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Canine Hip Dysplasia


Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a common orthopaedic condition that affects dogs of all breeds, but is most commonly seen in large and giant breeds. CHD is a genetic condition that affects the hip joint in dogs, resulting in pain, lameness, and arthritis. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CHD.


The symptoms of CHD can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms of CHD include:

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine if CHD is the cause.


CHD is primarily a genetic condition, meaning that it is passed down from parent dogs to their puppies. The condition occurs when the ball and socket joint of the hip do not fit together properly, resulting in an unstable joint. This instability puts additional stress on the joint, which can lead to inflammation, pain, and arthritis.

Other factors that can contribute to the development of CHD include:


Diagnosing CHD typically involves a physical and radiographic examination. Your veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination to evaluate your dog's gait, muscle tone, and range of motion. They may also take X-rays of your dog's hips to evaluate the severity of the condition.


The treatment for CHD depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases of CHD may be managed with weight management, joint supplements, and exercise modification. More severe cases may require surgery to improve the stability of the hip joint and alleviate pain.

Some common surgical options for CHD include:

- Femoral head osteotomy: This surgery involves removing the head of the femur to create a false joint. (Bella in the first photo has recently undergone a Femoral Head Osteotomy and is having hydrotherapy rehabilitation)

- Total hip replacement: This surgery involves replacing the entire hip joint with an artificial joint.


Since CHD is primarily a genetic condition, prevention involves breeding practices that prioritise the selection of dogs with healthy hips. Responsible breeders should have their breeding dogs evaluated for CHD prior to breeding to ensure that they are not passing on the condition to their offspring. Additionally, owners can help prevent the development of CHD by providing their dogs with a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding over-exertion.

In conclusion, canine hip dysplasia is a common condition that affects dogs of all sizes. While it can be a painful and debilitating condition, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. By practicing responsible breeding and providing proper care, owners can help prevent the development of this condition in their dogs.

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