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Arch Creek Animal Clinic
Call us today! 305-945-1223
Give us a call today! 305-945-1223

15372 W Dixie Hwy, 
North Miami Beach,
FL 33162

Early Signs Of Hip Dysplasia

November 1 2022

Hip dysplasia is the most common orthopedic issue we see in medium and large dogs. Although this painful condition can happen to any pooch, it’s most common in big dogs. In fact, some large breeds have a whopping 70% incidence rate. While many pooches don’t show signs of hip dysplasia until they’re older, others display indications quite young, and occasionally as early as six months. This painful condition isn’t curable, but it can be managed. However, early diagnosis and treatment can be extremely beneficial. A local vet lists some things to watch for below.

Loss Of Muscle Mass

As hip dysplasia takes its toll, your four-legged pal will become less active. That will lead to a loss of muscle mass and, eventually, muscle atrophy. You may also notice your dog’s chest getting bulkier. This is because he’ll try to take weight off his rear, and will hold his weight differently.

Unusual Gait

Hip dysplasia may also affect your furry buddy’s gait. Fido may walk with a swaying stride. Or, he may hop, almost like a bunny.

Reduced Activity

Fido may not be very playful if his hips hurt. Your canine buddy may not be as interested in playing Fetch or jumping for Frisbees. When your pup does feel frisky, he may tap out after just a few minutes. Keeping your dog mentally stimulated and engaged is crucial for their overall well-being, especially if they’re dealing with physical limitations. Check out our article on Canine Enrichment for ideas on how to keep your furry friend entertained and mentally active.

Reduced Range Of Motion

You may notice pain and/or lameness, particularly in your pup’s rear legs. Fido may also not be able to turn or bend easily.

Reduced Mobility

Hip dysplasia can make even small movements difficult for your beloved pet. You may notice your pet having trouble climbing stairs, getting in and out of the car, or even just getting up or down. Fido may act wobbly, and he may not want to leave his bed.


If your canine companion shows any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately. Fido will need exams and tests to determine if he does have hip dysplasia and, if so, how severe it is. Once your canine friend has been diagnosed, your vet will be able discuss specific treatments with you. These may entail nutritional options, such as supplements or a specific diet; a doggy workout regime; medication; and/or other options. Proper nutrition and weight management can play a significant role in managing hip dysplasia and improving your dog’s quality of life. Talk to your vet about our Vet Nutrition & Weight Management services to develop a tailored plan for your furry friend.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has hip dysplasia? Contact us, your animal clinic in North Miami, FL, today!