3 Causes of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Posted on: 3 August 2017

Your dog is most likely more than just a pet. In most households, the dog is a key part of the family, so ensuring they are healthy and happy is essential. Even though your dog is cared for and relatively healthy, they may develop certain conditions that can wreak havoc on their well-being. If the ball and socket of your dog's hip joint is misaligned, it will not properly meet when your dog tries to move. Known as hip dysplasia, this condition will prevent your dog from walking, running, and jumping without pain and difficulty. By understanding a few common causes of hip dysplasia, you can learn how to help your dog with this disorder.


Unfortunately, certain breeds are more prone to developing hip dysplasia than others. Larger-dog breeds are at risk of developing the condition, since their excess weight can place more pressure on the hip and other joints. If you have a German shepherd, sheepdog, Rottweiler, mastiff, golden retriever, chow, or hound, they will be at risk of developing the condition.

While surprising, a few smaller breeds are also at risk of developing hip dysplasia. Bulldogs, such as English and French bulldogs, and pugs are at the top of the list of breeds that will suffer from the disorder. This risk is most likely due to their heavy bodies and short legs.


Overweight dogs are also at risk of developing hip dysplasia, no matter what breed they are.

Carrying extra weight not only stresses your dog's heart, but it also places stress on joints. Over time, your dog will develop arthritic inflammation that is painful and demobilizing. This inflammation will spread to the hip joints, causing the swelling and pain associated with dysplasia.

If your dog is overweight, ask your veterinarian about healthier food options. Do not give your dog table scraps or "people food," since this food will make your dog gain weight.


An inactive lifestyle will cause your dog to gain weight, resulting in numerous health problems that may include hip dysplasia.

Make sure to exercise your dog regularly to reduce the risk of weight gain. If your dog is already overweight, ensure they remain on a diet while you increase the amount of activity they get each day.

On the other end of the spectrum, too much exercise may also increase your dog's risk of developing hip dysplasia. Running on hard pavement, jumping, and extreme training puts excess stress on your dog's joints.

To ensure your dog lives an active lifestyle without overdoing it, consult your veterinarian for advice that pertains to your specific breed. To learn more, contact animal hospitals like the Community Animal Hospital.