months old and another litter brother put to sleep at 19 months old due to serve HD both hips came out.

December 16, 2016 11:35 am

Sir my dog is not good please contact this no [hidden for privacy].

Kimberly Alt
December 19, 2016 9:56 am
Reply to  sangram

We are not veterinarians. If your dog is ill, please contact your closest vet to get him/her the help they need.

Rosemary Dowell
December 7, 2016 12:57 am

I’ve been preparing for months and today my GSD is going in for an FHO. Surgery is a scary option but in our case it’s the best one for us.

She’s already been booked for 10 sessions of hydrotherapy starting after week 2.

Carole Bury
March 28, 2017 2:48 am

How did she go, my dog is booked for next week?

Solymar Castellon
January 3, 2017 5:36 pm

My pup (GSD) is 3 months post FHO on his right hip, he just turned 1. It’s been a tough recovery for him. Hope all is going smoothly with yours.

January 6, 2017 8:37 am

Hi Solymar,

4 weeks after Charley’s surgery her progress has been slow. She’s not where she should be at this point. But I’m not concerned yet since she is 9 years old. Considering her age, I think her recovery rate will be slower than a much younger dog.

According to standard recovery rate she should be using the leg full time by now. She’s using the leg a little but she’s still nursing it and she’s super careful with it.

Post surgery recovery is long and difficult. I’m giving her physio at home 4 times a day, I’m icing and doing PROM. I’ve started taking her out of her comfort zone as far as stretching is concerned which is the advice I got from her hydro therapist. Charley is not happy about it but she’s allowing me to do it. The main thing here is to keep her from loosing range of motion.

I believe the hydro is making a difference. And she’s having a full reevaluation in 6 weeks from now.

All the best for your boy’s recovery. 🙂

Kimberly Alt
December 7, 2016 9:56 am

Our thoughts are with you. Let us know how the surgery goes.

January 6, 2017 8:31 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Hi Kimberly,

Just a quick update.

The surgery went well.

December 10, 2017 12:13 pm
Reply to  Rosemary

about how much was the FHO? We were told to do a hip replacement but we cannot afford it and are looking into other option

Kimberly Alt
January 10, 2017 9:58 am
Reply to  Rosemary

That is great to hear! Thank you for updating us and I hope the recovery goes great! Give your dog some extra cuddles from me. 🙂

October 18, 2016 9:57 pm

Vetprofen = carprofen folks.

Anna L. West
March 13, 2018 5:41 pm
Reply to  Kwakado

Are you cautioning or recommending? From PetMD website:

“Rimadyl (Carprofen) is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like aspirin or Advil. … All NSAIDs (not just the Rimadyl) can cause the same sinister side effects in dogs as in humans: gastrointestinal bleeding and liver disease (not liver cancer). Both are potentially deadly to dogs.”

September 21, 2016 9:08 pm

I have a boxer mix (a mutt I rescued from the street). She has progressively gone from limping to lameness in one of her back legs. I have been several times to the vet and have tried joint medications. Just recently I got a consult for surgery. The surgeon seems confident that grinding down the top of the femur will be a good solution. I agree. The price for this procedure is $2,700. I would like to know if that is a fair price. The surgery is not to replace the hip but to grind the femur. I would like to contact other local vet clinics to know if they could do the same procedure for less money. Is that an acceptable thing to do? I would be happy to bring her into another clinic and pay for a consult if that is a best. Can you give me some advice about this?

Joe P.
September 13, 2016 11:44 am

I’m worried about dysplaysia in my dog and I think hydrotherapy sounds like a great solution. Unfortunately I can’t find anyone local who offers it!