Initial Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a common disease in large breeds and older dogs, but can also be found in dogs of any age and breed, though it's very rare in small breeds.

Canine hip dysplasia is often seen in:

  • Golden Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Rottweilers
  • Saint Bernards

Early symptoms of hip dysplasia include:

  • Changes in gait, including a "bunny hop" walk
  • Sitting rather than standing
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Crying or yelping when affected joint is moved or touched
  • Signs of pain during and after activity
  • Pain in the rear legs and hips, especially in the mornings
  • Trouble climbing stairs or running
  • Avoiding normal activities like a morning walk
  • Lethargic behavior

These symptoms of hip dysplasia may seem like gradual changes that are common to aging dogs, but by catching these physical signs early, owners can prevent further pain and improve their dog's mobility and activity levels with surgery, exercise, medication, steroids or other treatments.