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Thread: Hip Dysplacia

  1. #1

    Default Hip Dysplacia

    Hi guys just wanting to know if anyone has had a puppy/dog with Hip Dysplacia, how are they? are they still able to run around with other dogs? go for walks? Whats the go?

    My 6 month old bullarab X ridgeback starting limping today and was unable to use his leg, it's happend before but not this bad and he showed all the symptoms.. i took him to the vet when i first thought he had it a few months ago and the vet said he was fine, but yeah, it MIGHT have been because he slipped on a rock, this morning he was playing with 2 kelpies on a riverbed as he does every morning, he's done it heaps of times, he's played rougher than this, but when i got home from the walk he couldnt use his leg..

    I think it might be hip dyplacia, if it is im just wondering can anyone tell me will he still be able to play with other dogs at the park? it's so sad though.. the thought of a 6 month old pup unable to play..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Geelong, Vic


    I have had 2 dogs with HD, they also had elbow displaysia. What their quality of life is depends on the severity of the HD, it can range from mild to severe. Both my dogs had severe HD, one lived until his second birthday and his hip fell out of the socket, the other had no hip sockets and lived until he was 4.

    This was Krueger, I had him x-rayed when he started showing pain at about 19 months old

    This is Diesel, his elbows poked out due to the elbow displaysia. You can see his legs are thin and muscle tone is as much as I could keep on him without any body fat, if he gained a couple of kg's he would limp. He was beyond severe, still weighed 50kg in this condition.

    Limping is not the only sign of HD, if he's running about and slipping he's probably injuring himself and if you do not rest him properly and keep his muscle tone that same injury never heals and you see it come back. If he's limping, lock him up in a dog crate and leash walk only for at least a week then supervised free running so he doesnt damage all those growing joints.

    If you are concerned about his hips the only way to diagnose is to take him to a veterinarian qualified in something like PennHip or HD scoring. Most veterinarians are not trained properly to read x-rays properly particularly in growing pups that can be really loose in the hips anyway (the bigger the dog usually the looser and wobbly walked they are) and quite a few owners have been told their dog is HD when they are not. Also the pulling the legs out to the side and backwards trick they do is a false positive for HD, I used to be a vet nurse and have done some of a Vet Science degree and frankly I find it iffy since a dog can yelp from stomach, spine, muscle and tail problems with that motion too. Last vet who did that to my bitch almost got bitten on the face, the dog has perfect hips but she was in a lot of muscular pain and had a dislocated tail.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Lucan Josiah

    The only way to tell for sure if a dog has HD and how severe it is - is to get the hips xray'd.

    This gets done with the dog under general anaesthetic and it's expensive.

    Some people wait until their dog is old enough for desexing and get the xrays and the desex done at the same time. But there is not a lot of point spending money on desex - if you're going to put the dog to sleep because the hips are very dodgy. Though - hips that bad should be obvious enough without xrays.

    With big dogs like bull arab - it is very important to control how much exercise they get - the general rule of thumb is about 5 minutes per month of age - walking on lead kind of exercise. So at six months - he shouldn't be getting more than 30 minutes at a time, and big enforced rest breaks in between.

    You can wear his mind out in between with a lot of trick training instead of running. And you definitely want to give him a chance to heal up now - you'd need to do what Nekhbet said - keep him confined unless you are there to take him for on lead walks. No running with the kelpies for at least two weeks (that would heal up bruising and simple muscle damage) but longer if it's joint or tendon or paw damage. Your vet should be able to clue you in.

    There are some treatments for Hip dysplasia - depending how bad the hips are, and how deep your pockets are. I've heard of dogs getting hip replacements at several thousand dollars each, and most pet insurance will only cover one hip and not both hips.

    It might still be worth getting some insurance while you don't know if he has HD or just hurt himself on a rock, before you get him xrayed and know for sure whether or not it's HD. Ask your vet which insurance company is easiest to deal with (in terms of paying up).

    Write a list of questions for your vet and take him in if he's not getting better with limited controlled exercise.

  4. #4


    'Lucan Josiah' - Are you sure that you are not putting the cart in front of the horse – instead of the other way around with this hip dysplasia idea ?

    It is great that the Internet offers a lot of information for us all – but sometimes it very much depends on what sort of questions we ask ‘Mr Google’ as to what answers we get – and that is where the problem lies.

    All pups suffer from a very similar complaint called – ‘no brains, no brakes and bugger all steering’ syndrome. Which means that they crash/fall over/run into stuff at a great rate of knots !

    Some pups can grow out of it very quickly – others can take a while. The larger the breed in the pup to start with – the longer the maturity time – hence they suffer from this syndrome longer.

    It is up to us owners of such pups to try and keep them safe from their crazy loony zoomies – with their mates or when they are by themselves !

    In another thread of yours – now you should have a pretty good idea of how much his adult weight could be. This is all the more reason to take care of him earlier when he is a pup.

    I notice also that you said that your vet seemed not too concerned at his last visit. Obviously your vet understands what pups can get up to.

    If your vet has said that your pup needs to rest – that does not mean just overnight – and then back to the park! It means 7 -10 days of walking on lead at a pace that the pup is using all 4 legs.

    Pups can injure their knuckles (knees and ankles), toes, shoulders and hips in playing – particularly if it is rough and if there is a lot of twisting and turning. All of this does not mean hip dysplasia. But what it does mean is if the pup is continually being hurt and joints are involved – this does not bode well in the future for him as an adult.

    So – how much training are you doing with your pup? Just taking him to the park for exercise does not cut it. You need to be training him so that he thinks that you are the absolute best thing in his life. Sorry to say that means training your pup.

    Have you enrolled yourself and your pup into a training school ? I would suggest very strongly to PM ‘Nekhbet’ and ask for some advice as it appears you are both in the same area.

    Your pup in the very near future will offer you a heap of different behaviours – so have a look at this thread:

    Good Luck !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    I wouldnt jump to conclusions, there are a lot of reasons a dog limps. If it were me and your dog has done this on several occasions I would get an x-ray done. Did your vet do a hands on examination of his back end and hips? I have always taken my dogs to a specialist vet if they have sporadic limp that is hard to undiagnose.

    Make sure you keep your puppy nice and lean and if the riverbed is soft sand and rocks the exercise could be too much for a puppy.

    I have a dog with mild HD but he is fine. He is a working sheepdog and I keep him lean and fit and he has no problems. If it is HD it will very much depend on the severity.

    Hyacinth - my insurance has a condition limit so you can get both hips done if it comes in at under the condition limit. I have a dog with bilateral ED and the insurance covered surgery on both elbows as it came in under the $10,000 condition limit. It will also cover both the hips of my HD dog in the same way if surgery is ever required.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 06-21-2013 at 12:17 AM.

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